Nokia boosts the camera game with its latest X30 5G smartphone

Nokia boosts the camera game with its latest X30 5G smartphone

Price: from 519 euros

Nokia X30 5G

Positives: It’s all good Nokia’s best photography phone in a while

Negatives: Some compelling competitors are a little cheaper

Culturally, many of us still throw the word “Nokia” as something suggestive of old technology, before smartphones.

However, the rebooted brand, now owned by HMD Global, has been making budget-friendly Android devices for a few years.

The X30 5G, its latest ‘light’ version, is a solid mid-ranger with some significant improvements over previous models and has promised software and security updates for several years.

It is also presented as a relatively environmentally friendly device, using as much recycled and reusable materials as possible in its casing and box as HMD’s manufacturing process allows.

While it has tough competition in its price range (the Samsung Galaxy A53 and the class-leading Google Pixel 6A cost €459, while the not-so-impressive Phone 1 costs €469), Nokia has certainly upped its game on the camera setup.

Some of its previous smartphones have been very low compared to similarly priced competitors. But the X30’s optical image stabilization does add a noticeable difference, especially in video, as does the decently sized Sony IMX 766 sensor that’s fairly distinct under the hood.

The main 1x rear camera is a 50MP (f1.8) lens, with a second 13MP (f2.4) ultra-wide lens. Nokia adds a “2x” button as a nominal zoom, but that’s just a crop of the main 1x sensor, not a separate optical zoom.

However, it’s more than a decent camera view – the best Nokia phone camera I’ve used in a while.

One limitation some might notice is the lack of 4K video recording, although 1080p at 60fps is a standard I usually use anyway, whether it’s an iPhone 14 Pro Max or a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. For 95 pieces of high-quality phone videos, 4K is just a waste of space.

The 16MP (f2.4) selfie camera isn’t as good as the 1x rear lens, but it’s still pretty good.

The 6.4-inch Amoled display on the X30 is what you’d expect at this price point: a very nice, smooth scrolling Oled 90Hz display with reasonable brightness. I had no problem using it outdoors on a sunny day, although it’s not as bright as most premium flagships.

Battery life is good on the X30 5G, lasting a full day without major issues (although it probably won’t be anywhere near the full two days as Nokia says). Its 4,200 mAh battery is average for this size of phone. It has a fairly fast charge at 33W, which means a quick recharge if you ever need one. But it can’t be charged wirelessly, which is a pity.

As for engine power, Nokia likes to use “value” chipsets in its phones to keep the price reasonable. Under the hood of the X30 is a Snapdragon 695 chip with 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM, depending on which version you buy (there is a difference of 30 euros).

My test model was the lowest spec version. I found it quite convenient to get around the phone’s functionality, even though it wasn’t the quickest to input and output photos and the camera.

The phone also has a fingerprint scanner, which works well. There is no face unlock feature.

If you are considering this phone, then you don’t have to think about getting the €549 version.

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