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Nokia T20 Tablet Review: Almost Perfect Budget Tablet
The almost forgotten budget tablet market witnessed a positive growth in the wake of Covid-19 triggered pandemic and multiple lockdowns. As per CMR's India Tablet PC Market Review Report, the overall tablet market grew by 13 per cent quarter-on-quarter in 2021. Consumers showed a huge interest in affordable big-screen tablets for e-learning, business, and entertainment purposes. The key players in the category include names like Samsung, Lenovo, Motorola and Realme- the latest entrant into the budget tablet space.
- Big & Vibrant 2K Display
- Sturdy Design
- Stock Android Software
- Two Years Of OS Upgrades, Three Years Of Security Upgrades
- Long-Lasting Battery Life
- Slow Charging Tech
- Lacks Physical Biometric Scanner
- Mediocre Audio Performance
Things got even better when HMD gave a surprise entry into the lucrative market with its first Nokia branded budget tablet. The Nokia T20 is a 10.4-inch tablet running on stock Android 11. Priced aggressively at Rs. 15,499 for the entry-level variant, the T20 flaunts a 2K screen and comes with a promise of two years of OS upgrades and three years of monthly security upgrades. It is a direct competitor of the Realme Pad.
Since we have already reviewed the Realme Pad, we thought of testing the Nokia T20 to find out which tablet makes for a better overall product. The following findings are based on the testing of the 4GB/64GB Wi-Fi variant of the Nokia T20 tablet.
Nokia T20 Design & Build Quality
Nokia hardly ever disappoints with the build quality of its consumer products. Similar to its smartphones, the T20 tablet has a sturdy design that also meets most needs of a practical big-screen tablet. It is 7.8mm thin and weighs 465 grams (Wi-Fi variant). The tablet comes in a sandblasted aluminium body that feels premium and durable. It is IP52 rated for dust and water resistance, has a Type-C charging port, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
You won't find a fingerprint scanner and can only rely on the software-driven face unlock and traditional PIN and passcodes to enable unlock parameters. The front fascia has sizeable bezels around the screen that help reduce unwanted screen interactions.
Type-C Charging Port, 3.5mm Audio Jack & Dual Speakers
As far as the button configuration goes, the top houses the power button and a speaker grille. The right side has volume rockers, microphones and the MicroSD/SIM card tray depending upon the variant you choose to purchase. The Type-C charging port rests at the bottom along with the second speaker unit. You can use any standard 3.5mm headphones, thanks to a neatly placed 3.55 mm audio jack.
Nokia T20 Vs Realme Pad Design
Now, if you compare the Nokia T20 with the Realme Pad, the latter is a bit more eye-catchy with its ultra-thin 6.9mm profile and lustrous metallic finish. The Realme Pad is also a tad lighter at 440 grams as compared to 465/470g weight of the Nokia T20 tablet. However, we found the Nokia T20 more elegant and practical in daily use. It just feels like a slightly refined big-screen budget tablet.
Nokia T20 Display & Audio Performance
The star of the show is the 10.4" (10.36" to be precise) 2K IPS display with an unconventional resolution of 1200 x 2000 pixels. This lesser-heard resolution is called WUXGA+ (Widescreen Ultra eXtended Graphics Array Plus) and can also be seen on the rival Realme Pad. The big real estate of the 10-inch panel allows for comfortable reading, e-learning and joyous video playback experience. One downside is the lack of HDR support for OTT apps.
Audio Performance Could Have Been Better
The outdoor visibility (400 nits peak brightness) and viewing angles are good enough to justify the price-performance ratio. The screen has a layer of toughened glass to offer some level of protection from damages. The sound setup featuring stereo speakers also has an amplifier built-in; however, the performance isn't mind-boggling. The Realme Pad offers a superior audio delivery, thanks to its Dolby Atmos-enabled quad- speakers. Moreover, the colors also appear slightly punchier on the Realme Pad's IPS panel.
