Nokia 5 2018 Review

Nokia 5 (5.1) 2018 Review

HMD Global has updated its Nokia 2017 line up including Nokia 2, Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6. These handsets are upgraded in 2018 namely Nokia 2.1, Nokia 3.1, Nokia 5.1 and Nokia 6.1 respectively. These models are running on Android Go.

Unlike other brands, Nokia does not confuse its consumers with the names. Nokia 5 2018 or 5.1 is a cheaper version of Nokia 6 but a better version of Nokia 2 and Nokia 3. This is how Nokia line-up goes. The Nokia 5 2018 or 5.1 offers a better performance and premium built at a very reasonable price.

Nokia 5 2018 (5.1) Review

The last year Nokia 5 was a bit sluggish, had a 5.2″ screen with 16:9 aspect ratio, a limited control layout and a front button for the fingerprint reader. The major changes this year came with Nokia 5.1 are improved performance with a better chipset, rear fingerprint reader and 5.5″ screen with 18:9 aspect ratio.

Also, see Huawei P20 Lite Review.


  • 5.5″ IPS LCD with 443 ppi pixel density
  • Slimmer than its 2017 predecessor
  • 3.5mm headphone jack


  • No USB-C
  • Average Camera
  • Rear Fingerprint reader annoying for some consumers

Nokia 5 2018 Pricing and Availability

  • Availability varies from region to region
  • Will be available from July 2018

Coming back to Nokia 5 2018, It is not sure that whether it will be available in USA, UK or Australia but you can always have a look at Amazon USA or Australia if you are really keen to buy this handset. But Nokia has assured that it will be available at some point in July 2018.

The Nokia 5 2018 basic model comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage at a cost of €189 compared to Nokia 3.1 which comes at €139. This roughly is equal to US $220 or AU $300. Don’t expect it to be cheaper than this.

The Nokia 5 2018 upgraded model comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage at a cost of €219. This roughly is equal to US $255 or AU $335. We find this model to be better with bigger RAM in terms of performance and usage.

Also, see Moto G6 Review.


  • 6000 series aluminum unibody design
  • Slimmer
  • Visible colored antenna bands
  • No USB-C

The Nokia 5 2018 design is almost similar to its predecessor Nokia 5 2017. It offers a full metal body and made from a single block of 6000 series aluminum. It’s sleek and smooth just like Nokia 3.1 but it has a premium look due to metal built.

On the rear, there is a fingerprint scanner which falls right on the finger. On the right, there are power and volume keys.

The thickness is 2mm less compared to its predecessor 2017 model. This is a good improvement as it is easy to hold and you can put in your slim jeans. The dimensions are at 151.1mm x 70.73mm x 8.27mm.

Nokia 5 2018 comes in Black, Tempered Blue, and Satin Copper color variants. At the top and bottom, there are colored antenna bands. They seem hidden on the black and tempered blue color variants but visible on the satin copper model so if you are thinking about purchasing the satin copper model then make sure to see it first.

Like its predecessor, this year model still comes with one speaker on the bottom with a microUSB port instead of the expected USB-C port. Its a downgrade considering most of the phones are now coming with USB-C port but you will have an edge of charging this phone from almost any microUSB or universal cable.

Like old school microUSB port, Nokia 5.1 comes with a 3.5 mm headphone jack as well on the top just like Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. So you won’t need to find adapters to convert your headphones.


  • 5.5″ IPS LCD display
  • 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 443 ppi pixel density

Nokia 5 2017 featured a 5.2″ IPS LCD display while this model comes with a bigger 5.5″ display with 18:9 aspect ratio. This aspect ratio will help you in portrait mode. Videos and games are more viewable and playable in the landscape mode since the screen will be a bit tall compared to the old model.

The screen offers a Full HD+ resolution (2160×1080). Nokia 3 and 3.1 offers 720p (HD+) resolution in comparison. The screen features 443 ppi pixel density compared to last year 282 ppi pixel density. It means that Nokia 5.1 will offer crispier and sharper results, a better contrast ratio and improved brightness levels.

Also, see Nokia 7 Plus Review.


  • 16MP autofocus back camera
  • 8MP wide 84.6 field of view front camera

Nokia 5.1 comes with a 16MP autofocus camera. It works really well in ample lighting conditions but you cannot compare it with good camera smartphones such as Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro or Huawei P20 Pro. There is no dual lens which is a downside considering this smartphone is not that cheap. Its a story of most the budgeted phones out there. The images are of clear quality unlike Nokia 3.1.

The front camera features an 8MP wide 84.6 field of view which is amazing for taking selfies. A wide view is pretty handy when you want friends to be included in your selfie.

You can use your front and back camera simultaneously and use both images for a single picture using firm’s bothie mode.


Nokia 5.1 or Nokia 5 2018 comes with 2970mAh battery which is slightly less compared to its previous model which comes with 3000mAh battery. The battery efficiency is almost similar and the mobile goes a full day with normal usage.

Performance and Hardware

  • 40% faster chipset
  • 2GHz octa-core CPU
  • 3GB RAM variant

Nokia 5 2017 came with a Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 chipset with Octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU. While this year model features a MediaTek Helio P18 chipset with 2GHz octa-core CPU. Nokia claims that this chipset will be 40% faster in performance.

Previous Nokia 5 model was somewhat sluggish and slow in performance when it was tested for gaming and image editing. We are hoping this year chipset will remove this sluggish performance. We ran different apps and played games, did some multitasking as well on this year’s Nokia 5 2018. The performance was amazing compared to its predecessor. This chipset will help in running Android 8.1 Oreo more smoothly.
As told before, the phone comes with 2GB and 3GB of RAM. We want to recommend you putting some extra bucks and going for 3GB since the RAM size is one of the major factors which contributes to a smartphone performance. It is really your choice to either go for 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. The smartphone comes with microSD slot unlike Nokia 7 Sirocco 2018. So you don’t have to worry about importing your data from another mobile or cloud storage data. You can fill this smartphone with a bunch of apps, games and your media files but we warn you it will surely impact its performance which is already pretty average.
The included sensors are ambient light sensor, gyroscope, magnetometer, accelerometer and proximity sensor. Some of these sensors are really helpful when you are playing games downloaded from android stores.

Software and Interface

  • Free security upgrade for 3 years
  • Promised future Android upgrades

Nokia 3.1 runs on Android Oreo and the company has promised to upgrade it to the latest android version which means that you can expect Android P whenever it is released. Nokia has promised to give us a 3-year security upgrade for free because people nowadays want more security when it comes to their data and privacy. You will get a free unlimited Google photos storage as a bonus for your high-quality snaps.

Early verdict

The Nokia 5.1 comes with a premium design and improved screen quality. It is 40% better in performance due to an upgraded chipset. All these features while keeping it on a budgeted smartphone list. At this price range, It sure can compete with Moto G6 and Huawei Honor 10. The TechSeer will give it a 7.5 out of a solid 10.