Nokia 5

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Of the three new Nokia smartphones unveiled at MWC 2017 (there’s also the rebooted Nokia 3310 feature phone), the Nokia 5 sits most awkwardly, sandwiched as it is between the better-equipped Nokia 6 and eye-catchingly cheap Nokia 3. 

It’s not because it’s a bad phone, but more that its bigger brother doesn’t cost that much more, so it would be easy to chuck in the few extra bucks for the 6 – or if you’re really looking to save the pennies you may be better off getting the 3. 

The Nokia 5 comes with a 5.2-inch HD display, Snapdragon 430 chipset, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 13MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, fingerprint scanner and a 3,000mAh battery.

Nokia 5 price and release date

The Nokia 5 price is €189 (around $200, £160, AU$260), making it an affordable smartphone – and for that you get an HD display, full metal body and octa-core processor, which isn’t bad at all. 

It’s set to go on sale globally in the coming months, with the Nokia 5 release date currently slated for Q2 2017, which means sometime between April and June this year.

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Nokia 5 design and display

The compact form factor of the Nokia 5 is something which may sway potential customers towards it, rather than the bigger Nokia 6. 

It’s a more ergonomic design, with the curved edges nestling more comfortably into the palm, and you can reach anywhere on screen with your thumb. 

Crafted from a single block of 6000-series aluminum, the Nokia 5 has a surprisingly premium construction for a phone with such a low price tag. It feels like a more expensive phone when you pick it up, and that’s great. 

Another bonus of the Nokia 5 is the presence of a fingerprint scanner below the screen, which also doubles as the home navigation key. Digit readers tend to be reserved for pricier devices, so it’s good to see the tech filtering down the tiers, and especially to a device as cheap as the Nokia 5. 

You’ll be able to pick the Nokia 5 up in four different colors: copper, black, silver and blue. 

The 720p HD display is bright and clear, giving a good level of detail to images and text alike. You’ll be able to comfortably read emails, watch videos and enjoy gaming sessions on the 1280 x 720 screen.

Nokia 5 interface and performance

The Nokia 5 runs the stock version of Google’s Android 7 Nougat operating system, which means you don’t get an invasive manufacturer interface over the top, or any annoying bloatware applications pre-installed. 

It gives you a clean, fresh slate to start from, and heading to the Play Store you can make sure the Nokia 5 only has the apps you want. 

There’s an octa-core Snapdragon 430 chipset – the same as in the Nokia 6 – and 2GB of RAM to keep things running nicely on-screen, and we found performance to be pretty snappy during our time with the 5. 

You get 16GB of internal storage, but that can be built on with a microSD card up to 128GB in size, which means you’ll have plenty of room for all your apps, games, photos and videos.

In some regions the Nokia 5 will arrive with three card slots, allowing for two SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time, giving users greater flexibility.

Nokia 5 battery and camera

The Nokia 5 comes with a sizable 3,000mAh non-removable battery which should keep you going for most of a day, but we’ll put this to the test when we get it in for full review. 

There’s some good-looking specs in the camera department, with the Nokia 5 packing a 13MP rear snapper and 8MP wide-angle option on the front. 

The handset we got hands-on with wasn’t running final software, but early signs are promising, with good-quality pictures showing plenty of detail.

Early verdict

The Nokia 5 finds itself in a somewhat tricky position through no fault of its own. For the price it seems to offer an excellent selection of features, but it’s surrounded by equally capable handsets above and below it. 

If you can stretch your budget just a little bit to the Nokia 6 you’ll be getting bit more bang for your buck, while going the other way the insanely cheap Nokia 3 will attract bargain hunters. 

Nokia says it wants its phones to appeal to different people, and there will be some who find that the Nokia 5 suits them perfectly – we just expect the 3 and 6 to ultimately be more popular.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2017 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar’s world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.

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