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Nokia 5 news and UK release date rumours: A sleek, metal-based budget smartphone

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Nokia made a small splash at MWC 2017 with the Nokia 5, a budget smartphone with an expensive-looking full-metal body. The handset will be available in four different colours: silver, copper, matte black and, in a stylish addition, tempered blue. We say available, but the Nokia 5 has yet to receive an official UK release date.

The handset was unveiled at MWC at a price point of $189, equating to roughly £160 in the UK. It was reported then to be available by Q2 2017, although Nokia has yet to confirm whether the Nokia 5 will have a UK release. In fact, of all the Nokia phones launched at MWC, only the revamped age-old classic, Nokia 3310, has a release date (24 May, if you’re wondering).

Now for the cold, hard specs: the Nokia 5 sports a 5.2in, 720 x 1,280 IPS display, 16GB internal storage, 2GB of RAM, runs Android Nougat and features a 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 processor that runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset. As a nice bonus for a relatively budget smartphone, Nokia has made a commendable effort with the camera, with a 13-megapixel back camera and an eight-megapixel selfie camera.

Nokia 5: Key specifications and release date

We’re still awaiting exact confirmation on UK price and release date for the Nokia. Using the official $189 price point in Barcelona at MWC as a reference point, we can expect the Nokia 5 to cost around £160.

As was to be expected, the Nokia 5 runs Android 7.1.1, a streamlined update which is supremely customisable. Handily, it will be available to buy as a single- or dual-SIM phone, and comes complete with 4G capacity, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC capabilities. Specs don’t end there, though: The Nokia 5 also sports a micro-USB charging port, a 3.5mm headphone jack (a welcome addition given recent controversy), and a fingerprint sensor – a rare feature of budget smartphones in the realms of £200 and under, which serves to amp up its style ratings.

Given the budget status of the Nokia 5, it’s not designed for specialist or heavy gaming. That being said, the Nokia 5’s octa-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 and Snapdragon 430 should be fine for simple, 2D games. Another trade-off for the affordable price tag is that there’s only 2GB of RAM onboard, so simultaneous running of apps will likely slow down your phone somewhat.

The only real qualm we have is with the Nokia 5’s HD (1,280 x 720) display, which means although you can record videos at 1080p, you’ll need to view them in full glory elsewhere. This obviously also means that you can’t watch 1080p YouTube videos or Twitch streams on the Nokia 5, so if you enjoy your high-res drone footage, the Nokia 5’s probably not the phone for you.

That’s not to say the Nokia 5’s camera won’t suffice for everyday photography – it fulfills the role perfectly with a 13-megapixel back camera and an eight-megapixel front camera, all the more commendable when you take into account the lower price point of the device. Given that the Nokia 5 isn’t as cheap as some budget phones it was released with, such as the Nokia 3, we’d like to have seen the Nokia 5 sport a Full HD screen, but alas, that’s a specification confined to sibling phone the Nokia 6 for now.

Nokia 5 specs at a glance

  • 5.2in, 720 x 1,280 IPS display
  • £160 price
  • Expected release in Q2 2017
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB storage
  • 13MP back and 8MP front cameras
  • Octa-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 processor on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430

Nokia 5: Design and key features

The Nokia 5’s 16GB storage is decent for a budget smartphone, with the added bonus of 128GB expandable storage via microSD card. Another respectable feature is its aforementioned camera, whose main pitfall is that the display lacks the resolution to adequately display high-quality videos.

In terms of style, Nokia, which now operates under the remit of Finnish company HMD Global, has pulled off the sleek, full-metal-bodied design of the Nokia 5 with aplomb. Its rounded edges and stylish metallic design make the handset look far more expensive than it actually is, while its resistance to smudgy fingers and ergonomic shape mean it’s easy to tote. And with that intoxicating midnight blue handset up for grabs, tote you will, and proudly.

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