Ever since the Nokia brand returned to the smartphone world with the help of HMD, the company has pushed out new phones at a rapid pace. This has allowed the company to have a fresh portfolio at any given moment, and also keep up with the latest market trends.
These days, having a notch in your phone’s design is quickly becoming the new norm. Will the new Nokia 5.1 Plus be able to stand out in a sea of notched phones? Join us as we do an in-depth review of the new Nokia 5.1 Plus.
Quality meets Elegance
The design of the new Nokia 5.1 Plus may seem very common at first because of the notch design. But what makes it stand out from the competition is the curved glass on both the front and back, accentuated with high-gloss finish frames on the sides for a polished look. Our review unit has the sparkly Midnight Gloss Blue color though it comes in two other variants – Black and White. The size of the phone feels very compact despite the huge screen. Of course it sports the wide notch on top where the camera, earpiece and sensors are located.
Nokia has played smart this time with the design of their new phone. They have given a notch style display at an aggressive price which is a feature a lot of users demand. It is hard to believe that the phone costs just 12,900 PHP from its look and feel.
The new Nokia 5.1 Plus has a 5.8 inch IPS-LCD display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and HD+ Display. Viewing angles are good and it has great and punchy color reproduction. This is the best 720p HD Display among all the Nokia Android line-up. Its display is even better than the Nokia 6 and Nokia 6.1 with Full-HD resolution. Sunlight legibility is also good considering that the Nokia 5.1 Plus doesn’t have an option for sunlight mode unlike the other Nokia Android smartphones.
Perfect for Gaming and Media Consumption
The new Nokia 5.1 Plus is powered by Mediatek Helio P60 MT6771 Octa-core, though slightly underclocked at 1.8ghz compared to other Helio P60 smartphones. It comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. This is where the Nokia 5.1 Plus will stand out in its category against the likes of Nokia 6.1, Huawei P20 Lite, Oppo A3s, Xioami MiA2 / MiA2 Lite, Honor 8x, and some Samsung A or J Series – all these phones have respectable processing power under the 15k price tag.
Despite it being an under-clocked Helio P60, it’s still powerful enough to catch up to the competition. It’s even more powerful than the Nokia 6.1, Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 7.1 which has a considerably higher price tag. We tried to play NBA 2K18 with the settings cranked up in high and it worked perfectly both on the touch screen game play and using a Bluetooth gamepad.
Powerful battery life
The new Nokia 5.1 Plus has a 3060 mah battery which will last 5 – 7 hours on straight usage with mobile data or online gaming, around 6-8 hours with Wifi on, and up to 10 hours or longer on moderate usage. Standby mode with moderate usage can last up to 1 day or up to 30 hours. The new Nokia 5.1 Plus is equipped with a USB Type-C slot, but the wall charger that came in the box is only 10 watts so we are not expecting the fast charging feature although it still charged from 5% to 100% in less than 2 hours when we tried it. Not bad at all.
Average camera on-the-go
The new Nokia 5.1 Plus sports dual rear cameras. The main sensor is 13MP PDAF / F2.0 with 5 MP camera as depth sensor. It has a single LED flash which is placed under the two cameras. The selfie snapper is a fix focus 8 MP camera with F2.0 and 80.4 Field of View. In daylight, it captures decent photos.
Color reproduction is great, sharpness is ok, details are good, and the live bokeh had a great edge detection. The camera app also sports some AR stickers and beautification processing. It has a manual settings option but no pro mode. Please click on photos below to enlarge.
The new Nokia 5.1 Plus is also part of Nokia’s Bothie devices where you can take photos or videos simultaneously on both rear and front cameras. You can also live stream via Facebook or YouTube by just using your camera app.
However, the Nokia Camera app struggles a bit in low lighting and the new Nokia 5.1 Plus is no exception. Not having a pro mode means you won’t be able to adjust your ISO or shutter speed to take better photos in low light but then again, the new Nokia 5.1 Plus is packaged as a gaming companion and not really a phone for mobile photographers.
We do hope though that Nokia or HMD will fix the processing of the camera app especially in low light. The Google Lens integration is a good addition too. In videography, the new Nokia 5.1 Plus can shoot at only 1080p which is ok for a phone in its category.
So, is the new Nokia 5.1 Plus a topnotch phone or is it just the usual notch? We can definitely say that it is a topnotch Nokia phone on a budget. Just by having the Helio P60 inside it makes it worth the money as it is as powerful as the Kirin 710 or Snapdragon 660. The new Nokia 5.1 Plus is even more powerful than the Snapdragon 630 and 636 found on the Nokia 6.1, 6.1 Plus and 7.1. It is a handsome device with a trendy 19:9 notched display and a very solid build which Nokia phones are known for.
Plus it’s a lot more affordable than the other Nokia phones in its category. It’s not perfect though, as it only has 3GB of RAM which means less multitasking, and has considerably lesser amount of storage at only 32GB, though it is expandable. Will you be purchasing the new Nokia 5.1 Plus? Let us know in the comments below.
The Nokia 5.1 Plus offers an uncompromised smartphone experience for those who don’t pick up smartphones based on specifications sheet. If you are looking for a gaming device, we highly recommend this phone without breaking your pocket. We are not a fan of its plastic frame and so-so lowlight imaging performance. But we love the fast Helio P60 chipset, vibrant display, USB Type C, decent camera and its Android One OS.