Drawbacks of Nokia XR21: Almost Perfect Rugged Smartphone
HMD Global, the Finnish company behind Nokia smartphones, has released the Nokia XR21, the successor to the award-winning Nokia XR20. Marketed as the smartphone version of the iconic Nokia 3310, the XR21 boasts an impressive durability rating, able to withstand a soaking from a 100-bar pressure water hose jet with an 80 degrees centigrade water temperature.
The XR21 is priced at £499.99 in the UK, $499 in the US, and AU$ 799 in Australia, with only one model available (6GB RAM/128GB storage) in pine green and midnight black colour schemes. The smartphone will also be offered on Nokia’s Circular subscription service for £22 per month, with a minimum of three-month commitment and a £30 setup fee.
The Nokia XR21’s unique selling point is its toughness, with a certification of IP69K and MIL-STD-810H, ensuring it can survive drops of up to 1.8 meters and more. The smartphone’s chassis is reinforced with recycled aluminium and a rubberized coating, ensuring it stays intact even after handling the rough and tumble of daily use.
The XR21 comes with a three-year warranty as standard and a one-year screen replacement warranty for ANZ and EU customers and is backed by Gorilla Glass Victus protection. It is powered by a Qualcomm system-on-chip (Snapdragon 695), a 6.49-inch FHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate and 550 nits brightness, and dual rear cameras (64-megapixel and 8-megapixel). The front-facing camera is a 16-megapixel snapper. The smartphone supports Wi-Fi-6E, NFC, and eSIM, with a pair of speakers, an audio jack, and a Type-C connector to USB 2.0.
Unlike its predecessor, the XR21 does not support wireless charging, but it has a larger battery (4800mAh) and supports fast charging of up to 33W. The smartphone also supports Android 15, with four years of monthly security updates, making it ideal for enterprise/business users.
The XR21 offers space for two nano-SIM cards, with two rapid access buttons and an eSIM. The Nokia XR20 received acclaim for its attempt to bring rugged smartphones to the mainstream, and the XR21 continues this trend. It remains to be seen whether Nokia will introduce a durable version of the T21, which could potentially become a top contender in the rugged tablet market.