HMD Global introduced the Nokia 5.1 Plus from its budget portfolio in India this August. The smartphone marked its entry to the Indian market alongside the mid-range Nokia 6.1 Plus. Both the devices share near identical design with glass surface and run Android One-powered Android Oreo OS. The new Nokia 5.1 Plus retails for a price of Rs 10,999 for the 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage.
While previous Nokia smartphones came with thick bezel display, HMD Global made cosmetic changes on the budget Nokia 5.1 Plus. The phone flaunts a glass design and the notch display. Nokia 6.1 Plus is the first device from the company’s shelf to embrace the notch style. However, the Nokia 5.1 Plus houses a wider notch, and slightly taller display as compared to Nokia 6.1 Plus.
The phone features a 5.86-inch HD+ display and runs MediaTek Helio P60 processor. At the back, it sports dual camera setup aligned horizontally. A circular-shaped fingerprint sensor sits below the rear cameras. Nokia 5.1 Plus ticks almost all the requisite boxes for its price, but can it beat the other popular budget smartphones in the Indian market? We find it in our review-
Nokia 5.1 Plus features and specifications: 5.86-inch (1,520 x 720) 19:9 display | Android Oreo | MediaTek Helio P60 SoC | 3GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable up to 400GB) | 13MP + 5MP dual camera with PDAF, LED flash | 8MP front camera | 3,060mAh battery | Connectivity options: 4G VoLTE, USB Type-C port, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3.5mm audio jack
Nokia 5.1 Plus price in India
Nokia 5.1 Plus comes for a price of Rs 10,999 in for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage model
Nokia 5.1 Plus review: What’s good?
Nokia 5.1 Plus is encased in a 2.5D glass body with a polycarbonate chassis sandwiched between the front and rear glass panel. The phone looks neat and visually appealing with smooth curved edges. It gives a premium feel for its price.
Even though it bears a tall display, the Finnish company has managed to fit in a compact form factor. At nearly 8mm thickness, Nokia 5.1 Plus looks pretty slim and rests comfortably in your hand. The microSD card slot sits on the left side, while the volume keys and power button are located on the right side. The keys offer tactile feedback.
At the top, you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack. Interestingly, Nokia 5.1 Plus comes with a USB Type-C port which is quite hard to find in the budget segment. Both the speaker grille and USB Type-C port are drilled at the base of the device.Nokia 5.1 Plus has dual camera lenses aligned horizontally at the centre with a circular-shaped borderless fingerprint sensor placed below it. Ergonomic-wise the phone is good and it quite lightweight.
Nokia 5.1 Plus features a 5.86-inch display with a 19:9 aspect ratio resulting in a resolution of 1520 x 720 pixels. The bezels surrounding the perimeters run along the curvature of the phone’s body. On top, Nokia 5.1 Plus has a wider notch that houses the front camera, proximity sensor and earpiece.
Talking about the display quality, the HD+ IPS LCD panel renders decent colours and viewing angles. The screen brightness is sufficient enough to read content in bright sunlight. Touch latency is pretty smooth on this phone.
As for Nokia 5.1 Plus’s processing hardware, unlike the Nokia 6.1 Plus that runs a Qualcomm chipset, the phone is powered by a MediaTek Helio P60 processor. It offers 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage which can be further expanded up to 400GB via microSD card.
Nokia 5.1 Plus scored 1,19,305 on AnTuTu. On PCMark test, it showed an average run time 10 hours and 24 minutes, which is much better than most budget phones in a similar price band. More so, we were quite impressed with the real-life performance.
With several tabs open in Chrome browser, we did not face any lag or stutter. Even while playing games and switching between apps, the phone did not stutter. A few hours of playing Orbia, Rayman Adventures and PUBG, the performance was fairly good. PUBG (in medium and low quality) saw no frame drops even when we ran the game for nearly 45 minutes.
Nokia 5.1 Plus performs quite well in terms of photo quality. The dual lenses at the back manage to render vibrant images with decent details in good lighting condition. The image processing is quite fast and the camera yields rich green and blue colour. It locks focus accurately on the subject in well-lit condition. With the Macro mode on, you can take good close-up shots but from a certain distance. The native camera app is easy to use and offers Live Bokeh mode, Bothie and PIP mode.
The camera app has Manual mode as well, but it only allows you to adjust exposure value and White Balance, which is not doing much. The front camera provides decent output depending on the lighting condition.
In terms of software, Nokia 5.1 Plus is powered by Android One which means you will up to date security patches for three years and timely software updates for two years. The phone runs a stock version of Android Oreo OS. The bloatware-free Nokia 5.1 Plus offers a clean and uncluttered UI. The apps run fairly stable without any hiccups.
Nokia 5.1 Plus packs a 3,060mAh battery. The phone manages to deliver nearly a day’s worth of usage on a single charge with moderate usage. During our usage, that involved browsing on Chrome, texting on social media apps, and streaming content on YouTube, the phone lasted for almost a day. However, while playing graphically demanding games, the battery drained nearly 12 per cent after an hour run-time.
Nokia 5.1 Plus review: Camera samples
Nokia 5.1 Plus review: What’s bad?
The glass back panel is prone to smudges and fingerprint grease. Besides the phone is quite slippery, and tends to fall while using single-handedly. The front 2.5D glass panel gets reflective on some angles. Further, the notch on easily distracts your attention while playing games or streaming content in landscape mode.
More so, while the phone rendered AnTuTu and PCMark test scores, it couldn’t run the Geekbench test. The fingerprint sensor on the Nokia 5.1 Plus is quite consistent and unlocks the phone in less than a second. However, at times we faced difficulty searching for the sensor to unlock the device since it does not have a tactile border.
The dual camera sensors yield good result in bright lighting condition, but indoor shots are another story. Some of the photos appeared to be quite grainy even in the well-lit situation.
Nokia 5.1 Plus review: Conclusion
For a price at Rs 10,999, Nokia 5.1 Plus does stand out in the budget segment, courtesy of its classy design and clean software experience. The glass design with a neat back panel will surely grab the user’s attention. Besides the Nokia 5.1 Plus is the first smartphone in the budget segment in India to offer a USB Type-C port.
The Android One smartphone promises stable, zero-bloatware software experience. With the MediaTek chipset, the phone manages to handle day-to-day tasks with ease. For users who prefer a compact designed smartphone with a decent display, imaging sensors and battery backup for a budget price, the Nokia 5.1 Plus is a worthy option at this price point.