Hands-on with the Nokia 5: a budget smartphone with high-end look

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Hands-on with the Nokia 5: a budget smartphone with high-end look

Nokia’s new budget handset offers a stylish, full-metal body and some surprising features for the price.

HMD Global, the Finnish company that now owns Nokia, was busy at this year’s Mobile World Congress, announcing new Nokia 3, 5 and 6 smartphones, and a revamp of the age-old classic the Nokia 3310.

The Nokia 5 was one of the more interesting releases, offering a stylish, full-metal body and features such as fingerprint sensor and NFC at what promises to be a very reasonable price.

Australian availability and pricing weren’t announced at MWC, but Nokia said the 5 would be launched in the second quarter of 2017 in the Asia Pacific and elsewhere at an “average global retail price” of €189 (around A$261).

We got to try out the Nokia 5 at MWC and, overall, we were impressed.

Specifications and features

The Nokia 5’s specifications aren’t earth-shattering but they’re quite reasonable for the price: a 5.2in, 720 x 1,280-pixel, IPS display; Android 7.1.1 Nougat; 16GB internal storage; microSD card slot; 4G and Bluetooth 4.1 support; 2GB of RAM; and a 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 processor that runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset.

It offers some surprising features for the price, however, including a decent 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8MP front camera, along with a micro-USB charging port and 3.5mm headphone jack (a feature that can no longer be taken granted).

Handily, it will be available to buy as a single- or dual-SIM phone. But most impressive for the price is the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor – an important security addition because the Nokia 5 also offers near-field communication (NFC) for making Android Pay purchases.

First impressions

Given its price, the Nokia 5 is not designed for heavy multitaskers or gamers. With only 2GB of RAM onboard, running apps simultaneously will likely slow down your phone somewhat. That said, the octa-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 and Snapdragon 430 should be fine for most apps and simple, 2D games.

The Nokia 5’s 16GB storage is par for course for a budget smartphone, but thankfully it also supports 128GB expandable storage via microSD card.

The main qualm we have is with the Nokia 5’s 1,280 x 720-pixel display, which means you can’t watch 1080p YouTube videos in all their glory. It also means that although you can record videos at 1080p, you’ll need to view them elsewhere to see them at full resolution. Those who want a Full HD screen will have to fork out extra for the 5.5in Nokia 6, which is priced at €229 (around A$316).

That’s not to say the Nokia 5’s camera won’t suffice for everyday photography – it’s perfectly fine for that purpose with its 13MP rear camera and an 8MP selfie camera.

Also impressive are features such as the fingerprint reader and NFC – but chances it’ll be the price and sleek, full-metal-bodied design that will win you over.

Its rounded edges and metallic design make the handset look far more expensive than it actually is, and it will be available in four different colours: silver, copper, matte black and, in a stylish addition, tempered blue.

Nokia 5 specs at a glance

  • 5.2in, 720 x 1,280 IPS display
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB storage
  • 13MP back and 8MP front cameras
  • Octa-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 processor on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430.

This review originally appeared at alphr.com.

Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing
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