Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

HMD’s Nokia XR21 is made to survive cold, water, falls

Whether you keep the commas or remove them from our headline, the latest Nokia from HMD Global is made to last either slash or.

Phones surviving water is more or less a given if it’s made to be flagship these days, though water resistance comes in different amounts.

While water ratings are only really tested for freshwater or clear-water — and not the salt-water of the ocean or chlorinated water of pools — you can typically wash a water-resistant phone under the tap and get around the lack of rating for other types of water. But that durability is typically just for water, and if you’re lucky, maybe dust particles, as well.

Unless a phone is stated as being spec’d for military and tested against the MIL STD 810H rating, an IP-rated phone will only really be proofed for small amounts of water and possibly dust and sand. Getting a phone that survives more than that is rare, and often requires a case to get you that extra step over the line.

However, HMD’s latest could just go a little beyond that, as it unveils a Nokia made to take a beating, and one that runs an actual usable operating system.

This week, HMD announced the XR21, a smartphone designed to survive, sporting the MIL STD 810H rating we last saw on the Moto ThinkPhone, but going further, with an IP69K rating and testing showing it can survive a fall of up to 1.8 metres, submerging in 1.5 metres of water for up to an hour, and able to deal with both extreme heat and cold, managing temperature ranges between -20°C and 55°C.

In short, it’s a phone made to survive, and one that actually has an operating system you might care about, compared to HMD’s other durable Nokia phones, which have largely been feature phones with rugged casings.

The XR21 is different, and sounds a little like a stealth ship, following on from the XR20 it launched a few years ago. It’ll sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, Android, support for 5G, two cameras made up of a 64 megapixel standard wide and 8 megapixel ultra-wide, and a 6.49 inch 120Hz screen topping it all.

The feature set sounds like it sits in the mid-range, though the cameras could be a little more impressive.

However, the price is aimed at folks looking for just a little more durability from a mid-range phone, fetching $799 at launch. It’ll head to JB HiFi directly when it lands in May, though because it’s so durable, when it lands it should have no problem surviving.

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