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Nokia G60 5G Review: A No-frills, Dependable Smartphone

This Nokia G60 5G review is a significant one for me, and I will explain. I have sentimental attachments to older cell phone brands like Motorola, Nokia, BlackBerry, and the like. It is an understandable one: my early years in mobile were made possible by these brands – and they were the leading phone makers of that time. Some of the best mobile phones in the history of man came from these brands. Nokia made some of the best camera phones, too, and were the leading phone brand on the planet for a period of 10 years. But since HMD Global started churning out Android-powered Nokia phones, there have not been particularly striking Nokia phones released.

While there have been decent Nokia smartphones at the low end and lower mid-range, once you began to look for more capable phones, you would find Nokia models wanting. HMD Global released model after model with an under-powered processor – Snapdragon 480 5G – such that when you place those models beside competitors from other brands, it felt like poor value value for money. I still do not understand why HMD Global stuck to their guns on that for so long, but I am glad that they have abandoned that strategy and have released a new range of upper mid-range Nokia phones with a more capable processor. The Nokia X30 5G and Nokia G60 5G are two of them.

Nokia G60 5G review

While the X30 5G is the more expensive of the two new Nokia smartphones (it is the current Nokia flagship), it shares core features with the G60 5G. If you ask me if they are the same device, I would say, Yes; at heart, they are. They both use the Snapdragon 695 5G processor, but the specs differ a bit from there. Have a look at our Nokia X30 5G vs Nokia G60 5G comparison, for more details.

Nokia G60 5G Review: Quick Specifications

Let’s have a quick look at the phone’s specifications to see what to expect.

    • 6.58-inch IPS display, 120 Hz refresh rate, waterdrop notch, Gorilla Glass 5
    • Stock Android 12
    • 8 MP selfie camera
    • 50 MP main camera with LED light
    • 4500 mAh battery with 20W fast charging
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset
    • 6 GB RAM
    • 128GB internal storage

Nokia G60 5G Review: Quick Pros And Cons

Before we dive into the review proper, starting with the major pros and cons of this device.

    • 5G, 4G LTE, 3G, and 2G support
    • Good physical build
    • Good battery life
    • Good performance

Nokia G60 5G Review: In the box

Nokia G60 5G Review: In the box
Nokia G60 5G Review: The phone and the box
    • Nokia G60 5G phone
    • SIM ejector tool
    • USB-C cable
    • 20W power brick/adapter
    • Paper documentation

Nokia G60 5G Review: Hardware And Design

First things first, what is a water-drop notch doing on a phone in this price bracket? Why, HMD; why? It isn’t a big deal; it is one of those minor annoyances that does not have any impact on how I use the phone from day to day. It makes it a little ugly. On the flip side, after a while, I stopped noticing it, so in the long run, it is nothing (at least, for me).

The Nokia G60 5G’s body is made out of plastic. More accurately, 65% recycled plastic. It does not feel cheap, but it is not the most premium feel of plastic that I have experienced on a smartphone. The rear panel being plastic means that I do not have to go about with a consciousness that the Nokia G60 will shatter or crack from a little drop. That is one of the advantages of plastic. The display is an IPS LCD panel and it has a sheet of Gorilla Glass 5 protecting it. There is 120Hz refresh rate for smoother animations and scrolling. I did not have any issues with the display. It works well.

There is a 3.5mm audio port at the bottom end of the phone. Lastly, the Nokia G60 5G has some ingress protection. It won’t likely survive a dunk in water or a bath in dust, but with IP52 rating, it will survive splashes of water. You should be able to use it in the rain and in a few other scenarios where water droplets abound. I used this review device in rainy weather on a few occasions and it has held up fine.

Nokia G60 5G review - rear panel
Nokia G60 5G Review: The rear panel is made of recycled plastic

As already mentioned, the iPhone SE 3rd Generation model has the design of older iPhones. This means it is the only iPhone in Apple’s current lineup that has a fingerprint scanner, thanks to the Home button located below the display. There is no 3.5mm audio port here, though you can still use a headset with the phone, if you hook it up with an adapter. Lastly, the phone has an IP67 rating, providing dust and water resistance in depths of up to 1 metre for 30 minutes.

