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 in the first week of 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.
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.
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.
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.
Oreo on budget handsets like this is an awesome advantage over some of the most expensive phones around. Mny phones double the price don’t yet have, and may never get, Oreo.
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.