Nokia 5 first impressions: A well-designed budget smartphone that doesn't offer a unique selling point

A quick hands on of the newly launched Nokia 5 smartphone.

HMD Global has finally got the trio of new Android based Nokia smartphones to India which includes the Nokia 3, 5 and 6. All three smartphones were announced at a special event in New Delhi and are targeted at the budget segment. The company has announced its plans to sell the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 via offline channels while the Nokia 6 as an exclusive Amazon India offering.

I've already given my opinions on the Nokia 6, here is what I think about the its younger brother, the Nokia 5.

Build and design

Like I said, the Nokia 5 is primarily a younger sibling to the Nokia 6, but there are visible design differences. You still get the premium 6000-series aluminum finish, but this one is a bit more compact and curvy. While the edges on the Nokia 6 are sharper, the Nokia 5 has curved edges. It feels just as tough and premium as its elder brother.

 Nokia 5 first impressions: A well-designed budget smartphone that doesnt offer a unique selling point

The handset also gets a similar 2.5D curved glass finish on the front however, the display is smaller measuring at 5.2-inches. This makes for a perfect fit in the hands. Rest of the design is mostly similar as the Nokia 6, so you get the antenna bands spread across the top and bottom edges, a fingerprint scanner on the home button and a vertical camera arrangement at the back.

In my first impressions of the Nokia 6, I had mentioned how being just another metal smartphone, Nokia has managed to pull off a nice design. Same is the case when it comes to the Nokia 5, in fact I somehow like it better than the 6 probably due to its curved profile and of course the smaller display.



The Nokia 5 features a 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1280×720 and a pixel density of 282 ppi. There is a 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass on top although the company hasn't confirmed which version is being used. The display looks good, and while some people might not be happy with a 720p resolution, I think it works perfectly well. Sharpness is decent and even colors look vivid.

Chipset, Storage and RAM

The handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC with an X6 LTE modem, an octa-core 1.4 GHz processor and Adreno 505 GPU. This is the same chipset which is being used on the Nokia 6. The smartphone does however come with lower 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. This storage can be further expanded using a microSD card of up to 128 GB. The hardware package is not very impressive and for a little more money you can get more RAM and storage if you opt for the Nokia 6.


OS and software

You get the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat update on the Nokia 5. It is the same clean stock version like the Nokia 6. There isn't any bloatware on board and you get all the basic Google apps. As for the usage, the OS is smooth and everything from scrolling to opening apps is quick and snappy, but with that low internal storage and RAM, I have my doubts if the experience would remain the same after installing a bunch of apps. Hopefully, it is properly optimized.

HMD Global has also promised that it will roll out future updates on time which could attract customers. It has also confirmed that the smartphone will get the upcoming Android O update once they get the official source code from Google.


The primary camera is a step down from the Nokia 6, so you get a 13 MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture, phase detection auto-focus and a dual-LED flash. As for the front camera, you get the same 8 MP camera with an f/2.0 aperture lens. The camera is a bit underwhelming like I saw on the Nokia 6. Overall quality is average and most of the pictures are a bit flat. It does capture decent details, but I wish the colors were a bit more punchy.

I am not fully impressed with the initial testing, maybe a proper testing will reveal more. Stay tuned for the full review to get more on the camera performance.

Battery and connectivity

All of the connectivity features as well as the battery are the same as what you get on the Nokia 6.  There is a 3,000 mAh battery although I am not sure if this one gets fast charge support. Considering the smaller 5.2-inch display with a lower 720p resolution, the combination should be good. Of course, it all depends how much optimization has been done on the software front.

Connectivity options offered on the Nokia 5 include 4G LTE with VoLTE support, dual-SIM card support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM Radio, GPS/A-GPS, a 3.5 mm audio jack and microUSB 2.0 with OTG support.


Verdict and price

The Nokia 5 sits awkwardly between the Nokia 6 and the cheapest of the lot, the Nokia 3. I think If you want a slightly better specced handset, then it is worth shelling out a few more bucks and getting the Nokia 6. Having said that, I liked the smaller size and rounded edges of the Nokia 5 more than its elder brother.

The Nokia 5 will be an offline exclusive handset priced at Rs 12,890. The smartphone doesn't seem to have a very strong selling point and like I mentioned, the Nokia 6 is still a better option, even though I think both are overpriced.

Banking on the brand name and providing a solid software support might not be enough to sell this handset. Under the sub-Rs 13,000 price range one can go for much better handsets like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (32GB variant) or the Redmi 4.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.