New Nokia G50 signals HMD Global’s leap into affordable 5G phones

HMD Global has joined the ranks of smartphone companies launching really affordable 5G phones with the new Nokia G50. It costs $299 or 200 British pounds, putting it up against devices like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G, the Realme 8 5G, and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G.

It’s obvious from this list that HMD Global is up against considerable competition, so what does the Nokia G50 offer? The specification will be a familiar one if you’ve been following the low-cost 5G phone trend recently. The processor inside is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 480 with matching 5G modem, and a choice of either 4GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB storage, or as a 6GB/128GB version.

Nokia G50 seen from the back.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The phone is made from plastic and although it’s heavy at 220 grams, the weight is well-disguised by the phone’s sheer size. It’s longer and wider than a OnePlus 9 Pro, for example, and there is a serious bezel at the bottom of the screen. It comes in either Midnight Sun or Ocean Blue colors, and it’s this one you can see in our photos. There are three cameras on the back, with a 48-megapixel main camera joined by a 5MP ultrawide camera, and a 2MP depth camera. An 8MP selfie camera sits inside the teardrop notch at the top of the 6.82-inch screen. It has a 1600 x 900-pixel resolution, but only puts out a 450 nits brightness, which may affect viewing in sunlight.

A 5,000mAh battery powers the phone and there’s 18W wired charging, plus other features include a side-fingerprint sensor, a 3.5mm headphone jack, space for a MicroSD card alongside dual SIMs, and NFC for Google Pay. These specifications aren’t the whole story though, and the Nokia G50’s appeal will likely come from the software. It runs Android 11 which operates just like Android on a Pixel phone and will receive major software version updates for the next two years, and monthly security updates for the next three.

The affordable price, 5G, a clean installation of Android, and two years of version updates may give the Nokia G50 the edge over phones with a third-party interface and perhaps a less clear upgrade path. The Nokia G50 is available from today in the U.S and the U.K., through Nokia’s own online store.

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