The Nokia X100 is the latest affordable 5G handset for T-Mobile fans who want to go beyond design and battery life. It has a crisp display, strong performance for basic tasks, and an up to date version of Android. The X100 is a decent value for Metro and T-Mobile customers, but it isn’t strong enough to overthrow our Oppo A73 5G ($323) as the best budget device.
HMD Global just like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Infinix has expanded its market share in entry-level and mid-range segments. However, the X100 has similar specs to the lower-end Nokia X20 which left us disappointed. Being an affordable 5G phone, the X100 still has vast untapped potential that’ll reap in coming years. In most developed countries like France, Germany, and the US the trend has already appeared, but the same can’t be said for the rest of the globe, especially in Africa.
The ancient smartphone giant recently unveiled the Nokia X100 which is not just about affordable 5G connectivity, but a decent camera, stock Android experience, and strong battery life. That being said, any budget phone has to make compromises somewhere, and this phone has its fair share. To learn more about these flaws, let’s dive into our Nokia X100 review to help you decide whether you can live with those, or if another budget phone fits your needs better.
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Table of Contents
Nokia X100 Key Specifications
- Display: 6.67-inches IPS LCD
- Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G
- Front Camera: 16-megapixel
- Rear Camera: 48-megapixel + 5-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: 128GB
- Battery Capacity: 4470mAh
- OS: Android 11
The X100 circular camera design is unique from most other handsets Nokia has released in the past few years including the Nokia G21 and X20. Besides the typical circular camera module is a small LED flash that enhances night photography. The new Nokia X100 has a chunky bottom bezel with Nokia branding that denied the phone’s total front screen.
There’s an NFC chip buried beneath the plastic back. Google Play users will appreciate this feature as most budget phones that sell higher lacks it. However, the symmetrical camera housing prevents the phone from sitting flat comfortably which is a disadvantage to those who like having their phone visible on a desk during their workday.
Along the right side edges are the volume rocker and power button with a built-in fingerprint reader. A 3.5mm headphone jack, mic, USB-C port, and speaker grill are on the bottom while the left side is occupied by the Google Assistant button and SIM /microSD card slot. We noticed the fingerprint sensor reads and respond quite quickly unlike most competitors.
If you’re a type that enjoys having rich volume phone speakers, you’ll be happy to hear the downward-firing X100 speakers. This is a very good feature as it’ll make you listen to audio in a noisy environment without headphones. However, the Nokia X100 lacks an official IP rating which is common with mid-range phones.
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Although you might not like the absence of either an AMOLED or OLED screen, but you’ll surely enjoy the benefits of a big 6.67-inch IPS LCD with Corning Gorilla protection. Unfortunately, it didn’t have much impact on the viewing experience due to the low max brightness level and support for HDR content.
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A quad camera stack with Zeiss optics sits on the back of the Nokia X100. The camera department is headed by a 48MP quad-binning sensor, which is followed by a 5MP ultra-wide lens, and a pair of 2MP depth and macro sensors.
The Nokia X100 camera is capable of producing quality shots with excellent depth of field, and solid color accuracy in sufficient light environments. Meanwhile, low-light shots with the help of the camera Night Mode are manageable but you’ll notice some exposure and a lack of blur effects around the subject. Meanwhile, the ultra-wide lens does a decent job at least to some extent. The 2MP depth and macro lens fail to impress which is not something new in mid-range phones.
There’s a 16MP front-facing camera that takes nice selfie shots in sufficient light scenarios. However, you’ll see the camera quality depreciating with a lack of depth and background blurring in low-light photographs.
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Performance, Storage, and Software
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chipset on the Nokia X100 is quite poor, but we understand HMD Global wants to cut some corners and the price while offering decent 5G connectivity at an affordable price. However, the Adreno 619 GPU impact on the graphical rendering of the phone is great.
Despite having a low-tier chipset, the X100 handles basic tasks with ease. You can conveniently switch between two apps but will experience some slow down if you have dozens of them open. However, if you want a phone with more power, you can go for the similarly priced Samsung Galaxy M33 5G.
As for the built-in configuration, you’re getting 6GB RAM support with 128GB of storage, while you can use a secondary storage drive and Google cloud to expand your storage limits.
The Nokia X100 ships with a stock Android 11 operating system. HMD promises at least two-year stock Android updates which will keep the phone updated over the next couple of years. If you’re a type that doesn’t care about Google updates, you might want to swap the phone before 2024.
If you’re a T-Mobile or Metro customer in the United States, you’ll find the X100 useful as it supports both band n71 and band n41″ to get the “best possible results from T-Mobile’s network. You’ll enjoy 5G 108Mbps down and 40Mbps up on average.
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Battery Capacity and Charging
The Nokia X100 4470mAh battery life falls below the 5000mAh capacity found in most budget phones. However, HMD Global promises “two-day battery life” if you’re a light user and an all-day phone with heavy use.
Unfortunately, you won’t fancy the 18W fast charging technology that’s on the X100 as it takes between 90 minutes and two hours to fully charge the phone. This is below average in a modern budget phone era where most devices have at least 33W fast charging support.
Nokia X100 Review: Price in Nigeria and Availability
The Nokia X100 was officially released on November 19, 2022, as an exclusive 5G model with T-Mobile in the United States. It ships in just a 6GB /128GB memory configuration.
Nokia X100 Full Specifications
- Brand: Nokia
- Model: X100
- Release Date: November 19, 2021
- Weight: 217g
- Colours: Midnight Blue
- Touchscreen: YES
- Type: IPS LCD
- Display Size: 6.67-inch
- Screen Resolution: 1080 x 2400 pixels
- Facelock Support: YES
- In-display fingerprint scanner: No
- Sensors: Fingerprint (side-mounted)
- Dimensions: 171.4 x 79.7 x 9.1 mm (6.75 x 3.14 x 0.36 in)
- Operating System: Android 11
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM4350 Snapdragon 480 5G (8 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Kryo 460 & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 460)
- GPU: Adreno 619
- RAM: 6GB
- Inbuilt Storage: 128GB
- SD Card slot: Yes (microSDXC)
- Rear Flash: LED Flash
- Rear Camera: 48-MP (wide), 5-MP (ultra-wide), 2-MP (depth), 2-MP (macro)
- Video: 1080p@30fps
- Front Camera: 16-MP (wide)
- Front Flash: –
- Wi-Fi: YES
- Bluetooth: 5.1
- USB: MicroUSB Type-C 2.0, USB On-the-go
- GPS: YES
- WLAN: Yes
- SIM: Nano-SIM
- Technology: GSM / HSPA / LTE / 5G
- 3G Support: Yes
- 4G/ LTE Support: Yes
- 5G Support: Yes
- Speed: HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A, 5G
- Capacity: Li-Po 4470mAh, non-removable
- Fast Charge: 18W
- Price in Nigeria: ₦153,000
- Price in the US: $252