Nomu S20 is a low budget outdoor smartphone with acceptable accessory. A fast MT6737T quad core processor, 3/32GB memory, a HD display and, of course, an IP68 certificate are the highlights of this device. In contrast to S10, S20 has a little more storage. Outdoor suitability was decreased for the benefit of optics and user friendliness. Whether this concept behind the S20 works, or if you should rather buy the S10, can be learnt from the following review.

Versions and prices

Nomu S20 can be considered a clear alternative to Nomu S10. Nomu S30, on the other hand, with its 5.5-inch full-HD display and a significantly faster processor, is another league.

Version Nomu S10 Nomu S20 Nomu S30
Processor Mediatek MT6737T, 4×1.5GHz Mediatek MT6737T, 4×1.5GHz Mediatek MTK6755, 8×2.0GHz
Storage 16GB ROM, 2GB RAM 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM 64GB ROM, 4GB RAM
Display 5-inch, 294 PPI, HD, IPS, Gorilla Glass 4 5-inch, 294 PPI, HD, IPS, Gorilla Glass 4 5.5-inch, 401 PPI, full-HD, IPS, Gorilla Glass 4
Camera 8MP, Sony IMX219 8MP, Sony IMX219 13MP, Sony IMX214
Battery 5000mAh 3000mAh 5000mAh
Price 110$ 130$ 210$
*all details according to Nomu!

Design and build quality

For an outdoor phone, Nomu S20 is quite light and slim with a weight of 182g and 11mm thickness. The smartphone consists of grippy rubber with 3 screwed-on aluminium bars on the left and right side. Located in the left bar, you can find the SIM tray(1x nano + 1x micro or 1x nano + 1x micro-SD). In the right bar are power button and volume control. The buttons are perfectly built in the metal bars and have a nice feedback. Compared to Homtom HT20 or Ulefone Armor, the buttons of S20 are considerable easier to handle. Headphones plug and micro-USB port are protected from water by rubber caps. Still, the connections do not sit too deep in the casing so that you have to use special cables as you would suspect from other outdoor phones.

Build quality convinces in every category and Nomu S20 turned out a very compact outdoor phone with a size of 170.5 x 100mm. In contrast to other outdoor phones, S20 is not equipped with rubber bumpers on the edges and the display is also not protected by protruding bars. If the phone happens to fall to the ground in an unfortunate angle, the display will crack. Nevertheless, the device is much more resistant than common phones. The smartphone survived 10 minutes in a water bath without remaining damage. S20 is operated via on-screen buttons but a notification LED is not featured. Those who want a stylish, robust and waterproof outdoor smartphone will be well-off with Nomu S20.

Display

Nomu S20 has a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. Hence, the phone reaches solid 294 pixels per inch and all contents are presented very sharp. Nomu S20’s display is simply stunning. It is illuminated perfectly and bright which makes outdoor use, even in bright sunlight, possible. Colour representation is accurate and pleasant. Equally great is the viewing angle stability. In the options menu the app ‘MiraVision’ is pre-installed where you can adjust each function. Automatic brightness reacts fast and without problems. S20 does not feature a special glove mode like its big brother S30. S20’s display is protected against scratches by Gorilla Glass 4. The touchscreen can detect up to 5 touching points simultaneously and operates as fast as precise. The device even features the popular ‘SmartWake’ in the options menu.

Nomu clearly proves that it gets its displays by the right manufacturer. All 3 devices have reaction-friendly and precise touchscreens; colours and brightness are simply great. Nomu S20 is no exception.

Nomu S20 Performance and operating system

Like other low price Nomu smartphones, S20 operates with a Mediatek low budget processor. MT6737T clocks at 4x 1.5GHz and is ideal for basic function usage. Browsing, YouTube videos or chatting pose no problems for S20 and everything runs smoothly. Standard games like Temple-Run or Subwaysurf run perfectly, only straining 3D games are not suitable for this smartphone. In contrast to the cheaper S10, the S20 houses 3GB of RAM and 32GB of ROM. Internal memory is sufficiently fast with a reading/writing pace of 192/76MB/s. RAM storage is not the fastest on the market with its 3GB/s, but it is alright. Full 2GB are available out of the 3GB in IDLE operation which enables the light and unmodified Android 6 operation system. Various background apps as well as intensive tasks do not heat the phone up.

