HomeGADGETSNokia X30 5G Review: For Greta Thunberg Fans?

Nokia X30 5G Review: For Greta Thunberg Fans?

The last Nokia we tested was an entry-level with 1GB of RAM and Android Go a few years ago. Therefore, the curiosity for this X30 was skyrocketing, also for some interesting details: first of all, the vocation of the device based on photos at night, a feature as peculiar as it is worthy of note, but also for the project behind the device, a project designed to be as sustainable as possible.

Not only the packaging but also the body is made of recycled materials. Furthermore, the company has guaranteed three years of updates to increase the product’s longevity. Finally, a curiosity: by registering the product, it will be possible to plant some trees by supporting the Let’s Plant Together project. All very nice. Or not? Let’s find out!

Unboxing 

The package (entirely in recycled cardboard) includes the following:

  1. The phone
  2. Type-C cable
  3. SIM extractor

Aesthetics And Materials

As anticipated in the introduction, the sustainability of the Nokia X30 5G starts right from the choice of materials: 100% recycled aluminum for the frame and 64.5% recycled plastic for the back. Frontally, to protect the screen, the Gorilla Glass Victus. The design could be more original, and there aren’t any sophisticated solutions, but it works. The bump of the cameras is not too invasive, and -surprise- there are no auxiliary and useless cameras to annoy.

Battery And Connectivity

The rather modest hardware sector and the essential software immediately made us consider the adequate battery capacity (4200 mAh), even though many companies often opt for a larger battery in the mid-range. Although it tends to heat up with intense use, the battery discharge is constant, and even in mobility, there is no evident drain.

In a nutshell, you will always arrive in the evening with a good reserve and even something more if you use it more sensibly. If you want screen hours (which, however, are rarely really indicative), we are easily over 6 hours. Appreciable is the fact that Nokia uses a battery guaranteed for over 800 recharge cycles, further increasing the device’s longevity (at least on paper).

Reception is good, even if not at the top of the category, while the wi-fi range is average: there is no support for 6E wi-fi, so the performances are not top of the range, but comfortable for any use, without uncertainties the functioning of the NFC chip, Bluetooth and Android Auto. Also present is e-sim support, not obvious in the mid-range, almost a rarity.

Display, Vibration, Audio, And Sensors

The display of the Nokia X30 is honest. Not one of those panels that leaves you speechless, but with good colors and definitions. On the other hand, the maximum brightness is too low, making it sometimes difficult to use outdoors if the sun beats down more than it should. No problem with the shy November sun, but we don’t guarantee that you will be able to use it with satisfaction in spring or summer. 

The brightness sensor is calibrated conservatively, and you will often find yourself manually increasing the brightness. Surely more could have been done. The display also integrates a good, average fingerprint reader and is quite accurate. The vibration is nothing special, far from the high end (although the price range of the Nokia X30 is not exactly cheap).

 Mono audio, with good sound pressure, but -again- we believe that Nokia could have done more. In the capsule, however, the quality is very good, and even the microphones (two) perform well. The presence of the IP67 certification is positive.

Software And Performance

The Snapdragon 695 5G is not a monster of power and is certainly not a successful SoC. Based on the Android One project (which we mistakenly believed to be defunct), Nokia’s software is, in fact, Android 12 completely stock and devoid of any frills, thus keeping the smartphone afloat from a performance point of view. Some lag is present, but using the smartphone is manageable.

However, there is a slightly annoying bug due to the system launcher. You inevitably notice a noticeable slowdown in the animations every time you go back home. To be a stock system in all respects, these are unexpected problems. There are also some errors in the translations of the camera app, with some strings in Icelandic (!). Patches are updated in November.

Curiosity: on the official website, there is talk of 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, but our unit was probably an import unit, with “only” 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of space. With 8 GB of RAM, the performance would have been better, but we have to judge what we received.

Photo And Video

Nokia has pushed a lot in the photographic sector, especially on the main one, and a series of software solutions to get better night photos than competitors in the same price range. Using a very good quality sensor like Samsung’s GN5 (to be clear, the same as S22 and S22 Plus) optically stabilized is a declaration of war. 

But what are the results like? Good, but with some flaws. The images are usually very good, the detail is good, and the focus is precise. Despite this, it must be said that the management of lights and against the sun is not fantastic and, although the colors are good and not too focused, the white balance is not always convincing.

 In the evening, the results are objectively good, but it is certainly different from the night camera phone it would like to be. But here, it must be said: the evening photos are better – for example – than those of the iPhone. On the other hand, it suffers indoors, where the smartphone does not manage shutter speeds well, and the photos will often be blurry. The tripod mode is only ingenious because it does nothing but increase shutter speeds excessively, making the tripod practically indispensable. 

The videos are not bad, but unfortunately, the SoC cannot handle 4K, which is a serious matter given that we exceed the €500 price list. Even some anomalies in the software algorithms could be due to the less-than-refined ISP of the Snapdragon 695. The tripod mode is only apparently ingenious because it does nothing but increase shutter speeds excessively, making the tripod practically indispensable.

 The videos are not bad, but unfortunately, the SoC cannot handle 4K, which is a serious matter given that we exceed the €500 price list. Even some anomalies in the software algorithms could be due to the less-than-refined ISP of the Snapdragon 695. The tripod mode is only apparently ingenious because it does nothing but increase shutter speeds excessively, making the tripod practically indispensable. 

The videos are not bad, but unfortunately, the SoC cannot handle 4K, which is a serious matter given that we exceed the €500 price list. Even some anomalies in the software algorithms could be due to the less-than-refined ISP of the Snapdragon 695. The ultra-wide-angle camera is above average (low) in some mid-ranges but doesn’t excel at anything, giving way when the light goes down. The 16MP front camera is hidden and has enough detail for most needs.

Price And Conclusions

The price list speaks of 599 €. For some, it is a cost due to sustainability, but it is a product with nothing exceptional that can justify such a high price. In our opinion, at 350 euros it may make sense, above these figures, there is no shortage of more or less recent alternatives.

The presence of stock software could suggest solid performance, but it is not. The camera is good, but not superior to other products in the same range. The exceptional yield at night is not exceptional. It’s not the only device guaranteeing three years of updates.

Read Also: iPhone 14 Pro: Technical data, Review And Price

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