Nokia 515 review: Time machine

Time machine

GSMArena team, 20 November 2013.

Controls

As we mentioned, Nokia 515 features a classic front configuration - a screen at the top with physical keypad underneath.

The navigation deck is built around a four-way D-pad with a confirmation center key. There's a soft key and a call key on either side. The controls are adequately sized and have good tactile feedback.

The numpad has nicely comfortably keys of good size and the same nice feedback.

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The physical keys work as expected

Above the navigation deck is the 2.4" QVGA display, which we'll inspect in greater detail in a few moments. At the very top is the Nokia logo as well as the speaker grille.

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The Nokia logo is quite prominent

The left side of the Nokia 515 is bare, while the right holds only the volume rocker. The lack of additional buttons and ports on the sides adds lets the metallic profile of the handset remain smooth and cool looking.

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The sides of the phone

The bottom of the 515 continues the clean design trend and holds only the back panel ejector pinhole. The microphone is actually located above the lowest row of the keypad, so there are no other apertures here.

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The bottom of the Nokia 515

At the top we see all the connectivity ports - the microUSB port next to the 3.5mm headphone jack.

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The top houses all the ports

The 5MP camera with LED flash is the most notable feature on the back. The speaker grille is near the bottom, next to the plastic patch.

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The 5MP camera with LED flash

We already discussed the good-looking aluminum back of the phone. It's removable, although the process is a bit odd. You need a pin, which Nokia has supplied in the package, to insert into the at the bottom.

Once you've opened the cover you see the 1200mAh battery. The SIM card and microSD card slot are placed above it, but unfortunately in such a way that neither of them is hotswappable.

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The back is removable

Overall, the phone doesn't flex, neither does it bend nor twist. It's a very solid build that will last ages.

Display

The display of the Nokia 515 is a 2.4-incher of QVGA resolution. This adds up to the very modest 167ppi density, which however isn't that bad for the entry level class.

Image quality is decent with contrast levels good for the price range.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Nokia 515 - - - 0.56 396 713
LG Nexus 5 0.31 298 948 0.54 526 967
LG G2 0.10 149 1522 0.45 667 1495
LG Optimus G 0.14 197 1445 0.33 417 1438
Sony Xperia Z1 - - - 0.38 580 1513
Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4 0 201 0 404
HTC One 0.13 205 1580 0.42 647 1541
Oppo Find 5 0.17 176 1123 0.51 565 1107

As far as sunlight legibility is concerned, we are happy to report the Nokia 515 does very decently beating far more expensive handsets in our test. You won't have any problems reading messages or check out who's calling you even in direct sunlight.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.950
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.790
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.270
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Handling

The Nokia 515 is pleasantly joyful to hold. You will have absolutely no trouble operating it with one hand and its aluminum back provides a great feel in the hand.

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The Nokia 515 held in hand.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

What do you mean? Both SIM cards work together

  • Nokia freak

Can i take calls and send messages with this phone when i have Dual sim or do i need to switch simcards all the time.? I want to be connected to 2 simcards all the time so People can call me. Plz answer.

  • Toufiq

The price is a bit higher