Nokia 5 hands-on: A new Moto G rival?

Nokia 5 release date: Q2/2017

Nokia 5 price: €189

There’s a retro feel to MWC 2017, with both BlackBerry and Nokia plotting their comebacks. Just like BlackBerry, the Nokia name is now owned by a third party that's hoping to make it big again.

The Nokia 5 sits marginally below the Nokia 6 and above the cheaper Nokia 3; it’s the mid-range product in Nokia’s lineup and it has the potential to be the best.

Watch: Nokia 5 & Nokia 6 hands-on

The design is similar to that of the Nokia 6, and feels as if it punches well above its price tag. It’s constructed from 6000-series aluminium, anodised with magnesium and alloy – and Nokia has been keen to talk up just how rugged and durable it should be.

Related: Best Budget Phones

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The rear of the device has a slight curve, as does the front, and they combine to make it a perfect fit in the hand. Thanks to the smaller 5.2-inch display – rather than the 5.5-inch panel on the Nokia 6 – it’s also far more manageable in one hand.

A 1080p display, rather than 720p, would have been preferable, and I believe that had that pushed up the price slightly then many would be willing to take the hit. Both Moto and Honor have similarly priced phones with a FHD panel – and, unfortunately, it’s the one feature that I see might hold back the Nokia 5.

The panel itself is okay: it's colourful and bright, but it lacks detail – and that becomes more obvious the closer you get. Still, there’s only so much you can expect from a _phone_ costing less than £200.

Sitting under the metal rear of the device is a Snapdragon 430 CPU, and it’s a competent mid-range processor. It isn't quite up to the Snapdragon 6-series used in the Moto G, but it should handle browsing and light gaming with ease.

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It's accompanied by 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage that can be expanded via the microSD card slot. The 3,000mAh battery should easily give you a day of use, especially when you take into account the lower-res display. The handset is charged via micro-USB, rather than the more forward-thinking USB Type-C.

I feel slightly more positive about the processor because of the software included here. There’s no heavy skin here, just a clean version of Android 7.1.1. It even ships with the Pixel Launcher and the Google Assistant – two features that are unlikely to be seen on any handset other than one direct from Google.

Nokia is promising swift software updates along with monthly security patches, something that will definitely set it apart from the crowd.

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The one extra app Nokia has added is for its camera, which is a 13-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture lens, 1.12um pixels and phase-detection autofocus.

It’s a stellar sounding setup, but I had very little time to test it during my time with the phone. The app did look slick and focusing seemed fast, so things are looking good. There’s an 8-megapixel sensor on the front, with the same f/2.0 lens and autofocus.

First Impressions

The cheap and cheerful Nokia 5 doesn’t impress in every area, but it’s a good-looking device with clean software and an impressive design.