Nokia G50 evaluate: reasonably priced but awfully common


Discovering a superb price range 5G cellphone appears as elusive as discovering a unicorn lately. Not solely do producers must maintain the worth as little as doable, however the machine additionally has to tug off some superior 5G-compatible applied sciences. No surprise cellphone makers are likely to compromise on different elements, and the general expertise takes a success consequently.

That is the place I discover the Nokia G50, the $300 cellphone that Nokia pitches as an reasonably priced 5G-phone different. Whereas the Nokia G50 is a solidly constructed cellphone with a minimalist, no-nonsense Scandinavian aesthetic, it has many flaws that I haven’t skilled in a contemporary smartphone in a very long time. Its entry-level 5G processor lags, its low-resolution touchscreen requires extra effort to make use of than others, and I even had some connection points with my 4G T-Cell service on this cellphone.

These are vital trade-offs for a tool that isn’t the one $300 5G cellphone on the town, assuming you want 5G connectivity in any respect. There may be the $300 OnePlus Nord N10 5G that may be a T-Cell unique, the newer and cheaper $239.99 OnePlus Nord N200 5G, in addition to the $279 Samsung Galaxy A32 5G. It’s exhausting to see how the Nokia G50 may presumably stand out from this more and more crowded, price range 5G house.

Heavy. That’s the primary phrase that involves thoughts when holding this 6.84 x 3.06 x 0.35-inch cellphone that weighs 7.76oz (220g), which is heavier and taller than the Pixel 6 Professional (7.4 oz; 210g). Whereas I respect that its stainless steel-framed physique is a rarity in smartphones lately (apart from the rather more costly Professional-model iPhones), this cellphone is just too heavy to carry with only one hand for lengthy. Its sharp edges dig into my palms attributable to its heft and make me keen to place the machine down.

As elegant as that Ocean Blue matte ombre seems to be, the G50’s easy polycarbonate coating is a sucker for finger smudges and makes the cellphone means too slippery to make use of and not using a case. I can’t let you know what number of instances the cellphone has slipped off a desk or countertop, due to a mixture of its slippery again and the vibrate mode. My evaluate unit solely survived the falls as a result of it’s constructed like an indestructible tank.

On its proper aspect, the Nokia G50 has a helpful fingerprint sensor embedded into its energy button.

Its sturdiness is certainly a plus since Nokia (and dad or mum firm HMD) expects you to maintain this Android 11-running cellphone for longer and is dedicated to offering two years of OS updates and three years of safety updates. This isn’t as spectacular because it sounds: the $279 Samsung Galaxy A32 5G supplies 4 years of safety updates, which is the longest out of this class.

Like different Nokia Android telephones, the G50 has a non-customizable Google Assistant button and a mixture SIM and microSDXC tray on its left aspect, a quantity rocker, in addition to an influence button embedded with a fingerprint sensor on the precise. It has a 3.5mm audio jack on high to your wired headphones or mic, in addition to a USB-C port and a mono speaker on the backside. As a result of the speaker is situated on the underside proper nook, it’s straightforward to your hand to cowl the sound. When listening to the Succession theme track from the HBO collection, the opening percussion monitor sounds extra muffled and buzzy on the Nokia, whereas every beat sounds clear and distinct on the OnePlus 9 Professional.

One of many methods Nokia reduce corners with the G50 is by utilizing a 720p low-resolution show.

The Nokia G50 comes with a pre-applied display screen protector, which you’ll really feel across the fringe of the show.

The G50’s 6.82-inch, 720 x 1560 LCD show is just too large for thus few pixels to supply sharp, high-resolution content material. Though its IPS LCD panel does provide good viewing angles with vibrant colours, it doesn’t make up for its low-resolution or 252ppi pixel density. It’s a nice display screen for studying emails and social media posts, however there’s a noticeable distinction when taking a look at multimedia content material. The Verge’s 10th Anniversary image with the stacked motherboards, for instance, seems to be pixelated and has blurred edges at most zoom on the Nokia cellphone, however strains nonetheless look sharp on the OnePlus 9 Professional, even when utterly zoomed in.

Not solely does the G50 have a low-resolution display screen, but it surely’s additionally not as touch-sensitive as different fashionable telephones, the place you solely have to calmly brush the show to navigate the interface. After I was enjoying Pokemon Unite, for instance, I needed to exert extra pressure with every of my swipes to maneuver my character alongside the battlefield. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it surely makes this cellphone rather less pleasant to make use of.

The G50 comes pre-installed with a display screen protector, which explains the bizarre horizontal streaks that run throughout the display screen when the cellphone is off, in addition to the marginally raised edge across the show. The display screen protector seems to be invisible when the cellphone is on, however for those who’re taking a look at a video with a big black body round it, random sightings of this layer could be distracting.

The Nokia G50 has a chrome steel framed physique and a polycarbonate coating in a matte, ombre end.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G processor could also be chargeable for making the Nokia G50 one of many few $300 5G telephones round, but it surely may simply be too underpowered for its ambitions.

