• Solid AMOLED Display with 90Hz Refresh Rate
  • Surprisingly impressive battery life for a 4200mAh
  • Secure with Android One's 3 Years of OS Update is a relief
  • Nokia offering 3 Years of warranty for this is ridiculously good
  • The camera has good potential in many aspects
  • For a "Recycled" smartphone, it feels absolutely solid


  • Potential aside, there needs to be some software fixes and assurance
  • Snapdragon 695 is a good upgrade from the X20, but I do wish it's a little better - but good start
  • Pricey for justifiable reason but it's not easy to convince users

One of the things I personally enjoy as a reviewer is being able to use a device as a daily driver, long enough to share the experiences I’ve had. It’s not something we get to do all the time. But there are exceptions – I have done that with the ROG Phones, Galaxy S Series and now, to add to the list, Nokia. It’s been a little over two months since I started using the X30 5G and I’ve been to Singapore, and spent a lot of time on the road, in my pocket and in my hands with it. Long enough for me to share my final verdict in this Nokia X30 5G review.

Nokia X30 5G Review

Design and Build

Majority of the smartphone brands are venturing into the whole idea of “eco-conscious” products. But it’s misleading. Most brands either stop at making the packaging eco-friendly and at most, you might have some parts like just the buttons inside the phone, which barely justifies their whole notion.

That’s not the case here – from the packaging, all the way to the phone, Nokia definitely took the whole idea of making an eco-conscious phone seriously. The Nokia X30 5G is built solid, taking the phone out of the box and just holding it in my hands – gives it a very nice feeling that I truly enjoy.

Here in Malaysia, it only comes in one colour – and that’s this Cloudy Blue. It sure would be an acquired taste but as someone who does love a nice shade of green-blue, I sure do like this phone. One might wonder, which parts of the phone are recycled.

Here’s the best part: the entire 100% aluminium part of the phone is recycled and 65% of the plastic the phone uses are recycled. This is really taking recycling seriously. This is what I wanted to see in a proper eco-friendly phone and Nokia sure did prove that it is possible. Oh hey, this phone is IP68 as well. So, yes, to all that dunking in water.

There is one element of the smartphone design I am not a fan of, and that’s the camera bump. It does blend well with the plastic back, which is nice, but the design of it makes the camera really stand out in a not-so-subtle way. But otherwise, the phone is alright. Just because it’s an eco-friendly phone, doesn’t mean that it has inferior hardware – well… let’s start with the display first.


On the front of the Nokia X30 5G is a 6.43-inch PureDisplay in an FHD+ resolution, covered in a Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. Of course, it’s an AMOLED display and to keep up with the buttery smooth experience, it has a 90Hz refresh rate which is more than enough for many users. I have zero complaints about the display as it is indeed nice to view and look at.

The peak nit brightness caps at about 700 nits which are decent for outdoor use and comparatively better with smartphones in this price range. The FHD+ aspect of the display doesn’t bother me either – the colours are vibrant, the viewing angle is neat and all in all, you will enjoy content consumption on this display.

The one thing I didn’t like Nokia opting in for – is the Under-display fingerprint sensor. It isn’t the slowest without a screen protector and it isn’t the fastest with one. So, if you do heavily rely on the fingerprint sensor, I’d suggest getting a thin screen protector – but truth be told, it is hard to find one. Here’s a decent one you can purchase here in Malaysia.

Specification and Performance

The Nokia X30 5G has the following specification and it’s the only configuration it’s available in:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G Processor
  • 8GB RAM and 256GB Internal Storage
  • USB Type-C at 2.0 speeds and features NFC for Google Pay

This isn’t the first time Nokia is pairing a phone with a rather mid-tier processor in a premium finish of a smartphone. But this is better in comparison to the Nokia X20 5G back in 2021 – which had a Snapdragon 480 5G instead. Yeap, that’s the 007 No Time To Die smartphone.

Back to this one. For one, the Snapdragon 695 5G is a faster processor than the 732G but there were aspects of this phone that didn’t feel like a mid-tier smartphone but did give a good show in the performance aspect. I may not play games on my phone, but I sure do heavily rely on an application that requires good specification.

Ever since day one of using this phone, I have taken it to Singapore and used it for local navigation with the help of Citymapper, and Google Maps took a bunch of photos, listened to a lot of music, and used it for both work and socials as well. It kept up with most of the heavy tasks when I was attending the Singapore Comic Con.

This was smooth because the Nokia X30 5G still runs on the Android One platform. While the website has not been updated in a while – this phone is proof that the Android One is alive. The “One” based OS, is Google’s and Nokia’s way of assuring that you will get guaranteed updates for 3 years – 3 OS upgrades and 3 years of monthly security updates.

Given that the Android One itself is light and stripped away from unnecessary bloatware – the experience is clean, well almost. Nokia has partnered up with three brands to pre-install their apps: at least, these are useful ones – GoPro Quik, ExpressVPN and Spotify. Multitasking on the phone was alright, and there wasn’t any unnecessary overheating business going on. Gaming, on the other hand, varies – when a flagship throttles with AAA titles, expect this one too as well. After all, it is a mid-tier processor.


What I love about the camera configuration with the Nokia X30 5G is that it’s a no-gimmick- configuration. They have opted in for two cameras:

  • 50MP PureView OIS camera with Gorilla Glass DX+ – 1.0µm (2.0µm 4-in-1) at f/1.9
  • 13MP UltraWide 123-degree f/2.4 camera

Nokia emphasized how well it does in low light and so on. Now, before I get to that part – let’s talk about the HDR and Non-HDR comparison. Below, we have an Ultrawide and normal shot, both in HDR and sans. The 50MP sensor does a decent job in retain the colours as much as possible and giving the boost in areas where it lacks the details in the non-HDR shots. It does have a warm tone to it.

