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Review: Nokia XR20

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The words “rugged” and “smartphone” usually do not go well together. This is because most rugged smartphones you see on the market are bulky and brick-like with low-end features. But, Nokia is changing all of that with the new XR20. This thing is not only rugged but also comes with very good specs and features to boot.

The Nokia XR20 comes with a 6.67-inch touchscreen display on the front with a resolution of 1080-by-2400 pixels. The display also offers an aspect ratio of 20:9. Under the hood, the Nokia XR20 rocks a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 processor that features 4 cores clocked at 2GHz and 4 cores clocked at 2GHz.

You also get 6GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage. The phone itself runs on the Android 11 operating system under the Android One program. The phone is powered by a 4630mAh battery. That’s not all – the XR20 also comes with a bunch of features that are hard to find on rugged devices. For one, the Nokia XR20 supports wireless charging, as well as Quick Charge 4.0 fast charging!

In terms of look and feel, the phone is a bit bigger than regular phones that comes with a 6-inch plus display. However, it is quite easy to hold in one hand and use. The back of the phone has a textured finish that helps with the grip when holding the XR20. On the front, the display is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus.

The phone is also protected by IP68 dust and water resistance, for a worry-free user experience. There’s also a rubberised strip that runs along the edges of the phone to protect the screen from drops or bumps. On the left edge, you get a Google Assitant shortcut button – it’s a bit large for my liking because I kept pressing it by accident, every time I wanted to put the phone into my pant’s pocket.

On the right edge, you get the volume rockers and the power button which also doubles up as a fingerprint reader. The phone also offers face unlock feature for added security. On the top edge, you get a programmable emergency key in red colour, and a dual SIM slot. One of the slots can also be used to bump the internal storage to up to 512GB using a microSD card.

On the bottom edge, you get a speaker grille, a noise-canceling microphone, a 3.5mm audio jack (yes!), and a USB-C charging port. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Nokia XR20 on the rear packs a dual-camera setup featuring a 48-megapixel primary camera, and a 13-megapixel camera. The rear camera setup also has autofocus. You also get an 8-megapixel front camera for all your selfies.

Connectivity options on the Nokia XR20 include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/Yes, GPS, Bluetooth v5.10, NFC, USB Type-C, 3G, 4G and 5G support. Sensors on the phone include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, compass/ magnetometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, and fingerprint sensor.

The Snapdragon 480 used on the Nokia XR20 is usually used on mid-range devices. Having said that, however, the overall performance of the Nokia XR20 is quite good – we did not find any lags or stutters when using the device. Swiping across multiple open app windows was quite smooth and gaming on the device was also pretty good.

Camera functionality is quite good, too. Under good lighting conditions, the phone was able to take some very good shots. Under low light conditions, the XR20 did struggle sometimes. The phone also comes with a Night Mode which did a decent job at clicking pictures under low light conditions.

HMD Global also promises 3 years’ worth of software upgrades and 4 years of security upgrades with the Nokia XR20. That makes it a worthwhile investment if you are looking for a smartphone that can go on and on for years. For a price of AED 1849, the Nokia XR20 may seem a bit expensive, considering there are better alternatives available on the market if you are looking for a smartphone.

However, if you are on the market for a smartphone that offers good overall features and at the same time is also rugged, Nokia XR20 comes across as a value for money device.

Price: AED 1849

Nokia XR20 AED 1849
  • Final Rating
3.5

Summary

The phone is also protected by IP68 dust and water resistance, for a worry-free user experience. There’s also a rubberised strip that runs along the edges of the phone to protect the screen from drops or bumps. On the left edge, you get a Google Assitant shortcut button – it’s a bit large for my liking because I kept pressing it by accident, every time I wanted to put the phone into my pant’s pocket.

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Video: Unboxing the Huawei P50 Pocket and P50 Pro in the UAE

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Huawei will be announcing the new P50 Pocket and the P50 Pro on the regional market on the 26th of this month. But, surprise, surprise,… we have both the devices in our hands well in advance. So here is the unboxing and the first look at both the devices:

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HP Intros New Devices for Blended Learning Environments

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HP has introduced HP Fortis laptops, a new portfolio of PCs built to withstand the rigours of education environments. Teaching and learning has forever changed. Before the pandemic, student PCs typically stayed in the classroom for occasional use. Today, learning is happening beyond just the classroom including the playground, on the bus, and at home. The PC is a critical tool for digital learning and students want devices that stand up to daily wear and tear, help them connect to the digital classroom, and make it easier to get more done.

