Nokia 5.1 review

Fantastic design on a budget

Nokia 5.1 review
Image credit: TechRadar

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Battery life

  • 2,970mAh battery
  • Comfortably lasts a full day
  • No fast charging

The Nokia 5.1’s 2,970mAh battery is nice and big when you consider the fact it’s powering along an entry-level chipset and a 5.5-inch screen. It shouldn’t come as any surprises therefore that the phone can easily make it through a full day without breaking a sweat.

The phone’s screen-on time at maximum brightness is exceptional – 90 minutes of video playback only depleted its cell by 13% from full, suggesting that if you get a microSD card in it loaded up with blockbusters, or install a bunch of simple yet addictive games, you’ll be entertained for a long-haul flight and then some.

A basic power saving mode is part of Android’s stock set of features and HMD Global hasn’t removed it, but unlike Huawei, Samsung and other manufacturers, neither has the company supplemented it with a more aggressive battery saving feature.

Unfortunately, the Nokia 5.1 doesn’t support fast charging, so expect a full charge to take in excess of two hours, so this is probably one to charge overnight, but at least it should comfortably survive through to bedtime.

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar


  • 16MP rear camera
  • 8MP selfie camera
  • 1080p video recording

The Nokia 5.1 packs plenty of pixels either side, with an 8MP selfie camera and a 16MP primary camera, both loaded up with f/2.0 aperture lenses and a healthy number of shooting modes.

Image quality is distinctly mediocre, with everything from focus, to color handling, right through to dynamic range being okay at best. In great light, the camera can grab a good amount of detail, but when you pinch in, you quickly see that nuance in darks and lights are a little blown out or muddy.

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

Both front and rear cameras have HDR, beauty and fun AR modes. The cameras also offer a partial manual mode that gives anyone in the driver’s seat control over focus, ISO and white balance, and the rear camera also supports a panorama feature and a slow motion video mode.

Selfie quality from the phone’s camera is similarly lackluster but passable, with fair detail in good light and fun effects to get stylized shots. Having said that, don’t expect all, or even most of your low light selfies to usable.

Video shot on the Nokia 5.1 is grainy when shot indoors, focus creeps a fair bit and there’s a noticeable lack of definition in terms of darks and lights, but detail isn’t bad at all and there appears to be some kind of stabilization at play that makes it look surprisingly okay when shooting handheld outdoors.

Camera samples

Basil Kronfli

Basil Kronfli is the Head of content at Make Honey and freelance technology journalist. He is an experienced writer and producer and is skilled in video production, and runs the technology YouTube channel TechEdit.