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Nokia

Nokia G50 5G

23.11.2021
A smartphone that was supposed to be affordable

Nokia G50 5G is probably the cheapest smartphone from HMD Global, supporting 5G networks, with a large screen and a clean version of Android. It could become popular if the price of the device was set at an appropriate level. However, it is far too high.

In April 2021, HMD Global modernized the Nokia smartphone lineup - new lines of smartphones were presented in the new series: C, G and X. Each of the them has different equipment and was designed for a different price segment. One of the newest representatives of the middle line - a "profitable" 5G smartphone with a large screen and a powerful battery - hit the editorial office.

Nokia G50 5G is a smartphone that belongs to the profitable G series - offers much more than the budget C series representatives, but also some necessary compromises compared to the flagship X series, which allows to offer this device at a more attractive price. It has a Snapdragon 480 5G processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal memory, and Android 11 (with 2 years of system update support and three years of monthly security updates). The battery of this smartphone is to work up to 2 days without recharging, and the effects of the work can be admired on the 6.82-inch HD+ display. In addition, a 48 MP camera, supported by a 5 MP camera with an ultra-wide angle lens and a 2 MP depth sensor (as well as artificial intelligence and image stabilization). The manufacturer estimated all this at 230 euros. Is Nokia G50 5G really worth that? I think not. Considering the possibilities and specification, it is a smartphone that should be definitely cheaper.


Table of contents



Packaging and accessories

The sales kit is not very rich - the colourful box contains a 10 W charger, a USB-A to USB-C cable, a pin for opening the SIM card tray and a large pile of documents. The manufacturer includes Nokia G50 among budget smartphones, hence the budget nature of the package contents. It's good that the charger has been added at all - the pro-ecological policy of Nokia (and other manufacturers) has led to the fact that in more expensive models this accessory is not included.


Structure and screen

Nokia G50 is a powerful piece of electronics. Really powerful. The dimensions of the phone are 174 x 78 x 8.9 mm, and the weight is an impressive 220 g. This is to some extent justified, because the phone has to accommodate a large battery and a 6.8-inch screen. The manufacturer maintains a characteristic design with a round photo module - whether you like it or not is an individual matter, but it is worth paying attention to the colour of the rear panel. It is a pity that the smartphone can not boast of standards in terms of durability or dust and water resistance.

The front of the device is dominated by the 6.82-inch LCD display, which may and does provide a large work surface, but in other respects is not particularly noteworthy. First of all, it has a poor resolution - only HD + (720 x 1640 pixels), which gives an unimpressive 263 pixels per inch. You can see individual pixels, which should not be the case on a smartphone priced at over 200 euros. While multimedia fans like the big screen, they will not choose Nokia G50 because of the resolution. Second, it's not OLED or AMOLED so the colours aren't particularly saturated and the blacks are rather dark gray. Another thing is the poor level of brightness - in daylight, the screen does not make life easier for the user, and the direct rays of the sun significantly reduce the visibility of the image. In terms of contrast, the situation is also not outstanding.

The display is surrounded by rather thick frames, and in the upper part there is a large V-shaped notch - the smartphone would have a more modern look with a more subtle opening in the screen. It houses an 8MP selector camera. The manufacturer stuck a protective film on the screen at the factory, which ensures at least minimal protection of the display. However, people who wear polarized glasses on a daily basis will not be satisfied with the smartphone - the screen darkens significantly in the horizontal orientation.

The bottom panel is plastic - but in a smartphone in this price range, the use of this material was basically predictable. The appearance of the backs clearly indicates the Nokia brand (if you had not noticed the logo on the front) through the round camera module. The colour, referred to as Ocean Blue, is definitely eye-catching. It has a navy blue colour with a lighter shade in the middle. This effect is not as spectacular as in some competition smartphones (mainly due to the matte finish) - the gradient is not too intense, and the light that falls on the panel causes subtle reflections. And thanks to this, it is simply elegant and practical at the same time - it does not attract fingerprints as much as glass, glossy surfaces.

