Nokia 5 is the a budget Android smartphone from HMD Group that is targeted at people looking for a affordable smartphone with nice overall performance.

We were trying our hands-on Nokia 5 for awhile and in this article we are going to share a detailed hands-on review of Nokia 5 with all readers of Geeky Stuffs.

This review is divided in various section to cover each aspect of the device separately and talk about the pros and cons of each part for better understanding.

Nokia 5 : Detailed Hands-on Review, Features and Specs

Retail Box and Unboxing

Nokia 5 comes in a nice retail box very much similar to the previously launched Lumia smartphones in terms of design and feel. Inside the retail box you will find the device, USB cable, charger, in-ear earphones, some booklets and user manual.

You can watch our Nokia 5 unboxing video below.


Considering the price range, Nokia 5 comes with the best build quality in its segment. It sports a premium looking aluminum unibody design and comes with the very much similar design to other recently launched Nokia Android smartphones. The very first thing that you will notice in the design of Nokia 5 is how smooth the body feels in hand and the beautiful curved edges.

On the front side, there is a 5.2-inch screen with 68.7% screen-to-body ratio that is pretty low compared to the average one. But the front fingerprint sensor compensate it a bit for sure. There is a 13MP front camera, fingerprint sensor, Nokia branding, off-screen navigation keys and a set of sensors provided on the front side of Nokia 5.

At the bottom, there is the microUSB 2.0 port and speaker grill along with the microphone and 3.5mm audio port is provided on the top of the device. The SIM card slot and the dedicated microSD card slots are provided on the left. On the right, there are volume rockers and power keys. Both are very well placed and easily accessible.

Nokia 5 : Detailed Hands-on Review and Features

On the back, there is a microphone on the top and camera module just below along with the LED flash. The camera module is also very much similar to other Nokia Android smartphones and looks like an arrangement for the dual-camera setup missing the second lens. there is a minor bump on the back of the device due to the metal case of camera module. The Nokia branding is in the center of the back.

Even though it looks similar to other Nokia Android smartphone, the build quality of the Nokia 5 is really solid. The front of the device is regular and comes with poor screen-to-body ratio but the back of the device looks premium from every angle. The bezel on the sides are thin. Overall the design of Nokia 5 is good and the best built quality in its price range.

Hardware Specs

Nokia 5 is powered by the Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 processor. The GPU used in Nokia 8 is the Adreno 505. So in its price range, Nokia 5 features a good combination of SoC and GPU currently available in its segment.

We tried the 2GB RAM variant of Nokia 5 that comes with 16 GB internal storage. There is dedicated memory card slot provided that supports up to 256 GB memory card. The processor and GPU combination of Nokia 5 is pretty good when it comes to performance in its price segment. We performed various benchmarking tests on our Nokia 5 and the performance of the device was satisfactory for its hardware and price tag. You can watch our Nokia 5 benchmarking and various speed tests videos below.

The fingerprint sensor can be used only as Home button and unlocking the device. It is fast and accurate. The placement of the fingerprint sensor is right below the screen along with the off-screen navigation keys. Performance of all other sensors are really good.

The hardware used in Nokia 5 is good and performs nicely in everything. Specially considering the price of Nokia 5, the hardware is better than the competition.

Software and OS

Nokia 5 runs on the Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS and comes with nearly stock Android and very lightweight skin. There are no bloatware and no Nokia branded apps. For nearly every task, you will have to use the provided Google apps or download third-party apps from Play Store. The downside is that it lacks even basic apps like file manager and voice recorder.

The speed of Nokia 5 UI is impressive and you will rarely feel any lag on it even though it comes with just 2GB RAM. The settings of Nokia 5 is also very lightweight and the Gesture options are very basic. There are no additional settings and features provided like some other brand’s skin and ROM like MIUI, EMUI. So, you will have to install third-party apps for them.

There is an upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo planned for Nokia 5 and hopefully it will bring some nice, new features to the device.

The quick toggle screen comes is the standard Android Nougat one and all of its features are supported. Some basic customization options for Home screen provided. Nokia 5 supports the Split Screen feature and works perfectly.
Since the Nokia 5 is very lightweight and lack additional features, it is very fast and you will never face any bugs on it. But power users will have to download lots of third-party apps for sure.

