Nuu Mobile N5L

Recently there have been many budget smartphones that have been released trying to help more people get into the world of Android much more affordable. Nuu Mobile also has thrown their hand into the mix with the N5L Unlocked Android Smartphone.

This phone feels great in the hand and although the back is plastic, it definitely does not feel like a cheap phone. The build and design are well thought out. The specs of the phone are right around where you would expect for a phone in this price range:
  • 1.0 GHz Mediatek Quad-Core Processor
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 5.5" HD 1280 x 720 Screen8.0 MP Rear camera and 2MP Front Camera
  • Dual SIM Capability
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB Storage
  • Removable/Replaceable 3000 mAh battery
I must say I was impressed by the inclusion of dual SIM capabilty and a replaceable battery in a phone at this price range.

The screen seemed a bit overly bright and not as crisp as the other higher end devices I have used, but that does not mean I was disappointed. The capacitative touch screen was responsive and smooth. Here is a shot comparing the Nuu Mobile N5L (left) with the Nexus 6 (right). 

From a software standpoint, it was tough for to be back on Lollipop after using Marshmallow and now N Developer Preview. I have not heard any information regarding the software getting updated to 6.0, however it is Google Mobile Services Certified, so it will get the monthly security patches to ensure a secure Android experience. In addition to the stock unlocked features of Android, Nuu Mobile has added an feature called HotKnot, which is a way to transfer media and data across devices wirelessly when in close proximity. I was unable to test this because I do not have another device that has HotKnot technology. I was extremely pleased to see there is no silly bloatware or any extra overlays on the launcher. 

The battery, although not hugely powered at 3000 mAh, was good enough to last me about 36 hours with my regular use, however no calls were placed during the time I was tracking battery performance. It was mostly games, web searches, and just regular playing around and searching the phone to see what it was like.

Camera quality definitely is lacking here but that is expected with an entry level/budget smartphone. The images below were taken by the Nuu N5L (left), Nexus 6 (Middle) and the Nexus 6P (right) with the understanding that the MP and camera quality are very different on both device. These images are show more as just a simple example than as a direct comparison.

Storage is very lacking, although it has the ability to be expanded 32gb with the use of an SD card. Memory too is a bit low for my liking and as a result I found the device to be rather sluggish and sometimes would hang waiting for previous actions to be completed.

Speaker sound is ok, nothing stupendous or wonderful and gets the job done. Remember this is an entry level device. I used the N5L with a Project Fi Data Only SIM and had absolutely no issues with calling, texting, hangouts, or anything else Fi related.

My unbobxing video can be found here

Overall I think this is a decent device, and could stand to use some more memory and storage. The issue o lag and freezing up I think would be overcome by increasing either RAM or Storage or both. That being said, I would completely recommend this phone to anyone that wants to break into the world of Android but is not ready to spend for the high end device. This is also a great device to give to your kids just getting their first device, especially if you think they may lose it. You won't necessarily stress out about the replacement cost.


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