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Nokia G60 5G review: A strong performance for the price

Nokia has forged its reputation in the smartphone market by producing cheap and mid-range devices packed with plenty of quality features. The Nokia G60 5G is one such phone, with a quick and generally seamless performance. While it’s not without its faults, the G60 is still a strong performer for the price point.

In recent years, Nokia has repositioned its focus on longevity by creating devices that are built to last. The Nokia G60 5G is one of the latest phones from Nokia to be built around this ethos of longevity, being made from 60% recycled plastics and including three years of updates.

Priced at $549 AUD RRP, Nokia has packed in some impressive specs for a device at this price point, thanks to its speedy processor and 120Hz refresh rate for a smooth and seamless performance. Pack all that into a size that’s not too big and not too small, and the Nokia G60 5G has hit a sweet spot for a device in this price range. Read on for our hands-on review.

How we tested the Nokia G60 5G

I tested the Nokia G60 5G over several weeks to get a feel for how it handles day-to-day use — whether that’s light, moderate or more intensive activities. I tested a range of features, from photo taking to video streaming, while also testing how the phone’s battery life held up and its charging performance.

Nokia G60 5G features and specs

Back of Nokia G60 5G phone with pot plant
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue
  • $549 AUD RRP
  • 6.58-inch FHD+ display
  • Up to 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor
  • Triple rear camera setup (50MP main + 5MP ultra-wide + 2MP depth)
  • 8MP front-facing camera
  • 4,500mAh battery
  • Up to 20W fast charging
  • Fingerprint (side mounted) and facial recognition unlocking
  • 5G connectivity
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB internal storage
  • Frame and back made from 60% and 100% recycled plastic respectively
  • Black and Ice colourways
Nokia G60 5G pros Nokia G60 5G cons
  • Rather fast performance
  • 120Hz refresh rate feels smooth
  • Made from recycled plastic
  • Built-in speaker quality rather flat
  • Video recording rather basic and results are fairly lacklustre
  • No clear jelly case included

Shop the Nokia G60 5G

Phone Features Storage Size Price
Nokiia G60 5G phone  

Nokia G60 5G

  • 6.58-inch display
  • Rear cameras: 50MP main + 5MP ultra-wide + 2MP depth
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • 4,500mAh battery
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor
  • Black and Ice colours
128GB
$549
Shop now

Design & functionality

Back of Nokia G60 phone in black
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue
  • Very plain design and simple colour choices
  • Size feels large but not too large to be difficult to use with one hand

Simple and unassuming is perhaps the best way to describe what Nokia has done with the design of the Nokia G60 5G. While the brand isn’t exactly known for groundbreaking design — and tends to keep its phones on the simpler end — that doesn’t mean that Nokia is boring.

The brand has in the past mixed things up a little bit with the overall design and colours of its phones. However, the G60 5G is a simpler design with a choice between the more basic Black and Ice colourways.

One thing that Nokia has done is include an interesting texture to the back. Although it’s a matte finish, there are little specs creating a nice textured feel, possibly going for the look of splashed paint or a rough rocky texture. The matte finish is also fairly smudge-proof, but you will notice a few smudges with the black version, which I was supplied with.

However, it’s important to note that the Nokia G60 5G is made from recycled plastic. The back is made from 100% recycled plastic, while the frame is made from 60% recycled plastic. If you care more about sustainability than the look of a phone, this is a very big plus in the favour of the G60 5G.

While plastic finishes on phones can sometimes make a phone look and feel a bit cheap, I don’t think the G60 feels like a super-cheap phone. It certainly doesn’t have the high-end luxurious or weighty feel that a phone made with glass and/or metal will, but it still looks and feels nice to hold.

Another thing to note is that there is no jelly case included with the G60 5G. Often cheaper phones (where there aren’t many cases available for purchase) will include a clear case in the box. If you want to protect your phone from scratches and smudges, a clear case for the G60 5G can be purchased from the Nokia store for an additional $29. Nokia has also removed the wall charger from the box, only supplying a USB Type C cable for charging. If you don’t have the right wall plug, you’ll need to buy this separately.