Nokia G60 5G Review: Software

Out of the box, the Nokia G60 5G runs stock Android 12. This version of Android brought massive visual changes to Android operating system, such that I boldly declared that Android OS is now beautiful. It sucks that this phone did not ship with Android 13, but Nokia’s guarantee of 3 years software update is there to make it less sour in the mouth. The question is when will the Nokia G60 5G get Android 13? Does anyone know?

Shipping with stock Android means that the G60 5G did not have any bloatware pre-installed. It meant that after setting it up, I was not inundated with scores of random notifications about a million things that I do not care for. Setting up the phone and using it from scratch was a beautiful experience. I was able to move my apps, files, and settings over from the iPhone SE 3rd Gen.

Nokia G60 5G Review: Software
Nokia G60 5G Review: Stock Android

Nokia G60 5G Review: Network And Telephony

Phone call quality on the G60 5G is standard Nokia fare – excellent. The phone holds on to a signal well and in-call audio is deep and rich and crisp. After experiencing the messy in-call quality of the iPhone SE 3rd Gen (see our review), the G60 5G shines like a star. Internet access via 4G and 5G work excellently. WiFi Internet connectivity is also stellar. When it comes to network quality, telephony, and Internet connectivity, the Nokia G60 5G is true blue.

Nokia G60 5G Review: Display And Multimedia

Thanks to the 6.58-inch display, the G60 5G feels too big for me. I am not a fan of large phones. I very much prefer display of 5 to 6.2 inches in size. So, this is a personal preference; I am not holding it against the Nokia G60. The screen is clear and crisp. I wish it were AMOLED, so I could enjoy deeper blacks. But that little note aside, the display of the G60 5G is good. I have had no complaints using it, even in the bright afternoon sun.

The single loudspeaker on the Nokia G60 is the phone’s weakest point, as far as I am concerned. Audio quality is anything but stellar. It isn’t piss-poor, but you won’t be looking forward to listening to music on it. I wasn’t; I used it for music and video playback only when absolutely necessary. And the loudness (or the lack of it) is worse than the average quality of the audio. This is the quietest speaker on an upper mid-range smartphone that I have experienced in a while. Do better, HMD Global. Use a wired or wireless headset, instead, and live happily ever after.

Nokia G60 5G Review: Photography & Video

Photography and video on the Nokia G60 5G is quite good. It isn’t fantastic or disappointing. It is just okay. Of course, that isn’t a surprise. At this price range, you will be hard-pressed to find a sterling camera in a phone. I get god daylight photos out of the cameras, but once in poor lighting, it is a hit-or-miss affair. Using Night Mode doesn’t improve on the photo quality.

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Nokia G60 5G review - rear camera
Nokia G60 5G Review: The rear, triple camera

Nokia G60 5G Review: Performance

In terms of performance, the G60 5G does its job fine. I did not experience lags, pauses, or freezes. The Snapdragon 695 chipset is tried and tested, and it delivers well here, coupled with 6 GB of RAM. The phone just works and runs smoothly.

Nokia G60 5G Review: Battery life

Witha 4500 mAh battery, I was expecting good battery life from the Nokia G60, and it did not disappoint me. It isn’t stellar battery life, but being able to use my phone for hours without having to scramble for a charger at every opportunity is always going to score a device big in my books. The G60 5G scores that. On a full charge, the battery runs for a full working day. This is on a moderate use case – a few hours of web browsing, email, and the odd telephone call and SMS. It will take you home from work.

If used more intensively, the battery will empty much faster. Depending on how intense the usage, it can empty in 6 hours. I do wish that HMD Global had equipped it with at least 30W fast charging. Instead, what it got was 20W. It isn’t terrible, but…. While it isn’t super fast, it got us a 50% charge in about 30 minutes. I would have loved to have 30W or 33W fast charging, at the least.

Nokia G60 5G Review: Should You Buy It?

