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Why Nokia’s CEO Chose Microsoft
In the end, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop really didn’t have a choice. When he surveyed the competitive landscape, he found that he was boxed into a corner. While Android might have looked attractive as an alternative for their fledgling smartphone business, to back it would make him just another Android licensee. And while he could have tapped into their software ecosystem, it would have been hard for him to differentiate at the hardware level and thus be thrust against the dozens of Android handset vendors chasing the growing smartphone market.
And he quickly determined that MeeGo would take too much effort and investment on their part to get developers on-board and create their own ecosystem around this mobile OS. While Intel was a formidable partner, their business model did not allow them to be as aggressive in pushing MeeGo and developers in a direction that would make MeeGo as competitive as it needed to be in order to compete with Android and IOS. With Nokia backing away from MeeGo its future is uncertain.
And of course, licensing iOS and HP’s webOS were out, and that left just Microsoft as the only real choice he had when it came to re-crafting Nokia’s future. He needed a solid OS and the ability to tap into an ecosystem that had potential to grow. The fact that he was a former Microsoft exec made it easier to go to Steve Ballmer and cut a deal that was more favorable and gives them additional flexibility within the license agreement to actually create smartphones that could be differentiated.
Given those stark realities, Microsoft was the only mobile OS that would allow Elop to try and put Nokia back on track and even give them a fighting chance against iOS and Android. The operative word here is “fighting-chance.” This is still a big gamble. One cannot emphasize enough the head start that Apple and Google have in the smartphone market. And the momentum they have with the developer community would seem almost insurmountable.
However, Microsoft and Nokia are still powerful forces and together they could do some interesting things. If Nokia can really tweak Windows Phone 7 to add their own custom touches and it still works with the Windows Phone software ecosystem, they could ride this toward some interesting ways to differentiate. This will be especially true if they are able to find ways to make an optimized UI that is tied to various devices across full featured phones, smartphones, tablets, netbooks and even laptops and PCs. Imagine having a single UI across all of these devices that sync with each other and have applications on each platform that scale and work together seamlessly. They could not do this with an Android solution, but with Microsoft, they could use this OS and partnership to really set them apart from the competition.
In fact, if you read much about the HP webOS launch this week you know that similar thinking is going on there. They see webOS running on every device across their range of products and using Synergy to tie them all together seamlessly. Or, at least, that is their vision. And I believe that Nokia and Microsoft are hatching a similar vision. In fact, I believe that this is really at the heart of this partnership. While Windows Phone 7 is at the center of their agreement, Nokia now has a way to extend their reach in many directions.
Also, it would be wrong to judge the success of this deal through a US centric viewpoint. While the US is important for Microsoft and Windows Phone 7, I believe Microsoft will push their current partners to enhance their position in this market. But Nokia offers Microsoft the world. This deal has much more to do about Microsoft expanding their mobile platforms around the world and leveraging Nokia’s worldwide position to do this.
From the developer’s standpoint, this now gives them a solid third mobile OS to back. The promise of tens of millions of Nokia’s smartphones selling worldwide should be quite attractive for software developers. This is especially true when it comes to localized markets. Nokia knows these local markets well and if Nokia and Microsoft do their job right and help developers create localized apps for these markets around the world, this partnership has a real chance to succeed.
Although this took a serious leap of faith for Stephen Elop and the Nokia management, it was the only one that would allow them to still deliver Nokia flavored solutions and also tap into their already strong position in these world markets. And when you look at this deal/partnership, think worldwide and beyond the smartphone. I am convinced there is a much broader strategy in place that involves many devices, not just phones.
Yes, Elop was backed into a corner. But while it is way too early to tell whether they can pull it off, this most likely gives him and Nokia at least a chance to keep Nokia relevant and part of the mobile landscape of the future.
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OtterBox Nokia E72 cases arrive
In all the time we had our Nokia E72 review unit in, we never really felt the need to drop it, cover it in dust or generally knock it about. Still, there are more demanding people out there than us, and some of them have a soft spot for an excellent QWERTY keyboard on their smartphone, and so OtterBox have stepped in with two new cases for the E72: a Defender and a Commuter.