Normal Wide with no HDR
Normal Wide with no HDR
Normal Wide with HDR
Normal Wide with HDR
Ultra Wide with HDR
Ultra Wide with HDR
Ultra Wide with no HDR
Ultra Wide with no HDR

The Ultrawide shot on the other hand tells a different story: the non-HDR shot cranks the saturation by a lot and you can tell that by looking just at the walls, cars and the right side of the image. HDR on the other hand, recovers the colours of the walls by a lot and the right side of the image seems to be okay, although the tree greens are a little saturated. The left side of the photo focusing on the sky is recovered a lot better.

The key takeaway from this comparison is simple: Both HDR and non-HDR shots are a hit-and-miss between the cameras. So, you do have to toggle from time to time to get the picture you prefer the most. I was expecting a bit of an oomph factor from the normal daylight shots.

With Night Mode
With Night Mode
Without Night Mode
Without Night Mode
Normal Mode
Normal Mode

For the most part, I shot pictures with this camera without HDR, so every picture was usable. That is also because HDR tends to ruin images with saturation. Now, the lowlight-night-mode performance of the 50MP is impressive because take a look at the hawker store shot I took in Singapore. While the HDR shot seems to be a bit dull, the signboard recovery is fantastic. I can confidently say that the Nokia X30 5G does very well in lowlight-night-shot situations.

There is one big problem though: and it’s the below-par performance when the camera has to deal with certain situations. There were instances where it takes its sweet time to capture the images. Secondly, if you happen to shoot video, the camera struggles to give a smooth output in low light. This is fixable with a software update, but how soon it will be fixed? That I am not too sure because this is a serious fix.

Battery Life and Charging

While it isn’t the biggest battery, the X30 5G has a 4200mAh battery which does surprisingly last longer than I expected. Again, this is all possible with a power-efficient mid-tier and a good clean OS. It does support fast charging at 33W and supports the QC 3.0, PD 3.0, and PPS standards. This is great and how it should be – that is by implementing widely accepted charging standards and not including an adapter which an adapter you own can already do the aforementioned charging speeds.

I had no issues with the battery life it offered. Surprisingly, I was impressed with how well it did with a 4200mAh battery. The consistent 6-7+ hours of screen on time, with heavy navigation app usage and listening to music, I barely had any memory of reaching into my bag for my power bank on such heavy days. On days when I use it lightly, the phone lasts for a good two days, until I connect back to the charger the next day evening. The standby time on this phone is neat too. When I doze off with 70% battery, the next day I have about 65-67% per cent battery left.

So, if you do get it for the battery life – it’s safe to say, the Nokia X30 5G is exceptional. With that 33W charging speed, it charges the entire phone from scratch to 100% in like, a little over an hour.

The Caveat…

The Nokia X30 5G has some great things going on, namely: the IP68 certification, a stunning AMOLED display, really good battery life, Android One with 3 years of updates and oh – 3 years of updates and a camera that will “wow” you at times when you need it to. But it also has this “inferior” element: specifically one, the processor. Most users would go, “this is expensive”. It’s true but there’s a different reason why this phone is expensive, a very important one at that: the recycled materials that are being used on this phone.

Recycling is Expensive

You see, the entire recycling process isn’t easy and not cheap – from eliminating unusable materials to getting to the point of acquiring usable material, is such a tedious process. You could walk into a stationary store and look at the normal Post-its and compare them with the recycled ones: the latter is always expensive.

This is obvious if you compare the X20 5G (made out of new materials) vs the X30 5G (recycled). The increase in price makes complete sense – as it helps them cover the manufacturing cost.

Hypothetically, Nokia could have used non-recyclable materials, used the same processor and sold it at the same price as X20 5G. But that would have made the Nokia X30 5G a forgettable phone because it’s exactly what the majority of phone manufacturers are doing with the mid-tier and refreshing on a monthly basis – which creates more waste than anything.

… that would have made the Nokia X30 5G a forgettable phone …

Android One is a Saving Grace

Remember – this experience we had was on Pure Android. If this was a phone running with custom skin on top, you can gladly forget about the “longevity” with updates, and it will deteriorate in performance in a short span of time. Sure, hmd Global’s track record with updates – isn’t the greatest but they are doing their best and taking things seriously enough I suppose. But at least, it’s there.

There is one more issue…

The competition in a market where other smartphone manufacturers release not one, not two but dozens of phones a year. We addressed this issue with a smartphone we reviewed last year, how they made their recently announced phone (At that time) obsolete in just 5 months. So, when these kinds of products exist, and the practice of quantity over quality floodgate takes precedence, devices such as this Nokia that try to make a difference with Quality over Quantity get affected and never see the light of the day. We will address this issue in another dedicated content.

In Conclusion

It’s certain that the Nokia X30 5G isn’t a perfect phone, but they got things right in many ways possible. It is a properly upgraded successor to the X20 5G. But the real question is: would we recommend the Nokia X30 5G? It really depends. Honestly, if it had a 700 series processor at least, boy, I’d have been super happy.

But credit where it’s due, the Nokia X30 5G got simple things right and it doesn’t change the fact that they did something, no other brands tried – that is using recycled material entirely. At RM 2,099 – if the good things about this phone we mentioned sits well with you, then by all means. It’s alright.

The Nokia X30 5G is a thoughtfully made eco-conscious smartphone. That’s a fact and it doesn’t change.