Nokia 5 Smartphone Full Review : Acceptable performance

PROS:

  • Excellent finishes.
  • Fingerprint reader.
  • MicroSD port.
  • Screen readable in full sun.
  • Autonomy correct.

CONS:

  • Low contrast and unreliable screen.
  • Low screen occupancy on the front panel.
  • Photo quality.

BOTTOM LINE :

The Nokia 5 is not dazzling in its performance, but it surely remains one of the most aesthetically pleasing in this price range. It will suit without problem to someone looking for a device for basic uses and that is not too looking at the quality of the photos.


The Nokia 5 is the second terminal of the Finnish brand to be released under the HMD era. It comes to occupy a niche very disputed: that of smartphones around the 200$. The Nokia hopes to bring a little elegance, while betting on its illustrious logo.

The technical data of the Nokia 5 is no surprise, but remains interesting. The device has a 5.2-inch IPS HD screen (1280 x 720 px). Its core features a SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, 2 GB RAM and an Adreno 505 iGPU. The Nokia 5 has 16 GB of internal memory – expandable by microSD – and a 3,000 mAh battery. For the photo, there are two sensors of 13 and 8 Mpx which operate, respectively on the back and front. On the latter, there is also a fingerprint reader. Connectivity is provided by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and 4G LTE.

ERGONOMICS AND DESIGN

One thing is certain, Nokia has taken the trouble to work on the design of its new smartphones. The Nokia 5 sports a very good metallic shell. Its slight curves make it very pleasant in hand and participate in the aesthetic of the product. The Nokia 5 gives the feeling of belonging to a superior range. A good point when many competing smartphones go to the economy with regard to manufacturing quality.

Everything is not perfect and we would have liked that a greater care is taken to optimize the front face of the smartphone. The screen of the Nokia 5 occupies in fact only 69%, which remains very little for an optimal use of a single hand. However, the 5 runs a portion of the space lost with the navigation keys and the fingerprint reader. The latter is quite efficient and suffers from few failures. The unlocking through it still remains a little less dazzling than on other terminals.

In the register of regrets, we can add the presence of a micro-USB port and not USB-C, as well as volume keys located a little too high on the right edge to be easily reached with the thumb.

SCREEN

After the 200$, it becomes common to enjoy a Full HD screen now. Finding this Nokia 5 only in HD is therefore a small disappointment. The 283 dpi resolution is a bit light to offer a perfectly fine display. A problem especially visible for the reading of texts on the web in particular. The choice of an IPS panel is less astonishing, but this one is not excellent. We measured a contrast ratio of 1,040: 1, rather disappointing, even for this type of slab. The maximum brightness is very high, at 607 cd / m², allowing the Nokia 5 to remain perfectly readable in full sun, especially since the reflection rate is only 12%.

The colorimetry of the screen of the Nokia is overall average. We measured a delta E at 4.4 and recorded a temperature of 7,980 K. Too bad that the 5 does not propose adjustment for this second value, the screen will invariably remain cold. On reactivity, the Nokia 5 does a little better than its little brother, but remains in the low middle. We measured a tactile delay at 99 ms, above the mean (87 ms), and a remanence at 16 ms.

PERFORMANCE

Overall, the performance of the Snapdragon 430 and the 2 GB of RAM that accompanies it is satisfactory. Apart from a few slow downs to the launch of large applications, the fluidity is well present to the use. Switching from one application to another is done in a timely manner.

For the video game, the graphics chip Adreno 505 is in the same vein. It shows itself capable of launching the majority of the games of the Play Store, but demands some concessions for the most greedy titles, when it is possible. The demanding games that do not allow to modify the level of the graphics will be chopped by lags.

When pressed heavily, the Nokia 5 remains at acceptable temperatures. Long sessions of photos and videos will raise the thermometer a little higher, but always in proportions acceptable for the grip.

AUDIO

The headphone output of the Nokia 5 is not perfect. We found an insufficient level of output to enjoy a greedy headphones. The distortion remains rather discreet, the dynamic is below the average of our comparison and the reproduction of the stereo image is correct, for a smartphone.

For its part, the loudspeaker placed on the bottom edge is not catastrophic. It is relatively powerful and the distortion is not heard too much, even at full volume. However, it will be necessary to settle for a limited range of frequencies.

PHOTO 

The Nokia 5 has a 13-megapixel rear-view camera with a f / 2-opening optics and phase-focusing. It produces alas very disappointing pictures, especially because of its optics that lose an enormous amount of details in the corners. The image processing is anyway very aggressive and smooths the photos a lot. The Nokia 5 is fast to focus in daylight, but the trigger speed is often the opposite. One can also raise the unfortunate tendency that the Nokia 5 to propose colors too saturated.

In low light, the behavior of the Nokia 5 is quite strange. In addition to a very clear difficulty in capturing light, the colors rise one notch in saturation.

The recording of videos can reach a Full HD definition. Focus tracking is often a lag, as is exposure measurement. For a perfectly smooth rendering, it is even necessary to pass in 720p.

Despite its 8 Mpx, the frontal sensor also missed the check mark. The smoothing of the images is very pronounced and loses a lot of details. One has almost a feeling of blurring – not very artistic.

AUTONOMY

With a battery of 3,000 mAh, we had great hopes about the endurance of the Nokia 5. They were quickly showered. On our SmartViser test protocol, the smartphone runs for 12h, that is 2h15 less than a Motorola Moto E4 and 3h less than a Honor 6A. This is still correct, since in practice the Nokia 5 will hold a full day, even with a little sustained use. However, it would have been a great opportunity to propose a monster of autonomy.

For a full recharge of the Nokia 5, it takes almost 2h45. A particularly long time that is to put to the debit of the last 4 or 5 per cent which require on average 20 to 25 minutes.

Interface & OS

The Nokia 5 starts its life on Android 7.1.1 in its purest version. The interface is thus blank of any unwanted application and navigation is such as wanted by Google. By default, it is only the applications of the American giant that are present (Gmail, Maps, YouTube …). However, the system occupies 7.22 GB of the 16 internal memory.

There are quite few gestures or shortcuts of navigation on the Nokia 5. Only a launching of the camera by pressing twice the lock button is available, in addition to the cut of the ring by turning the smartphone.

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