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Nokia XR20 could be the world’s best-looking durable phone

nokia xr20 lifestyle
(Image credit: HMD Global)

HMD Global just announced the new Nokia XR20, a phone built to survive life's extremes and look great while doing so. It's another rugged phone, which is already a niche market, but it's by far the best looking entry in that genre that we've seen. It's a durable device, able to survive drops, an hour under water, and anything else you could probably throw at it —or throw it at.

The XR20 costs $549.99, and you're paying for the promised durability since the phone otherwise features the kind of mediocre specs you'd find in devices half that price. Still, if you need a phone to endure several beatings, it's probably worth the cost.

High and low temperatures — at least the ones that humans can operate in — mean nothing to the XR20, which can survive up to 131 degrees Fahrenheit (55C) or down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20C). That's quite a spread, whether your phone is enduring the heat of the desert or the cold of winter. 

The XR20 can survive falls up to 1.8 meters (5'11"). HMD says the XR20 can last one hour under water at 1.5 meters. And when the phone gets dirty, just wash it off with soap and water. It'll be fine.

Powering the XR20 is a Snapdragon 480 5G system-on-chip, an admittedly underpowered chip in our experience. Coupled with 6GB of RAM, this phone won't win any speed competitions, which is a common theme with rugged phones. The Nokia XR20 does have 128GB of storage with a micro SD slot (up to 512GB), though.

The 6.67-inch FHD+ (probably LCD) display sits underneath Gorilla Glass Victus for added protection with a max brightness of 550 nits. The 8MP front-facing camera sits in a hole-punch cutout in the display. On the back, there's a 48MP main camera and a 13MP ultrawide shooter. HMD also talked about the SpeedWarp feature, which "lets you fast forward to key moments," likely in regard to video recording. And then there's the OZO spatial audio to further enhance the sound experience in recorded video.

A 4,630 mAh battery keeps everything powered up, with 18W wired/15W wireless charging to top it off. And there's a 3.5mm headphone jack, too. The XR20 also sports a programmable button that you can map to an app; there's a Google Assistant shortcut key, too.

Android 11 comes out of the box with a promised three years of updates. HMD can be a bit slow when it comes to updates, but it's mostly good with keeping its promises in this regard. We applaud this update policy, which puts the Nokia XR20 in line with Samsung's and Google's best in terms of support.

You can purchase the Nokia XR20 in 128GB/6GB configuration for $549.99 in Granite Grey or Ultra Blue. It's available directly through Nokia starting August 24.

Jordan Palmer

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. It's hard to nail down one thing that Jordan is passionate about, since his attention span for a single given topic or activity doesn't last long. Jordan tends to lurk on social media, but you can best reach him on Twitter: @jccpalmer — his Instagram feed is mostly photos of his cat.