Nokia X21 looks tough on the inside too

Nokia Mobile has announced the successor, or rather upgrade, of its first rugged phone, the Nokia XR20. The Nokia XR21 brings a better display, processor and stronger battery to the game. It also has improved IP protection, which makes me wonder if the interior design has changed. Obviously, the internals have been redesigned a bit, because the XR21 has a side-mounted camera module instead of the central module of the XR20. For more details on the device, check the announcement post.

The YouTube channel PBK Reviews published a nice disassembly video of the Nokia XR20 last year, which demonstrates the robustness of the device inside, but also shows that there is still room for improvement under the plastic back cover. The connector and coaxial cables could be placed differently to improve repairability if that is even necessary since this is a rugged phone.

Nokia XR20 disassembly by PBK

Anyway, TechnoRabin has published a disassembly guide for the new Nokia XR21, which also shows screenshots of a manual with clear instructions on how to disassemble the phone. The guide also shows the parts that might be useful for smartphone technicians.

Disassembly starts with loosening the adhesive that holds the back cover on the back of the phone. There is a lot of adhesive, which is understandable since the phone is waterproof and dustproof. The back cover has an extra layer of foam to keep everything in place. The motherboards are protected by plastic covers that have to be removed to proceed with disassembly.

The internal layout has been changed compared to the XR20. Although I expected the phone to resemble the Nokia X30 on the inside (link to the post), the design of the motherboards and cables is different. The Nokia X30 is sturdy, but the XR21 is definitely more robust and certified for drops from 1.8 meters on solid concrete.

Either way, structurally the Nokia XR21 seems to have been improved over its predecessor. I would be happy if there was wireless charging, with the ability to reverse charge accessories like the Nokia Clarity Earbuds 2 Pro. But it seems that I will have to wait for the XR30. Also, a transparent background would be a nice addition to the device!


Cheers to Techno Rabin for the tip. Also, thanks Luke for reminding me of that great PBK video.