For years, I’ve asked myself a question about the importance of the tablet in the tech market. While Apple has somehow changed the narrative around iPads in the past few years, the presence of Android tablets has always baffled me. But the pandemic has brought back the spotlight on “affordable” tablets and created a powerful use case in online education.
The new Nokia T20 succeeds where it should make the biggest impact, while keeping the price low enough for fans to buy a device like this one. I just spent a week with the Nokia T20 from HMD Global, and here’s what I think about the device that fits best in the affordable tablet market.
Nokia T20 price in India (as reviewed): 15,499 rupees onwards
Nokia T20 review: Design and Aesthetics
HMD Global has given the Nokia T20 a modern look, keeping the design relevant at least for a few more years. The tablet is soft to the touch, has curved edges, and is made of aluminum. If you’re using a tablet as a consumer device — to read books, browse the web, or watch Netflix, which I suppose is the reason you wanted to pick up the Nokia T20 — it’s a great device that’s easy to hold in one hand.
It is very thin, so I can easily fit it in my bag. The power button is placed on top and the volume button next to it is on the top right edge. This type of button placement works in landscape and landscape use. HMD Global is also working on bezel reduction to increase screen size. Gesture navigation works beautifully on the Nokia T20, as the experience felt similar to what you get on Android smartphones.
The back of the tablet is very simple, with only the Nokia branding adorning the back. You also get a single 8MP camera, which is useful for exploring features like Google Lens and educational apps that take advantage of augmented reality. The 5MP front camera makes video calling easy and convenient.
Nokia T20 review: Display and speakers
The 10.4-inch screen has a resolution of 2000 x 1200 pixels, with a maximum brightness of 400 nits. The offer is definitely good for the price range. It’s not suitable for creative tasks like editing photos but I had no difficulty watching movies and reading e-books on the Nokia T20 screen.
My only issue with the screen is the inconsistent auto brightness feature. Tablet screen remains dimmed even when auto-brightness is off. I hope this is fixed by a software update.
The Nokia T20 has two loudspeakers that are loud and clear. It’s not as good as the one on the iPad Air (2020). For most people, this is no big deal as they can always plug in their regular headphones or wireless earbuds for superior sound quality.
Nokia T20 review: Performance and battery
Over the past years, HMD Global has abandoned the idea of using the latest chipsets in its devices. This did not go well with critics who advocated HMD Global for its commercial strategy.
The Nokia T20 is powered by the Unisoc T610 platform on the chip, which is equivalent to something like the Snapdragon 600 series. Performance-wise, I don’t see much difference between the Nokia T20 and other tablets running on the Snapdragon processor, which is impressive.
To my surprise, everything was fast, from launching the most used apps like Facebook and Twitter to something like Khan Academy. The Nokia T20 is powerful enough to run just about anything you want to do on a tablet, whether that’s email, running apps focused on kids, playing light games, or just browsing the web. The tablet is clearly not made for multitasking; It is a device for media consumption only.
The tablet is available in two variants, one with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage and the other with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The last variant, which costs a bit more than the basic version, comes with 4G support. Both options have a microSD card slot for memory expansion.
The battery lasted for about 7 hours on a single charge. That’s not close to the 15 hours the company is claiming. I think the battery will last a bit longer depending on usage which varies from person to person. The tablet takes over 3 hours to fully charge using the included 15W USB-C Power Adapter.
Nokia T20 review: Software
Android isn’t the most flexible operating system for tablets, and Google knows it well. With the Nokia T20, you get Android 11 without adding a custom touch to improve the user experience. The software is the same as on other Android smartphones.
I hope HMD Global has considered tweaking the interface aimed at kids, which made a lot of sense. However, the tablet comes pre-installed with Google Kids Space, which opens up a new way to experience content intended for children. Since HMD Global always promises their hardware, you get 2 OS updates and 3 years of built-in security updates.
Nokia T20 review: Should you buy it?
Designed with purpose, the Nokia T20 mirrors the current landscape of e-learning, thanks to the global pandemic. The Nokia T20 might be a budget tablet, but it feels right for the price. After a long time, I saw a device from HMD Global that worked the way it was advertised.