Nokia 5 Quick Review: A classy device running on Android

I have been interacting with the Nokia 5 for a while now. Remember the device was among the Android Nokia devices launched in the country by HMD Global last  year. HMD Global made a huge splash in 2017  by launching four Nokia devices: The ever nostalgic Nokia 3310, and the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6 and the Nokia 8. As I said, the phones are the first ever Nokia devices to run on Android at excellent price tags.

Hopefully, we will get a chance to interact with them soon but here we are doing a quick review of the Nokia 5 which was delivered to us early last month. The Nokia 5 sits in the middle of the range when it comes to specs, size and even pricing.

Read>> NOKIA 5 First impression: Nokia pulled off a nice design

Design, Build and Display

We love the Nokia 5 design. It features a 5.2inch display with a neat, compact body. The device has this premium look with smooth rounded edges that makes it sleek and very comfortable to hold giving you that Nokia impression. I however need to mention that the device is very slippery so you have to be very careful when holding it.


The Nokia 5 is made from a single block of 6000 series aluminium and the Gorilla Glass looks really good.  The bezels are either side of the screen are also tiny and blend right into the chassis. The 5.3inch display as I mentioned in my first impression article means the overall size of the Nokia 5 is good for use on one and portability while at the same time giving you enough room to watch videos and playing games.

The Nokia 5 weighs 160g and measures just 8mm in thickness. We have the Nokia 5 in Matte Black which we so much love, but it is also available in Silver, Tempered Blue or Copper.

Nokia 5 Specs, Features and Performance

Of the three Nokia devices we mentioned above, the Nokia 5 sits in the middle in term of specifications. Both the Nokia 5 and the Nokia 6 are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC, the price difference between the two phones is not that much. The Nokia 5 on the other hand also comes with  a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, which is the same processor. This is  paired with Adreno 505 graphics and 2GB RAM and a 3,000mAh battery. The internal storage is 16GB which you expand to 128GB through a microSD card (of up to 256GB).

The internal storage on the Nokia 5 is 16GB which if it’s not enough for you, you can expand it to 128GB. Well, HMD global should have done better for a phone that cost Ksh.20,000. While you have an option of expanding the memory this isn’t a reasonable enough explanation why the phone should have such little internal storage and RAM.

I mean competing brands in the market usually come with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. But in practical, the the Nokia 5 is pretty fast in performing day-to-day tasks such as sending messages, checking emails and browsing the web. The apps open without much lag so you have nothing to worry about.

For the software, the Nokia 5 come with exactly what HMD Global said at the MWC 2017 when it first announced the devices. The device runs on Android 7.1.1, topped up with a pure Stock Android interface. The only non-standard app preinstalled is the Nokia support app, everything else is simple and straightforward, giving you a full Android experience.

Nokia 5 Camera

The Nokia 5 come with a 13MP rear camera with a dual-LED flash and an aperture of f/2.0. How does this camera perform? Well, with adequate lighting, the camera gives you above average images but really struggles when there is little lighting.  

Again with good lighting, the images and colors appear natural, and detailed. Check some of the photos I took with the device below.

The front camera on the other hand is 8MP with an aperture of f.2/0. Just like the rear camera, it also produces above average images for that price. The images have adequate detail and the colors are also natural. It also struggles in low light. Check the sample below.

Overall, if the camera is one of the features you always look out for when purchasing a smartphone then you might have to think twice before purchasing the Nokia 5. But if you are just looking for a normal camera performance then the phone will do just that for you.

Nokia 5 Battery

The Nokia 5 come with a 3000mAh battery again this is disappointing considering similar priced phones have bigger batteries. During my interaction with the battery however, I was able to easily get a full day of use, with screen-on time averaging at a little under 6 hours.

Even with heavy use with the Nokia 5, you are unlikely to find yourself running out of juice before the end of the day.

Charging the battery is also very quick. For about two hours with the bundled 5V/2A charger the phone was 100% fully charged. One thing though, although the Snapdragon 430 SoC supports Qualcomm Quick charge 3.0, the bundled charger on the Nokia 5 isn’t up to this specification.

Overall, the battery performs well, so you have no reasons to worry about.

Verdict and Pricing

All in all, I love the Nokia 5. The device is quite a competent mid-range smartphone able to compete favorably with other devices in the same price range in the market. While the phone has slightly underwhelming specs, an average display and cameras, it still strikes back with a classy and elegant design, smooth and bloat free software, to give you that Nokia Android experience.

The device is available in the market for Ksh. 20,000 all Safaricom shops and other selected retailers across the country.

Read>> Nokia 3310 4G version is coming


Facebook Comments

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6 Kenya Launch

Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

Have anything to add to this article? Leave us a comment below

Back to top button