Nokia 5 vs Nokia 5.1: What All Is Different, Should you upgrade?

Nokia is back again with the Nokia 5.1, but is it worth upgrading to?


Ever since HMD Global took on the Nokia branding, the Finnish company have been churning out devices leveraging the power of Android while retaining the roots of the original brand. With sales heading in the right direction, the company has updated its mid-range and budget smartphones today aimed at bringing some of the more premium features down to a budget price. One of the devices announced today is the Nokia 5.1 that builds on the successful Nokia 5, but how do they compare and, most importantly, should you upgrade?

Nokia 5 vs. Nokia 5.1: Display

First up is the display that sees an increase in size to 5.5-inches with an 18:9 aspect ratio which equates to 443 pixels-per-inch. That’s up from last years’ Nokia 5 that had a 5.2-inch display, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a much lower 282 pixels-per-inch. Despite the larger screen, the physical dimensions of the device have only increased slightly with the Nokia 5.1 standing at 151.1mm tall compared to the 149.7mm on the Nokia 5. The movement in measurements sees an increase in the screen-to-body ratio of 73.1% up from 68.7% from the previous model. The Nokia 5.1 retains the same IPS LCD touchscreen and Corning Gorilla Glass protection found in the Nokia 5.

Nokia 5 vs. Nokia 5.1: Camera

There’s now an improved 16-megapixel rear camera along with an 8-megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera that offers an 84.6-degree field of view, which is a significant increase over the Nokia 5’s 13-megapixel rear camera and front camera technology.

Nokia is yet to disclose the detailed specifications of the camera, but you can expect it to beat or at least match the f/2.0, 1/3″ sensor found in the Nokia 5. The Nokia 5.1 retains its external storage capability with capacity for a microSD card up to 256GB, which is good news for those who like to take a lot of pictures.

Nokia 5 vs. Nokia 5.1: Performance

The Nokia 5.1 launches with Android One based on Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and runs on a MediaTek Helio P18 Octa-core 2.0Ghz chip. Nokia has decided to take a different route with the chip this year after departing from the Snapdragon 430 found in the Nokia 5. Internal storage has also been bumped up with a variant of the Nokia 5.1 offering 32GB of internal memory paired with 3GB of RAM. There is a 16GB version of the device that comes with 2GB of RAM that will naturally be priced lower.

The device comes with the expected 802.11n wireless support, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and also an FM radio capability. External ports do not see much change over the Nokia 5 with micro USB retained as the preferred charging mechanism and readers will be glad to see the 3.5mm headphone jack has survived. The Nokia 5.1 also supports Dual-SIM and a variety of bands including the 4G LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 5(850), 40(2300), 41(2500) for India.

Nokia 5 vs. Nokia 5.1: Battery

It seems the battery has had to make way for the bigger screen and movement of the fingerprint sensor to the back of the device as a small reduction in capacity is seen in the Nokia 5.1 with a 2970mAh battery compared to that of 3000mAh in the Nokia 5. In reality, a loss of 30mAh will not be noticeable in everyday use and will probably translate to less than 10 minutes difference in the real world.

Nokia 5 vs. Nokia 5.1: Verdict

With the Nokia 5.1 being released with Android One out of the box, and given the increased screen size and improved processor, there seems little reason not to upgrade. The device will receive guaranteed speedy OS updates and vital security patches, which is worth the price itself. The camera samples are yet to put through their paces but expect to see a significant increase in quality, so if you enjoy taking pictures, then the Nokia 5.1 may be a good candidate for your next device.

The Nokia 5.1 will be available in July, priced at 189 euros ($218, Rs. 14,700) for the 2GB RAM / 16GB storage variant, or 219 euros ($252, Rs. 16,994) for the 3GB of RAM / 32GB storage version. It will be available in Copper, Tempered Blue, and Black, with the Black version coming a few weeks after the initial launch.