It is no secret that the Nokia G60 5G accompanied me on my recent trip to India, exploring the beautiful temples and mystical places around it. It was actually a lucky gamble as the Nokia G60 5G was barely a couple of days with me before the journey and I was still trying to understand how the device works for an end user.  As the trip was mainly in smaller cities, the device was mostly connected to local 4G network and I could not test out the recently rolled 5G service. Nevertheless, the device became my primary device for a whole week, through the different locations and weather and this is what I have to say about it.

Nokia G60 5G

The “lesser” of the two siblings is usually one that would lack in many aspects, as per the norm. But the G60 really caught me by surprised. Through my journey with Nokia branded Android device, which started with the Nokia 8 and to my last purchase of Nokia G21, the inconsistency in the device has made me to always keep my expectation low no matter what the marketing says. With this mindset, I was able to accept many of their shortcomings, and this is where the G60 5G sort of jolted me back to the current reality.

If you think that this is just another G series like I did, then you are dead wrong. Simply put, other than the G series branding, the new device is a whole new definition of a near excellent mid-ranger. The usual argument such as “it lacks the latest processor” or” it doesn’t have an amoled display” or worse, “the camera is poor” is subjective, but the new G series is well equipped to give you the same wow factor like the Nokia 7.2 or even the Nokia 8.1 did back then.

So, this is my top 5 reasons why the Nokia G60 5G is among the best mid-ranger out there.

  • Design and built quality

Having made of recycled material, the Nokia G60 5G is designed with sustainable technology in mind that have less impact on the environment. But that doesn’t mean it is not well built or made of cheap materials. In fact, the Nokia G60 5G feels really fantastic in hand. It has the right weight and built to it and the compact body gives you a sense of its durability. Even the material used for the camera island is upgraded and its no longer as scratch prone as it was with my G21. The camera island has a matte finish to it and really looks premium this time around.

The Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front means better protection for the display.  My usual tendency is to have the device protected with a tempered glass but since the device arrived earlier than expected, I took it to India in my jeans pocket without one and as you can see, the display still looks brand new.

This is definitely a major step up from my previously owned Nokia G21 which is rather a budget device. The bundled clyster clear case adds protection which should easily survive an accidental fall from the pocket.

When it comes to durability, the Nokia G60 5G continues the legacy of previous Nokia devices.  And with the promise of 3 years of updates, it should be very well be useful in the years to come.

  • A good phone

These days, the telecommunication part of a mobile phone is rarely the subject of the marketing as it has plateaued. In my daily trip to neighboring cities, the Nokia G60 5G was as reliable as any phone can be. Connection via Airtel 4G network was good, the speaker was loud and clear, the voice quality was certainly good, and the battery life was excellent. My daily routine of getting up at 6am with a fully charged battery, with some minimal calls in between, the usual intermittent browsing and moderate usage of the camera had me at nearly 50% left at the end of the day which is around 8pm. I am really satisfied as there were no battery drain and the usage pattern would easily last a day and a half easily for most users. Charging with compatible QC certified charger allows for faster charging thanks to the 20w support. Essentially, HMD Global has a well optimized device in their hand that feels premium, performs well and have a good battery life, all this with adaptive refresh rate display at 120Hz!

  • Display

The usual tendency is to cut cost by using a normal LCD display. This is one of the highlights of the G60 5G. To say it’s midrange display is an understatement. I was really surprised at how crisp and vibrant the display is despite no specific mentions of the display tuning other than being protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and having a 120Hz refresh rate. Words sometimes lacks the depth to be conveyed, so just watch the display comparison of the Nokia G60 5G to the higher end Nokia 8.3 5G, the more expensive Nokia XR20 and even the most vibrant Puredisplay panel, the Nokia 7.2.  I might be subjective, and I cannot say for sure, but it feels like the display behaves the same way as the recent Puredisplay technology as the vibrancy and the dynamic range changes depending on the content it shows.

Bottom line, the Nokia G60 5G display is one of the finest produced by HMD Global in recent times.

  • Performance

The SD695 platform coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage is fast and with a near stock Android firmware, every task is a breeze. No lags, smooth transition and importantly no app crashes. This is indeed a good step up compared to their recent offerings with the SD480 platform.  The hardware and software are essentially in harmony and this is what makes the Nokia G60 5G a joy to use.