Regardless of the actual fact the processor is supported with 4GB RAM and 128 GB of inside storage, the G50 typically struggles with very fundamental duties. It could take an additional second longer to open a hyperlink or an app, or an internet web page would crash, and I’d must reload it. The G50 additionally appears to have hassle multitasking when utilizing a resource-intensive app like Pokemon Unite. After I downloaded the sport, I couldn’t even open it till each single app I had working within the background was closed, and there have been solely three apps within the background. The sport is playable on the G50, however the mixture of its slower efficiency and fewer delicate touchscreen could make it really feel such as you’re transferring your character by means of molasses in opposition to sooner opponents.

For a cellphone that’s speculated to be future-proofed for 5G connectivity — at the least on sub-6Hz 5G networks on T-Cell and AT&T and never Verizon’s mmWave community — the Nokia G50 I used to be testing had some hassle connecting to 4G LTE mobile service. My T-Cell SIM card labored nice till the in the future I wanted mobile entry, and no quantity of restarting the cellphone would repair it. After talking with Nokia’s PR consultant, I spotted I used to be lacking an vital system replace however had hassle putting in it till it simply put in itself on one other day. My G50 has had no drawback accessing my T-Cell 4G service since then. It’s unclear whether or not my connection problem is a identified drawback with the {hardware}, or I simply bought unfortunate with an replace or simply this explicit unit.

One place Nokia didn’t skimp on is the 5,000mAh battery within the G50. It’s a good luxurious to have a big capability battery in your cellphone, even for a $300 machine. To check its battery life, I used solely Wi-Fi to actively submit on Twitter and Hangouts, learn on-line articles, take photographs, and examine my two e-mail accounts. All in, I used to be capable of get about 28 hours of energetic use out of the G50 over two days, which tracks with different telephones with 5,000mAh batteries just like the TCL 20S. The included 18W charging brick is certainly not a quick charger, although, as a result of it took nearly three hours to recharge this gigantic battery.

You may inform this can be a Nokia cellphone by its iconic round array of three rear cameras on the again of the cellphone.

You may inform this can be a Nokia cellphone by its iconic round array of three rear cameras on the again of the cellphone. This can be a price range cellphone, however Nokia didn’t compromise on pictures — at the least not on the primary 48-megapixel extensive digicam. It additionally has a 5-megapixel ultrawide digicam, 2-megapixel depth digicam, in addition to a entrance 8-megapixel extensive digicam embedded into the bezel of the show.

The primary digicam, with its extensive lens, f/1.8 aperture, and auto section detection autofocus, can seize some detailed pictures through the day, in addition to on clear nights. You may nonetheless see the bubbles in my boiling-hot Korean stew and the distinct lamination layers within the pastry. I used to be notably shocked by the night time photograph of colourful graffiti in opposition to the backdrop of an workplace tower. Utilizing the 5-megapixel ultrawide digicam, I used to be capable of seize One World Commerce and the Oculus in a single shot, although, in fact, the lights from the towers are all blown out.

Pattern photographs from the Nokia G50.

The largest draw back to the ultrawide digicam is that its photographs’ colours aren’t at all times correct. For instance, the pastries look considerably extra yellow within the ultrawide photograph in comparison with the photograph of the mini truffles from the primary digicam. The photograph with the 2 colourful doorways is one other instance of how the ultrawide digicam skews yellow in deceptive methods. Whereas the 2 doorways appear to be they’re yellow and blue within the photograph, in actual life, the doorways are literally orange and teal.

If it is advisable seize something that’s far-off on a dim day, I wouldn’t trouble utilizing the cameras on this cellphone with digital zoom. I took some waterfront photographs on a cloudy night, and all of the photographs have been both blurry messes or means too saturated with yellow lighting.

The Nokia G50 is a $300 price range 5G cellphone that works on the sub-6GHz 5G community.

The $300 Nokia G50 is neither the most affordable nor one of the best price range 5G cellphone on the market, and it’s possible you’ll be higher served by its opponents. For instance, the $239.99 OnePlus Nord N200 5G makes use of the identical Snapdragon 480 5G processor because the G50 however has a 1080p show with 90Hz refresh price for much less cash. Or, for those who’re already a T-Cell buyer, the $300 OnePlus Nord N10 5G may be the higher selection, because it makes use of the sooner Snapdragon 690 5G processor and has the identical HD show as its sibling. The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is one other fashionable selection at $279. It makes use of a sooner MediaTek Dimensity 720 5G processor, has 4 years of safety updates, and is suitable with the newer 5G C-band.

But all these price range 5G telephones undergo from the identical drawback: all of them needed to compromise ultimately to make room for its costlier 5G elements. Since 5G isn’t ubiquitous but and is hardly important to our lives in 2021, I’m unsure it’s essential to restrict your self to 5G telephones when there’s a world of 4G telephones that already affords higher worth and consumer expertise. For round $300, you may get a Pixel 4a with a digicam that may blow any price range 5G cellphone’s digicam out of the water. Or you may get the TCL 20S with premium seems to be and specs for simply $250 and avoid wasting cash towards your future 5G cellphone — when the know-how matures.

Pictures by Amelia Holowaty Krales

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