Home Editor's Picks Nokia 5 Review (Daily Driver For 40 Days): The Elegant Mid-ranger

Nokia 5 Review (Daily Driver For 40 Days): The Elegant Mid-ranger


Nokia 5 is another mid-range smartphone from HMD global targeted at those who need good performance with no compromise on design at affordable price. It is powered by the same Snapdragon 430 processor that does its work appreciably on Nokia 6. It comes with Aluminium unibody design which is refreshingly different from Nokia 6’s design.

Nokia 5 packs 2GB RAM and comes with a 13MP rear camera. It also packs 8MP front camera which is the same unit that does its work on Nokia 6. It also packs a Fingerprint sensor and has dust and splash protection in terms of high-end features.

We have used Nokia 5 Indian variant as our daily driver for around 40 days as per NPU’s tradition. So, it may help you in deciding whether you should really go for Nokia 5 as your next if you really wanted to own one and are still undecided.

Nokia 5 Design:

Nokia 5 looks every bit like a premium Flagship smartphone design wise. The Aluminum unibody design with excellent build-quality makes a lasting impression. Comparing it to Nokia 6 that also boasts of a premium flagship design one can notice that while Nokia 6 really feels more robust in hand, Nokia 5 has a thinner design that can be said to be “Elegant”.

It is a beautiful phone that feels even better than Nokia 6 in terms of one-hand use because of its back design and slimmer profile. That said many may still like Nokia 6 design over it because Nokia 6 is built like a tank.

The only grudge is that battery is non-removable and inserting SIM and SD cards may need you to focus a bit.

Nokia 5 Display (Colors, Outdoors & viewing angles):

We know how good the displays used to be even on Lumia mid-rangers with Nokia display technologies. So, for testing this display we benchmarked it against Nexus 5X, an older flagship and Lumia 640 XL, an older mid-ranger. You can watch the video for more but here are our observations.

  • Nokia 5 display is very bright just like we have seen on Nokia 3 and Nokia 5. It beats both Nexus 5X and Lumia 640 XL displays in brightness
  • It has very good color interpretation and contrast. Colors come out vibrant and blacks look deep even though it is an LCD display. If you decrease the brightness a bit the display looks comparable to Lumia 640 XL display in terms of underlying display technology.
  • Fingerprint resistance is a very nice feature of Nokia 5 display and you don’t need to wipe it time and again
  • Viewing angles are quite good and outdoor readability is very impressive.
  • Video streaming and gaming looks great on Nokia 5 display

Nokia 5 Audio Quality:

Nokia 5 comes with Smart amplifier (TFA9891) and the audio output is really loud. We tested the audio output while streaming videos and also while playing games. It comes out as impressively loud. Check the video for the hands-on audio test.

Nokia 5 is really a capable smartphone that is fun to use for listening to music, streaming videos and playing games due to its audio output and display quality.

Nokia 5 Fingerprint Sensor, native launcher:

Nokia 5 comes with a Fingerprint scanner that can be used to unlock it using your Thumb or any other finger. In fact, you can use more than one Thumb or finger to unlock it. For this, you need to create Fingerprint profiles of more than one finger in Nokia 5. In this hands-on video, we did a Fingerprint speed test and found it to be quick enough to use as the default for unlocking the phone.

Nokia 5 comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box and runs pure unadulterated Android. Though HMD has a native launcher for Nokia 5 that makes few navigation options like going to all apps easier by just swiping up and down from the bottom.

The UI otherwise is typical Nougat UI and Google Assistant can be enabled just by going to settings. HMD has added two motion gestures to Nokia 5. These gestures allow one to silence the ringing phone by flipping it and mute it by picking.

Nokia Support app comes pre-installed on Nokia 6 and all you need to do is to open it and you will be prompted to install the updated version from Play Store. Check it all in the hands-on video below in detail.

Nokia 5 Camera review:


Nokia 5 comes with capable rear and front cameras for the smartphone range it belongs to. Rear camera captures natural colors with good details and without much artificial sharpening. HDR helps in situations when you have a need for high dynamic range. It surprisingly captures great looking “Bokeh” and “Panorama” images just like its elder sibling Nokia 6. The Dual-Tone flash is impressive with its ability to provide adequate illuminance and keeping image natural.

Video capture is equally impressive keeping again that natural feel intact with good details. Even without OIS videos come out relatively stable.

Front camera impresses with good-looking wide-angled selfies that you will love to flaunt. The 8MP shooter looks to be the same unit that does its work on Nokia 6 too.

Check our detailed Nokia 5 camera(s) review with Full-size images and video samples by clicking here.

Nokia 5 Performance testing (Gaming, Multitasking & Browsing):

Nokia 5 comes running Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box. It is powered by Snapdragon 430 the same processor that powers Nokia 6 too. The only difference is with 2GB RAM vs 3GB RAM on Nokia 6. So, how does Nokia 5 actually perform?

With 2 games (Sniper 3D, Asphalt 8 Airborne), 20 browser tabs, Camera, and 3-4 other apps open in the background Nokia 5 handles all well. As you will notice in the video below; apps/games resume fast from background during multitasking and there are no crashes/lags/freezes even with so much load.

Nokia 5 Battery Life & Call quality:

Nokia 5 has excellent battery life and I have been getting around 32-38 hrs of battery life with heavy “blogger” usage of the device, which involves lots of browsing, apps testing and daily chores. It may be around 40-44 hrs for a moderate to heavy use and that is really very impressive considering it is a mid-range Android smartphone. In fact, it is as good as Nokia 3 in terms of Battery life and better than Nokia 6.

Nokia 5 comes with an Aluminum unibody design but still offers stellar call quality because of its innovative Antenna design. Call reception is usually very good. I didn’t face any issue like call drops etc and it holds well even during long conversations.

Nokia 5 Positives & Negatives:


  • Non-removable battery and inserting SIM and SD cards can be bit tedious
  • Camera could have been stellar with OIS support
  • Snapdragon 430 processor though works absolutely fine may be a misfit for mid-range nowadays
  • That 2GB RAM is really not suitable for a mid-ranger


  • Flagship like elegant design and premium build quality
  • Handles normal to heavy usage scenarios without breaking a sweat
  • Imaging quality really good for a low to mid-range smartphone
  • Fingerprint Sensor is really fast and suitable for use as default unlocking method
  • Awesome display in its price range with best-in-class color interpretation, high brightness, and outdoor readability

Final words:

Nokia 5 offers you the feel of an elegantly built smartphone. Flagship like design, awesome build quality, vibrant display with excellent outdoor readability, good imaging quality in its price range combined with the Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS defines Nokia 5.

Comparison to Nokia 6 is given since both belong to mid-range and are much comparable. We talked about Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 design comparison in the “Design” section. Nokia 6 is priced at EUR 229 while Nokia 5 at EUR 179. In India, you can get Nokia 6 at INR 14999 while Nokia 5 is priced at INR 12,499. Nokia 6 offers a better display and 3GB RAM over it.

HMD has promised guaranteed two years of Android OS update and monthly security updates for all its Android smartphones. In fact, it has been the first to release September 2017 security update to Nokia 5 beating even Google.

Nokia 5 Video Review:

Check our Nokia 5 video review below in case you want to watch it in action too with our full impressions.

Where to Buy:

Visit our dedicated post to check Best Price Deals & Buy links for Nokia 5 from all markets including US, UK, India, Europe.

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