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Nokia T20, hands on: A good-value 10.4-inch Android tablet

It's not a great performer and it'll charge slowly unless you dig out a 15W adapter, but this is a capable and well-built tablet for undemanding use cases.

nokia-t20-tablet-header.jpg

Nokia's T20 has a 10.4-inch 2K (2000 x 1200) screen and runs on a Unisoc T610 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (expandable via MicroSD).

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZNet

Nokia is better known for phones than tablets, but the company has recently released the T20, a 10.4-inch Android tablet that in the UK costs £179.99 (inc. VAT) for the Wi-Fi-only version and £199.99 with Wi-Fi and 4G. It's available in just one colour -- Deep Ocean, which is a matte metallic dark blue that covers the back and sides. The back is metal and so provides some defence against knocks and scrapes, although a protective sleeve is still advisable. Nokia sells a rugged flip cover for £49.99 and a rugged case for £39.99. 

In the US the Wi-Fi and 4G model costs $249.99, while the cases are currently on offer at half price -- $29.99 for the flip cover and $19.99 for the case. 

The Nokia T20 measures 157.5mm wide by 247.6mm deep by 7.8mm thick (9.75in. x 6.20in. x 0.31in.) and feels comfortable in the hand. The Wi-Fi-only model weighs 465g, while the addition of 4G brings that up to 470g. It slipped easily into the smallest of my rucksacks when I went out and about. 

At the price you can't expect top-notch specifications or performance, but the T20 is adequately equipped for undemanding duties both at home and in the office. 

Like

  • Attractive price
  • Solid build quality
  • LTE option

Don't Like

  • Sluggish performance
  • Bundled 10W charger doesn't support fast charging

The screen measures 10.4 inches across the diagonal and sits in fairly wide bezels, resulting in a screen-to-body ratio of 78.9%. It maxes out at 400 nits of brightness and has a resolution of 1,200 by 2,000 pixels (224ppi). I found the screen perfectly sharp and bright enough for reading web pages and viewing video, although it's not especially vibrant. 

The speakers are somewhat treble-heavy, but don't distort at top volume. They aren't up to work presentation standards, but they'll do for a bit of leisure listening and the odd video call. The cameras are similarly average. Above the screen there's a 5MP camera that's fine for video calling, while photographs shot with the 8MP rear camera are reasonable, although there's a noticeable wait while the autofocus kicks in. 

Nokia claims that the T20's 8200mAh battery will deliver up to 7 hours of online meetings, 10 hours of movies or 15 hours of web surfing. I found that using the tablet intermittently throughout the day, with some browsing, web app use and a little media streaming gave me two days before a recharge was required. As ever, a more demanding workload mix – involving regular or lengthy video calls, for example – will shorten the battery life.  

The Nokia T20 supports fast charging if a 15W charger is used, but the adapter that comes with the tablet is, inexplicably, a 10W unit. You'll either need to dig out a 15W adapter or accept rather slow charging with the supplied unit. 

SEE: Got Windows and an Android handset? Microsoft just updated its Your Phone app

The T20 has a USB-C port for PC connection and charging, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is somewhat awkwardly located in one corner of the tablet. There's also a MicroSD card slot that can be used to augment the 64GB of internal storage. The power and volume buttons are easy to find and responsive in use. 

The Unisoc T610 SoC – not one of the usual suspects -- is supported by 4GB of RAM. There are noticeable lags when applications load and web pages render. 

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Image: Nokia

Android 11 is provided, and while Nokia does add a number of extra apps (Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and a 30-day trial of ExpressVPN), these are neatly filed away in an Apps folder. The Nokia T20 also has Google Kids Space preloaded, which means it can double up to keep the young ones happy -- or, indeed, it can be bought for that sole purpose. 

Nokia has brought a capable Android tablet to market at a competitive price. There are compromises, of course: the middling camera and speaker quality are forgivable, but the sluggish performance and lack of out-of-the-box fast charging might be deal-breakers for some. That said, if your needs are basic, the price might be just right. 

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