If you’ve landed on this Nokia T20 review, then chances are you’re in the market for a cheap tablet, either for work or play.
While this isn’t the very best tablet you can buy, it is the best affordable Android tablet for anyone who plans to share it with their whole family, which is why you'll find it in T3's guide to the best tablets for kids.
Nokia has made a huge mark in the smartphone world over the last couple of decades, and more recently they’ve been no stranger to T3’s guide to the best cheap phones. But surprisingly, this is only their second tablet. The first was the Nokia N1 from way back in 2015 before they were taken over by HMD Global.
So what do we make of their second slate? Read on to find out.
Nokia T20 review: price and availability
The Nokia T20 is available to pre-order right now from Nokia.com. Prices start at £179.99 for the Wi-Fi version, with it going up to £199.99 for the Wi-Fi and 4G (LTE) model.
Nokia T20 review: design and display
Right from the get-go, you can tell the Nokia T20 is a few steps below the likes of the Apple iPad Air or Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus because of its thicker bezels and chunkier overall design. But it is also more than half the price so you don’t really expect it to be the sleekest piece of kit ever made. Even so, it is surprisingly good looking.
You can tell this is a Nokia branded tablet because it has a very similar style to their range of smartphones, especially when it comes to the Nokia-esque Deep Ocean blue colour on the back.
Measuring 247.6 x 157.5 x 7.8mm and weighing 465g for the Wi-Fi only model, it is still very portable, even though it’s not quite as comfortable to hold in one hand as the much pricier slates are.
The Nokia T20 has a solid metal body which makes it feel sturdy and robust, I’m not saying it’ll survive being thrown out of the window, but I’d expect it to cope fine with being knocked around a little. It is also IP52 rated which means it’s protected from limited dust ingress and a small amount of water spray. One problem with the sandblasted aluminium body is that it picks up fingerprint marks very easily and they're quite difficult to wipe off.
Around the frame, you’ll find the power button and volume controls as well as a USB-C port to charge it up, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
To unlock it, there's the usual choice of password or pin, and there’s facial recognition which works very quickly. You just pick up the tablet and it immediately unlocks itself every time.
The Nokia T20 features a 10.4inch 2k display with a resolution of 1200x2000p and 400 nits peak brightness. When it comes to size, Nokia has hit the sweet spot, 10inches is the most popular slate size for most people because it’s big enough to use comfortably but small enough to be portable.
While the screen isn’t by any means the best tablet screen out there, it is good enough for most casual users or even business users who plan to use it for less demanding tasks like emails and video calls.
Bright and colourful, the screen is well suited to watching Netflix shows on the go, editing a few documents here and there, scrolling the web or playing some light games, but you certainly wouldn’t use this for doing any creative work as it’s just not detailed or accurate enough. You can’t expect top display quality from a cheap tablet unfortunately, but for the price, I was pleasantly surprised.
It does also have a low blue light certification which should mean you won’t get too much eye strain from extended periods of use.
Nokia T20 review: performance and battery
Under the hood, you’ll find the Unisoc T610 processor along with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, although that can be expanded using a Micro SD card. To be honest, this is not a particularly fast tablet, even setting it up and updating it took some time. Loading larger apps could sometimes take a while as well.
On the Geekbench 5 benchmark test, the Nokia T20 only achieved scores of 346 in single-core and 1,172 in multi-core which is on the low end of the spectrum. What that means is you won’t be able to play the more demanding games without some frustration and it will struggle with heavy workloads, but for casual everyday use like scrolling through social media or catching up on TV shows, it’ll do the job and you’re unlikely to need anything more in the way of power.
Nokia claims that the T20’s 8,200mAh battery will last 7 hours of online meetings, 10 hours of movies and 15 hours of surfing the web. It seemed to last me the whole day of casual use, flicking through web pages or playing a few games. To test it out more accurately, I ran a local video on it over two hours. In that time, the battery level dropped by 18% which suggests it would have lasted over 11 hours of TV shows or movies in total. It's good to see it'll last you the day, and it's just as well seeing as charging it back up again took about 3 hours with the included 10W charger.
Behind the scenes, the Nokia T20 runs on stock Android 11 so looks exactly like what you’d see on an Android smartphone, just on a bigger screen. It’s still very easy to use but it’s far from perfect because it hasn’t been adjusted for tablet use. Along with the tablet you get 2 years of OS updates which means when they eventually come along you’ll be able to get Android 12 and 13, you’ll also get 3 years of security updates.
To keep your kids safe and entertained, the Nokia T20 features Google’s Kids Space which your children can log into using their own Google account. The space is ultimately managed by you, the parent. You can choose what type of content they see, give access according to their age group, or in stages, as well as set screen time limits.
The Kids Space has loads of different apps, games, videos and books which are approved by teachers and education specialists. It will even recommend content based on what your child has shown interest in. It’s all laid out in a fun and digestible interface, they can even create their own character to navigate it with.
The Nokia T20 also packs in Google’s Entertainment Space which is a personalised area on the tablet housing loads of content from movies, TV shows and videos to all sorts of games and books.
There’s not currently any Nokia keyboard or stylus compatibility with this tablet which is another aspect that makes this better for leisure than for work. If you did need to hook up a keyboard to it then you can use Bluetooth instead.
Nokia T20 review: camera and speakers
There’s an 8MP camera housed on the back of the Nokia T20, and a 5MP selfie camera on the front. Like most tablets, these won’t take ultra-clear professional-looking shots, in fact, I wouldn’t bother taking photos on them at all. They’ll be fine for video calls, though.
The stereo speakers are loud, clear and quite accurate across all types of content. You won’t want to play music on the Nokia T20 all the time because it does distort the sound a little but if you're only listening to a track every now and then it won't bother you. The audio quality is definitely good enough for watching movies or streaming shows.
If you do want to use it for music a lot then you should hook up an external audio device to it, and luckily for those who still use wired headphones, there’s still a 3.5mm headphone jack on the frame.
Nokia T20 review: verdict
While the Nokia T20 won’t exactly wow you, it is a solid tablet that can be used for everything from online shopping to streaming TV shows and making video calls here and there.
You can easily share it with the whole family, and even give it to your kids without worrying that they could stumble across inappropriate content for their age thanks to Google’s Kids Space.
Those who plan to do work on it throughout the day should steer clear as it doesn’t pack in much in the way of power, but in saying that, if you were to take it out and about you won’t have to worry about the tablet needing a charge because the battery will last for hours on end.
The Nokia T20 is a cheap tablet that is practical and reliable, and it’s safe for your kids to use - that’s really the long and short of it.
Nokia T20 review: also consider
If you’re looking to buy a tablet that will only be used by your children then you should consider the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. Like the Nokia T20, it comes with apps, games and other content suitable for your youngsters, but it’s actually cheaper than this. You also get a tough rubber case in some fun colours with a kickstand.
Another affordable tablet to look at if you’re buying for the whole family to use is the Lenovo Smart Tab P10. It’ll be well suited to older children and teenagers because it’s functional rather than powerful. One other benefit of this is that it features the Alexa Show Mode which transforms the device into a smart display.
- For work, you might be better off looking at the best 2-in-1 laptops instead