Though I would have loved to see a bigger internal storage, overall the smartphone has passed our tests. Nokia 5 is an affordable mid-range smartphone with an amazing design that provides a premium feel which is exclusive for a flagship smartphone. The smartphone sometimes heats up while doing the heavy lifting, has an amicable camera and average speakers but undoubtedly it can be an amazing gadget for everyday use.
It won’t be unfair to assume that millions of hearts across the globe skipped a beat when Nokia announced its comeback last year. Fast-forward a few months later, HMD Global, the exclusive manufacturer of Nokia-branded smartphones, revealed its three Android devices, Nokia 3, 5 and 6 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017, all of which have now been released in the Pakistani market.
Resilience and Nokia for years have come hand in hand. Last time we saw this quality when we reviewed Nokia 3 and for today we will be looking for this attribute in the latter’s bigger sibling Nokia 5. Looking at the company’s mid-range handset, one can see that there a lot to like about this smartphone from its looks to its various features, but is it worth all the dough in your wallet accurately Rs. 21,900? Let’s find out.
Here’s what Nokia 5 has in store for us
One look at Nokia 5 and you will never believe that it is a budget-friendly smartphone as its metal body makes it quite a looker and places it in the row of many premium smartphones.
The smartphone is made of aluminum and takes us back to the classic design of old Lumia smartphones. Though we will admit that due to its metallic body, the smartphone attracts quite a lot of fingerprint smudges.
Nokia 5 is quite slim and very comfortable to hold thanks to its 160g of weight and round edges. The 5.2 inches screen is just the right size, it’s neither too large to tire the user’s hand nor too small to be a nuisance while reading an e-book or watching a movie.
Unlike Nokia 3, the navigation buttons in Nokia 5 are backlit, which honestly is quite a welcoming development.
The smartphone has a front-mounted fingerprint reader that also doubles down to as a home button. In our opinion, the relatively small space for a fingerprint reader sometimes makes it difficult to access the smartphone in a single try. Don’t take us the wrong way, the fingerprint sensor is quite fast all we are saying is that initially user’s can struggle with placing their finger correctly on it to access their device.
At the top of the smartphone, we have a 3.5mm headphone jack while at the bottom we can see an Android USB C charger and two slots for speakers.
Though we were a bit disappointed over the absence of stereo speakers in the smartphones but the single speaker works without a hitch, considering the price tag of the phone.
On the right side, we have the usual power key and volume rocker while on the left we have two different slots for SIM try and MicroSD card.
The back camera lies smoothly on the back of the smartphone creating no disturbing bulge. One of the most attractive things about Nokia 5 is its display that is slightly curved towards the edges that compliment the entire design and guarantees an enjoyable movie-watching experience
Nokia 5 features a Snapdragon 430 chipset coupled with Octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53, Adreno 505 GPU and 2GB of RAM which throughout our testing worked alright, granted that its efficiency is mostly tied to the type of task you want to accomplish with your smartphone.
While carrying out regular functions like making a call or sharing awkward photos with friends, we witnessed little to no lag especially whilst multitasking but same cannot be said about the smartphone in regards to browsing heavy websites or playing mobile games.
During our tests, we witnessed that sometimes the device got stuck whilst performing a task but again it would be foolish to expect completely exceptional performance from such a budget-friendly device.
On Geekbench 4, Nokia 5 scored 645 in single core category and 2847 in multi-core category.
It scored 44870 on Antutu Benchmark tool which is ahead of Huawei Y7 Prime’s 44577 scores but is behind Samsung J5 Pro 2017 and QMobile Noir A1 that scored 46346 and 48615 respectively.
Despite the scores, Nokia 5 worked quite well considering its mid-range category. The smartphone features Stock Android meaning there is no replication of apps or the presence of any bloatware on the device and the result is a clean clutter-free device. Just like Nokia 3, the app drawer can be launched by swiping the device in the upward direction.
The smartphone has 16GB of internal storage but the user can only access 8GB of that storage, meaning that a MicroSD card is a must-have if you want to store more data and luckily the user can expand the storage up to 256GB.
We never expected Nokia 5 to be a powerhouse but we were doubtful about the device’s performance as a couple of times, the smartphone heated up while performing heavy functions, which made it difficult to hold the device for a longer period of time.
As always, the touchscreen on Nokia 5 is impeccable letting the user to easily access the various features of the device. All in all, the smartphone showed quite good performance in doing everyday tasks like staying in touch with the digital world, updating social media statuses and using various telecom services.
Nokia 5 has an amazing 3000 mAh non-removable Li-ion battery that can easily last for a whole day which is quite impressive for a mid-range device. We were already a fan of Nokia 3’s 2630 mAh battery that quite shockingly put our fears to rest but Nokia 5 takes the battery life game to another level.
It takes 2-2.5 hours to completely charge the smartphone and it’s essential to mention that the device also features Quick Charge 3.0 that contributes towards less recharge time. During our battery test, we watched three movies with maximum brightness all the while downloading large enough video files in the background and we were still left with ample battery life to play games and making more than a few phone calls.
One of the reasons for the lasting battery life is the 720p display as it doesn’t drain out the battery like 1080p display. The smartphone also offers a Battery saver feature that can extend battery life to save the user from any inconvenience.
Owing to the presence of stock Android, the Nokia 5’s camera does not offer a wide variety of features for the user. Nokia 5 features a 13MP rear and 8MP front camera that produced decent photographs, considering the price of the smartphone.
While testing out the smartphone’s camera, we had to struggle a bit to control the light and the camera sometimes took its fair share of time to focus on the object. The camera shows a comparatively better exposure in the daylight than the Nokia 3, providing better balance in the photographs.
It is imperative to mention that the images taken from Nokia 5 were crisp and sharp with no sign of any pixelation. There is no dedicated Night mode in the camera but the smartphone can take good photographs in well-lit areas, which is seldom an issue as people tends to take pictures in places where there is light especially at night.
While using the camera, the user can lay with capture settings that offer Automatic with Boost Light option and Manual Mode. For taking the picture of the close object, there is a Macro feature in the manual mode that focuses on the primary target and blurs the background while the HDR mode adds a bit of drama in the picture, making various colors pop. The HDR feature can also be set to automatic.
On the downside, the smartphone has no selfie flash which nowadays many budget and mid-range smartphone are offering to the users. The video recorded from Nokia 5 surprisingly turned out to be great but the slow-motion feature was not so impressive as the smartphone shoots these videos in only 720p resolution and tends to lose focus while shooting the video.
Initially, the user will need some time for getting used to of adjusting the minutest details like adjusting the lighting and exposure but afterward it’ll be a piece of cake. The lack of different options like filters etc was annoying as a camera user but the user can download multiple mobile applications from Google Play Store.
Feast your eyes on the following images taken from Nokia 5:
Nokia 5 enables the user to pay with their mobile phones via NFC (Near Field Communication). Moreover, thanks to the latest Android update, Nokia 5 users can enjoy the Google’s Assistant to make their life’s everyday tasks easy.
For the convenience of the users, Nokia 5 features Smart Lock on-body detection will keep the device unlocked as long as it will stay in motion.
The smartphone via its accessibility settings offers various features including magnification of text on display, a color inversion feature that will change the background color to black and color correction that will tint the screen according to the desired color.
The user can also change themes including wallpaper and Screen Saver of their device easily by accessing the settings. Furthermore, the new Android update enables new shortcuts for various mobile applications for instance, by long pressing the Google icon, it will display the option of New Tab and New Incognito Tab.