The two versions cater for different usage scenarios, with the Defender being the more rugged of the two while the Commuter leaves the E72 less bulky. The OtterBox Defender first wraps the smartphone in a clear membrane for dust/scratch protection, then a hi-impact polycarbonate shell, and finally a silicone skin that protects against bumps and shocks. Meanwhile the OtterBox Commuter starts with a screen protector, adds a silicone layer and then finishes with a one-piece polycarbonate casing.
Putting a Defender in your pocket will add 3.09oz to the E72, while the Commuter is a whole lot more friendly at 0.75oz. The former is $49.95 while the latter is $34.95; both are available now.
OtterBox Covers Nokia E72 Smartphone From Every Angle
Fort Collins, COLO. – Nokia users rejoice! OtterBox releases two cases to custom fit the Nokia E72 smartphone. The rugged Defender™ Series and hybrid Commuter™ Series cases offer Nokia E-series phones the perfect amount of protection from bumps, shock and dust.
Both cases offer full device interactivity with access to camera, USB and micro SD ports, volume keys, light sensor, power key, microphone and ear piece; but the choice of protection is ultimately yours.
Busy lifestyle? The Defender Series for the Nokia E72 has a built-in screen protector, tough polycarbonate shell and a silicone exterior. This three-layer combination protects your phone from dust, dirt, drops and scratches:*
Layer 1: Thermal formed protective clear membrane. Protects keypad against scratching, as well as dust intrusion (layer optional depending on the level of ruggedization desired). Clear polycarbonate window shields display screen and camera.
Layer 2: Hi-impact polycarbonate shell
Layer 3: Silicone skin to absorb bump and shock
The Defender Series for Nokia E72 also comes with a holster belt clip, providing easy access for people on the go.
The Commuter Series is the OtterBox hybrid model, blending features from both the Impact™ and Defender Series. Designed with the polycarbonate shell on the exterior for a smooth transition in and out of pockets and purses, this case also provides three layers of protection against shock, scratches and bumps:**
Layer 1: Self-adhering clear protective screen film
Layer 2: Durable silicone mid-layer
Layer 3: One-piece custom molded polycarbonate shell
“These two multi-layer cases for the the Nokia E72 give customers peace of mind knowing their portable device is safe,” said Curt Richardson, OtterBox CEO. “The Defender Series is our top-selling case for those individuals with rugged lifestyles and the hybrid Commuter Series offers sturdy protection with style.”
Don’t leave your Nokia E72 unprotected; cover it from every angle with the OtterBox Defender or Commuter Series case lines.
OtterBox Defender Series for Nokia E72
· Drop and Shock- Protection against drop, bump & shock
· Water Protection- Not tested or recommended for water protection
· Dust Intrusion- Dust does not enter in a sufficient quantity to interfere with satisfactory operation or equipment
· Black/Black (silicone/plastic)
Dimensions (case only):
· 4.86” X 2.70” X 0.75” (68.45 mm X 68.45 mm X 19.04 mm)
· 3.09 oz (87.50 grams)
OtterBox Commuter Series for Nokia E72
· Added protection against bump and shock
· Black/Black (silicone/plastic)
Dimensions (case only):
· 4.67” X 2.52” X 0.57” (118.73 mm X 63.93 mm X 14.46 mm)
· 0.75 oz (21.21 grams)
Long battery life
Performance isn’t great
Display dimmer than previous generation
Charger not includedOur Verdict
The Nokia T21 is a premium looking tablet for a budget price which offers good value. But there are other tablets which are even better value.Price When Reviewed
Not available in the US
Nokia returned to the tablet world in late 2023 with the release of the T20, a budget 10-inch tablet with a stylish design. Now, the company has followed it up with a successor.
The Nokia T21 carries over similar looks to the T20, reviewed, but has had a few upgrades. However, is it a better choice than the Oppo Pad Air, the Amazon Fire HD 10 or Samsung Galaxy Tab A8? That’s what we’ll find out in this review.Design & build
Charcoal grey aluminium finish
MicroSD slot for expanding storage
The Nokia T21 lives up to the design standard set by its predecessor, with a slim build and a premium-feeling aluminium body. Nokia has traded the blue colour for a more understated charcoal grey shade.
The tablet is 7.5mm thick and weighs 471g, so it is perfect for slipping inside of a bag and doesn’t feel heavy in the hand. No case is included in the box, but Nokia does sell a range of accessories to keep it safe from knocks and bumps. It does come with an IP52 rating, so it is protected against light dust and water spray.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
On the bottom, there’s a USB-C port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack in the right-hand corner. The power button is located on the top edge, and the volume controls are on the right-hand side, along with a removable tray which can accept both a SIM card (on LTE models) and a microSD card.