Using the phone

Closeup of cameras of Nokia G60 5G phone
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

The Nokia G60 5G is a reasonably big phone, with a 6.58-inch display, although it’s a good size with a large screen that isn’t too big like some other phones on the market. One thing I do really like is that it feels rather slim and lightweight — which would be largely thanks to its plastic casing and smaller camera bump. If you’re sick of chunkier-feeling phones, that’s likely to be good news for you.

Despite its larger size compared to more compact phones like the iPhone 14 Pro and Pixel 7, I didn’t really find it to be a difficult phone to use, even one-handed. If the phone had been any bigger, I might have struggled a bit more with my smaller hands.

The fingerprint scanner is mounted on the right side of the phone (when looking at the screen), and I found it was positioned really well to be easy to reach with my thumb. The scanner did seem to be a bit sensitive to touch which is good when you’re unlocking, but annoying when it would try to scan while you’re simply holding the phone. Facial recognition unlocking was also rather quick and seamless.

One thing I found interesting was that the camera bump looked fairly small, but its presence is pretty clear. When you lie the phone on a flat surface, it doesn’t lie flat and will rock when touched. It might not be a big deal to some, but considering there wasn’t an included case to create a flatter back, this could be annoying if you use your phone on flat surfaces.

Ultimately, the G60 is a reasonably well-designed phone and feels good to use. While the texture on the back is an interesting choice for a little point of difference, the rather plain colour choices do let the design down a bit.

 

Performance

Screen of Nokia G60 phone
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue
  • Rather fast and seamless performance
  • Battery keeps up rather well with use

The Nokia G60 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor and has up to 120Hz refresh rate. The processor is the same that OPPO uses in its Reno8 Lite 5G which I’ve previously reviewed, although that phone only has a 60Hz refresh rate.

Like with the OPPO Reno8 Lite, I found that the performance was generally good. It felt like a rather zippy phone, and I found that it did a great job at quickly loading apps and images bar a few instances of slow responsiveness, and it didn’t struggle when switching between apps. For the price point, I found the speed (backed up by the 120Hz refresh rate) really exceeded my expectations.

Testing out its 5G capabilities, I was able to record an average of 371Mbps using the Optus 5G network. Using the phone with 5G switched on, apps loaded quickly and it was even speedier than when I’m connected on my home WiFi.

Viewing experience

While the Nokia G60 5G isn’t as big as some other phones on the market, the 6.58-inch screen is a good size and makes for a generally good viewing experience. I did feel like the bezels were rather chunky, and while it’s not uncommon for cheaper phones, it would be nice to see thinner bezels make their way to more affordable phones in the future.

The screen quality is ok but nothing spectacular. It was reasonably clear and the colours were rather vibrant and fairly true-to-life, but it lacked a little bit of that clarity that other phones have when watching videos with a lot of darkness. The adaptive brightness was rather intuitive, although I felt at times that the brightness was a little too strong for certain environments.

Watching videos proved to be a decent experience. While the screen was generally good, it wasn’t as sharp a picture as I would expect on a phone at this price. The built-in speaker was also a let down — while it’s not uncommon for phones in this price range to only carry the one speaker, the quality was rather flat and lacked a lot of depth and bass. Other cheaper phones tend to lack some of that bass depth that you experience in premium devices, but I felt it was much more obvious with the G60 than with comparable phones I’ve reviewed. It also seemed on the quieter side, so you’d need to boost the volume to the max if you listen to something that’s predominantly speaking (little to no music or sound effects, etc). I found it did ok with videos that had mostly talking, but music was where the poor performance was most noticeable. Ultimately, you’re best sticking to headphones if you’re watching videos and listening to music on the Nokia G60.

