HMD Global has brought revamped versions of its Nokia-branded smartphones from last year, the Nokia 5 and Nokia 3. The two devices are succeeded by the new Nokia 5.1 and Nokia 3.1 respectively that now flaunt modern design and pure Android experience. Alongside these handsets, the company has also updated its budget smartphone, the Nokia 2 to the new Android-Go powered Nokia 2.1.
While HMD Global has refreshed its budget lineup by adding a few tweaks and upgrading the software, it has kept the price similar to that of their predecessors. In this article, we have catalogued the key changes the Finnish handset maker has made to the new Nokia 5.1, and compared it to the devices that it will compete against in the Indian smartphone market.
Nokia 5.1 Vs Nokia 5
The Nokia 5.1 has the same chassis as the Nokia 5 carved out of series 6000 aluminium, but the former now takes an elongated shape courtesy of the 18:9 display. The Nokia 5.1 features rounded edges and the fingerprint sensor has now been moved to the rear side. The unibody design on the new Nokia handset ousts the antenna bands and leaves a cleaner back panel.
The key change on the new Nokia 5.1 is its display which now boasts an 18:9 front panel compared to a 16:9 screen found on the Nokia 5. The phone now includes a slightly larger 5.5-inch display from 5.2-inch screen seen on the last year’s model. The pixel resolution has increased as well from 1280 x 720 pixels to 2160 x 1080 pixels. The Nokia 5.1 now comes with an FHD+ IPS LCD screen having a pixel density of 443 ppi. The front panel has 2.5D arc glass along with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for added protection.
Another change on the new Nokia 5.1 is its processing hardware. The phone now carries a MediaTek Helio P18 chipset instead of Qualcomm SoC. The smartphone features MediaTek’s MT6755S octa-core processor and HMD Global says that chipset will deliver 40% better performance compared to last year’s Snapdragon 430 chipset. The company has bumped up the imaging sensors as well on the Nokia 5 successor. The Nokia 5.1 now sports a 16MP unit instead of a 13MP sensor and comes with PDAF and dual-tone flash.
As for the software, the Nokia 5.1 runs Android Oreo and is part of the Android One initiative, which means the device will receive two years of Android software updates and three years of security patches. In terms of battery, the company has slightly shrunk the battery capacity from 3000mAh (Nokia 5) to 2970mAh on the Nokia 5.1.
As for the pricing, the Nokia 5.1 has been priced at Rs 12,499 in India for the base model with 2GB RAM/16GB storage. The smartphone will also be available in 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant for Rs 13,499. The Nokia 5.1 will offer three colour options – Copper, Tempered Blue and Black.
We don’t expect a walk in the part for the new Nokia handset. The smartphone has a few tough challengers in the budget segment from popular Chinese brands Xiaomi and Honor. The handsets that come straight to mind are Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 and Honor’s recently launched budget smartphone, the Honor 7C. Here’s how these devices compare with the new Nokia Android One-powered handset.
Nokia 5.1 Vs Redmi Note 5 Vs Honor 7C
While Xiaomi is known for offering best affordable handsets, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 is no different. The smartphone features a tall 5.99-inch full HD+ (2160 x 1080 pixels) display with good colours and a huge 4000mAh battery that promises more than a day’s worth of usage. The Redmi Note 5 carries a 12MP camera that provides decent colour reproduction and detail.
While the Nokia 5.1’s MediaTek Helio P18 chipset is claimed to offer better performance than the Snapdragon 430, the Redmi Note 5’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor fabricated on 14nm process has an edge over the Nokia-branded phone on the performance front. Further, the Redmi Note 5 base version that comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage costs Rs 3500 lower than the Nokia 5.1’s similar spec’d variant.
Talking about the Honor 7C, the phone features similar screen size as the Redmi Note 5 but the resolution is lower. The smartphone sports a 5.99-inch HD+ (1440 x 720 pixels) IPS LCD display with 18:9 aspect ratio. While the Honor 7C doesn’t host a full HD+ resolution, its dual rear cameras provide that extra bit on the specification sheet. The new Honor smartphone packs a 13MP+2MP unit on the rear side unlike the Nokia 5.1 or Note 5 that offer a single camera module.
Further, the smartphone pegs a slightly bigger battery compared to the new Nokia 5.1 but not in the same league as the Redmi Note 5. The Honor 7C has a battery capacity of 3000mAh. It is powered by Qualcomm’s mid-tier processor, Snapdragon 450. The smartphone costs Rs 9,999 for the 3GB RAM/32GB storage version.
If you take a closer look, all the three devices in the list offer an elongated 18:9 display for enhanced viewing experience. What makes the Nokia 5.1 stand tall against its competitors is its pure and bloatware-free Android experience. However, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5’s powerful mid-range processor and battery, and Honor 7C’s good imaging sensors will set the bar high for the new Nokia handset to scale. Besides both these smartphones come for a price nearly Rs 3,500 lower than the Nokia 5.1’s equivalent variant.