The tablet doesn’t include a stylus or keyboard, and there are no official Nokia versions of these for the T21. You should still be able to use third-party Bluetooth keyboards – and possibly a stylus too.Screen & speakers
2K screen with 5:3 aspect ratio
Stereo speakers with OZO software
Nokia has once again opted for a 10.36in screen in 5:3 aspect ratio. Most tablets have a 4:3 screen, so this is slightly wider, but not ‘widescreen’ like a TV.
The 2K IPS display is protected by toughened glass, which has some scratch resistance. Being a budget device, it’s a 60Hz screen which means no high or variable refresh rate. The peak brightness is 360 nits, a downgrade from the previous model.
Objectively, this is enough for indoor use, but under bright sunlight it can be difficult to see what’s on the screen, not least because the glass is so reflective, like most tablets.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Colours are decent, and you can opt for natural, boosted or adaptive depending on your preference. The quality is more impressive than what you’ll find on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, which only has a FHD panel.
The tablet can be unlocked via a pattern/passcode, or via face unlock. I found the latter worked consistently, even when wearing glasses. Sadly, there’s no fingerprint scanner, which is a more secure option than face unlock, which simply uses the camera.
There are two speakers on either end of the Nokia T21, along with OZO Spatial Audio software. Playback is punchy and loud, but not quite as impressive as what you will find on more premium tablets. Nonetheless, it’s fine for Netflix, podcasts and the odd bit of music.Specs & performance
64GB or 128GB storage
Unisoc T612 CPU
The T21 features a Unisoc T612 CPU, a slight upgrade from the previous model. This is paired with 4GB RAM, and either 64GB or 128GB worth of storage, but the microSD slot allows up to an additional 512GB. It is available both in Wi-Fi and LTE versions.
Overall, performance isn’t as laggy as the T20, but it is still very much what you’d expect from a basic tablet. It copes fine for streaming, taking notes, reading e-books and browsing the web, but is sometimes slow to launch and switch between apps.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
However, there are tablets available for a similar price (or not a lot more) that perform noticeably better. In benchmarks, the T21 performed better than the Samsung Tab A8 and S6 Lite in Geekbench 5 – a CPU test – but fell short of the scores set by the T10 in GFXBench graphics tests. This is somewhat moot, though, because neither tablet is really powerful enough for gaming – except casual games that don’t require lots of 3D grunt.
This isn’t really the gadget for gaming on, but the T21 was able to run the likes of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp with minimal issues. For any more powerful gaming or creative software, it’s worth considering a more high-end tablet.Camera
8Mp front camera
8Mp rear camera
Tablet cameras aren’t usually as important as they are on smartphones. Nonetheless, Nokia has made an improvement on the T21’s set-up compared to the previous generation.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
The front selfie camera has been upgraded to 8Mp from 5Mp. Colours are slightly better, but textures are a bit soft or blurry, and indoor shots look much more washed out than when there’s plenty of light available outdoors. Most people will use this camera for video calls, for which it is perfectly fine.
The rear 8Mp camera remains unchanged from the T20. And again, in good light you can get some passable snaps on the T21. However, colours can be on the insipid side, and there’s a noticeable lack of sharpness to textures.
The camera is capable of up to 8X zoom, but as you’ll see on the test photos, it isn’t worth using anything past 2X because it turns photos into a blurry mess. Both cameras have auto-focus, and include portrait mode and filters for basic editing.Battery life & charging
18W charging supported, but no brick included
The Nokia T21 has a 8200mAh battery, which Nokia claims can last up to three days. Of course, that isn’t under regular usage. On average, I was able to use this device to stream, browse social media and read for around two days in between work.
Three days usage would be possibly if you were using the tablet more conservatively, making use of the battery-saving mode and having the brightness turned down low. In our battery test, the T21 managed a respectable nine hours and 23 minutes.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
The Nokia T21 supports 18W charging but doesn’t include a charger in the box, only a USB-C cable. This is a commitment to the company’s effort to reduce waste in the packaging. However, it will be irritating if you don’t have a charger, and Nokia’s specific 18W one will set you back £19.99.