Watching video on the Nokia G60 5G phone
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Playing games on the Nokia G60 was generally good — the screen refresh rate helped to make it a more fluid experience. I did find that the adaptive brightness was quite temperamental and it was especially noticeable when playing games. It tended to adjust quite regularly and abruptly (which I found to be off putting) even when the environment didn’t seem to change, however it seemed to be a reaction to shadow or if I slightly tilted the screen. While other phones sometimes aren’t as intuitive to the environment reagrding brightness, the G60 seemed to be a little bit too responsive.

Battery and charging

Nokia has packed in a 4,500mAh battery with ‘two-day battery life’ and supports up to 20W fast charging. While some phones at this price might have faster charging, it’s still a pretty decent inclusion and it’s good to see fast charging featured in more budget-friendly phones.

When it came to real-world performance, I found the battery was capable of keeping up with my needs. Around five hours of light usage (extensive idle periods and occasional social media use) only drained around seven hours of battery, while five hours of moderate usage (social browsing, gaming, video watching and regular idle periods) chewed through around 23% of the battery. For a longer day (around 10 hours) of moderate usage I only experienced a 26% battery drain.

Watching around 30 minutes of Disney+ streaming chewed through around 5% of the battery, while around 10 minutes of HD YouTube drained 1% of the battery. Gaming went through the battery quicker, with around 15 minutes of gaming using up around 4% of the battery.

As for charging, having fast charging compatibility makes a big difference if you’re running low on juice. I was able to charge from 0% to 100% in around two hours using a 45W fast charger (keep in mind the G60 is only up to 20W wired fast charging). However it’s worth noting that you won’t get a charger in the box (a cable is included but no wall plug) so you’ll need to invest in a fast charger if you want to take advantage of its fast charge capabilities.

Overall, the Nokia G60 5G provides a very solid performance for a phone at this price point. The higher refresh rate, combined with its generally speedy performance easily kept up with my needs and the battery life was overall fairly decent. While it was let down by a slightly lacklustre screen and poor speaker quality when watching videos, it didn’t detract from the overall experience.

Nokia G60 phone camera app
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Cameras

  • Nice quality night mode
  • Video features are very simple and quality was average

The Nokia G60 5G includes a 8MP front-facing camera along with a triple rear camera setup with a 50MP main camera, 5MP ultra-wide camera and 2MP depth camera. While you’ll get included features like night mode and AI portrait, the G60 is missing a macro mode/lens. Considering many cheaper phones (and the comparable OPPO Reno8 lite) includes a macro camera or macro mode, it could be an oversight on Nokia’s part, although for many people it will most likely not be a deciding factor.

Outdoor photo of ocean taken on Nokia G60 5G phone
Outdoor photo taken on Nokia G60 5G phone, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Outdoor photos are generally very good. Colours appear true to life, although they tended to be a little dull and lack a little vibrancy that you get with other phones. I do feel that for a 50MP lens, and with HDR, the outdoor photo quality was a little disappointing. It lacked some of the clarity that you see with other phones and even had some blur and noise to photos when you zoom in to take a closer look. While the camera system sounds impressive on paper, I feel that the photo quality should have be better than what I experienced.

Photo of jacaranda tree taken on Nokia G60 phone
Outdoor photo taken on Nokia G60 5G phone, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Indoor photos are generally good and while the photos look a little dull on screen, the colour vibrancy seemed to improve when the photo had been processed. The noise and slight blur seemed to be more pronounced in darker conditions, and the camera app even prompts you to switch to night mode in low-light conditions such as indoors on a cloudy day, which I found a little strange. However, when you do switch to night mode in those indoor and low-light conditions, it adds a bit more vibrancy and clarity to photos.

Photo of playground at night
Night mode photo taken on Nokia G60 5G phone, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Using night mode at night is, for a phone at this price, fairly impressive. When there is minimal light, you can get some reasonably clear results with minimal noise, however you won’t really see as much detail in the night sky as you do with premium phones. The G60’s night mode does take a long time to take and process though, so you’ll want a steady hand. I also found it struggled to focus on occasions, so I ended up with several blurry photos that would need retaking.

