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Nokia T20 review

An utterly average Android device that shines at the right price

Nokia T20 on counter
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

Nokia’s T20 Android tablet ticks all of the right boxes, but only stands out if you can snag it on sale.

Pros

  • +

    Strong battery life

  • +

    Colorful display that’s suitably bright

Cons

  • -

    Weak speakers can make dialogue and music unpleasant

Nokia T20: Specs

Price: $249
CPU: Unisoc T610
RAM: 4GB
Display: 2,000 x 1,200
Storage: 64GB (up to 512GB with microSD)
Ports: 1 USB-C, headphone jack, microSD card slot
Battery Life: 14 hours and 5 minutes
Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.2 x 0.3 inches
Weight: 463g / 16.3 oz (approximately 1.02 pounds)

The Nokia T20 ($249) is a mid-range Android tablet from Nokia. Remember Nokia? The erstwhile mobile hardware juggernaut isn’t the household name it once was, but maybe notable devices like the T20 Android tablet can help rectify that.

The hardware under the hood isn’t going to keep premium machines at bay, but there’s enough here to give budget tablet seekers a familiar face to put on their short list — provided you can grab it at a discount.

Nokia T20 review: Price and availability

The Nokia T20 can be purchased directly from Nokia for as low $199 (at time of writing), with an MSRP of $249.99. That’s pricier than Amazon’s $179 Fire HD Plus, but you’re getting a 10.4-inch, 2,000 by 1,200 pixel display, 64GB of storage (with support for up to 512GB microSD cards), 4GB of RAM, and access to the Google Play Store, if app selection is your thing. While Amazon’s offerings have it beat on price, being able to access the full gamut of Android apps is well worth twenty bucks; you’ll have a tougher decision to make if Amazon is in the middle of one of their Fire sales, though.

Nokia T20 review: Design

If not for the Nokia badge on the back, there’s little to distinguish this device from the myriad of Android tablets out there. But that’s okay: while simple, the Nokia T20 doesn’t disappoint. Measuring in at 9.7 x 6.2 x 0.3 inches, the T20 feels optimized for being held in a landscape orientation, for watching videos.

Back view of Nokia T20

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

That said, I spent the bulk of my time holding it vertically, reading books and browsing the web. The aluminum body feels sturdy, resisting any attempts at twisting on its frame.

Nokia T20 power button

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

And the entire package is light (463g, about 1.02 pounds), and feels nice in my hands. Nokia offers a few inexpensive “rugged” cases for peace of mind, but I find that the limited set of features and functionality means this device rarely leaves my bedside, much less my home; your mileage may vary.

Nokia T20 review: Display

Nokia has equipped the T20 with a 10.4-inch, 2,000 by 1,200-pixel display. Tablets at this end of the price spectrum tend to skimp on screen quality, but this display shuffles past “adequate” and veers into “surprisingly pleasant” territory. As mentioned, the 5:3 aspect ratio means the device is most conveniently held in a landscape orientation — ideal for watching videos. I spent the bulk of my time sifting through content on YouTube, where the T20’s screen proved to be bright and colorful. Color accuracy mostly held true when viewed at extreme angles, which was another pleasant surprise.

Nokia T20 streaming content

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The T20 produces 90.9% of the sRGB spectrum on our colorimeter, and emits an average of 374.7 nits of brightness. Overall it’s not the brightest or most vivid display, and direct sunlight can lead to problematic reflections, but it’s well suited for lying in bed and binging HD video, reading ebooks, or browsing the web. All told, the tablet doesn’t stand out from the pack, but justifies its (discounted) price tag: a recurring refrain throughout my experience with it.

Nokia T20 review: Audio

I didn’t come into this review expecting much out of the speakers, so I wasn’t disappointed. A near total lack of bass soured my Spotify listening experience, as familiar songs and albums lacked the weight and tonality I’m used to. That said, it’s not terrible, as the speakers can get fairly loud without crackling or sounding distorted. 

And they’re generally fine for video, though dialogue can sound a little high-pitched. True audiophiles will want to opt for headphones, but the experience is good enough for casual listening.

Nokia T20 review: Performance

The Nokia T20 is powered by a 1.8 GHz octa-core processor, and 4GB of RAM. It earned a score of 1,249 on the GeekBench 5 multicore benchmark. That lags behind a lot of the competition, including the Fire HD Plus (1,399), the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 ($229, 1,405), or Apple’s iPad 2021($329, 3,387). I try not to put too much stock into synthetic benchmarks, but the performance is right in line with the price. Casual web browsing, and even some light editing in Adobe’s cloud-based Lightroom CC works fine. I took Gameloft’s Asphalt 9 for a test drive and came away similarly satisfied: load times are sluggish, and performance nosedives when the action picks up dramatically, but you’re getting exactly what you pay for here so managed expectations make for a satisfying experience.

Nokia T20 review: Battery Life

The Nokia T20 lasted for 14 hours and 5 minutes on our battery rundown test, which consists of browsing the web on WiFi, with the display set at 150-nits of brightness. This is great: Amazon’s Fire HD Plus hung on for 14 hours and 2 minutes (14 hours and 35 minutes with “Automatic Low Power Mode”), while the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 lasted for 13 hours and 13 minutes.

Nokia T20 charging port

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Anecdotally, I generally didn’t think about charging the tablet. The bulk of my time with it was spent reading, with the occasional dip over to Adobe’s mobile version of Lightroom for cursory photo triage, or YouTube for the occasional video. Every few days I’d plug it into whatever USB-C charger I happen to set it down next to; it’s not as convenient as the Fire HD Plus’ built-in wireless charging, but it’s ultimately fine.

Nokia T20 review: Cameras

Nokia has checked off the requisite “Camera” line item with a 5MP front-facing camera, and an 8MP rear shooter, though neither one is worth using.

Nokia T20 cameras

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Colors are flat and faded in the simplest of my test shots under ideal lighting conditions, and the sluggish auto-focus on the rear means you’ll need a perfectly stable subject to avoid blurred shots.

Nokia T20 review: Software

There are a few preinstalled apps, like ExpressVPN and Netflix, but nothing especially egregious. Nokia’s “My Device” app offers some diagnostic information, like tracking your internal storage or battery health, but it’s largely just advertising for Nokia accessories and “recommended apps;” it also assumes the T20 is a phone, which is a little irksome in light of the lack of a SIM slot in this model.

The rest of the pre-installed apps are all standard Google fare. The T20 comes with Android 11, and promises three years of security updates.

Nokia T20 review: Verdict

Nokia’s T20 is a solid entry in the Android tablet space, provided you can find it for $200 (or less). It doesn’t stand out in any regard, but the combination of sturdy build and strong battery life makes this a good option for anyone who wants an inexpensive device for casual reading and web browsing, or to hand off to a child. If you can only find it at $250, you’ll be better off grabbing one of Amazon’s budget offerings, or spending a little more for a more robust device.

Nate Ralph has well over a decade of experience tinkering with, on, and around technology. He's driven by a need to understand how things work, which manifests as a passion for building and re-building PCs, self-hosting open source services, and researching what's new and next in the world of tech. When he's not troubleshooting his home network, he can be found taking and editing photos, dabbling in space and flight sims, or taking baby steps into the world of woodworking.