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Nokia 5.1 Plus review: A powerful, dependable & beautiful mid-ranger at a great price


Nokia 5.1 Plus is the second Nokia smartphone to come with a notch and 19:9 Full screen display. Nokia 5.1 Plus also comes with a more powerful processor in Mediatek Helio P60 than the Nokia 5.1. It also features the AI imaging tricks available on Nokia 6.1 Plus. Read all about Nokia 5.1 Plus at our dedicated page.

We have used Nokia 5.1 Plus 3GB Indian variant as our daily driver for around 6-7 days and this is our detailed review of the smartphone. It may help you in deciding whether you should really go for Nokia 5.1 Plus as your next if you really wanted to own one and are still undecided.

Nokia 5.1 Plus design:

Nokia 5.1 Plus follows Nokia 6.1 Plus closely in terms of design language. It also sports a Glass unibody and is the second Nokia smartphone after 6.1 Plus to sport a notch.Again what works in favour of Nokia 5.1 Plus is that it offers a lot of screen real-estate with a compact body which is only possible in such kind of full display design with 19:9 ratio.

When compared to Nokia 6.1 Plus Nokia 5.1 Plus holds its own. It does feel like a premium Flagship smartphone design wise, and slightly more robust than Nokia 6.1 Plus. Still, it has that delicate feeling which will make you buy a cover for it as soon as you buy one.

Here is the unboxing of the Nokia 5.1 Plus Black color Indian model.

In this video we compare Nokia 5.1 Plus and Nokia 6.1 Plus side-by-side.

Nokia 5.1 Plus display review:

Nokia 5.1 Plus display works well both indoors and outdoors. Because of it being “laminated and polarized”, the sunlight legibility is top notch. For testing the display we have also streamed video and zoomed in to see the quality of the display. You can watch the video for more but here are our observations.

  • Nokia 5.1 Plus display is impressive for a low-cost mid-ranger. The 19:9 display ratio will appeal to many. Even after being a LCD display it has deep blacks and colors pop out. The color profile is quite similar to displays on other costlier Nokia smartphones.
  • It has good amount of maximum brightness and ideal brightness level is around 50-60% in most of the cases. Adaptive brightness is calibrated properly and does its work in most of cases well.
  • Sunlight legibility is good. The color interpretation and contrast are great. Viewing angles are wide.
  • Video streaming looks great because of that minimum bezel design, 19:9 display ratio and big screen size.

Nokia 5.1 Plus Audio output quality review:

Nokia 5.1 Plus audio output is quite loud and clear. Audio quality is rich and even at full volume there are no distortions. Streaming videos or playing high-quality games constitute very good experience on Nokia 5.1 Plus. Though it doesn’t come with a stereo speaker, the Single speaker with smart amplification AMP+ works very well.

Nokia 5.1 Plus imaging samples & early camera review:

Nokia 5.1 Plus comes with Dual-Cameras on the back. You can have a quick look on the rear camera specs below.

  • Main camera 13MP PDAF, f/2, 5MP depth of field lens, LED flash

  • Front camera 8MP, f/2.2, 80.4 angle of view

We will post our detailed camera review and comparison to Nokia 6.1 Plus camera soon. Nokia 5.1 Plus captures images with good amount of resolved details and keeps colors natural. In low-light too it shines and captures good amount of light even in without flash scenarios. Check camera samples captured with Nokia 5.1 Plus rear and front cameras below.

Rear Camera:

Front Camera:

Check all original full-size Nokia 5.1 Plus camera samples by clicking on the thumbnail below.

Nokia 5.1 Plus Software, AI tricks & Camera UI:

Nokia 5.1 Plus comes with Pure unadulterated Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. It sports features like double tap to wake up and Ambient display (lift to check). Though surprisingly it doesn’t have the feature to hide notch out of the box.

The camera UI on Nokia 5.1 Plus is similar to that seen on other non-Zeiss branded Nokia smartphones but packs AI enabled face recognition for both camera. You can add animated masks/stickers/filters directly from the camera app. It also has PIP mode and live-streaming options.

Nokia 5.1 Plus Performance review:

We have conducted this test in heavy to very heavy usage scenario. So, there are three of the heaviest Android games open in the background. Then we have the browser with 11 tabs, camera and other apps open in the background. So, how does Nokia 5.1 Plus actually perform in this very heavy usage scenario. You can decide for yourself by checking the video, but here are our observations.


Even with 11 browser tabs open it always seems that Nokia 5.1 Plus can take even more load. Pages load quickly. Scrolling, zooming, panning, tab changing all are very snappy.


Gaming is much enjoyable on Nokia 5.1 Plus. We have tried to demo the game-play with heavy and critically acclaimed games like like GTA San Andreas, Mortal Kombat X, and PUBG Mobile. The device certainly holds the promise of hours of enjoyable game play without a pause. You would love the volume output and the performance of the phone remains blazing fast.


With 3 super-heavy games (GTA San Andreas, Mortal Kombat X, and PUBG Mobile), 11 browser tabs, Camera, and many other apps open in the background Nokia 5.1 Plus remains totally responsive and lag-free.

All super-heavy games usually resume fine from background while running simultaneously. As you will notice in the video, apps/games resume fast from background during multitasking and there are no crashes/lags/freezes even with so much load.

Nokia 5.1 Plus Battery Life, Fast Charging & Call quality:

Nokia 5.1 Plus supports charging via USB-C port and the fast charging is really feels like a must-have feature nowadays.

Nokia 5.1 Plus has an excellent battery life and I have been getting around 40-44 hrs of battery life with heavy “blogger” usage of the device, which involves lots of browsing, apps testing and daily chores. It may be around 44-48 hrs for a moderately heavy usage scenario and that is really very impressive considering it is a mid-range Android smartphone. Screen-on time typically varies between 7-8.5 hrs for heavy usage scenario.

Nokia 5.1 Plus comes with a premium looking Glass unibody design and offers stellar call quality because of its innovative Antenna design. Call reception is usually very good. I didn’t face any issue like call drops etc and it holds well even during long conversations.


Nokia 5.1 Plus Positives & Negatives:


  • Glass unibody makes it feel less robust than its metal-body brethren


  • Premium glass unibody design with slim profile
  • Display is very good for a mid-ranger with best-in-class color interpretation, high brightness, and outdoor readability.
  • Performance wise very capable
  • New AI imaging features may appeal to many

Nokia 5.1 Plus Conclusion:

Nokia 5.1 Plus offers much better display to screen ratio (19:9) than many other Nokia smartphone (Over 90%) out there. It has a beautiful display with very good video watching and gaming experience.

It is a workhorse and can give higher priced smartphones a run for its money. It is a very capable performer when it comes to heavy multitasking and can handle games like PUBG, GTA SA, Injustice: Gods among us and Mortal  Kombat simultaneously very well.

Being an Android One smartphone, Nokia 5.1 Plus has guaranteed two years of Android OS update and 3 years of monthly security updates.

Rs 10999 in India is a killer pricing and we highly recommend it if you have budget for a mid-range smartphone. Nokia 5.1 Plus is powerful, dependable and yet a beautiful and premium looking smartphone that you can own for such a great pricing.

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