Nokia X30 5G review: more style than substance

The Nokia X30 comes with Snapdragon 695 SoC, a 6.4-inch 90Hz FHD+ display, a 4,200mAh battery, 50MP dual rear cameras, and more.

The Nokia X30 5G has been launched in India, and it has caught everyone’s eye with its design specs price. The handset is priced at Rs 48,999 for the sole 8GB RAM variant. That is where most flagships are priced. However, the Nokia X30 comes across as a mid-range offering with mid-range specifications. The handset promises to offer “the best PureView photography” with its “best-ever low light imaging.” The company has also promised three years of major software updates, two-day battery life, and a sustainable design. Is that enough to warrant a purchase or is there more to it than meets the eye? Read on to find out in this Nokia X30 review.


The Nokia X50 has all the things that one expects from a Nokia smartphone. The handset is sturdy, clean and minimalistic, and offers a decent battery life. However, the Nokia X50’s performance and below-par cameras might not sit well with many.

The lowdown

  • The Nokia X30 screams premium with its aluminium frame, which is 100 percent recyclable, and sports a 65 percent recyclable plastic back. It offers a nice in-hand feel, which you will be hard-pressed to find in any other smartphone out there. The weight, which is 185 grams, is evenly distributed, and thanks to its flat edge and relatively thin design, the handset is easy to handle. The phone is available in a couple of colour options: Ice White and Cloud Blue. I got my hands on the Ice White variant, which has a frosty finish at the back that repels sweaty fingerprint smudges and keeps the phone clean for a long time. The colour variant is also a real eye-catcher, and I think you won’t be able to find a case that matches its vibe. While we are at it, worth mentioning that the Nokia X30 doesn’t ship with a case in the box. The handset only comes with a Type-C to Type-C cable, a SIM ejector pin, and some documentation.
  • Moving on, the device is IP67 water- and dust-resistance certified. The handset sports a USB Type-C port, SIM tray, and speaker grille at the bottom edge. The physical buttons for volume and power are on the right fascia of the Nokia X30. The keys are also made of recyclable material. Around the back, the phone carries Nokia branding and a rectangular camera module, with matching chamfered edges and a slope that elevates the overall design. That said, the camera module juts out the frame a bit too much to make the device wobble while lying flat on the surface.
  • The Nokia X30 ships with a 6.43-inch display with FHD+ (1,080 x 2,400) resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. It’s an AMOLED panel that offers a crisp and vibrant picture quality. The viewing angles are also decent, while the contrast ratio is up to the mark. I enjoyed watching web series and movies on this device. Just so you know the handset can relay the content in FHD resolution from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other streaming platforms. The handset also offers an immersive viewing experience with its visibly thin bezels and a centred punch-hole setup, which is rather small and doesn’t bug you much. That said, I found the Nokia X30’s screen brightness slightly on the lower side. While identifying apps and reading the text was not an issue, watching movies and playing games outdoors was a bit of a hassle. The phone’s speaker could also have been better. The audio quality is anything but extraordinary and there is no stereo output.

  • Coming to the performance, the Nokia X30 is powered by the Snapdragon 695 SoC. For the unaware, it is a mid-range 5G-capable chipset that was launched back in 2021. Why has Nokia decided to stick with SD695? We don’t know yet. What we do know is that the phone offers a decent performance under normal usage. It can pull off scrolling, texting, streaming, and some light gaming without many hiccups. However, the X30’s processing capabilities are not the same as some of the other smartphones in the segment. This is visible in both synthetic and real-world tests. The handset returned a score of 4,04,666 and 2,071 on the AnTuTu and Geekbench 6 multi-core test respectively. While they may definitely be more than some of the other Snapdragon 695 devices, the scores are quite average for a sub-Rs 50,000 smartphone. In the real world, the handset stutters when challenged with a bit of multitasking and graphically-heavy games like Asphalt 9 and Free Fire Max. As for memory and storage, the Nokia X30 comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB UFS 3.0 fast ROM, which like many other smartphones in the segment, is not expandable.

  • In optics, the Nokia X30 sports dual rear cameras with 50MP main and 13MP ultra-wide sensors. The main sensor has OIS and outputs images at 12.5MP resolution by default. The results look good, but not flagship-level good. The sensor offers well-lit images with decent details when the sun is out. The colours might not look accurate, but there is enough dynamic range to make you like the images and share them on social media. That said, the images lack sharpness, which is visible when you zoom in or watch it on a big screen like that on a laptop. The 13MP ultra-wide sensor has a 123-degree field of view (FoV) and captures images with substantial details and decent colour temperatures. There was a bit of warping around the edges of the frame, but that’s common.
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  • In low light, the sensors are quite slow. The handset takes about 2-3 seconds between shots to process images in regular photo mode. The wait time is even longer with night mode. Be that as it may, the images look lovely with plenty of details and balanced light. The night mode does well to keep the noise level down. The phone also comes with an additional night mode called Dark Vision, which kicks in automatically or can be enabled by tapping the icon on the top right of the Night shooting mode. Essentially, it should let you see more in the dark, but you will find its performance sub-par. Moving on, the device comes with AI portrait mode with decent edge detection and tripod mode for long exposure shots. Up front, the X30 packs a 16MP snapper that outputs good selfies with fairly accurate skin tones and facial detailing when the sun is out.

  • For security, the Nokia X30 packs an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is not the quickest out there. It takes close to a second to unlock the device. However, it accurately detects the registered fingerprint every single time. The phone also offers a software-based face unlock, which can unlock the device at a quicker pace. The phone houses a 4,200mAh battery, which can last you up to a day on a single charge. I was hitting the bed with 20-30 percent juice still left in the tank after texting, scrolling, checking social media apps, streaming shows online, and playing Subway Surfer on the device. On the PCMark battery benchmarking test, the handset scored 12 hours and 36 minutes, which is decent if not impressive. The X30 can be juiced up from 0 to 100 percent in about an hour and 15 minutes with 33W fast charging, though the adapter needs to be purchased separately. That said, as part of the early bird offer, the OEM is offering a free 33W charger worth Rs 2,999 with the handset.
  • The Nokia X30 runs Android 12 out of the box to take care of the software side of things. It is a near-stock UI that offers a similar experience to Google’s Pixel 6a, which I was using simultaneously. The software does have a few bloatware like Netflix, Spotify, LinkedIn, and Go Pro Quick Video Editor, but these are removable post setup. Good thing though, there are no ads or spammy notifications. The handset is part of the Android One programme, which means the updates will be in a quick and timely. Nokia has promised three years of OS and monthly security updates.

Final verdict

To reiterate, Rs 48,999 is the asking price of the Nokia X30 5G smartphone. That is high for a device that offers mid-range performance. You can get a more powerful smartphone with better cameras at a fraction of the cost of the Nokia X30, and this makes it difficult to recommend the handset even to Nokia loyalists. Having said that, if you don’t mind splurging on a stylish phone that offers a sturdy design, a decent battery life, and a near-stock Android experience, the Nokia X30 could be an option worth considering.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5


  • Looks good
  • Lovely screen
  • Clean OS
  • Decent battery life


  • No charger in the box
  • Performance could have been better
  • Pricey