Nokia 5.1 Plus redefines bang for buck
3.8Overall Score
Name: Nokia 5.1 Plus
Price (RRP): $379
Manufacturer: Nokia

The Nokia 5.1 Plus is part of Nokia’s second generation of phones. If you thought Gen 1 is good; you are in for a treat.

Nokia is barely two-years-old. It is a case of Nokia being fast learners. They have released 20 plus models in that short time. All second-generation phones have an x.1 moniker – hence we are reviewing the 5.1 Plus. There is an expectation that it is better than the 5 and 5.1 and it is – just.

There is a 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, (overview here), 6.1 (review here), 7.1 (review here) and the flagship 8.1 (Sirocco review here).

A word of warning – with the Gen 2 and Plus models be a little careful of what you are buying.

Buy here – or you will regret it

GadgetGuy is part of the movement to wipe out parallel and grey market imports (good read) because we receive so many complaints about refurbished-sold-as-new(second hand or repairs) or that they just don’t work on every carrier in Australia.

We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware as it works on all Australian Carrier LTE bands plus can make a 000-emergency call without a sim.

The Australian Nokia 5.1 model number is TA-1108. From what we can find there are several variants for different countries. These include TA-1105, TA-1108, TA-1112, TA-1119 and TA-1120. It is also known as Nokia X5 in some Asian countries.

There is different firmware for each country or region. Have a look under Settings, System, and Certification, and it will show if it is for Australia and New Zealand.

Review: Nokia 5.1 Plus: Model TA-1108 SS (single SIM)

Website here

First impressions are a nice black slab. The notch is much larger than others, so it is questionable to call it a 5.8” screen (it is 5.5” plus notch). The frame is aluminium with a paint finish that may be susceptible to scratches. Some sources suggest a polycarbonate frame – in which case the colour is part of the mix and should not scratch. Sorry I can’t tell without being destructive.

The rear has a dual camera, flash and fingerprint sensor. It is also glass and a fingerprint magnet.

In the box

  • Handset
  • Charger 5V/2A
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • 3.5 mm earbuds and mic

Screen

5.8” FHD, 1520 x 720, 19:9 (with Notch), 287ppi, IPS
79.6% S-T-B-R
Screen protection – ‘scratch resistant’ glossy finish

Remember the price is $379. While a 720 screen is below FHD resolution, it is still acceptable in this category. I wear reading glasses (2x magnification) and the screen icons and text are slightly jagged.

Colours are cool – a bluish tint and the skin tone is ‘off’. There is no colour gamut adjustment which seems typical of Android One devices.

Nokia 5.1 Plus
This euphemistic marketing photo does not reflect screen quality
Nokia 5.1 Plus
The Notch presents as a black bar across the top. The is is a black cast under the notch and uneven brightness

Nokia claim brightness (peak) is 410 nits. Our measurement is a low 133 nits. With a glossy screen that is unreadable in daylight. Nokia also claims 1500:1 contrast. We were unable to achieve 700:1. I am not suggesting Nokia is wrong – but if you are after a super bright screen forget it.

Colour distribution is uneven with a definite blackness under the notch and brightness favouring the bottom 50% of the screen.