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Nokia 5 hands-on preview: bouncing back on stock Android

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HMD Global, the company that now owns the Nokia brand in regards to phone-building, got on the stage at the MWC expo, and announced two new Android handsets - Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 - during a trendy 360 video stream, as well as the global availability of the already-unveiled Nokia 6, not to mention the return of the iconic 3310. We got a brief hands-on time with the Nokia 5 at the show floor, and these are our first impressions.

Design and display


The Nokia 5 is crafted out of a single sheet of anodized aluminum that can be painted in Silver White, Matte Black, Tempered Blue and Copper White colors, so it joins the ranks of premium chassis phones in its class like the Moto G5 Plus or most every Xiaomi handset. The smooth metal body is a looker, especially in the blue or red hues, and I wouldn't call it slippery in the hand. In addition to that, the phone is well-made, with no gaps or creaks all around, and with solid, easy to press buttons that give good tactile feedback. The phone carries a 5.2-inch HD display, which is nothing to write home about in terms of resolution, but has good viewing angles, and no visible slant to the overly cold or warm side of the color spectrum. The Nokia 5 also comes with the ubiquitous Micro USB port at the bottom, and a fingerprint scanner doubles as a home button.

Processor and memory


Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset, the Nokia 5 also has 2 GB of RAM, which seems to be the bare minimum these days. The handset sports 16 GB of internal memory, but does offer a microSD slot for storage expansions, too. A hearty 3000 mAh battery keeps the lights on, which, given the specs and display resolution, should keep you going for a while.


Software


Not to be outdone by the Pixel phones, Nokia cooperated with Google on a stock Nougat interface that the crew from Mountain View itself tipped will be receiving the latest Android updates shortly after they roll for its own phones, and security updates immediately after they are pushed out. That's very nice to know, though if you are accustomed to more feature-rich interfaces, stock Nougat will look and feel a bit flat in comparison.

Camera 


The Nokia 5 will land with a 13 MP camera with bog down average specs like a 1.1 micron pixel size or an f/2.0 aperture. We don't expect wonders from this one, though it does sport fast phase detection autofocus, HDR mode, and dual LED flash next to the lens. The frontal camera comes with 8 MP sensor, which should be enough for any selfie enthusiast, too.


Expectations


The new Nokia 5 will launch some time in Q2 of 2017, and will sport a pretty decent 189 Euros tag. This, however, puts it in direct competition not only with the myriad of Chinese phones that can be had for a similar price with a tad better specs, but also against the excellent Moto G5 Plus that also made a cameo at the MWC. Lenovo's Moto G5 Plus also has a 5.2" display, but with 1080p resolution, and has a 12 MP camera that flaunts the same specs as the one on the S7, down to the Dual Pixel focusing tech. Still, what the 5 has going for it is the Nokia-specific brand of nostalgia in people, so we have to pit it against all its direct competitors before we pass judgment when we get a review unit.


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Story timeline

This story is part of:

Nokia at MWC 2017 (11 updates)
  • New Nokia 3310 camera turns out better than Galaxy S7 camera: an unbiased comparison
    28 February New Nokia 3310 camera turns out better than Galaxy S7 camera: an unbiased comparison The original Nokia 3310 from 2000 didn't have a camera, but if it did, we're sure it'd have been rad. Fast-forward to 2017, though, and there's hardly a phone out there tha doesn't come with some sort of a snapper built into it. Good thing, then, that the brand spanking new 3310 from 2017 has one, and of the fancy-schmancy 2 megapixels at that! So we thought... maybe you guys would be interested in feasting your eyes on some real-life camera samples straight from this glorious shooter? You got it!
  • Moto G5 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Nokia 6: specs comparison
    28 February Moto G5 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Nokia 6: specs comparison The Moto G5 Plus, Samsung Galaxy A5 and Nokia 6 offer relatively similar specs, and yet they're very different devices...
  • Nokia 3310 (2017) hands-on preview: Is it worthy of the legendary name?
    27 February Nokia 3310 (2017) hands-on preview: Is it worthy of the legendary name? HMD Global has brought the Nokia 3310 back from the dead. The new 3310 shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor, but it's coming out 17 years later. What is it and who is it for? Check out our hands-on preview of the new Nokia 3310 (2017)...
  • Nokia 3 hands-on first look: can it compete with Moto G and Xiaomi?
    27 February Nokia 3 hands-on first look: can it compete with Moto G and Xiaomi? The Nokia 3 is a dirt cheap 5-inch Android phone with clean software and the added spice of a sturdy build quality...
  • Nokia 5 hands-on preview: bouncing back on stock Android
    Now reading
    27 February Nokia 5 hands-on preview: bouncing back on stock Android The Nokia 5 is crafted out of a single sheet of anodized aluminum that can be painted in Silver White, Matte Black, Tempered Blue and Copper White colors, so it joins the ranks of premium chassis phones in its class like the Moto G5 Plus or most every Xiaomi handset. The smooth metal body is a looker, especially in the blue or red hues, but it feels a bit slippery in the hand, so we'd advise a case on that puppy. Other than that, the phone is well-made, with no gaps or creaks all around, and with solid, easy to press buttons that give good tactile feedback. The phone carries a 5.2-inch HD display, which is nothing to write home about in terms of resolution, but has good viewing angles, and no visible slant to the overly cold or warm side of the color spectrum. The Nokia 5 also comes with the contemporary USB-C port at the bottom, and a physical home button (no finger scanner, though), making it a nice mix of the modern and the nostalgic trends...

Related phones

Nokia 5 specs
Review
  • Display 5.2 inches 1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 2GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie

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