Mobile Reviews

Nokia 2 vs Panasonic Eluga I5: two affordable 5-inch smartphones for $115


Let’s check out Nokia 2 and Panasonic Eluga I5, two smartphones that are available on the cheap; more so if you are on a budget.

Nokia is making their presence felt again, with the re-emergence of Nokia with Android operating system. The response has been very well received, as most users can relate to the great years when the Finnish company was the leader back in the 90’s.

Today, we currently have Nokia 8 and 9 for the high-end market, Nokia 5 and 6 for the mid-range, while Nokia was previously their entry-level smartphone. With Nokia 2, the definition of entry-level is redefined.

Here’s to Nokia 2 as per below:

  • 5-inch HD LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 720 x 1280 pixels, 16:9 ratio or ~294 ppi density
  • Aluminum body
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Qualcomm MSM8909v2 Snapdragon 212 chipset, Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7, Adreno 304 and 1GB RAM
  • 8MP primary camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • 5MP secondary camera
  • 8GB internal storage + microSD expansion slot up to 128GB
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 4100 mAh battery
  • Android Nougat 7.1.1, upgradeable to Android Oreo 8.0
  • Dual-sim and 4G LTE
  • November 2017 release date
  • 99 Euro or ~$115 USD price tag

With a similar 5-inch screen size with High Definition resolution, Nokia 2 does have the advantage of the LTPS screen. The better tech means an overall better picture being displayed on-screen. The aluminium body with a plastic front and polycarbonate back makes for a firmer grip and higher durability. Then there’s the Gorilla Glass 3 for protection.

Regarding performance, what else can you expect out of Nokia 2? It is right there in the bottom of things, with the Snapdragon 212 chipset, decent quad-core processor, decent graphics and just 1GB RAM. Still good enough to run your most basic apps like your favourite social media, and some basic gaming to keep you occupied.

Moving on to the camera, the 8MP-5MP camera combination provides for some basic shooting. The 8MP primary camera features automatic scene detection and autofocus. Meanwhile, for the 5MP selfie camera, it is also pretty basic over here. With unlimited uploads to Google Photos, you can capture as many photos as you like, without worrying about running out of space anytime at all.

That’s where the worrying part comes into the picture. 8GB internal storage is not enough in the modern era, as it leaves you with limited choices of apps and games to be installed. Thankfully, there’s the expansion slot that can easily take in an additional 128GB of space.

Now let’s finish off with the two most exciting things about Nokia 2. Firstly, is the fact that this smartphone will get the update to the latest Android Oreo 8.0 once it is available to the public. Surprising indeed, seeing that most updates are normally reserved to the flagship lineup, so kudos to Nokia for not discriminating the users in the low-tier. Plus, the current OS is plain vanilla with no unnecessary bloatware installed. There’s also Doze mode for prolonged battery life.

Talking about battery life, here’s to Nokia 2 that promises two-days of battery life with its huge 4100 mAh battery. Now that’s something extraordinary if you are the travelling kind and wants the freedom of not being tied up so often.

With that in mind, let’s turn our attention to Eluga I5. As most of you know, Panasonic is a reputable household products brand name, rather than being known as a smartphone manufacturer. Even the I5 brand name might confuse you with Intel’s line of processors.

Let’s scrutinize it further then:

  • 5-inch HD IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 720 x 1280 pixels, 16:9 ratio or ~294 ppi density
  • Asahi Dragontrail Glass protection
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Mediatek MT6737 chipset, Quad-core 1.25 GHz Cortex-A53 processor, Mali-T720MP1 graphics and 2GB RAM
  • 13MP primary camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • 5MP secondary camera
  • 16GB internal storage + microSD expansion slot up to maximum 128GB
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 2500 mAh battery
  • Android Nougat 7.0
  • Dual-sim and 3G
  • November 2017 release date
  • 6,499 Indian Rupee or ~$99 USD

The first thing that catches our attention is how cheap Eluga I5 is. It has been a long time that we can see a smartphone that costs below $100 USD, but does it offer value for money?

First up, Eluga I5 share the similar 5-inch HD screen but not LTPS on this one – only IPS. Regarding protection, there’s the Dragontrail Glass which should provide sufficient cover in case of any mishaps. Then there’s the advantage of having a fingerprint sensor which lets you use it for all your biometric purposes.

Performance-wise, it still sits in the entry-level space; although it is slightly better off. Again, it is limited to running most basic apps and some very light gaming on this smartphone.

Camera-wise, the Eluga I5 fares slightly better in the primary camera department with the availability of the 13MP shooter. The 5MP selfie camera should be comparable between the two.

Regarding storage, again Eluga I5 have the upper hand with twice the amount of storage at 16GB. Surely not enough, and here comes the expansion slot to the rescue that allows you to add 128GB.

Here we are at the end, and there’s two bad news for you to consider. First up, is the 2500 mAh battery which isn’t that bad though. It should be able to easily supply a full day of charge with this kind of setup.

But the downside of Eluga I5, is the fact that it can only run on a 3G network. There’s no high-speed 4G LTE that you can tap into, so your best bet is to have it connected to WiFi all the time.


Both have their strengths and weaknesses, with Nokia 2 being cheap and handy to bring along with you when you choose to travel light. The 8MP-5MP shooter is still capable of capturing your favourite moments while you are away on vacation. The best part of all, it can last you for two days in between charging and the promise of an update to Android Oreo 8.0 later.

Nokia 2 is currently available for just 99 Euro or ~$115 USD mark. There are three colours to choose from: Pewter/Black, Pewter/White and Copper/Black.

Panasonic Eluga I5 is at a better price point and is typical what you can expect from a smartphone that costs under $100 USD. Just be aware of its 3G connection limitation. Otherwise, it would have been really fine.

The Panasonic Eluga I5 is currently available for 6,499 Rupees or ~$99 USD and comes in Black and Gold colour.

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Eza EzamieEza Ezamie
Category: Team WhaTechCompany about: Tech junkie by profession and passionate about anything from the digital world, movies, games and reading. He loves writing and hopes you enjoy his writing as much as he does. Eza, is also known as Don in the virtual world, but don’t him me wrong, he's not a mafia type he's really a nice chap and a devout family guy.
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