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Nokia 5 Review

Nokia made a comeback to making smartphones with three new devices, the Nokia 3 (review), Nokia 5 and Nokia 6. We have already reviewed the Nokia 3 on this blog and after the release of Nokia 3, the company made available the second device which is slightly more superior to Nokia 3. The Nokia 5 comes with a 5.2 inch HD display and is powered by Snapdragon 430 Octa core processor and is coupled with 3GB of RAM. The phone also comes with better camera optics compared to Nokia 3. So how good is the Nokia 5 for Rs 12,499?  Let’s find out in the detailed Nokia 5 Review.

 

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Design and Build:

If you have been using a Windows Phone based Nokia device previously, you might be knowing that the build quality is one of the important things the company looks at when launching devices. Even with Nokia 5, the same trend continues and it is one of the best build devices in this segment. Nokia 5 frame is made of premium aluminum frame making it quite good in terms of build quality. The rear panel has a matte finish and it feels quite good. The edges of the device have a curved design and give a good feel when using it.

The power and volume keys are on the right side while the SIM tray is on the left side. The front panel has 5 inch HD display, 8MP front camera on the top and the three capacitive touch buttons below it which are not backlit. The rear panel has a 13MP camera, LED flash and the Nokia logo. The speaker unit is placed at the bottom along with micro USB slot and 3.5mm audio jack. Overall, the design and build quality of the phone is very good.

 

Display:

Nokia 5 comes with a 5.2 inch HD display at 720P resolution and it has a 2.5D curved glass and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The display quality is quite decent on the phone and the colors also look pretty good. The sharpness looks quite acceptable and so are the viewing angles. But the touch response was inconsistent and when playing games it was not responsive as we would have liked it be. We are hoping Nokia to release a fix to update the touch issues.

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Software:

Nokia 5 runs on Android 7.1.1 with a stock like UI without any sort of customization. The software is one of the highlights of the device as the company has claimed that they will be providing future updates and stock UI. The UI feels good with no added third party app. The settings panel and notification center are same as that of stock UI.

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The UI also provides a couple of motion settings to reject or mute calls. The phone also comes with FM radio app. One of the important aspect of Nokia devices is that company is promising monthly updates for all the devices.

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Performance:

Nokia 5 is powered by Snapdragon 430 Octa core processor and is coupled with 2GB of RAM. Snapdragon 430 is one of the budget or entry level chipsets available and not a powerful one in terms of performance. In day to day tasks, it performed pretty well without any major issues, but when it comes to heavy multitasking and running multiple apps at the same time, you could clearly see the lag in the performance. The software was also not optimized and the memory management was not good. The gaming performance of the device was quite decent and there wasn’t any major lag when playing graphic rich games barring a few frame drops.

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The call quality of the device is good and the speaker performance is average. The phone comes with 16GB of storage which we feel is quite low for a phone in this segment. Most of the phones sold in this segment now come with 32GB and 64GB. The phone comes with close to 10GB of storage. The phone comes with dual SIM cards and micro SD card slot and there is support for 4G and VoLTE out of the box.

The phone also features a front facing fingerprint scanner which does a decent job. It is not the fastest out there and had minor issues unlocking when the fingers were dirty or sweaty.

 

Camera:

Nokia 5 sports a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and a front facing 8MP camera. Both the cameras have auto focus. The camera interface is quite a decent one although it might not have the additional features you would see on most camera UIs these days. The camera features basic modes like panorama, beautify and HDR modes.

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The camera samples taken with the Nokia 5 in daylight conditions had decent color quality, but the sharpness levels could have been better and also looked blurry towards the edges. The overall clarity of the photos was average at best and we expected a better performance from the brand.  The low light performance was even worse with noise creeping in. Overall the rear camera performance was strictly average and there are better camera smartphones in this segment. The selfie camera was again not a great performer with skin tones not great. The video recording of the device is at 1080p and the sample taken with the device was again not good. Here are some of the samples taken with the device.

 

Battery:

Nokia 5 comes with a 3000mAh battery and there is no fast charging included. We tested the battery life on the device on a daily basis and we found the battery to last for a day. You can get a day of battery life with the Nokia 5 with a screen on time of around 3 hours (maximum). Comparing this performance to the competition, Nokia 5 falls behind in terms of battery life.

 

Verdict:

Nokia 5 is priced Rs 12,499 and comes with great build quality along with the stock Android. And the good things end there. With an average performance and poor camera abilities and high pricing, the Nokia 5 is definitely not the best option for a phone in the sub 15K INR pricing especially with Redmi Note 4 (review), Lenovo K8 Note (review) and Honor 6X (review) offering much more for the same pricing. If you are looking for a Nokia branded phone with stock Android, the Nokia 5 makes sense, but still, in that case, we would suggest going for Nokia 6.

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Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. He can be contacted at nirmal@nirmaltv.com. You can find Nirmal on , and .

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