As for the arrangement of elements on the frame, a fairly standard layout has been kept. On the right side there is a screen lock switch / button, slightly recessed in relation to the edge and integrated with the capacitive fingerprint scanner. It usually works fine, not very fast, but I haven't had many false readings. Sometimes, however, it requires re-applying the fingertip to the scanner plate and it is completely unable to cope with wet fingers. Above it is the volume control.

On the opposite side is the Google Assistant button. Here you can also see a SIM card tray in which one of the slots is shared with the memory carrier. On the lower edge there is a USB-C port, holes masking the speaker and the microphone. There's a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top edge - for those who still use wired headsets.


System and Applications

Nokia participates in Android One, so its logo on the box is no surprise. What exactly does this mean? First of all, the fact that the software is (almost) free from unnecessary applications and additional functions that are added by other manufacturers. The experience of communing with this model comes down to the healthy, necessary minimum. It also means quick software updates - Nokia promises two years for system updates and three years for security patches. Well, this is not a market record, because even Samsung offers support for a year longer, both for system updates and for security patches. In the pre-installed software, you can see several third-party applications that can of course be uninstalled. There is Spotify and Netflix - a lot of users would probably install them. In addition, ExpressVPN - it will not be useful to everyone anymore. All the rest is pure Google.


The personalization options are not extensive, the smartphone supports popular gestures and supports Widevine security at L1 level - so you can watch Netflix in HD quality. It's impossible to change what the Assistant button does, but you can disable the feature, at least preventing it from being triggered by accident.


Sound

In terms of sound, Nokia G50 gets a plus for the universal headphone jack and FM radio, but also a minus for the lack of stereo speakers. The latter are missing the more that movies and series are great to watch on the big screen, but the sound coming from a single loudspeaker located on the bottom edge does not allow to appreciate the full multimedia potential of the device. The sound is quite flat, with a predominance of medium and high tones, but at least it cannot be heard distorted. It is different when the volume is turned up - then it sounds harsh and hissing.


Photos and videos

The photo module has a round shape and symmetrical design - four eyelets actually contain three cameras and a LED flash. The main module has 48 MP (f/1.8 PDAF), is accompanied by a 5 MP camera with an ultra-wide angle lens (f/2.2, FF) and a 2 MP camera for depth measurement. If necessary, the scene can be illuminated thanks to a single LED. The camera can also record video in maximum Full HD quality at 60 or 30 frames per second.


Photos taken with the main camera in daylight usually have well-reproduced colours and adequate detail. However, sometimes when there is a large area of green in the frame, the camera additionally tweaks the colours, which results in a very unnatural effect. Autofocus is also great.


Noises are noticeable only when taking pictures in worse lighting - especially in the evening and at night. In night mode, the effects of shooting are not amazing, mainly it brightens the photos - and sometimes the effect is worse than what the camera captured in automatic mode.


There is also an ultra-wide-angle camera, which is darker and gives photos with worse detail and sharpness. You can also see different colours in comparison with the main camera. After dark, it makes no sense to use it - the photos are dark and blurry and the night mode does not work here. Apparently, this camera only has 5 megapixels, so there is nothing to expect better shooting results - nevertheless, they are so weak that I would not share them on social media.

The camera doesn't produce full-resolution photos by default (although this can be changed in the settings) and combines 4 pixels into one, so the result is 12-megapixel photos. On the main screen we get icons for the ultra wide-angle camera and 2x zoom, which of course is digital, due to the lack of a telephoto lens. Pictures taken with this close-up aren't bad, but you can see the software working, if only by sharpening elements in the picture too much.


The 8 MP camera (f/2.0, FF) responsible for selfies, is placed in the indentation on the front of the screen. It gives photos of average detail and colour, with quite significant software interference even with minimal beautification mode settings. It likes to smooth the skin and unfortunately the mask effect is achieved too easily. You can take nice photos with it, but it's better not to be satisfied with one approach - I threw away a lot of photos right away due to the lack of sharpness. On the other hand, blurring the background isn't very good at dealing with unruly hair, usually considering it as an element of the background.