Fortunately, I had an 18W charger to hand and found the T21 went from flat to 14% in 30 minutes. Nokia’s own charger may be able to do better, but it’s best to consider charging this tablet overnight.Software
Can be used as a second screen with Windows devices
All the apps are laid out clearly, with hardly any bloatware like what you’d find on rivals from the likes of Xiaomi. It also has a wider range of apps than what the Amazon Fire HD 10 offers.
The tablet has Android 12 out of the box. This isn’t the latest Google OS, but Nokia has guaranteed two OS updates and three years of monthly security updates, so it will eventually receive Android 13.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
All the standard Google apps come pre-installed, and you get both Google Entertainment Space and Kids Space. The former recommends videos from platforms you’re subscribed to, whilst the latter makes the Android experience more suitable for younger users with educational app suggestions and customisable content filters.
The T21 can be used as a second screen with Windows devices, providing that they are both connected to the same Wi-Fi network. This feature is available in the drop-down menu, and then you can cast your screen to the T21 by using the Windows and K keys on your laptop/PC.
It gives the tablet an edge when it comes to productivity, and may prove useful for anyone who doesn’t have the space for a large second monitor in their home office.Price & availability
You can buy a Nokia T21 from £199 for the Wi-Fi version, and £239 for the LTE version.
At the time of writing, the tablet wasn’t yet available in the US market, but if it does go on sale, we expect it to be around the $250 mark.
You can buy the tablet with Nokia’s monthly Circular subscription. This covers replacement parts for the T21 if it is damaged or stolen, encouraging you to hold onto the device for longer. It also allows users to earn credits which go towards environmental causes.
Dominik Tomaszewski / FoundryVerdict
The Nokia T21 takes everything we liked about the T20 and improves on some of the areas that we didn’t. It has a premium-looking design for a budget buy, and the battery life is also impressive.
The lack of a charger in the box means that speeds will be slow for most users, and the display isn’t as dazzling as the previous generation. Nonetheless, these are minor gripes for what is a very good affordable tablet from Nokia.
The problem – for Nokia – is that for roughly same price, the Oppo Pad Air offers better performance and comes with a charger in the box, making it the better buy unless you find it’s more expensive when you read this.
For more alternatives, see our roundup of the best budget tablets, as well the best Android tablets and best tablets overall.Nokia T21: Specs
OS: Android 12
Processor: Unisoc T612 octa-core processor
Storage: 64GB/128GB + microSD up to 512GB
Cameras: 8Mp rear, 8Mp front
Ports: USB-C, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, SIM, MicroSD
Ambient light sensor
Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, 4G (on LTE models)
Stereo speakers with dual microphones
8200mAh battery, 18W charging supported
Dimensions: 157.3 x 247.5 x 7.5 mm
Charcoal Grey finish
10.36in 2K IPS display
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic gets hands on
In the beginning of October, Nokia announced the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone; as the name implies this handset is really focused around music and multimedia. This phone is running the S60 5th Edition of Symbian OS 9.4. The 5800 XpressMusic has a 3.2 megapixel camera, integrated GPS, Wi-Fi and HSDPA connectivity, and a 3.2 in touch screen.
The 5800 has drawn a lot of attention to Nokia, this is a very significant landmark for the company. The 5800 XpressMusic is the first in what will be a long line of touch enables phones offered by Nokia. This phone is a relatively smaller and longer phone than many current touch-screen handsets, making it easy to operate with just one hand. The resistive touch-screen has a resolution of 360 x 640 pixels, much higher than most previous S60 devices. Below the touch screen you will find a Send, Talk and Home key. Above the screen there is a forward facing camera, something that can often be found on Nokia smartphones.
The 5800 XpressMusic comes with a 1320 mAh battery that is said to offer an astounding 9 hours of talk time. Out in the field users have said that with moderate use the 5800 XpressMusic will last two days on a single charge. Power users who are always using the phone should get between 3 and 5 hours depending on what is taking place. Although the phone only has 80 MB of internal storage, an 8GB memory card is included for storing a decent amount of music, applications and photos. The phone is said to work perfectly with a 16GB microSD and should not have a problem with the upcoming 32GB cards.