“While hybrid work is the new standard for business, blended learning is the new standard for education. This requires technology with increased durability, enhanced connectivity, and large screens so content can be accessible and engaging from wherever learning happens,” said Bill Avey, General Manager and Global Head of Education, Personal Systems, HP Inc. “Designed with features that reduce accidental drops, keep keys and ports intact, stand up to heavy wear and tear, and make it easier to clean and sanitise, HP is committed to providing students with the devices and PC experiences they need to be successful in these new learning environments.”

When it comes to education devices, strength and durability reduces downtime which translates to increased instructional time. Built for active and mobile learners, the new HP Fortis portfolio embodies the strength and durability needed to help withstand drops, resist spills, and keep keys where they belong: on the keyboard. The textured surfaces make it easier for students of all ages to grip and handle the lightweight devices.

The reinforced power and USB-C ports limit damage from accidentally tugged cables, while the mechanically reinforced corners and co-molded rubber trims absorb shocks and reinforced hinges reduce stress on the hinges from repeated opening and closing. The full-skirted anchored keyboards prevent keys from being removed when students are fidgeting and may want to pick at them during class. The keyboard also resists spills up to 350 ml.

With more students going back to the classroom, it’s important to keep devices clean. The chassis, keyboard, and display for the devices can be wiped down using commonly available household disinfecting and cleaning wipes. For enhanced safety and protection, the devices feature a new metal shield that helps protect the battery from external damage from daily drops or tumbles.

Built for the greater demands being placed on today’s students, the HP Fortis 14 devices feature 14” diagonal displays giving students large visual screen space to stay productive – whether it’s taking notes while watching a lecture or creating visual stories with ease. Large screen space gives students the freedom to engage content while consuming it at the same time. Students can also see their work clearly with optional bright anti-glare displays.

The HP Fortis 14” G10 Chromebook is purpose-built for cloud-native learning. Powered by Intel processors with optional 4G LTE for reliable connectivity, the Chromebook allows students to access their classroom from almost anywhere. The 180-degree lay-flat hinge combined with the 88-degree wide-viewing angle HD camera and dual mics provide an excellent collaborative learning experience. The integrated HP Privacy Camera provides peace of mind to protect users from malicious surveillance, while Chrome Education Upgrade makes the device easy to deploy and simple to manage.

HP ProBook Fortis 14” G9 – Powered by Intel processors with Windows 11 Pro, Windows 11 Pro Education or Windows 11 SE, students can easily collaborate and reliably access assignments with Wi-Fi 6 and optional 4G LTE connectivity. HP ProBook Fortis 14” G10 – Powered with Intel 12th Gen Intel i3/i5 processors and Windows 11 or Windows 11 Pro Education, students can transition quickly between writing documents, running STEM applications, editing video, and more.

The latest in connectivity – Wi-Fi 6E – allows students to cut through crowded networks, while the battery learns students’ work patterns and optimises power consumption with intelligent charging. HP Wolf Security for Business makes it easy for IT to protect student devices with a hardware-enforced, always-on, resilient defense.

The HP Pro x360 Fortis 11” G9 and HP Pro x360 Fortis 11” G10 embrace the different ways learning happens. The 360-degree design gives students the freedom to choose the mode that best suits them and their assignment. The optional world-facing 5 MP cameras and rechargeable pen with reinforced tip allows students to create, capture, and draw in laptop, tablet, tent, stand, or book mode. The rechargeable pen is stored and charged in an optional water-resistant garage so it’s ready to go whenever creativity strikes.

HP Pro x360 Fortis 11” G9 – Powered by Intel processors with Windows 11 Pro, Windows 11 Pro Education or Windows 11 SE, students can access assignments and apps seamlessly with Wi-Fi 6 and optional 4G LTE. HP Pro x360 Fortis 11” G10 – Powered with Intel 12th Gen Intel i3/i5 processors and Windows 11 Pro or Windows 11 Pro Education, the device helps students tackle demanding assignments, like editing videos for media class or analysing lab data.