Communication

Nokia G50 is a 5G capable phone, which it definitely boasts. Just like the presence of NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 and a dual-band Wi-Fi 5 card. Navigation was not a problem - with Google Maps it correctly led to the destination both on foot and by car. From the physical connectors we have a USB-C port (USB 2.0, OTG) and a 3.5 mm mini-jack.

The reviewed smartphone works correctly in terms of voice calls - it gives a sufficiently loud and clear sound for each side of the call.


Memory and performance

Nokia G50 is offered - at least in the variant submitted for review - with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory. And a large part of it (about 28%) is immediately occupied by the system and the software is pre-installed - in practice, about 46 GB is left with 64 GB. Therefore, it is even more important that the memory can be expanded with a microSD card.

The phone does not stand out in terms of speed or efficiency. Nc no wonder, since it is equipped with a Snapdragon 480 processor, which is intended rather for cheaper smartphones. So Nokia G50 will be a phone that will perform well in basic applications and occasional more demanding activities. Anyway, you can see it every day, when the phone needs a moment to load larger applications or load a more complex website (sometimes I even had to wait for the keyboard to appear). It is also possible to play (as long as the quality of the graphics is not disturbing), but not in titles like Genshin Impact, where delays and a decrease in liquidity become noticeable. The upside is that the smartphone has no problem with throttling and overheating.


Battery

The large dimensions of the device result from the installation of a capacious battery - it has 5000 mAh. Due to the use of a low-resolution screen and energy-saving processor, this should translate into good uptime. The manufacturer promises that they will be at least two days old. And it is true - usually I had no problem using the charger every one and a half days, or every other day, although if you insist, I was also able to discharge the battery in one day.

  • working time with the screen on (YouTube, 1 SIM card, active Wi-Fi module, 50% screen brightness, minimum sound level) - 15 hours. and 48 min .;
  • PC Mark battery test result - 18 hours and 39 minutes;
  • Geekbench result (full discharge, dim screen) - 8772 points, discharge after 14 hours and 53 min;
  • an hour of video streaming (Chrome, 1 SIM card, active Wi-Fi module, 50% screen brightness) - 8% battery less;
  • an hour of playing videos from the phone's memory (airplane mode, system player, 50% screen brightness) - 6% battery less;
  • half an hour of using online navigation - 7-8%, battery less;
  • 8 hours in standby mode - 2-3% less battery.


The smartphone supports 18 W charging, but the set includes a weaker 10-watt charger. With its help, the smartphone will be charged in about 2.5 hours. After 30 minutes from the start of charging, the state is 25%, and after an hour - 51%. Compared to the speeds achieved by some Chinese brands, this result is not very impressive.

Summary

Currently, the success of virtually every phone depends not only on its parameters or price-quality ratio. We can look at design, we can look at a brand, but no matter how polished and unique a product is, its success is based on how much better it will be than the competition. Nokia G50 may be enjoyed, although it doesn't have impressive specs - but the suggested price makes it not going to be easy to fight against a myriad of rivals. Chinese brands such as Realme, Redmi or Poco are able to offer 5G smartphones for the same money with much more interesting possibilities, with better screens (e.g. Full HD + and 90 Hz) and better performance.

Nokia G50 can attract attention among people who like large smartphones that provide a lot of space to work and "consume" multimedia. And those that don't like branded overlays. However, there are many things that do not fully suit me in the reviewed model, such as a bad screen, low gigabytes of memory and a processor. As much as I like the look, pure Android, working times on a single charge and the working culture of the device, I would postpone the purchase until the price is much lower.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • the display gives a large work space
  • headphone jack
  • interesting colour of the back panel and matte finish of the casing
  • NFC, 5G, microSD card support
  • Android One, clean version
  • long-lasting battery
  • satisfactory runtimes

Cons:

  • low resolution and low screen brightness
  • large dimensions and fair weight
  • number of gigabytes of memory and processor
  • no stereo speakers
  • average performance
  • average photo quality
  • free charger included
  • price too high for the specification/capabilities
  • useless Google Assistant button

Source GSMchoice.com; viewed: 198 times.


By:
Monika Krasicka-Kulińska

By:
Jolanta Szczepaniak



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