There is no prospect of an Android 7 update by the manufacturer as the current system is well optimised and runs fluently and stable. Apart from some Smart features and the Google standard apps pre-installation, the system optically remains completely untouched. Stock/Vanilla Android admirers will feel at home, but the pure Android system also offers a simple start for beginners. Playstore is pre-installed. The efficiency, together with the well optimised system, provides more performance than you would expect for this price.

Camera

The 8MP Sony camera surprised us in our test. Pictures of the Sony IMX219 sensor are really great considered the price. Photos turn out sharp, with correct colours under normal light conditions. The rich number of details is amazing. Occasional images during hiking or cycling are not disappointing. The bright-dark balance does not always work perfectly, taking photos in very bright or dark spots should be avoided. Triggering time is low and the autofocus mostly works very accurately. The 2MP front camera is sufficient for video calls and produces mediocre, however, sometimes blurry selfies of average quality.

Connectivity and communication

Nomu S20 supports the following frequencies:

GSM 850 MHz, GSM 900 MHz, GSM 1800 MHz, GSM 1900 MHz, W-CDMA 900 MHz, W-CDMA 2100 MHz, LTE 800 MHz, LTE 900 MHz, LTE 1800 MHz, LTE 2100 MHz, LTE 2600 MHz, LTE-TDD 2300 MHz (B40)

 

Nomu S20 has constant and good reception in all 2G, 3G and 4G (LTE) frequencies. Calling quality is acceptable for both parties. Speaker function is also satisfying with no background noise. In a noisy environment, every sound is transmitted as well.

After S30’s loudspeaker function was disappointing, S20’s is surprisingly loud and clear. Only the bass lacks; high sounds are transferred a little too intense but considered the low price, the loudspeaker function is brilliant. You will have no problems in hearing your phone ring even in noisy environments. When connecting middle class headphones, you will get a nice sound, however, no high-end result.

Nomu S20 GPS Test

Wi-Fi in n-standard and Bluetooth 4.0 respectively work well with good reach. The phone houses the standard sensors (acceleration, proximity and brightness sensor). Also standard for an outdoor device is a compass. A gyroscope, on the other hand, is not featured. GPS reception is extraordinarily high and position localisation is mostly possible, even in buildings. The combination of GPS and compass navigation offers great results for both, pedestrian navigation as well as in the car.

Battery

Nomu S20 houses a 3,000mAh battery. Considering the ‘compact’ design this amount is quite high, especially with the efficient processor and the 5-inch HD display. Nevertheless, it is 2,000mAh less than both of the other Nomu phones. In the PC-Mark battery test, Nomu S20’s battery life lasted 7 hours without charging at medium display brightness. Due to the well optimised and thus efficient battery consumption, the battery life can easily last up to 2 days in normal use. Under extensive operation with permanent GPS and Bluetooth, I reached 4 hours of DOT and I still got through the day. With the provided quick charge adapter, the phone is charged from 0 to 100% in 2.5 hours. This is not really quick and occasional charging for 30 minutes fills the battery by only 20%.

* Incl. VAT and, if applicable, delivery costs – subject to interim changes.

Conclusion and alternative

80% Steady

The manufacturer Nomu once again chooses the balance between outdoor suitability and user friendliness. Nomu S20 is perfectly suitable for users working outdoors or those who are doing activities outside, even though Blackview BV6000 is much more resistant against drops than Nomu S20. On the other hand, the S20 is much easier to handle – you will not have to carry around any adapters and it is indeed more resistant than usual smartphones. Skipping its outdoor usage for now, Nomu S20 convinces in every category. First of all, the nice design and great build quality are real advantages. Brilliant and reaction-friendly display, sufficient performance for every-day tasks and long battery life are also clear pros. A well optimised and almost flawless Stock-Android system, a nice camera and strong GPS reception with compass are also featured. Nomu S20 is a great and cheap ‘semi’ outdoor smartphone.

  • design and build quality 90 %
  • display 80 %
  • operating system and performance 80 %
  • connectivity and communication 70 %
  • camera 80 %
  • battery 80 %

Join the discussion!

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Julien
I was very satisfy of this Nomu S20 until a problem with the speaker after 3 months of use. For me it was a small… Read more »
Uzair Rizwan
Guys I recommend you AGM A8 because it is decent budget rugged smartphone in the market. AGM A8 much better than others in term of… Read more »
Mark

How you can recommend phone that is more expensive and has worse specs?

Kevin

Wow this phone is really fantastic

John Bairstow
good review, good features but price is very high.there are many rugged smartphones with good look and high spec like AGM A8. AGM A8 cheap,… Read more »
Dmitryi

Awesome value for money. Work blazing fast.

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