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Nokia 5 vs Moto G5: Which mid-range mobile is best for me?

We compare the new Nokia 5 and Moto G5 mobile phones, two Android handsets with a sub-£200 asking price here in the UK. From the design and specs to the camera tech, which mid-range mobile is best for you?

Nokia launched three new Android phones back at the beginning of 2017: the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6, which all sport very different sizes and specs. Check out our Nokia phone comparison review to see how they stack up against one another.

However different these Nokia blowers may be, the link between all three of these new mobiles is value for money. These handsets all come packing an attractive, affordable UK asking price, to appease everyday consumers.

The piggy-in-the-middle Nokia 5 can be yours for just £180, which makes it a direct rival to the rather good Motorola Moto G5. Like the Moto handset, the Nokia offers Android Nougat in an uncluttered form, respectable performance, fast charge abilities, expandable storage and a 13-megapixel camera to snap your life. So far, so very similar.

However, there are plenty of differences between these two handsets as well, as you’ll see in our full Nokia 5 vs Moto G5 comparison. Here’s how to work out which affordable phone is best for you, and check out our pick of the best budget phones for more great mobiles which won’t break the bank in 2017.

Nokia 5 vs Moto G5: Specs

Phone Moto G5 Nokia 5
Screen size 5-inches 5.2-inches
Screen resolution Full HD (1920×1080) HD ready (1280×720)
Water resistant? No No
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
OS Android Nougat 7.0 Android Nougat 7.1.1
Processor Snapdragon 430 Snapdragon 430
Memory 2/3GB 2GB
Storage 16GB 16GB
MicroSD? Yes (up to 128GB) Yes (up to 256GB)
Battery 2800mAh 3000mAh
NFC? No Yes
Rear camera 13-megapixel 13-megapixel
Front camera 8-megapixel 5-megapixel
Price? £169 £180

Nokia 5 vs Moto G5: Design

Although these handsets sport a very similar screen size and an aluminium frame, their design is radically different.

The Nokia 5 is the better-looking of the pair in our eyes. That metal unibody is smooth and sleek, with banding shifted to the top and bottom edges. It’s comfortable to clutch and no wider than the Moto G5, as the bezels surrounding the screen are smaller. The increased heft (160g vs 145g) lends it a more premium feel also.

Meanwhile the Moto G5 has quite a squat appearance, with a split metal rear and quite a chunky finish. It’s marginally more compact than the Nokia phone, although there’s little in it. You can actually prise off the back to get to the removable battery, a feature not found on the Nokia 5.

Both phones are available with a colour choice, although the Nokia has four hues compared with just two on the Moto.

Nokia 5 vs Moto G5: Features

You get Android Nougat installed on both of these mobiles, although it’s a slightly later version on the Nokia 5. We’re happy to see that Nokia and Motorola haven’t tinkered with Google’s mobile OS, so you get a clean, uncluttered Android experience on each phone. Motorola has simply added its Moto assistant onto the G5, which gives you added gesture support.

However, Nokia’s phone is the only handset here to support NFC, for contactless payments. You also get support for larger memory cards, with microSD cards up to 256GB allowed; the Moto G5 tops out at 128GB support. Both phones pack 16GB of internal storage for files, apps and media.

When it comes to screen tech, the Moto G5 is the winner here. That 5-inch IPS screen sports a Full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution, which produces more detailed images than the Nokia 5’s 5.2-inch 720p display.

Still, both the Nokia 5 and Moto G5 offer a fingerprint sensor, for boosted security.

Nokia 5 vs Moto G5: Performance and battery

Both of these handsets rock a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset, which offers solid everyday performance on a budget. You get a choice of 2 or 3GB of RAM with the Moto G5, while the Nokia 5 packs 2GB as standard.

In both cases, you can expect apps to open reasonably quickly and run smoothly. That’s partly in thanks to the vanilla, clutter-free version of Android on both the Moto and the Nokia phones, which helps to keep things moving at a nippy enough pace. Of course, you will see the occasional stutter here and there too.

Battery life is solid in both cases, with a full charge getting you through a full day of regular use. You get a form of fast charging on the Moto G5 and Nokia 5 also, to power up close to maximum capacity in an hour.

Nokia 5 vs Moto G5: Cameras

The Nokia 5 and Moto G5 both offer a 13-megapixel main camera, complete with f/2.0 aperture and Phase Detection Autofocus. You can shoot up to Full HD video at 30 frames-per-second, with digital image stabilisation to cut down on judders.

Both camera apps offer a pretty streamlined user experience. Just point and shoot, with the full auto mode and HDR to help you get a good-looking shot in all but dark conditions. Even at night, you get a two-tone LED flash on the Moto G5 as well as the Nokia 5 to help brighten things up.

Only the Moto G5 offers manual controls however; on the Nokia, you’re stuck with the auto mode. On the flip side, the Nokia offers a stronger front-facing camera (8-megapixels) compared with the 5-megapixel Moto G5 selfie cam.

Check out our full Moto G5 camera review and in-depth Nokia 5 camera review for samples and analysis.

You can pick up the Moto G5 on contract here in the UK from O2, from just £19 per month.

Nokia 5 vs Moto G5 video comparison

Check out our full Nokia 5 vs Moto G5 comparison review in the video below, showing these two mighty mid-range mobiles side-by-side. Check out our full Moto G5 review and Nokia 5 review for all you need to know about these budget handsets.

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