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Nokia X30 5G launched – Is HMD Global back in the game?

It’s the 2nd half of 2022, and HMD Global finally has a flagship Nokia smartphone to sell to millions of Nokia fans. Dubbed the Nokia X30, the phone is not here to compete with the best-in-class high-end segment. However, it steers hmd out of the “budget,” “boring,” and “poor specs” kind of tags that hmd has been associated with since 2020 – when a mid-range Nokia 8.3 5G was announced running on the Snapdragon 778G.

Nokia X30 brings a lot of spec to the Nokia world. There is finally an AMOLED display, there’s also an in-display fingerprint scanner. The aluminum chassis is returning as well, along with PureView branded cameras. And there’s the Snapdragon 695 SOC, which appears better after a flood of Snapdragon 480-powered devices in 2021 and 2022. The Nokia X30 does seem to pack a punch – at least for those who have been hoping for something better from one of the most iconic brands of all time.

Nokia X30 5G – Specs Overview

  • Dimensions: 158.9mm * 73.9mm * 7.99mm
    • Weight: 185g
    • Build: 100% recycled aluminum frame, 65% recycled plastic back
    • Water resistance: IP67
  • Display: 6.43-inch Full-HD AMOLED display
    • Protection: Gorilla Glass Victus
    • Refresh rate: 90Hz
    • Brightness: 450 Nits (700 Nits Peak)
    • Fingerprint scanner embedded within the display
  • Cameras: Dual cameras on the back
    • Back: 50MP primary w/ OIS + 13MP Ultrawide
    • Front: 13MP (center punch-hole)
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G
  • Storage and RAM: 6GB + 128 GB | 8GB + 256GB UFS 2.2
  • Battery: 4200 mAh
    • Charge cycles: 800
    • Charging speed: 33W (QuickCharge 3.0)

AMOLED Display and an in-display fingerprint scanner

If I am not wrong, it is the first time a phone made by HMD Global uses an AMOLED display. They did use OLED with the Nokia 9 PureView. However, AMOLED happens to be a more commonly heard and preferred display spec for most of the general public.

Nokia X30 5G front and back in blue and white

The Nokia X30 packs a 6.43-inch AMOLED display protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus. The size isn’t as big as the Nokias of last year. However, it should make for a good hand feel. The panel can handle screen refresh rates up to 90Hz and a peak brightness of up to 700 Nits. HMD Global has also added a fingerprint scanner under the display. The display panel is PureDisplay branded, but there’s no mention of the PixelWorks chip for SDR to HDR upscaling. Hardware-wise the display is appealing and should be competitive with the offers from other brands.

The return of PureView cameras

PureView is a Nokia trademark associated with devices that excelled in photography capabilities. HMD Global acquired the trademark from Microsoft and has used it for Nokia 9. After that, it was partially used for the Nokia 8.3, and now the Nokia X30’s camera is also advertised as a PureView.

The Nokia X30 5G packs three cameras in total, with two on the back and one in the front for selfies. It is good to go with fewer but better cameras than flooding the camera housing with too many of them. While a real-world test is needed to know if the cameras are good, the hardware used is appealing. Nokia X30’s primary camera is a 50MP f/1.8 shooter along with OIS for more stable photos and videos. The supporting sensor is a 13MP f/2.4 Ultrawide that should also take macro shots.

The Nokia and Zeiss partnership has ended. So, HMD has used Corning’s DX+ glass to add anti-reflective optics and scratch resistance to the glass that covers the camera sensors.

Connectivity covered up

Nokia X30 delivers all connectivity essentials. This includes the support for 5G (SA and NSA), and Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax), Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, NFC and USB-C (2.0).

Similarly, the phone includes essential sensors such as Proximity, Accelerometer, and E-Compass. And on top of that, there is also an IR blaster to use the phone as a remote control for various appliances.

Stock Android and four years of updates

Nokia Android phones have always come up with the promise of long-lasting software support. They run on stock (or almost stock) Android with minimal bloatware (sadly at the expense of fewer features too). The same continues with the Nokia X30 5G. The phone runs on Android 12. It will receive three major OS updates, i.e., until Android 15 and monthly security updates.

Going by the specs sheet, the Nokia X30 outshines the rest of the lineup of Nokia phones. HMD Global has invested in the right areas to balance the device from a performance and usability perspective. So, instead of having too much of one thing and contracting back on another, the Nokia X30 tries to be a device for everyone.

Is HMD Global back in the game?

