Nokia 5.1 Plus Review: Clean Design And Solid Performance

Nokia 5.1 Plus

Nokia has been steadily bringing very capable and reliable devices into the Indian market this year. Their philosophy of combining really good design with stable innards has stood them in very good stead. The latest entry from Nokia in this line is the Nokia 5.1 Plus. I spent time with this device and here is my review of this phone.

The Nokia 5.1 Plus is a budget device, but Nokia has taken care to give it enough of their nordic touch that it can take on any premium device in terms of crafting and looks. It looks classy and a lot of glass has been used in making it. The design elements that made the other Nokia phones stand out are all resent here. It gives a great feel in the hand and when you hold it, you immediately realize that it looks and feels classy to the core.

Nokia 5.1 Plus

The phone comes with a very premium-feeling glass body on a plastic frame, and has a notched display. Thankfully there’s a headphone jack at the top, and despite this one being a budget phone, it has a USB Type-C port at the bottom. There is a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone, underneath the dual-lens camera. All the elements in the rear are very symmetrically aligned and look very good.

The display itself is a huge 5.9-inch IPS LCD running a 1,520 x 720-pixel resolution in a 19:9 aspect ratio. The long display has a notch on the top that is wider and bigger than the one on the Nokia 6.1 Plus. Despite the notch being bigger, there aren’t any additional sensors added there in that area. I also have to tell you that the notch has been placed and managed very well and does not come in the way of your experience with the display during gaming or video streaming. Software has been tweaked to handle that and apps are also adjusted to work around the notch.

Nokia 5.1 Plus Rear


CPU: Mediatek Helio P60 & octa-core processor
Memory: 3/4GB
Storage: 32/64GB
MicroSD storage: Up to 256GB
Screen size: 5.9 inches
Resolution: 1,520 x 720
Connectivity: GSM/CDMA/LTE
Battery: 3,060mAh
Size: 149.5 x 72 x 8.1 mm
Weight: 160 grams (5.64 ounces)
Operating system: Android 8.1 Oreo (The device is an Android One device)
It’s powered by a Mediatek Helio P60 chipset and octa-core processor, and equipped with either 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, or 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. I got the 3GB/32GB version for review and it was the white version. The P60 is a pretty impressive processor that stands the phone in very good stead. There was absolutely no sign of stutter or lag when I tried a lot of parallel processing with multiple apps or even when I was using resource hungry gaming apps. The phone just stood up and delivered consistently in terms of speed and performance. The phone ticks all the boxes in this department.
Nokia 5.1 Plus Side View
The whole package is powered by a 3,060mAh battery that should provide at least a day of power on paper, but in practical usage the phone lasted me around 18 to 20 hours on average usage. The battery can carry you through a day and half very easily.
The phone comes with the latest version of Android 8.1 Oreo, and it is part of Google’s Android One.  That effectively ensures that Google will deliver updates directly  and the phone will stay up to date with security patches as Google pushes them out. Android One also comes with a time-based update guarantee for users, too, and the Nokia 5.1 Plus will be supported with OS updates for two years, and security patches for three years — so you can be sure the Nokia 5.1 Plus will be kept up to date. This is a very great feature to have on a budget device. Nokia has also ensured that stock android is untouched and they have not added any bloatware. In effect, this means that you get the same software experience as the Pixel with this phone. The experience is nifty and neat.
Even though it is a budget phone, the Nokia 5.1 Plus  comes with a decent suite of cameras. There’s a dual-lens camera system on the back of the phone, sporting a 13-megapixel and a depth-sensing 5-megapixel lens, with an f/2.0 aperture and PDAF capabilities. There’s a decent 8-megapixel selfie camera around the front. The cameras on the back are able to deliver very good quality pictures very consistently and even in low-light conditions, they do a trustworthy job. I took the camera out for a whirl and the results were impressive. Here are some pictures I clicked with the phone.

The pricing of the phone has not been revealed yet and I am sure that Nokia will price it between Rs 10,000 and Rs 13,000. That will make it a great option at an affordable price for anyone who is looking to buy a device that performs well without burning your wallet. Nokia is bringing the A Game to India and this is very good for buyers.

Nokia 5.1 Plus


The Nokia philosophy of practical nordic design with solid innards is working. This phone has a clean design and delivers solid performance. Priced at Rs. 10,999/- , this is definitely going to be tough competition for the Redmi phones.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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