Nokia G60 5G Review: Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
Nokia G60 5G Review: The fingerprint scanner is embedded in the Power button on the side

If you want a mid-range Android smartphone with decent performance and 5G Internet access, the Nokia G60 5G nails it. Even better, it is one of the few phones in its price range that will get 3 major software updates. Running Android 12 out of the box, this device will get Android 13, Android 14, and Android 15.Android 13 is already out, but HMD Global has not provided us with a software update calendar.

The Nokia G60 5G is one of those smartphones that is no-frills but gets the job done. One of those phones you use daily for weeks without getting pissed about it not living up to expectations. It is easy to think nothing of it because it isn’t made of premium materials and doesn’t have an outstanding camera. But as you use it, you realize that you pick it up and put it down without complaints. Well, except for that piss-poor loudspeaker. That annoys me every single time.

Nokia G60 5G review: Detailed Specifications

Mobile Wireless Network and Software

    • 2G mobile network bands: GSM, GPRS, EDGE 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz.
    • 3G mobile network bands: UMTS, WCDMA, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100 MHz
    • 4G mobile network bands: LTE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 20, 28, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41
    • 5G mobile network bands: SA/NSA/Sub6 1, 3, 5, 7, 28, 38, 40, 41, 77, 78 .
    • SIM Type: Nano-SIM, Dual SIM
    • Software / OS: Stock Android 12 (upgradeable all the way to Android 15)

Design, Form Factor, Appearance

    • Dimensions: 165.99 x 75.93 x 8.61 mm
    • Weight: 190g
    • Display: 6.58 inches, 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 aspect ratio, 400-500 nits brightness, 120Hz refresh rate, IPS LCD, Gorilla Glass 5. 
    • Colours: Pure Black. Ice White.
    • Physical Build: 100% recycled aluminium frame and a 60% recycled plastic back cover. IP52 splash protection. 

Internal Hardware Specs

    • Processor Type: 64-bit Octa-core 2.2 GHz Kryo 660 Gold
    • Processor Name: Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G (6 nm)
    • Graphics Processor: Adreno 619
    • RAM: 4 GB / 6 GB
    • Internal Storage: 64 GB / 128 GB
    • External Storage: microSD, up to 512 GB (hybrid slot)

Photography, Video Recording

    • Main Camera: 50 MP main lens + 5 MP ultra-wide lens + 2 MP depth sensor, LED flash, 1080p@30fps video recording, OZO audio. 
    • Front Camera: 8 MP fixed focus, Face Recognition, 1080p@30fps video capture 

Audio, Video Playback

    • Music Support: PCM, AAC / AAC + / eAAC + / MP3 / AMR – NB / WB / APE
    • Audio: 3.5 mm audio jack
    • Loudspeaker: Mono speaker
    • Video Support: H.264/MP4/MPEG4 player
    • FM Radio: Yes.

Phone Sensors

    • Digital Compass: Yes.
    • Accelerometer: Yes.
    • Proximity Sensor: Yes.
    • Ambient Light Sensor: Yes.
    • Barometer: No.
    • Pedometer: No.
    • Heart Rate Monitor: No.
    • Gyroscope (G-Sensor): Yes; side-mounted.
    • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes.
    • Face Unlock: Yes.
    • Iris Scanner: No.
    • Motion Sensing / Gesture Control: No.
    • Voice Control: No.
    • Intelligent Digital Assistant: Yes; Google Assistant.
    • Infra-red Sensor: Yes.

Connectivity Options

    • Bluetooth: v5.1, A2DP, LE, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive
    • WiFi: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, hotspot
    • GPS: Yes, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS
    • USB: microUSB v2.0. Type-C USB 2.0
    • NFC: Yes.

Miscellaneous Specs and Features

    • Battery Type and Capacity: Non-Removable Lithium-Polymer 4500 mAh
    • Battery Charging: 20W fast charging. USB Power Delivery 3.0, Quick Charge 2.0
    • Wireless Charging: N/A.
    • Reverse Charging: No.

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