Nokia 5: A Capable Mid-Range Smartphone [Unboxing+Review]

Nokia launched a trio of devices back in early 2017 targeting the mid-range user. One of the them was the Nokia 5 which comes in between the 3 phones in terms of both price and specifications.

It was recently launched in Pakistan and we got our hands on a review unit. Here’s what we think of it.

Unboxing & Review [Urdu]

Design and Display

Despite being a budget device, the Nokia 5 does not skimp on the good build quality. The phone features a metal unibody design which makes the phone both look and feel premium. The corners are rounded, the phone doesn’t feel too slippery and is easy to grip.

On the front you have the display. A bit further to the top, we have the earpiece, front facing camera and your standard sensors.

On the bottom of the display there’s the 3 capacitive keys; back, home and recent apps. The back and recent app key are also backlit while the home key also doubles as a fingerprint sensor.

On the back of the phone, you’ll find the primary camera, dual-tone LED flash and the Nokia branding.

The right side of the phone houses the volume rocker and the power button whereas on the left side you’ll find the SIM slots.

On the top of the phone you have your 3.5mm earphone jack and finally on the bottom you’ll find the speaker grilles and microUSB port for charging/data syncing.

While the design and build quality may impress, the display on the other hand is a 5.2-inch, 720 x 1280 resolution panel.  Here’s why I think this merits a mention. I believe that 720p panels should be limited to a screen size of only 5.0-inches and anything larger than that should at least have a 1080p panel.

Nevertheless, the display isn’t too bad. It’s decent for what it is. Being an IPS panel, the viewing angles and color reproduction is good. You will hardly notice any difference between this and a 1080p display unless you put both of them side by side.

Performance and Software

Performance is something the Nokia 5 really excels at. First, let’s get the numbers out of the way.

The Nokia 5 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset paired with 2GB of RAM. Now, there’s no doubt that these are not the highest end specifications available but for a phone in this price range, it gets the job done.

In fact, it gets more than just done, it flies.

Moving on, the UI is smooth and there’s no lag whatsoever.

I did notice some dropped frames in resource-intensive games such as Asphalt 8 but that’s about it. Even Facebook was behaving well and wasn’t bugging out as it mostly does.

As far as the RAM is concerned, there’s 2 GB of that available. The Nokia 5 makes good use of it. Open up to 10 applications in the background and it will handle it like a breeze and there will no background app refreshes. However, this also depends on the application, like how resource intensive it is.

Perhaps one of the main reasons that the Nokia 5 performs so good is because of the software.

As for which OS it runs on, it’s running near stock Android Nougat out of the box and is confirmed to get the Android Oreo update soon which was released recently. Fast updates are going to be the selling point of Nokia phones and during my usage I also got an update for the August security patch.

It’s nice to see a company taking software security seriously and providing timely updates.

Camera and Battery

The camera on the Nokia 5 sees a bump from 8 MP to 13 MP from the Nokia 3. It also has a dual-tone LED flash, and phase detection auto focus.

Needless to say, the camera’s performance is very good. The pictures taken in good lighting are usually sharp and detailed. Colors are accurate too and not oversaturated.

There are some mild issues though. I noticed a little noise in some photos and once you move towards dimly lit conditions, the noise situation gets worse.

However, my one major gripe with the camera is that the HDR mode is very slow and it takes at least 3-4 seconds to take a picture.

Front camera is 8 MP with an f/2.0 aperture. However, results weren’t too impressive. Even in good lighting conditions, photos came out soft. You can take a look at the camera samples below:

The battery on the Nokia 5 is a 3,000 mAh cell which is decent enough for a phone with this screen size.

Nokia 5 Camera Samples

I ran a battery benchmark on the device and it got 9h of screen on time (SOT) at 50% brightness. During my initial usage of the device, I ran various benchmarks and used the phone quite heavily and at the end of the day, I still had at least 20% of battery left.

Verdict

The Nokia 5 offers good performance for the price and I’d say it’s well worth it, given that the phones available in the market in the same price range or lower don’t offer software updates and neither a very good performance generally.

Still, it doesn’t mean that there was no cost-cutting involved in the Nokia 5. For example, there’s no LED notification light available, which is a disappointment to say the least. Also, internal storage is limited to 16 GB. A power user will definitely need a microSD card with it.

All in all a decent camera, good performance, excellent battery life. All these things makes the Nokia 5 worth the price tag and a definitely a good buy.


  • Shaykh ul Islam Tahir ul Qadri

    os ko apni plastic covering sa nikalain or hath main pakraty sath he aap ko is ki metal body ka pta chalta hai…. lol… made my day :D