Nokia has gone the extra mile with the addition of touch to the UI. Not only will touching applications open the desired app but touching status icons will display a summary of information. The UI has been tweaked to work well with touch, the icons have been made larger and more widely spaced. New components have also been added, such as the toolbar appearing above softkeys to give quick access to commonly used functions. A double tap function was also added to the UI, it requires one tap of an icon to select it and another tap to open it. This feature prevents the aggravation of accidentally opening the wrong application.
Another feature that Nokia implemented into the UI is haptic feedback. This feedback allows the phone to notify you that the phone has recognized your touch with a vibration. There are three different variations of feedback that you may receive depending on the activity that is taking place. If you do not wish to get haptic feedback you may turn it off at any time. As an alternative to the vibration you can elect to have audio confirmation.
Sadly the US will not be seeing this handset till next year. For those of you who would like to see a little more, the FCC has released the user manual and some teardown pictures of the 5800 XpressMusic.
[Via AllAboutSymbian and UnWiredView]
Long battery life
90Hz refresh rate
Older Android version at launchOur Verdict
Nokia’s G21 is a solid enough budget phone with a decent amount of performance, but corners have been cut to hit such an impressive price point.
At first blush the Nokia G21 looks like a compelling option, with the promise of excellent battery life and a predominantly stock Android experience. Its chipset, the Unisoc T606, looks to be a fair workhorse, and it does offer a 50Mp lead camera too, but it’s also pushing a resolution of 720p.
That puts it in an awkward spot, especially alongside the likes of the Redmi 10, which bumps up the resolution to a much better 1080p in the same kind of price bracket, so what else can this long-lasting affordable blower bring to the table?Design & build
Available in both Nordic Blue and Dusk (our review unit is the former), the Nokia G21 looks as you’d expect a modern affordable smartphone to look, but there are some nice touches.
For one, the back panel has a matte finish to increase grip, and while the construction is plastic, the whole phone feels sturdier than other devices at this price point. On the left, you’ll find a Google Assistant button to match a power button/fingerprint sensor on the right, with the SIM tray and volume rocker opposite each other just above.
There’s a USB-C port at the bottom, with a headphone jack connector at the top. On the back, the camera module includes a standard wide sensor, a macro camera, and a depth sensor. Unlike its predecessor, the G20, you won’t find an ultrawide camera here – but we’ll cover that later. The front sensor is positioned just at the top bezel within the phone’s 6.5-inch display, set into a now rarely-seen dewdrop arrangement.Display
As big as the screen of the G21 is, it’s immediately clear that compromises have been made to hit its price point. While the display is a large enough canvas for web and social media browsing, it’s 720p resolution makes it feel a little like you’re looking at the display through an additional panel of glass.
It’s clear enough when navigating Android 11, but when you start looking at images they feel a little on the muted side. That’s partially the low resolution but it’s also down to the use of an LCD panel that feels a million miles off of OLED technology. Here’s hoping the trickle-down of those panels arrives on affordable Nokias sooner than later.
On the plus side, the phone boasts a 90Hz refresh rate, meaning thumbing through pages of apps or scrolling your Twitter feed is more responsive – it’s just hard to get excited about. Gamers will likely want to look elsewhere for eye-popping special effects in the likes of League of Legends: Wild Rift, though.
There’s also no HDR on offer here, so there are fewer colours that can be displayed. That’ll not only affect your latest Netflix binge, but can also mean a lack of accuracy in photos taken, too.Performance
The Unisoc T606 is working with 4GB of RAM, and in our testing that means you can expect solid results. If you’re using the Nokia G21 for email, scrolling social feeds and browsing a few webpages, you’ll be pretty pleased with the phone handles itself.
In fact, while its single-core scores from Geekbench 5 are nothing to be too excited about, in multi-core it ever so slightly trumps the similarly priced Redmi 10.
As with the Redmi, that means graphically intensive games are almost out of the question. Sure, you can run the likes of PUBG Mobile, but you can expect to find plenty of dropped frames and texture pop-in.
Still, there’s a lot to like with what’s under the proverbial hood here, and while 64GB of included storage is likely to be plenty for many, there’s an SD card slot, too – so you can add up to an additional 512GB of storage in an instant.Cameras
Perhaps no part of the G21 signifies its “monkey paw” identity than in its camera setup. It offers a big, 50Mp wide sensor and a macro camera, but lacks the ultrawide of its predecessor, the G20. We’d wager many would rather have an ultrawide than the macro used here, but in terms of what is on offer, the results are a little mixed.
