Nokia XR20 vs Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro – £400 rugged phones but with budget specs

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It feels like Nokia has given up trying to compete in the mid-range and flagship market. Their most advanced phone recently is the Nokia 8.3 5G launched back in November with the Snapdragon 765G.

Instead, they have released lots of low-end phones and nostalgic feature phones.

The latest is the Nokia XR20, which is an interesting take, being the first phone from Nokia specifically designed to be a rugged phone. Inevitable comparisons have been made to the indestructible Nokia phones of yesterday.

From the press release, the Nokia XR20 is the brand's first-ever life-proof device and comes with all sorts of fancy durability specs such as IP68, MIL-STD-810H compliant, and drop tested from up to 1.8m.

All of which sounds superb. Until you look at the price and the rest of the spec.

Nokia wants £400 for the phone, but apart from its durable nature, it is essentially a budget phone. A slightly lower specced version of the existing Nokia X20, which sells for £100 less.

It seems like a bit of a rip off at first. It probably is, but there isn't much competition; you have various Chinese brands like Doogee and Blackview, or you have the Samsung Galaxy Xcover series.

The Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro also costs around £400 but its spec is worse.

Nokia XR20 vs Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro Specification Table

Nokia XR20 Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro 
DisplayIPS
6.67 inches
2400 x 1080
IPS
6.3 inches
2400 x 1080
Chipset Snapdragon 480Exynos 9611 
DurabilityIP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 60 min)
Drop-to-concrete resistance from up to 1.8 m
MIL-STD-810H compliant
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
1-year screen replacement
IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 35 mins)
Drop-to-concrete resistance from up to 1.5 m
MIL-STD-810G compliant
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
RAM6GB4GB
Storage128GB128GB
Rear Camera48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2.25″, 0.8µm, PDAF
13 MP, f/2.4, 123˚ (ultrawide), 1/3.0″, 1.12µm
25 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
Front Camera8 MP, f/2.0 (wide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm13 MP, f/2.0, (wide), 1/3.1″, 1.12µm
Battery4630 mAh4050 mAh
Charging18w charging15W
Price£399£363 (Amazon)

Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 vs Samsung Exynos 9611

While the Snapdragon 400 series is on the low end of things, the Snapdragon 480 is surprisingly well specced and superior to the Samsung Exynos 9611.

 Qualcomm Snapdragon 480Samsung Exynos 9611
Manufacturing Process 8nm LPP8nm LPP
CPU2x [email protected] 2.0GHz
6x [email protected] 1.8GHz
4x 2.3 GHz – Cortex-A73
4x 1.7 GHz – Cortex-A53
GPUAdreno 619Mali-G72 MP3
RAM2x 16-bit @ 2133MHz
LPDDR4X 17.0GB/s
2x 16-bit @ 2133MHz
LPDDR4X
ModemSnapdragon X51 5GLTE Cat. 12

Durability

Both phones have similar durability ratings, they are both IP68 rated, the Samsung is MIL-STD-810G  , but the Nokia is the newer MIL-STD-810H. They are both drop to concrete resistance the Samsung a little less at 1.5m vs 1.8.

The Nokia then also offers 1 year of free screen replacements.

So the Nokia wins for the most important aspect, durability.

Security

The Samsung Galaxy Xcover phones are designed for to be used in a commercial environment and one of the selling points is the multi-layered security that defends your most sensitive information from malware and malicious threats. This is through Samsung Knox, something which Nokia won’t have.

So the Samsung is probably a bit safer with data.

Software and Support

Nokia phones are generally overpriced, but they make up for it slightly by the excellent software experience and support.

This phone will get 3-years of warranty with 3 years of Android OS updates and 4 years in total of security updates.

It is not clear what level of support you will get with Samsung but all Galaxy flagships and A series phones get three major Android updates plus 4 year security.

So it should be a similar level of support, but I would say that Nokia will be a bit better overall.

Overall

As much as I think the Nokia XR20 is a rip off at £400, Nokia has probably priced it appropriately in relation to the competition.

You are paying a big premium for a durable phone, and I would advise how much you need it compared to investing in a rugged phone case such as the Otter Box defender or Griffin Survivor.

However, if you have tried that and still smashed your phone, I would say the Nokia XR20 looks like the better phone for the average user wanting something highly durable.

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