Nokia X30 5G is one nice Nokia phone after a long break. The phone will create some noticeable buzz and demand for Nokia phones in the market. However, one device can’t define the overall direction of the company. HMD Global does seem to be taking its time to move slowly and firmly. Their focus continues to be on feature phones and budget phones. They are trying to expand into higher price points too. Depending on how well the Nokia X30 fares in the market, there should be more upgrades to the Nokia X-series with more of the latest technology and high-end features.

I can’t say that HMD Global is back in the game. But I can say that they are trying it again, which is a nice thing to happen because you can’t aim to win a game until you start playing. What do you think of the Nokia X30 5G? I’d like to hear from you in the comments section below.

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  • It meets all my want except for the camera It is supposed to be 108 megapixel.
    You did not mention battery capacity.
    Am using Nokia G20 and happy so far.
    You should mention the price so we can start budgeting for it.

    • The battery capacity is 4200 mAh. It is not the best available, however should suffice as the display is also smaller in ratio as compared to most modern phones. The price is different for different regions. For example, in Germany, it is 519 Euros. The phone currently has very less availability and has only been released in a handful of countries.

  • Q: why would anybody use the word flagship and Nokia X30 5G in one sentence ?
    Perhaps the classification “best model” or “most premium” Nokia has to offer at the moment is a better one. Chatted with a Nokia guy who told us its just a mid-range, whatever anyone says. Bit expensiv though but marking it with the sustainability label has its price

    It also feels strange having a Nokia 8.3 5G with a Snapdragon 778 called mid-range and an X30 5G as a 695 flagship (both in Antutu and Geekbench the 695 is no match for the 778) while its not even on par with the best-in-class high-end segment

    On Youtube there is even that silly mr Victor Kreig telling us that a 400 series is better then the 600 series, that betters a 700 series soc that whoops ass with the 800 series. That is totally insane

    Its time Nokia produced a real flagship phone to compete with the best of the best. After my Nokia 8 with a SD835 I was really disappointed, like most Nokia fans, with low end and mid-range phones offered by HMD

    • I do get your point, Har, and I will somewhat agree with you. However, if you go by the term itself, the Nokia X30 is a flagship Nokia smartphone. All because there is no other better Nokia available right now. Their best is their flagship i.e. the flag bearer or the forefront runner. I’m stressing this because there can be an Android phone manufacturer that only sells midrange phones at best (for example Tecno). So, they too can have their hero or flagship in their price segment. I won’t, however, call it a competitor to flagship smartphones in general because, in that case, the term is being used to refer to the best high-end phones out there.

      I mentioned the Nokia 8.3 as a mid-range for its price segment, which the X30 is also. The X30 has qualities that define itself as a more premium and refined product. I do not want to consider the CPU as the only factor in judging the qualities of a smartphone. There are always a set of users who do not need the extra processing power and just want a balanced device – the X30 can be one appealing phone if sold at the right price.

      There are instances where a new 4-series Snapdragon chip is better than an older 6-series. And similar is for the 7 and 8 series. If we compare the same generation levels, no four-series chip is better than a six-series chip, same for the seven-series and eight. All that aside, it is still no defense to not using the latest (and better) chip in the segment as HMD keeps selling phones at considerably higher prices than the competitors. I believe that a 7-series chipset would have made the X30 much more appealing to the masses – only if that didn’t mean they’d increase the price by another $200.

      • Well, I get your point. For me and for a lot of phone users in this world you can’t hide the fact, as a producer of phones or at least having some hardware with your name on it, to have a low budget phone or a mediocre low quality phone and call it a flagship just as it is the best you have to offer.
        Even Apple and other brands had some phones called a flagship that I don’t dare to take in my hands, afraid to use it for a second and then dying on me or exploding
        I do understand a phone being called “the best this brand has to offer” and “at this moment”. With that words there is no misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

      • Now what I do see is not having the best and top parts in hardware and yet having it all working together in a flawless way. Enjoyable. That you are satisfied with the experience, that you feel that you got what you paid for.
        Knowing of course that there always is a better phone and within 2-3 years you feel that from frontrunner you are not even benched or watching the match from a distance.

      • Had top Nokia models before Android or Windows Phone was there. My Nokia 8 at the time felt like flagship, was also a good match for the competition and rumours about a Nokia 9 or 10 made me wait to buy other phones. And then things got weird, no more top models but only budget and mid range models and chipsets. At a disappointing price level. No match for the competition
        It made me feel sad, especially when you see brands/phones with higher specs and lower price ranges, not making that much waves initially but showing to be flagship killers
        You are right with all the iterations of SD chips, that is also confusing for customers. Was having a Fairphone deja vu when reading a bit through the X30 hype.

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