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Nokia G20 : A long-lasting budget phone with one too many compromises
When it comes to the best cheap Android phones, most fall somewhere in the $250–$350 range and offer similar specs and speeds. Outside of special deals, not too many “good” smartphones with decent components can cost less than that. But Nokia wants to undercut that class of smartphones with the $200 Nokia G20 and $150 Nokia G10.
Nokia sells its fair share of cheap and mid-range phones, known for their stock Android software, guaranteed updates, and striking designs. Where the Nokia G20 stands out is its giant 5,050mAh battery, which is rated to last two or three days of standard use. That kind of longevity in such a cheap phone — cheaper than the Moto G Power, one of our favorite long-lasting phones — is a pretty great perk. Unfortunately, the G20 has some cheap hardware and obsolete wireless standards that hold it back from greatness.
Comparing the Nokia G20 vs. Nokia G10, the G20 wins handily, making it worth the $50 extra to boost performance and specs. But after testing the G20 for a week, hoping it would surprise me, I can’t fully recommend it unless you’re on a strict budget and really want a massive battery and display. Some consistent issues cancel out its surprising upsides.
Following the Nokia G10 in late April, the Nokia G20 shipped out on July 1, 2021, in the United States. Also available in India and Europe, the G20 can be found on most major retailer sites, plus Nokia’s site. It currently sells for $199 / £135 / ₹12,990. The phone is unlocked by default; while it’s compatible with some US carriers — including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Cricket — it won’t work with Verizon or Sprint.
Nokia G20 specs:
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 (dual-SIM model only)|
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 – International|
|HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100 – LATAM|
|4G bands||1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41 – International|
|1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 28, 66 – LATAM|
|Speed||HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps|
|LAUNCH||Announced||2021, April 08|
|Status||Available. Released 2021, May 17|
|BODY||Dimensions||164.9 x 76 x 9.2 mm (6.49 x 2.99 x 0.36 in)|
|Weight||197 g (6.95 oz)|
|SIM||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Size||6.52 inches, 102.6 cm2 (~81.9% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~269 ppi density)|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 11, upgradable to Android 13|
|Chipset||Mediatek MT6765G Helio G35 (12 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (4×2.3 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)|
|MEMORY||Card slot||microSDXC (dedicated slot)|
|Internal||64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Quad||48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF
5 MP, (ultrawide)
2 MP, (macro)
2 MP, (depth)
|Features||LED flash, HDR, panorama|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||8 MP, (wide)|
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE|
|Positioning||GPS, GLONASS, BDS|
|NFC||Yes (market/region dependent)|
|USB||USB Type-C 2.0, OTG|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity|
|BATTERY||Type||Li-Po 5050 mAh, non-removable|
|Models||TA-1336, TA-1343, TA-1347, TA-1372, TA-1365|
|SAR||1.01 W/kg (head) 1.02 W/kg (body)|
|SAR EU||0.49 W/kg (head) 1.13 W/kg (body)|
|Price||$ 169.99 / € 189.90 / £ 259.00 / ₹ 11,990|
Disclaimer. We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct.
Nokia G20: The competition
Compared to the other best Nokia phones, the Nokia G20 handily beats other sub-$200 handsets like the Nokia 1.3 and 2.3. The Nokia 5.3 technically has a faster processor and similarly massive display, but it still runs on Android 10, has a smaller battery, and will get one fewer year of support if you buy it now. You could consider the Nokia 5.4, which has an FHD+ display and a better Snapdragon for slightly more money, but it too will get about a day less of battery life and hasn’t updated to Android 11 yet.
Thus, you may want to look outside of Nokia’s phones if you want a stock Android phone with a similar price. The Moto G Power 2020 hits the same notes as the G20 with its 5,000mAh battery and reliable cameras, with the bonus of Verizon and Sprint compatibility. Its main downside: It still runs Android 10 and will stop at Android 11, giving it much less longevity.
For reliable stock Android performance, you certainly can’t go wrong with a Pixel 4a, which tops our list of the best cheap Android phones. It’ll immediately get Android 12 in September and receive an Android 13 the following year, has more RAM and a faster processor, and it hits FHD+. The downside is that you get a much smaller screen and battery for almost double the price. You also might want to wait until the Pixel 5a comes out for even faster speeds.
NOKIA G20: SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
You should buy this if …
You need long battery life
A 5,050mAh battery and an energy-efficient display and chipset help this phone last longer than almost any rival phone today.
You’re on a strict budget
Other more expensive phones may be better, but you really can’t expect better specs or performance at this low price point.
You want your phone to last for years
With security updates through 2024 and a battery that’ll last even when it loses some capacity, the Nokia G20 will spare you from buying another phone for a good while.
You shouldn’t buy this if…
Your carrier is Verizon or Sprint
Unlike more mainstream brands that support as many carriers as possible, Nokia focuses on GSM-based carriers only, at the expense of some of the most popular carriers.
You care about gaming specs or display resolution
You can find smartphones for slightly more money with FHD+ displays, 90Hz refresh rates, and faster processors. The G20 is better suited for casual use.
You want more protective features
There’s no water or dust resistance, nor Gorilla Glass on the Nokia G20. It does come with a cheap case and pre-installed screen protector, but other phones offer better protection.
The Nokia G20 is a bundle of promising features that never quite coalesces into a perfect budget product, mainly thanks to its wimpy processor. It’s a shame because it has so many perks in a single cheap package: a 3.5mm headphone jack, dual SIM, NFC support, side fingerprint sensor, dedicated Google Assistant button, a powerful 48MP camera, and (of course) a workhorse of a battery. That’s a pretty impressive list for such a cheap phone.
It was a struggle to choose a definitive rating for this phone. I found myself annoyed by the slight delays when opening apps or looking up information. Still, I had to recognize that I’ve grown accustomed to faster phones that cost much more and that this phone will work perfectly well for thrifty people who aren’t quite so impatient as I am. For its price range, it’s about as good as you could expect; but if you can afford it, I’d expand my price range beyond the Nokia G20.
Bottom line: The Nokia G20 offers a massive battery and display size on a phone with stock Android 11 and no bloatware to speak of. So if you’re looking for a simple Android smartphone that competently completes any task you need, the G20 could work for you. But keep in mind you get what you pay for, and other faster smartphones are available if you don’t mind the extra cost.
The Nokia G20 has a genuinely impressive battery that barely drains when idle and should remain functional for days. Its satisfyingly simple stock Android software, striking design, and decent main camera all add up to a more-than-respectable package for a $200 phone. But its slow chipset, last-gen Wi-Fi support, and low-resolution display undermine the experience. Anyone willing to spend just a bit more can likely find something better.
- Attractive design with side fingerprint sensor
- 2 or 3 days of stable battery life
- Dual SIM and microSD card slots
- Very affordable price
- Stock Android 11, with updates up to Android 13
- Solid main camera sensor
- Doesn’t work with Sprint/ Verizon
- Doesn’t support 5GHz or 5G
- Mediatek CPU is fairly slow
- Only a 720p display with low refresh rate
- 10W charging (no wireless)