Ever since the Nokia brand returned to the masses, thanks in part to HMD Global, a collection of actually very impressive devices have been released since. Whilst today may have been expected to be the big Nokia 9 announcement, Nokia’s next expected flagship, instead we got theses, two new mid-range devices, iterative upgrades to the existing 5 and 6 models, the Nokia 5.1 Plus and 6.1 Plus.
For better or worse, both devices support an, infamous, and, as always, divisive, notch at the top of the screens, but, that does mean that they have a much higher screen-to-body ratio so that’s something. Unfortunately, like all Android “notch devices”, the Nokia devices also contain a big chin at the bottom, something, it seems, only Apple can figure out in this day and age. Nokia have used that space, as all do, to go down the usual two options, hide and try and make the user forget it’s there, or, as Nokia have, add branding.
Nokia 5.1 Plus
We’re kicking things off with the lower end of the two, the new Nokia 5.1 Plus. Unlike the 6.1 Plus, which we’ll get to in a minute, the 5.1 Plus supports a much more iPhone X like notch, with the usual curvature, so look forward to the infamous confusion at first glance. Luckily though, Nokia thought of this, and have included a 3.5mm headphone jack at the top, so you’ll surely instantly know it’s not an Apple product, right?!
The display itself is a 5.86 19:9 IPS LCD panel, with resolution of 1520 x 720, so definitely not too crisp, but, at the same time, not a bad display for the market it’s targeting. However, the display is clearly going to be no match at all to the iPhone X it seems to be inspired from.
Outside the inspired front, the Nokia 5.1 Plus is actually a decent looking Smartphone, and considering this is expected to be under $200USD value, not too bad. Naturally, however, you are getting fairly mid-tier specifications for that. Nokia have gone with a MediaTek Helio P60 Octa-core processor, which may sound good, but in hindsight, it’s the equivalent to a newer Snapdragon 400 series processor. That processor is backed up by 3GB of RAM, has 32GB of internal storage, which, as always, is expandable by microSD.
Camera wise, you do actually have a dual-Camera setup, which is pretty impressive. It’s a shame Nokia don’t add Xeiss Optics to their lower end devices, but we’re sure it’s still decent. You’ve a 13MP main Camera at the back, and a 5MP depth sensor, and up front you’ve a 8MP Camera … yes that notch is only hiding a 8MP Camera and earpiece, nothing else, strictly aesthetic.
The 5.1 Plus also comes with the usual, WiFi AC, Bluetooth 4.2, USB-C port (USB 2 however, no fast charging), dual NANO SIM slots. Battery wise, you’ve a decent 3,060mAh power pack.
Whilst the 5.1 Plus does come with Android 8.1 Oreo, running on the Android One software, knowing Nokia, it will get Pie fairly soon.
Nokia 6.1 Plus
Supporting a more expected notch for Android, and a beefier processor, this is the new Nokia 6.1 Plus. Whilst the Nokia 6.1 Plus is still a mid-tier Smartphone, it is pretty much a step up from the 5.1 Plus in every way. Some things remain the same, such as the 3,060mAh battery, USB-C (USB 2 non-fast charging), WiFi AC and the infamous 3.5mm headphone jack, but everything else is either a moderate, or significant, step up.
Bluetooth is bumped up to Bluetooth 5.0, RAM is increased to 4GB, and you get double the base storage at 64GB, whilst still including support for a microSD card slot. The display is around-about the same size, at 5.8 inch, however now a Full HD+ IPS LCD display at 2280 x 1080, with the inclusion of Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
The biggest difference however is the inclusion of the Snapdragon 636, which is actually quite the performer as far as mid-range processors go, up to 40% faster than the 630, so you’ll definitely get a decent level of performance out of it, whilst continuing to being efficient enough too keep the decent battery life.
The Nokia 6.1 Plus is expected to release with around about a $250USD price tag, which is actually pretty decent for what you’re getting.
Like, the 5.1 Plus, the 6.1 Plus will come with Android 8.1 Oreo running on the Android One platform, HMD and Nokia confirmed however both devices are ready for Android 9.0 Pie, and will have the update by the end of the year.