  • Camera

Nokia and good camera were synonymous. But with few lackluster releases, the two seem to be distancing away. But the Nokia G60 5G is the first phone in many years that actually performed well above my expectation that I would actually recommend those in search for a good camera on a budget price to just give the Nokia G60 a shot.

For the first time, the AI seems to be functioning well, though at times I do hope it is somewhat of an option that can be disabled. I had the privilege to shoot many beautiful images and scenery in India with different lighting condition, different subjects and different environment. The AI seems to be aware of the changes. It reminds me of my friends I Phone 6 back in the days where shots are insta-ready with colors popping up. To the purist out there, this might not be the intended outcome, but to the vast majority of user, they will be more than delighted to see beautiful captures with the device that is shareable instantly with minimal to no editing at all.

Photos from primary sensor offers vibrant and detailed images.
Primary sensor images are vivid as shown above
The new algorithm handles dynamic range quite well
Panoramic capture is rich in details but lacks in dynamic range at times
Photo from primary sensor
Photo from ultrawide sensor. The fusion magic allows more detail from the 5mp sensor but it tends to be soft outside the centre of the frame with minor color shift.

Nightmode 2.0 is certainly a welcome edition. This introduces 3 modes, the standard Nightmode, the Dark Vision and Tripod mode. Now, in all honesty, Nokia did inform and state that the DarkVision simply lets you see more in the dark. This is as accurate as it can get. But is it any better than the standard Nightmode?  Well, the short answer is NO. The standard Nightmode yields sharper image, a more aggressive control over brightly lit subjects which the DarkVision simply fails to do so. But the DarkVision does allow more light, so colors are more accurate, but noise is increased as well. Tripod mode is a gamechanger with dynamic shutter speed of up to 48s which should allow for beautiful astrophotography though I have yet to take one yet.

The new nightmode algorithm easily makes the G60 5G among the best performing Nokia device in low light.
Sunset scene capture with nightmode

The AI portrait mode is simply the best that I have experienced in any Nokia device till date. Image produce looks natural albeit slightly vibrant with plenty of details. In the past, the portrait mode is usually grainy with pale skin tone.

But, this is where I hope HMD Global proves that they actually intend to play the long game. The camera, while being a major upgrade has some kinks to be ironed. The Dark Vision algorithm should be improved on to be an intermediate between Nightmode and Tripod mode with useable outcome.  There is focus hunting in conditions with very minimal lighting that needs to be addressed as well. An option to have the AI disabled would be a welcomed option. The AI portrait mode is certainly among the best out there but the recent update has made it more aggressive in terms of contrast. The fusion of the ultra-wide and primary sensor should probably be look into to maximize the quality of the output.

Video recording is generally good but the inconsistency in OZO recording is an issue.

Main question is, would we see improvements in the camera department in time to come? Well, the UI seems to suggest so. HMD Global has included a new menu, What’s New that would show whats improved in the camera UI itself. This seem to indicate that we would be seeing more updates to come and I certainly hope for that too.

Comparison with Nokia 9 Pureview, which has the advantage of combining output from 5 sensors to gather information anywhere from 60MP to 300MP depending on the light.

The output from Nokia 9 Pureview is sharper, and this is expected as the day time images are often sharper than even the Vivo X70 Pro +!

But, the general theme with the Nokia G60 G is to produce clean images, with less noise and no aggresive sharpening. The larger sensor on the Nokia G60 5G also produces nice natural bokeh effect. In terms of dynamic range, both devices perform well, though the dynamic range of Nokia 9 Pureview depends heavily on the amount of light present.


So. Should you but the Nokia G60 5G?

Catch my ultimate review of the device here:

The last Nokia device I would instantly recommend is the Nokia 8.1. I am really excited to recommend the Nokia G60 5G this time around. Its no longer the lesser of the two siblings. The price to performance ratio, the availability of expandable storage, a faster refresh rate with a very good display might even sway buyers of the Nokia X30 5G.

Nokia is back in the game, and this time, they intend to play the long game!

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