Nokia is touting AI imaging (it’s even on the box), and it definitely has its moments. In Night Mode, the same shot looks noticeably sharper, for example. In daylight though, images still lack detail and vibrancy, with a muted palette that feels bland. Portrait mode is included, but the natural bokeh effect feels inconsequential because of how dulled foreground colours are.
The front sensor also lacks detail, looking a bit smudged. Still, it’ll work well enough with video calls, for the most part.Battery
Another thing Nokia is keen to impress upon prospective buyers is the battery life of the G21, and its right to do so – although your mileage will vary. We were able to eke out just shy of three days with normal use, but our PCMark Work 3.0 test offered up some differing results, with readings of around 12 and a half hours and 11 and a half hours of screen on time.
That’s actually less than the Redmi 10, despite Nokia’s claims to the contrary. Still, real-world usage trumps these bespoke tests, so we’re confident in the manufacturer here. As you can imagine, it’ll all depend on how often you’re using the device, but the 5050mAh battery paired wit less-demanding hardware like tat 720p display ensures plenty of longevity.
While 18W fast-charging is supported, a compatible charger isn’t in the box. That’s a shame, because after 15 minutes we were only able to get the sizeable battery to 10% charge, with 24% after half an hour. Still, USB-C chargers are pretty universal these days, so you may be able to juice the G21 up faster without having to fork out for an additional power adapter.Software & features
The G21 runs on Android 11, with Android 12 being the latest version currently available. Google update cycles can be a little hard to gauge, but Nokia is promising two years of OS upgrades – meaning it should be covered up to Android 13.
The company also promises twice as many security upgrades as the competition, with 36 the magic number listed in the small print.
As far as preinstalled apps, there are a few but they’re not the biggest offenders. You’ll find Spotify preinstalled, as well as LinkedIn and ExpressVPN – the latter of which comes with a free trial for 30 days.
Beyond that, we’ve time and again commended the Nokia Android experience, for its uncluttered and lightweight approach.Price & availability
Depending on the market, the Nokia G21 comes with 4GB of RAM and either 64GB (i.e. UK and France) or 128GB (i.e. Spain and Germany) of storage, in the two colourways we mentioned earlier. Availablility in markets like the US and India doesn’t look to be on the cards as yet.
It’s ready to buy now and retails at £149.99 in the UK and from €189 in Europe (although double the storage for a similar price in Spain and Germany makes for better value in those markets). You can buy the G21 from Nokia directly ( UK, France, Spain, Germany), as well as the likes of Amazon, Argos and Very.
Xiaomi’s Redmi 10 is the most obvious alternative but affordable offerings like the Realme 8 and Motorola’s Moto G31 might also fit the bill if you’d rather a nicer design or display respectively, for around a similar price.
Check out our selection of the best budget phones available right now, for a wider host of alternatives too.Verdict
With three-day battery life, a balanced processor, and a big screen, the Nokia G21 feels like a solid smartphone on the budget end – but it won’t excite.
A restrictive 720p resolution and a camera that’s got plenty of megapixels but not a lot to show for it, however, render it a competent work phone that you won’t readily be reaching for after the day is done.Specs Nokia G21: Specs
6.5in, LCD, 720p, 20:9 aspect ratio
microSD card slot
64Mp Main camera, f/1.8
2Mp Depth sensor
2Mp Macro lens
8Mp Front camera
WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5G dual band)
Launch colours: Nordic Blue, Dusk
While an accomplished budget device, the Nokia 5 looks a little behind compared to the admittedly newer Moto G6. The G6 is clearly the superior device with an attractive glass design, dual cameras and improved processor. But that comes at a £50 price jump from the previous generation, and the Nokia 5 is a perfectly serviceable budget phone. If you like the design and can put up with a 720p non-HD display, then you’ll find it the cheaper option.
For the last half decade, we have consistently recommended the Moto G series of budget smartphones as the best about. They combine great design, outstanding battery and better-than-expected performance with sub-£200/$200 prices.
Then Nokia phones made a big comeback. The Nokia 5 is an accomplished budget smartphone options, but with the launch of the Moto G6, it’s got some serious competition.
