What went wrong with the Nokia 6.1 Plus?

Of course, there is another budget option

Yes, the Nokia 6.1 Plus wasn’t the only phone HMD Global launched yesterday. They also revealed that the Nokia 5.1 Plus would make it to Malaysian shores too, but it won’t be here so soon. Availability is set for mid-October but no pricing details have been revealed.

What we do know is that the Nokia 5.1 Plus will be more affordable than the 6.1 Plus, but you’re sacrificing quite a lot too. For starters, although it features the same 5.8-inch notched display, the notch is much bigger on the 5.1 Plus and the panel only pushes a resolution of HD+ (1520×720 pixels). During the presentation, the Nokia rep said that gamers love HD+ display resolutions, though I really can’t see any reason why.

In fact, they seem to be targeting gamers with this phone even though it trades off Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor for a MediaTek Helio P60 SoC instead. I can’t speak for all gamers, but the mobile gamers in my office all prefer Snapdragon for gaming over MediaTek. Add that to the fact that the Nokia 5.1 Plus has a watered down 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage and I’m just not convinced about this phone’s gaming capabilities.

Nevertheless, the rest of the phone is pretty much identical to the Nokia 6.1 Plus. It’s about the same size, looks about the same with the same fingerprint scanner placement and has the same 3,060 mAh battery that charges via USB Type-C. Doesn’t seem to have fast-charging capabilities though.

That said, just pick the Nokia 5.1 Plus up and you’ll immediately notice one big difference in the build: The frame is made of glossy plastic. Sorry, I mean polycarbonate — that’s what Nokia tells me anyway. As a result, it feels significantly less premium in the hand than the Nokia 6.1 Plus, but the good news is that the front and back are still made of glass.

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Besides the plastic frame, there is one more difference between the handsets and that is their cameras. On the 5.1 Plus, you’re getting a 13MP + 5MP dual-camera at the back with an f/2.0 aperture lens in front of the main sensor. In front, you’re getting an 8MP selfie shooter.

Now, I know no pricing details were revealed, but Nokia did ask us in the media to guess how much it would be priced when the handset launches in October. Looking at the price of the Nokia 6.1 Plus, I honestly don’t have a clue how much they would have it retail for. In China, the Nokia 5.1 Plus — known as the X5 there — retails for CNY999, which converts to about RM600, but when it comes to the Malaysian RRP, your guess is as good as mine.