Screen and Display

Nokia 5 comes with a 5.2-inch IPS LCD screen. As mentioned above, the screen-to-body ratio is a bit low with just 68.7%% and could be a bit better for sure. It sports a HD IPS LCD screen with 2.5D curved glass, 16M colors reproduction.

With 720 x 1280 pixels resolution, you will get 282 PPI. But even though the PPI is low, Nokia 5 got a sharp and crisp display. It comes with Corning Gorilla Glass protection and will protect the screen from minor impacts and damage. Screen brightness is really nice and good enough to use the device outdoors in bright sunlight without any issue. The viewing angles are great as well. Response to touches are quick and accurate all the time.

There is Night Light mode provided that let user reduce the blue light being emitted from the screen and so provide an easy viewing experience in low light condition. User is also having the option to customize the intensity of blue light while using the Night Light mode but there is no option provided to customize the color pattern in general for regular display.

There is slight blue tint on the screen that is visible on white background screen, specially on low angles. Due to this colors are cold on Nokia 5 but still look great. Also, you can change the color pattern and warmth to fix this issue a bit.

Camera and Imaging

Nokia 5 comes with a 13 MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, dual tone dual-LED flash, phase detection autofocus and 1/3" sensor. The UI is easy to use and pretty basic. Most of the options are hidden in the settings. On the viewfinder, user can switch between rear and front camera.

At the top, there are options provided to turn on/off flash, HDR and timer. Tapping on the camera or video recorder button shows more options available for each mode. Beautify, as the name suggests, improves the beauty features of the subject.

Panorama mode works horizontally and vertically both and performs nicely with lots of details and great quality stitching. Manual mode in Nokia 5 camera is very basic and the options are limited and pre-defined. So you will not get much out of it if you are used to of some better manual control on other smartphone cameras. HDR works okay and brings a bit greyish tint in the HDR output somehow.

You can watch our Nokia 5 video recording samples below.

The 8MP front camera of Nokia 5 comes with autofocus and provides nice quality seflies. There is the regular Beauty mode provided too that works pretty well. Nokia 5 records 1080p full HD videos in good quality with natural color saturation but lacks sharpness .

Overall camera performance of Nokia 5 is nice and the imaging quality is nice in its segment. Only drawback is that it lacks fancy features that you will find on other smartphone even in this price range.

Gaming and Entertainment

When it comes to gaming, Nokia 5 performs pretty good and the credit goes to the processor and the GPU. Even though they are not the flagship ones, they are the best in this price range and segment.

The 3D graphics rendering is smooth mostly and most of the 30fps games can be played easily without any lag or frame drops. But that will not be the case if you switch to high-end, heavy graphics games on it. The memory management works good and let you multitask playing casual games.

The metal back panel of Nokia 5 does not heat much after playing games for awhile. The audio coming out from speakers is loud, good in quality and let you enjoy the games, music and videos. There is no music app provided and you will have to use the default Play Music app to listen music. The sound quality from provided earphones is great and yeah, it comes with a 3.5mm audio jack too.


Nokia 5 comes with 3,000 mAh Li-Ion non-removable battery. The battery is not big enough but due to lower resolution, comparatively smaller screen and less resource-hungry processor but still battery of Nokia 5 performs very good. With moderate usage, battery survives more than one day easily and can be managed by tweaking the options to make it last longer as well.

There are few power saving modes provided as well that reduces the device performance and restricts hardware functionality to increase the battery life. There is no quick charge feature provided in Nokia 5 and battery charging speed is actually pretty slow and it takes nearly two hours to charge the battery fully. Overall battery life of Nokia 5 is nice and will serve the purpose for all kind of users.


Nokia 5 is one of the best smartphone currently available in its price segment. It comes with a nice “Nokia” design with great build quality, beautiful screen, good camera but lacks additional imaging features. The lightweight skinned stock Android performs great and the frequent software updates are really give a feel good factor. It comes with a good battery life even with a small capacity battery.

The screen-to-body ratio is a bit low, no quick charge feature and few people might not like the close to stock Android experience. But overall, Nokia 5 is a great phone and score brilliantly in nearly every aspect. If you are planning to buy a budget smartphone with great build quality, nice overall performance and stock Android, Nokia 5 is the one for you.