Nokia T20 Hardware-Software Performance
The Nokia T20 make use of the Unisoc T610- the entry-level octa-core SoC with two fast ARM Cortex A75 cores clocked at up to 1.8 GHz and six power-efficient ARM Cortex A55 cores with a clock frequency of up to 1.8 GHz. Our review unit has 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage. The hardware along with stock Android 11 ensured smooth day-to-day performance with most commonly used apps and tasks such as audio/video playback, casual gaming and e-learning.
I could browse multiple web pages in Chrome, stream videos on Netflix and simultaneously use Google Drive and note-making apps without any performance drops. The tablet can handle some stress without giving you a tough time; however, don't expect it to run smoothly with the heaviest apps and games in the Google Play Store. You will start noticing glitches and some sluggish app responses with demanding tasks. Treat it like an entry-level tablet and you won't be disappointed.
Face-Unlock Could Use Some Improvements
Moving on, Nokia should have provided a physical fingerprint scanner as the software-driven face-unlock isn't very promising. The face-unlock feature takes time and often fails to recognize the stored facial memory. I had to use the PIN code to unlock the tablet most of the time, which feels a bit annoying and dated in 2021 even for a budget tablet.
Nokia T20 Gaming Performance & Benchmark Scores
The T20 allows for smooth gaming feedback with casual games like Stickman Legends and Angry Birds. It can even run demanding games such as Battlegrounds and Marvel Contest of Champions but at lower settings. Battlegrounds Mobile India started with HD graphics and a high frame rate and was easily playable on the 60Hz panel. The tablet showed no problematic heating signs with longer game sessions.
The same is reflected in the benchmark scores. The T20 scored 522 in 3D Mark's Wild Life test and 161308 in the Antutu benchmark test. The tablet recorded 347 in Geekbench 5's single-core test and 1267 in the multi-core test. With the PC Mark's Work 3.0 performance test, the tablet managed to score 7657. These are decent numbers for an entry-level tablet.
Promising Software Support & Some Notable Additions
Buying a Nokia branded product, irrespective of the price-point means the assurance of future software upgrades. The T20 tablet will receive two major OS upgrades and three years of monthly security updates. It runs a bare minimum Android skin with no bloatware and annoying ads/notifications. The only additions you will find are useful apps/services such as Kids Space, Entertainment space and Google apps. You can read more on Google's Kids Space in our Realme Pad review.
How Good/Bad Is The Camera?
Pretty Average! The 8MP rear camera only captures decent shots when you are clicking in good available lighting. Late evening outdoor shots disappoint and you would need good artificial indoor light to capture some usable pictures. The same is true for the 5MP front camera that can be used for video calls and selfies. One good thing about the camera is the viewfinder app that offers real-time filters, different modes (photo, video, and portrait) and some beautification features.
Nokia T20 Battery Life & Connectivity
The Nokia T20 delivers a promising battery life. The beefier 8,200 mAh non-removable battery can last for two days straight with heavy usage. If you only use the tab for e-learning, reading and web-browsing, the tab can last for up to a week with one full-charge cycle. A big letdown is the slow charging support. The Nokia T20 only gets 15W charging support and a 10W charger in the box that took almost five hours to recharge the gigantic battery from flat to 100%, enough to test anyone's patience.
As far as the connectivity goes, the Nokia T20 gets Bluetooth 5, dual-band Wi-Fi and SIM card support. It has a USB Type-C (USB 2.0), 3.5mm audio jack, and GPS support for the LTE variant (Nano-SIM- 2G, 3G, 4G).
The Nokia T20 is a well-rounded budget tablet in the sub-20K price-point. The 10.4-inch 2K display, long-lasting battery life and assured software upgrade cycle makes it a great big-screen Android tablet. There are some letdowns such as slow charging, mediocre audio performance, and lack of fingerprint scanner; however, the whole package is greater than the sum of the parts. Go for the entry-level variant if you are looking to buy a budget tablet for kids at home.