Since HMD Global took over Nokia back in 2016, we have been seeing a push from Nokia to enter the Asian market with an array of midrange phones. Nokia 5.1 Plus (which is also known as Nokia X5) is such a mid-range device that entered the local market quite a bit ago and we finally got our hands on it. After playing with it for nearly a month, this is our take on the device:
Now, Nokia was trying to tick the right boxes with this device – moderate performance packed in a no-nonsense design- with an affordable price-tag. The design of the device has striking similarities with Nokia 6.1. This all round-edged phone has black on both front and back (making it a fingerprint magnet). I loved the gloss polish though, doesn't let you feel as if you are using a mid-range device. The fingerprint scanner of the device gently rests right below the rear cameras aligned to the centre. The groove where the finger goes isn't easily discernible,so you might end up smudging the camera at first. The speaker grills are on the bottom and did a decent job when we played YouTube videos.
The phone houses a 5.86 inch HD+ display with a 19:9 aspect ratio which is kind of a let-down. You would expect a midrange in 2019 to have an FHD display at least. However, the colours and saturation were punchy and vivid. During daylight, the screen was visible although I would expect the brightness to go a bit higher. The notch on the phone houses the front camera, speaker and the proximity sensors. The designers of the phone didn't want to make it completely bezel-less
The phone packs a dual hybrid SIM slot and a USB C charging. As the device comes with the earlier generation of USB-C hence no fast charging. Our test unit took more than two hours to go from fully drained to 96%.
Nokia 5.1 Plus offers some decent performance. MediaTekHelio P60 octa-core processor of the device can go neck to neck with Qualcomm's 636 processors easily. Hardcore gaming is going to make the device hot and that will eventually slow your device. But rest assured, you can multi-task most of your everyday apps without a hiccup. Our review unit came with a 3GB RAM and 32GB ROM which honestly we think could have been better.
The best part of the phone is probably the vanilla experience that you get thanks to Android One. A clean clutter-less UI was certainly a refreshing change of pace for me as the last couple of devices I reviewed were full of bloatware. We didn't receive the Android Pie update on our device though Nokia has started to roll out the update for this model- that's another reason why you should consider buying this phone for.
The camera is probably the Achilles heel of the device. The twin-lensed primary shooter of the device was able to capture sub-par photos in indoor conditions. All though, all the outdoor photos taken in well-lit surrounding was actually fantastic-the details weren't lost and the colour rendition was quite accurate. Of course, you will find a noticeable shutter lag, but that will only affect if you're taking the photo on the move. We tried the portrait mode and the depth sensor was able to put a blur on the background which felt more like a photoshop job gone bad. In video option, we loved the slo-mo feature which is able to capture footages at 120fps. The above average front camera performance should be good enough for your regular video chats.
Thanks to Android One and Helio P60, the battery of the phone was beyond our expectation. You would expect a phone with 3,060 mAh battery needs to be plugged after 8/10 hours of regular usage? Not in the case of the Nokia 5.1 Plus. On average, during our review, it used to last the entire day. Our usage included a couple of hours on social media and emails, several hundred lines of messaging in Whatsapp and Messenger while running MX Player on the background (entirely on Wi-Fi).
Display: 5.86 inches, IPS LCD, 287 ppi
OS: Android 8.1 (Android One)
CPU: Mediatek MT6771 Helio P60
GPU: Mali-G72 Mp3
RAM: 3 GB RAM
ROM: 32 GB
Camera: Rear- 13 MP+5 MP,, f/2.0 aperture, Front- 8 MP, f/2.2, 26mm
Battery: 3060 mAh
Price: Tk. 21,990/-
This is an attempt by HMD to recuperate the heyday of Nokia in markets like Bangladesh. And so far, it seems like the push is in the right direction. The device we reviewed has everything that an average user would be looking for with a budget of 20-22k BDT. Although it might have cut some corners, it makes up with its stock Android experience. If you are looking for a device that will reliably cater to your everyday communication needs, then Nokia 5.1 Plus certainly worth considering.