Nokia 5 — Nostalgia Meets 2017

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This post is not sponsored by Nokia/HMD. Views and opinions shared here are totally mine and not influenced or altered by Nokia/HMD.

Nokia.

The word itself is enough to take you down the memory lane and surround you with nostalgia.

There was once a time when Nokia ruled during the Symbian era. Then Microsoft happened and now, it’s time for Nokia x HMD to bring Nokia into the Android Era.

Design

On the front, Nokia 5 has a 5.2" HD (720p) display, 8MP selfie camera, earpiece, and a fingerprint sensor flanked by Back and Overview buttons on either side (Thankfully, they’re backlit).

In the realm of smartphones equipped with 1080p displays as a standard with flagships leading the pack with 2K displays, Nokia 5’s 720p display in 2017 is a joke. It’s not potato-esque, but not the best either.

On the back, it has a 13MP camera coupled with flash. The camera contraption on the back is very reminiscent of Nokia 8.

More so, the whole unibody carved out of single block of aluminium (6000 series) literally makes it the smaller brother of Nokia 8.

Unlike Nokia 6, which has a sharp aluminium unibody, Nokia 5’s curvy body has tremendous in-hand feel which truly feels premium.

On the top right corner, you’ll find the good old trusty 3.5mm audio jack. Isn’t that a relief for those living the Dongle Life? It sounds good but don’t expect Hi-Fi DAC level of audio fidelity.

At the bottom right corner, you’ll be greeted by a single downwards firing speaker which sounds tinny at best. It’d have been much appreciated if the dual speaker setup (with earpiece acting as the secondary speaker) from Nokia 6 was carried over here.

Software

I was bummed when Nokia showcased a skinned version of Android running on Chinese Nokia 6, but they won me over when it was announced they’ll be going for Stock Android on Nokia 3, 5, 6 and 8.

Did I mention that Nokia 5 comes with no bloatware at all?
Like: None. Zilch. Zero. Nada.

Trust me, having no bloatware is such a bliss! Also, since it is Stock Android, it is running the latest and greatest (after Pixel, of course) Android Nougat 7.1.1 with latest security updates and patches.

At the time of publishing this post, Nokia 5 had the September security patch.

What about Android Oreo? Yes, it’ll be coming to all Nokia devices when the time is right.

Battery

While it lasts a day with my heavy usage pattern, a bigger battery than “mere” 3000mAh would’ve been much appreciated as compared to the competition in the same price segment.

Coupled with Snapdragon 430 and a 720p display, it’s no surprise how it manages to last so long.

Performance

Considering its modest specs; Snapdragon 430, 2GB RAM & Adreno 505, don’t expect Nokia 5 to win any awards.

Day to day usage will be fine and you’ll be able to play light games. Throw something heavy and you can kiss those sweet framerates goodbye.

Talking about which, sometimes you’ll encounter “micro-lags” of sorts when operating the device. It’s kind of a temporary hiccup where Nokia 5 struggles to hit 60fps target (Remember Project Butter?). Not a huge deal breaker, but when it occurs, it surely pulls you away from the experience.

Camera

The 13MP rear shooter sounds great on paper but it’s okay at best. The images turn out to be pretty dull and lack clarity. Image Editing Tools are your saviour.

Meanwhile, the 8MP front facing camera is pretty good. Your Snapchat friends won’t be disappointed.

Did I mention how bad is the stock camera app?

Seriously, Nokia/HMD really needs to work on their UI/UX of their camera app. It’s confusing and slooooooow. Nokia 5 takes its sweet time to click photos. It’s frustrating.

Do yourself a favour and sideload the Google Camera app. It’s faster, more convenient and delivers better pictures. You’re welcome!

Should you buy it?

Sure, why not? It’s a very nicely built smartphone equipped with the best of Google. Some quirks aside, it’s has hit the nostalgia notes in the heart of long time Nokia fans.

If you ever had the fantasy of owning a fancy looking Nokia device running on Android (let’s forget Nokia X ever existed, ok?), it’s your lucky day!

Originally priced at Rs. 14,999, at the time of publishing this post, Nokia 5 was priced b/w Rs. 12,550–13,200.

TL;DR — If looks, software & nostalgia matter more to you than specs, Nokia 5 has got you covered.

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Content Creator | Tech Enthusiast | Gamer | Foodie | 🎙: Yet Another Tech Podcast #YATP 📩: hey@shimondas.com

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