3310 would be proud of the new Nokia XR21

Kerem Gülen
May 3, 2023
Google Android, Mobile Computing

HMD Global's latest Nokia phone, the Nokia XR21, builds on the brand's reputation for producing robust devices (As the old saying goes, when the world comes to an end, only two things are certain to survive: cockroaches and Nokia 3310s.) While previous Nokia models have been known for their durability, the XR21 takes things up a notch by earning an IP68 water and dust resistance rating and a MIL-STD-810H toughness rating.

What sets the XR21 apart, however, is its IP69K rating, an unusual distinction that we can't recall seeing on any other phone. This rating signifies the phone's ability to withstand high-pressure jets of water, dust, or steam from any angle, making it an ideal choice for those who need a rugged device that can handle extreme conditions.

HMD Global claims that the Nokia XR21 can withstand a 100-bar pressure stream of water at temperatures up to 80 degrees Celsius and continue to function without issue. For context, typical home pressure washers operate at around 100 bar, which means that users should be able to clean the device thoroughly under a tap without worrying about damaging it. With this level of durability, the Nokia XR21 is well-suited for individuals who require a phone that can endure challenging conditions without sacrificing performance.

Nokia XR21 specs

Apart from its exceptional durability, the Nokia XR21 has the appearance of a typical Android phone. However, its exterior is impressively robust, featuring an aluminum chassis and a sturdy rear panel, as well as Gorilla Glass Victus protecting the 6.49-inch screen. The Nokia XR21 offers its users peace of mind with a three-year warranty and a one-year screen replacement guarantee (available in select regions) in the unfortunate event that the screen breaks.

The good old Nokia 3310 - Image source: Unsplash

Despite its robust design, the Nokia XR21's hardware specifications may not be as impressive as some users might hope for. The phone is powered by an aging Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor and runs on the Android 12 operating system, which is not the most current combination available. Although the phone is promised three Android operating system updates, it is disappointing that one of these updates will be wasted on Android 13, which should have been installed on the device from the outset.

The Nokia XR21 does have some notable features, including a 6.49-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, which is a welcome addition. The phone also boasts a 64-megapixel primary camera on the back, accompanied by an 8MP wide-angle camera. While wide-angle cameras are not typically known for producing high-quality photos, the main camera's impressive resolution should still capture excellent images. At the top of the screen, users will find a 16MP selfie camera, while the phone's internal components include a 4,800mAh battery with 33W fast charging capability. Additionally, the phone includes a 3.5mm headphone jack and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor on its body.

Nokia XR21 release date and pricing

The Nokia XR21, released in 2021, is the latest iteration of the Nokia XR20. The phone is available in two colors, Midnight Black and Pine Green, and as of now, it has only been announced for release in the United Kingdom. The black model will be available for purchase starting on May 3rd, with the green version following in June. The XR21 comes in a single configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It is also included in Nokia's Circular subscription service, where it can be purchased for 22 pounds per month, around $27.


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  1. TelV said on May 3, 2023 at 8:30 pm

    I wonder why Nokia thinks people encounter high-pressure jets of water, dust, or steam when they go out. Never had any aimed at me.

  2. Duckling said on May 3, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    A user replaceable battery would be a great dealmaker…

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