Nokia 5.1: A great design coupled with 40% faster performance

Nokia 5.1

HMD Global was at the MWC 2018 event earlier this year and unlike last year, there was no place for the Nokia 5.1 this time around. The Finnish company instead refreshed the Nokia 6 and debuted the Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 8 Sirocco and Nokia 1, the first of its kind. But there was always room for the successor to the OG Nokia 5, which materialized at the end of May 2018.

The Nokia 5.1 is a considerable upgrade over the OG version and this is evident right from the word go. Unlike the 2017 pair of Nokia 5 and Nokia 6, this year’s pair of Nokia 5.1 and Nokia 6.1 are quite different in just about every aspect. You are getting a refreshed design on the 5.1 that is highlighted by the 18:9 display screen and a new processor to accompany the fresh breath of the Android One-based Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.

Nokia 5.1 specs

Category Specs
Display 5.5-inch 18:9 FHD+ (2160×1080) Corning Gorilla Glass
Processor Octa-core MediaTek MT6755S (Helio P18)
Storage 16GB/32GB
MicroSD slot Yes, up to 256GB
Rear camera 16MP
Front camera 8MP
Software Android 8.0 Oreo
Battery  2970mAh non-removable
Charging MicroUSB
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2, NFC
OTG, 3.5mm jack
Security Passcode, Fingerprint scanner
Dimensions 151.1 x 70.73 x 8.27 mm
Color Copper, Tempered Blue, Black

According to HMD Global, the Nokia 5.1 keeps the same stellar design we see on the Nokia 5, where you get a compact body with a stylish finish featuring a single block of 6000 series aluminum that has been refined through a rigorous 33-stage process of machining, anodizing and polishing, the result of which is an exquisite satin finish and feel in your hand when holding the phone. Due to its unibody design, you will notice no antenna lines. Also, the fingerprint scanner now rests on the back panel, just below the main camera.

The Nokia 5 came with a 5.2-inch display screen, but on the Nokia 5.1, you are getting a bigger 5.5-inch panel that fits in a body that is 2mm narrower compared to the OG model all thanks to the trending 18:9 form factor. You are also getting a much crispier display thanks to the full HD+ resolution compared to the HD panel used on the 2017 edition.

Although some, including yours truly, might not be impressed with the switch from a Snapdragon chipset to a MediaTek unit, the Helio P18 chipset used in the Nokia 5.1 promises 40% superior performance compared to the Snapdragon 430. How true this is can only be confirmed with real-life usage, but on paper, it looks likely thanks to the improved 2.0GHz clock speed of the chipset, up from 1.4GHz. The same RAM options of 2GB/3GB are used, although the 3GB RAM variant is now paired with a 32GB storage module and not 16GB like its predecessor.

Nokia 5.1

There are also some upgrades in photography, where the main shooter has jumped to a 16MP lens that supports PDAF and dual-tone LED flash, but the same 8MP unit has been retained for the selfie camera. Interestingly, the Nokia 5.1 has a slightly smaller 2970mAh battery compared to the 3000mAh unit on the Nokia 5. In fact, the Nokia 3.1 even boasts a slightly bigger 2990mAh unit yet it has a smaller display screen that only sips battery juice thanks to its HD resolution.

Nokia 5.1 price and availability

Although unveiled on the same day as the Nokia 3.1, fans of the Nokia 5.1 will have to wait a little longer before they can get their hands on this beauty. Apparently, the wait will go on until July 2018, but we still don’t have an exact release date.

As for pricing, we only know of European prices, where the 2/16GB variant will set you back €189 while the 3/32GB variant will be valued at €219. These prices translate to about $225 and $260 or INR 15,000 and INR 17,440, but of course, these are not the confirmed prices for the U.S. and Indian markets, respectively.

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