Here we compare the Moto G6 and Nokia 5 to see which is worth your attention – and money.Price and availability
The Moto G6 will be available worldwide on 2 May and is the first G series to retail for over £200, at £219. This is still a great price, but is more than the G5 which cost £169 at launch – £50 is a big jump up. Here are the best Moto G6 deals.
The Nokia 5’s RRP is £179, so at the moment it’ll save you some cash. At the time of writing it can be found on Amazon for less. It’s not available in the US.Design and build
The Moto G6 is more expensive than before, and that could well be down to the design as much as the specs. Following modern smartphone trends, it has a 3D glass back where the Nokia 5 has to make do with aluminium. You’ll want a case to protect it.
These are two budget phones that aren’t made of plastic, which is great to see – it’ll depend on your personal preference whether you want glass or metal.
The G6 also steps up its game with dual cameras where the Nokia 5 sticks with one, but both phones have front facing fingerprint sensors.
The G6 has rounded edges and recalls the older G phones while also looking pretty similar to Moto’s high-end Z line. The Nokia 5 is a boxier affair, and the main visual difference on the front is the screen – the Nokia keeps a standard 16:9 display whereas the Moto gets a taller 18:9 one.
It’ll depend if you prefer glass or metal and if you’re a fan of taller screens, but we think the Moto G6 edges it here. It just looks and feels more premium.Features and specifications
There are more differences between the phones on the inside. For a start the G6 is better equipped with a Snapdragon 450 processor compared to the Nokia 5’s 430. Depending on your region, the G6 has 3 or 4GB RAM, edging the 2 or 3GB you’ll find on the Nokia 5.
Grahpics on the G6 are handled by an Adreno 506, whereas it’s a 505 on the Nokia 5.
The G6 also has 32 or 64GB storage expandable to 128GB with a microSD card, which is phenomenal on a budget device, and thrashes the Nokia 5’s 16GB, though you can expand to a higher 256GB.
The G6 measures 153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3 mm but that glass feels great, whereas the Nokia 5 is ever so slightly shorter and thinner at 149.7 x 72.5 x 8 mm.
Aside from both bring IPS LCDs, the displays also differ, with the Moto G6’s 5.7in 18:9 2160 x 1080p screen beating the Nokia 5’s 5.2in 16:9 1280 x 720p offering. A 1080p screen on a £219 phone is excellent value from Moto here.
There’s barely any difference in weight – the Moto is 167g and the Nokia 160g. What you might prefer are the dual cameras on the G6.
With 12Mp and 5Mp shooters and an f/1.8 aperture, it’s a superior budget set up. It can also handle landmark and object recognition and has a portrait mode and text scanner.
It also can, crazily for the price, shoot in 1080p at 60fps while can also do timelapse and slow-motion video.
The Nokia 5 can only cope with 1080p at 30fps but, like the G6, can shoot in HDR when required.
No such luck for the Nokia 5, whose 13Mp f/2.0 main sensor is clearly inferior. Both phones have dual LED dual tone flashes. The front facing cameras are also identical at 8Mp and f/2.0.
As expected, neither phone has waterproofing or wireless charging, but they both retain headphone jacks. They also both have 3,000mAh batteries, both charged via USB-C, and it’s great to see that on both phones.Software
The Nokia 5 shipped with Android Nougat 7.1.1 but depending on your region is now upgradeable to Oreo 8.0. The Moto G6, newer as it is, ships with Oreo out the box.
You might find that as budget devices the G6 and 5 don’t receive updates for long, but to have Oreo’s better notifications, picture in picture mode and the ridiculously handy auto fill feature that remembers usernames and passwords is amazing.
Read next: Which Moto G6 is for you?Specs Moto G6: Specs
Android 8.0 Oreo
5.7in 18:9 IPS LCD
1.8GHz Snapdragon 450
32/64GB storage (expandable to 128GB)
12Mp + 5Mp dual rear cameras, f/1.8 aperture
8Mp front facing camera
802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz Wi-Fi
3000mAh non-removable battery
153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3 mm
The Nokia Lumia 800 ($580 unlocked; price as of November 16, 2011) is the first handset from the Finnish phone maker to run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Mango OS, and it should make its way to the United States in early 2012. Nokia has put some of its finest craftsmanship into the Lumia 800, creating a solid and sleek smartphone. Combined with the latest version of Windows Phone 7, the Lumia 800 is a great choice for anyone in the market for a Windows Phone–but it isn’t yet in the same league as the iPhone 4S and Android heavyweights.Solid, Attractive Hardware With Few Letdowns
A loud and clear speaker is at the bottom of the Lumia 800. At the top you’ll find a headphone jack, a Micro-USB port for charging and syncing, and the micro-SIM card slot. The speaker is slightly muffled if you stand the phone vertically (and therefore cover the speaker), but the quality is good when the phone is merely sitting on a flat surface.