Portrait of Pusheen plush taken on Nokia G60
Portrait mode photo taken on Nokia G60 5G phone, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Portrait mode is also fairly decent and I found it produced a really nice and natural-looking background blur. I found it did a fairly good job at picking up most details without blurring the outline of the subject too much, especially around the hair. I did find that there was some noise to portraits in certain lighting conditions, and I felt the results were a bit better after processing than when you take the photos.

When you have AI portrait switched on, it smooths out blemishes and also gives a little brightness boost to the background. The smoothing results were a little unnatural looking at times, but some portraits and selfies show some noise in certain conditions with the AI portrait switched off. It’s really about personal preference whether you want to use the AI enhancement or not. While you’ll get generally good results from the G60’s portrait features, it lacks a bit of that ‘wow’ factor you get from other phones, such as the more portrait/selfie focused OPPO Reno8 Lite.

Closeup photo of raindrops on leaves taken on Nokia G60
Closeup photo taken on Nokia G60 5G phone, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Nokia hasn’t done much to its video mode, which is clearly not much of a focus for the brand. The results are ok, and when the OZO Audio feature is switched on, it does produce a clearer sound than when it is switched off. I found colours to be a bit dull and there wasn’t much clarity and depth to the video quality. The auto focus also wasn’t great and I had to manually adjust the focus while filming (by tapping on the subject). If you like to record a lot of video, you might prefer to look elsewhere as the G60 offers pretty much the basics only.

Panorama photo of rock pools and ocean taken on Nokia G60
Panorama photo taken on Nokia G60 5G phone, Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Overall, the Nokia G60 5G offers a decent camera performance, but with some hits and misses. If you’re looking at a phone in this price range and cameras are important to you, you might prefer to look elsewhere. But if you’re not a big photo taker or don’t do much filming, the G60 will get the job done for your basic needs.

Compare SIM-only plans

As you can only buy the Nokia G60 5G outright from retailers (including the Nokia online store, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman and more) you’ll need to pair your device with a SIM-only plan. If you’re looking for a new plan, whether that’s prepaid or postpaid, a cheap plan or a plan with lots of data to keep you going, there are plenty of plans and providers to choose from. Simply switch between the below tabs to compare prepaid and postpaid plans.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Should I buy the Nokia G60 5G?

Person holding Nokia G60 phone
Source: Emma Bradstock/Canstar Blue

Nokia positions many of its phones within that cheaper and mid-range price point, making its phones a good option for anyone with a stricter budget or looking for a basic phone.

The Nokia G60 5G has a lot going for it at the $549 AUD price point (and you may be able to pick it up at a discounted price from some retailers). The processor and refresh rate alone make it feel like a powerful phone which is more than capable of keeping up with your needs. The size of the phone is definitely a plus for anyone sick of big and bulky phones, although the rather plain design and colour choices are a bit uninspired.

Nokia has also staying true to its ethos about producing devices that last longer, with the G60 being built from recycled plastic. As more phone manufacturers are looking to reduce eWaste and embrace more sustainability in production (although excluding a phone charger might still seem like a cop-out to some), Nokia is certainly making those steps and could be worth looking into if this is important to you.

When comparing the G60 to other phones at a similar price, there are some things that the G60 has that others don’t, and there are also areas where the G60 is lacking. The general day-to-day performance and decent battery life make it feel like a phone with enough of a quality performance to justify the price tag. I felt a little bit more from the camera performance could have made a big difference, and the built-in speaker quality was disappointing. However, it’s an overall good phone and worth considering if you’re looking at phones in this price range.

Consider the Nokia G60 5G if Don’t consider the Nokia G60 5G if
You’re after a cheaper to mid-range phone with fast performance and smooth experience. You’re into phone photography or record a lot of videos.

Product used for review/testing was a free sample provided by Nokia.

Emma Bradstock
Telco Specialist
Emma Bradstock has been an authority on consumer phone, internet, technology and streaming markets in Australia for the last 4 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Media from Macquarie University and has a decade of professional writing experience in print and digital media.

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