Over the past five years, HMD Global has been trying to restore the prestige the Nokia brand once had. They had limited success so far, but it seems like they are finally heading in the right direction with their latest releases.
We’ve been testing out the Nokia X30 5G for over a month now and it’s been very good for the most part. While there’s a lot to like about it, there was nothing that made it really stand out. Learn more about what’s good in it and what’s not in our full Nokia X30 5G review.
Nokia X30 5G Specs
- Android 12
- Dual SIM, Dual standby
- 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, 409ppi
- 90Hz refresh rate
- Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
- 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G octa-core processor
- Adreno 619 GPU
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB internal storage
- 16-megapixel front camera
- 50-megapixel (OIS, f/1.8) + 13-megapixel (ultra-wide) rear cameras, LED flash
- IP67 water and dust resistant
- 100% recycled aluminum
- Under-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
- HSPA+, 4G LTE, 5G
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.1
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
- FM radio
- USB Type-C
- Colors: Cloudy Blue, Ice White
- 4,200mAh non-removable battery, 33W fast charging
The Nokia X30 5G looks kinda similar to some Lumia handsets back in the day. With its aluminum sides and plastic back, there’s no denying that this is a premium and sturdy smartphone. It also comes with modern additions like the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the screen, punch-hole camera, and camera island on the back. Bezels are also very thin, and the overall footprint is pretty small.
Another thing I like about the Nokia X30 5G is it’s made from recycled materials. Smartphone companies are trying to be more eco-friendly, but HMD Global really stepped up and took it to the next level. Instead of just pulling out the charger from the standard package like other manufacturers, they made the device itself from recycled materials.
It took a long time, but companies are finally realizing that innovation and sustainability should go hand-in-hand. With that in mind, HMD Global made the aluminum chassis of Nokia X30 5G from 100% recycled materials. Even the plastic back and box is made using 65% and 75% recycled materials, respectively.
The use of plastic on the back panel might be a turn-off for some, but it’s very common in the midrange market. Personally, I really like the build quality and the matte finish of the device. And unlike glass, it’s not prone to fingerprint smudges and won’t shatter easily when accidentally dropped.
Nokia X30 5G’s 6.43-inch PureDisplay screen is nothing special. While other competitors already have 120Hz refresh rate, HMD Global only settled with 90Hz. There’s no point in it anyway, since the Snapdragon 695 won’t be able to push it to the limit all the time. AMOLED display is also standard in this price range nowadays, so it’s no surprise that the X30 5G has it as well. It has a 20:9 aspect ratio and only up to 700 nits of peak brightness. The good thing about it is it’s not too big like those with 6.7-inch displays. It also has a tall profile which makes it easier to hold in one hand. Depending on hand size, you might need two to use it.
The screen quality is good, but the same can’t be said on the software side. It often struggles to properly detect the brightness needed when set to auto. Manually adjusting screen brightness is really annoying, but we hope that it will get fixed in a future software update.
Watching videos on Netflix, YouTube, and Disney+ is pretty much what you might expect from a device of this caliber. The speaker has decent volume, but it’s certainly not that loud to be usable in a large room with a group of people. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a stereo speaker setup which is quite a bummer, especially in its price range.
When it comes to performance, the Nokia X30 5G is quite good. Since it’s powered by Android One, the software is mostly stock with little to no bloatware inside. It’s refreshing to see and experience Android as it should be, without the extras manufacturers add on top.
To be honest, it’s really better than most skins out there. It’s simple, clean, and easy to use. There are cases where we miss some features because it’s so bare, but that can easily be fixed by installing third-party apps.
The combination of Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, Adreno 619 GPU, and 8GB RAM are enough for most people, but it’s lacking for those who do heavy tasks. Like every other midrange Android phone, the Nokia X30 5G has occasional hiccups here and there. Swiping and navigating the home screen is mostly smooth, but the typical app restarts and freezing still happen once in a while. Quite bothersome to say the least.
The same can also be said when it comes to gaming. Games like Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang all ran well in medium to high settings. Random lags still occur, but they rarely mess with the gameplay.
We spent most of our time playing FIFA Mobile on the Nokia X30 5G and it’s been a pleasant experience. Ultra setting is not available, but the highest resolution and 60fps are supported.
With the 90Hz screen, the gaming experience is also significantly improved. Again, the Snapdragon 695 doesn’t have the sufficient power to push everything in 90Hz, so don’t expect every game to have it.
For those who are into shooter games, the lack of stereo speakers is obviously a deal breaker, especially if you often game with no headphones.
On the software side of things, Nokia promises 3 major Android upgrades and 3 years of monthly security updates. The company has been pretty good with software support in the past, so we hope they continue to fulfill this promise. So far, it’s not looking good, as the last security update was way back in November 2022.
If all goes well, the Nokia X30 5G should get the Android 13, 14, and 15 updates.
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Cameras are decent, but nothing to write home about. The 50-megapixel main sensor with optical image stabilization captures images with good details. For ultra-wide, the Nokia X30 5G uses a 13-megapixel sensor. The Nokia X30 5G also has new Night Mode 2.0, Tripod Mode, and Dark Vision. Shooting in dark environments is doable, with AI processing helping in making the photos clearer even without much light. Check out the sample shots below.
In terms of connectivity, everything works well. The 5G, WiFi, and Bluetooth worked without any issues. Same goes with GPS, which didn’t have problems when we used the Nokia X30 for navigation.
Probably the most disappointing part of the Nokia X30 5G is its lackluster battery life. With only 4,200mAh battery, it’s just enough for several hours of heavy usage and gaming. Standby time is noticeably on the low side as well, as it drains quite fast even when not in use. Depending on your usage, it can get anywhere from 4 to 5 hours of screen-on time. It’s decent and not really that bad, but it’s not on par with its rivals on its price range. The fast charging is also limited to only 33W, so it’s not as fast as its competition which usually has upwards of 40W. From 0 to 100%, it takes a little over an hour to get fully charged. Take note that there’s no charging brick included in the package, which means you have to either reuse your old adapter or get a new one.
Overall, there’s a lot to like about the Nokia X30 5G. The eco-friendly design and packaging, which consists of recycled materials, is a huge plus for those who are concerned for the environmental impact of electronics. Android One’s clean user interface is also enjoyable to use, save for some quirks that could be ironed out by a software update. Battery life is decent, but we hope that Nokia is planning to fix the drain issue which affects the standby time.
For Php27,990, the Nokia X30 5G is kinda hard to recommend, because there are other smartphones with similar specs under Php20,000. It’s understandable that HMD Global is charging premium for the Nokia brand, but it’s a bit too much for what the device offers.
But if you love Nokia, trust its durability, and commitment to long-term Android upgrades, the Nokia X30 5G is the smartphone to buy. If those are not important to you, it’s probably better to look at its rivals for more bang for your buck.
- Unique, stylish, and eco-friendly design
- Clean Android One software, not bloatware
- 3-year OS, security updates
- Expensive for its specs
- Battery life, ‘slow’ fast charging