Nokia's new XR21 is perfect for people who pressure wash their phones

Nokia's latest smartphone is drop proof, rust proof, waterproof and probably dog proof too

Nokia XR21
(Image credit: Nokia / HMD Global)

I'm pretty sure none of the phones in our best phones guide boasted about their ability to withstand pressure washing. But then, none of the best Android phones or best iPhones are descended from the Nokia 3310, a phone so tough that if you dropped it on the floor it'd probably break the floor.

Nokia directly references the 3310 in its press release, because this new phone is all about handling whatever you chuck at it. It can handle a 72-hour hike in torrential rain, a 100-bar pressure washer jet at 80ºC, a tumble from a trouser pocket and a nuclear war. I might be lying about the nuclear war. It's made from die-cast recycled aluminium, Gorilla Glass Victus and it's certified to MIL-STD-810H. 

If you're looking for a phone to use in a hot tub in Death Valley, this could be the phone for you.

The Nokia XR21 is tough. But is it a good phone?

You have to go quite far into the spec sheet to find out about the actual phone stuff. The battery promises two days between charges, it runs Android 12 and the processor here is a Snapdragon 695 5G with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The display is a 6.49" FHD with 120Hz refresh and 550 nits brightness, and the camera is 64MP with an 9MP ultrawide. The selfie shooter is 16MP.

Connectivity is decent if not quite up there with the flagships: Wi-Fi is up to 802.11ax and Bluetooth is 5.1.

It's not going to be the fastest phone, then. But it's a tough one, and it's priced to sell at a relatively low £499.99. There are two colour options, black and green, with the former available now and the latter following along in June. And like other Nokias the XR21 is also available via Nokia's Circular subscription plan, which is £30 up front and then £22 a month.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (