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Nokia 5 Review: Pure Android On Budget

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The Nokia 5 has been around our market for about 9 months now. But little did people know that Nokia phones even the entry level ones can be reliable for two years. Take for example the Nokia 5. Read on and know why.

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Nokia 5 specs

  • 1.4GHz Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor
  • Adreno 505 graphics
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory expandable via microSD up to 256GB
  • 5.2-inch HD IPS LCD display (1280 x 720 pixels)
  • 13 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and dual LED flash f/2.0 aperture
  • 8 megapixel front facing camera f/2.0 aperture
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • 3,000 mAh battery with QuickCharge 3.0
  • Android 8.1 Nougat

HARDWARE AND DESIGN

HMD Global, the company behind Nokia Mobile, made sure that the company’s badge of reliability and durability remains on their current line up. So holding the Nokia 5 feels like holding a truly modern phone but retaining a nostalgic feel of Nokia phones of old.

Ports and buttons:

  • Top – audio jack
  • Bottom – microphone, USB port, speaker
  • Left – SIM/microSD card tray
  • Right – volume rocker and power button
  • Back – noise cancelling microphone, camera with flash
  • Front – fingerprint scanner, two capacitive buttons, 5.2-inch display, sensors and  front camera

The Nokia 5 is encased in a metal unibody design. No notch, no full view display. You will get a simple and straightforward design. Since it is a metal phone, it is quite hefty. For, us the weight is just fine.

DISPLAY

Under direct sunlight or outdoors, the Nokia 5’s 5.2-inch display is a bit of a struggle but viewable. It is more viewable away from the sun. Overall, the display is just fine.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

Having a stock vanilla Android 8.1 Oreo is one of the phone’s best feature. Nokia does not have any custom UI on top of Android. This means monthly security updates and patches will be timely and will be first to get the latest Android version. When we the phone first arrived to our doorstep, the phone runs Android 7.1 Nougat but once we connect it to WiFi, we automatically got the updates to the next Android version.

Daily grind is so smooth, multi tasking and light gaming is a breeze. We never encountered any hiccups and slow downs. That’s indeed the beauty of stock Android. All Nokia phones are guaranteed with Android updates for two years so rest assured the Nokia 5 will get Android P as wel

CAMERA

The 13  megapixel rear camera and 8 megapixel front camera are decent shooters. Both camera struggled a bit in low light but overall photos appeared to be in good quality. The camera UI is also simple and straightforward. No manual mode here and autofocus take a bit of time to finish especially in low light.

CONNECTIVITY

4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth comes standard. Signal reception is quite stable and internet speeds is pretty stable using our Globe SIM. Calls are clear with no issues as well. Fingerprint scanner works well though we find it a bit slow than other phones we tested.

BATTERY

We believe the 3,000 mAh battery is just the right size for the Nokia 5. Based on our battery drain tests, we managed to get a full day of moderate use. On the days there is a big demand of use, we manage to get around 9 hours of battery life with more than 20% left in the tank. Our activities include hours of Netflix, You Tube and I Want TV, light gaming like Plants vs Zombies and casual use such as calls, Waze, social media and many more.

VERDICT

The Nokia 5 is budget Android purist’s dream phone. It only costs P8,990 and it gets guaranteed updates and security patches. Cameras are very decent, excellent build quality and a favorable display. The Nokia 5 should be on your list when shopping for a new budget phone.

If pure Android is not your thing, you can take a look at Infinix Hot S3, Nubia M2 Lite, OPPO A83, Huawei Y6 2018, Huawei Nova 2 Lite, and ASUS Zenfone 4 Max Lite. These phones have custom skin on top and price is just close to 10k and below.

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