The pop-out plastic panel covering the USB port at the top of the phone can be quite problematic, though. The flimsy panel needs to be open vertically when you’re charging the phone, and you could easily break it by pushing it back too much.
Otherwise, you’ll find no visible screws or moving parts in the monoblock design of the phone, which is available in three colors: black, cyan, and magenta.
The Nokia Lumia 800 has a curved, 3.7-inch Gorilla Glass display that houses the three touch (with haptic feedback) Windows Phone keys (back, home, search) at the bottom. The AMOLED display resolution is 800 by 480 pixels, which is standard for Windows Phone 7 handsets, yet below the pixel density of competitors such as the iPhone 4S or the Motorola Droid Razr. Nevertheless, text rendered on the responsive Lumia 800 display is sharp, and images are bright and richly saturated.
The Lumia 800 comes with 16GB of built-in flash storage (512MB of RAM), but it has no SD Card slot for expansion, which could be a letdown for anyone who needs ample space for a media library. You do, however, get 25GB of free storage on Microsoft’s SkyDrive, so you can offload some of your photos and other media there. The phone also lacks a user-removable battery, but an FM radio is on board.Windows Phone 7 Mango, Sprinkled With a Bit of Nokia Fairy Dust
The People Hub now connects to Facebook, LinkedIn, Outlook, Twitter, and Windows Live, so you can have all your contacts consolidated in one place, including their latest social status updates. The Pictures Hub integrates with Facebook or SkyDrive, too, and it can automatically detect whether a person is in a photo, offering you the option to tag them (no face recognition feature here).
Unlike Android, Windows Phone doesn’t allow phone manufacturers to throw their own custom skins over the OS, but they may put a few branded tiles on the home screen or add special features. Nokia preloaded the Lumia 800 with a full set of custom ringtones (including a version of the classic Nokia tune). Also enabled is a custom ‘Nokia Blue’ color scheme, which is slightly darker than the standard Windows Phone shade. The best of Nokia’s additions includes Nokia Drive, a GPS application that provides free point-to-point navigation (you need to download country-specific maps at first use), as well as Nokia’s own music store.Good Camera, Best Used Without Flash
A dual-LED flash is available for low-light conditions. It does a fair job with objects close to the camera, but otherwise images shot with the flash can be a bit grainy and yellowy. The camera can record video at 720p HD (though most competitors now can do 1080p), and videos are smooth and sharp. Unfortunately, Nokia did not include a front-facing camera for video chat on the Lumia 800. This is a strange omission since one of the updates in Mango is support for a front-facing camera. Additionally, just about every smartphone out there now has a front-facing camera, so it is odd that Nokia wouldn’t include one on its flagship phone.Performance Packs a Punch, but Not a Knockout
Whereas most high-end phones run on dual-core processors, Nokia opted for a single-core Qualcomm 1.4GHz chip with 512MB of RAM on the Lumia 800. That isn’t on a par with some Android smartphones running dual-core 1.2GHz processors and 1GB of RAM; nevertheless, the Lumia 800 doesn’t stumble when you put it to work. The 1.4GHz processor inside is zippy enough for handling multiple open apps, gaming via Xbox Live, or browsing the Web. Over several days of testing, the Lumia 800 did not stall or stutter under pressure.Bottom Line
The Nokia Lumia 800 is probably Nokia’s best smartphone so far. It has a sturdy and sleek construction plus a vivid display, paired with refreshing software from Microsoft. If you are just moving up to a smartphone, or if you have one of Nokia’s Symbian devices, the Lumia 800 is a stellar upgrade: It’s fast, it’s easy to use, and it looks great. Compared with the iPhone 4S or with high-end Android phones, though, the Lumia 800 has a few potential deal breakers, as it lacks a dual-core processor, 1080p video recording, and a front-facing camera for video chat.
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