Wi-Fi 6E delivers fast, dependable network connections for learning in the cloud. HP Wolf Security for Business provides a resilient defense against malware and hacking. Equipped with intelligent charging, the device’s battery learns students’ work patterns and optimises power consumption.

The HP Fortis 11” G9 Q Chromebook, powered by the robust Snapdragon 7c compute platform, is exceptionally equipped for cloud-native mobile learning and provides secure and reliable access to the classroom. This Chromebook is HP’s thinnest and lightest Fortis device built for the rigors of today’s students and providing ultimate portability. It boots in seconds so students can spend more time learning and less time waiting. The device’s 4G LTE connectivity makes education more accessible and equitable for all students to learn from virtually anywhere.

The HP 320 FHD Webcam and HP 325 FHD Webcam are easy-to-use all-in-one webcams for users everywhere. Enjoy crisp images with 66-degree wide angles that offer full HD at 1080p and 30 fps video quality for a natural conversational feel. The webcams are easy to set up with USB-A, have 360-degree rotation for varying positions, and feature a removable lens cover for privacy.

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Acer Brings Windows 11 for Education to its TravelMate B3 and TravelMate Spin B3 Laptops

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Acer has announced that it will begin carrying PCs that run on Windows 11 SE, starting with the Acer TravelMate B3 and Acer TravelMate Spin B3 laptops. The portable 11.6-inch laptops were built to survive the school day, boasting military-grade durability certifications and 10-hour battery life, and now come pre-installed with Windows 11 SE or Windows 11 Pro Education. Additionally, the devices’ chassis have been constructed with over 14% post-consumer recycled plastic.

Acer has been working closely with Microsoft in order to provide devices for pilot programs that bring Windows 11 SE to schools around the world. It is one of the first brands to carry devices featuring the new operating system.

Acer TravelMate B3 and Acer TravelMate Spin B3
Featuring the latest Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron processors, the TravelMate B3 and TravelMate Spin B3 are dependable laptops that were built to support the needs of K-12 schoolchildren. The laptops are MIL-STD 810H certified and feature shock-absorbent bumpers, making them tough enough to withstand up to 60 kg of downward force and drops from up to 4 ft. A unique drainage design helps to protect internal components from moderate spills. A mechanically-anchored key design provides a double benefit: The entire keyboard can be easily replaced by administrators, but individual keys are well-secured so that they won’t be dislodged by restless fingers.

Durability aside, a number of thoughtful features help the laptops find their place within the classroom. Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) with 2×2 MU-MIMO technology helps with connectivity in multi-user environments, and optional 4G LTE provides students with a connection when away from a router. A webcam makes the laptops suitable for taking classes from home, while a 10-hour battery life means that they can make it through the full school day, too. Teachers will appreciate the battery indicator on the device’s front cover, allowing them to tell at a glance if a student’s device needs to be charged.

The Acer TravelMate Spin B3 comes equipped with Acer Antimicrobial Design — it features not only an Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen, but also an antimicrobial (silver-ion) coating on commonly-used high-touch surfaces (including the keyboard, touchpad, and palm-rest surface) to protect these surfaces. Users can further opt to include a dockable Wacom AES pen and 5 MP HDR world-facing camera, allowing schools to customize their laptops in order to suit their students’ specific needs.

Windows 11 SE
A new, cloud-first Windows edition built for inclusive and accessible learning, Windows 11 SE offers the performance and reliability of Windows 11 in addition to a simplified design and modern management tools that have been optimized for low-cost devices in educational settings. Featuring an easy-to-use interface plus an education-first menu of curated apps, Windows 11 SE comes on affordable devices that are pre-configured for student privacy and remote management. And, with a cleaner interface and fewer distractions, Windows 11 SE helps students focus on learning while preserving valuable class time for instruction.

The TravelMate B3 and TravelMate Spin B3 laptops are also available with Windows 11 Pro Education. The TravelMate B3 (TMB311-32) will be available in EMEA in Q1’22. The TravelMate Spin B3 (TMB311R-32) will be available in EMEA in Q1’22, starting at EUR 539.

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