Nokia was once the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world but lost its appeal when it overlooked Android and started making Windows-powered smartphones. Microsoft bought the company in 2013, deciding to kill the Nokia brand a little over a year later. Thankfully, the story didn’t end there.
HMD Global gained the rights to make and sell smartphones under the Nokia name at the end of 2016, effectively bringing the iconic brand back to life. It released a few interesting smartphones in 2017 followed by even more models in 2018.
2019 is just beginning, so what are the best Nokia phones on the market? We’ve laid out the top high-end, mid-range, and budget models below.
Best high-end phone: Nokia 8 Sirocco
HMD announced the Nokia 8 Sirocco at MWC 2018 as an upgraded version of the Nokia 8. It’s equipped with a larger 5.5-inch curved display (up from 5.3 inches), has thinner bezels, and offers better water protection (IP67 vs. IP54), among other things.
The Nokia 8 is part of Google’s Android One initiative, which guarantees a pure, bloat-free OS experience.
The flagship is part of Google’s Android One initiative, which guarantees a pure, bloat-free OS experience and timely updates. It features a dual-camera setup on the back kitted out with Carl Zeiss optics and 2x optical zoom. For some reason, Nokia chose the older Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is still powerful enough to handle any task you throw at it — but isn’t as good as the 845.
The Nokia 8 Sirocco is on sale in Europe and India but wasn’t officially released in the U.S. However, you can purchase the international model on Amazon for $580, but it doesn’t come with a warranty.
- 5.5-inch P-OLED display with 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, 534ppi
- Snapdragon 835 chipset
- 6GB of RAM
- 128GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
- 12 and 13MP rear cameras, 5MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,260mAh battery
- Android 8.0 Oreo
- 140.93 x 72.97 x 7.5mm
- Nokia 8 Sirocco hands-on: High-end Android One
- Nokia 8 Sirocco: Release date, price, and availability
- Nokia 8 Sirocco: Spec sheet breakdown
The high-end Nokia 8 comes with a 5.3-inch display and is powered by the Snapdragon 835 chipset. It sports two 13MP sensors on the back with Carl Zeiss optics that allow you to capture those popular bokeh images. The handset also features a Bothie mode, which lets you use the front and back cameras simultaneously for split-screen photos and videos. The Nokia 8 is a great smartphone, but it’s not perfect — it looks dated because of its large bezels. The handset wasn’t released in the U.S., but it is available in Europe, India, and a few other markets.
Best mid-range phone: Nokia 8.1
You might be confused with the branding of this phone. The Nokia 8.1 is not in the same league as the Nokia 8 or the Nokia 8 Sirocco. This is a mid-range handset, though it is admittedly the best such phone HMD Global has launched in this price range.
The Nokia 8.1 comes with a stock version of Android 9.0 Pie out of the box.
The Nokia 8.1 has a 6.18-inch display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2,246 x 1,080. Inside, it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. It has two rear cameras, a 12MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture and a 1.4 micron pixel size, and a 13MP depth sensor with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). There’s also a 20MP front-facing selfie camera and a 3,500mAh battery. The Nokia 8.1 is one of a growing number of Android One smartphones, shipping with a stock version of Android 9.0 Pie out of the box.
The Nokia 8.1 is already available in a few regions including Europe and India, where it costs 450 euros (~$515) and 27,000 rupees. There’s no word on when or if it will make its way to the U.S.
- 6.18-inch IPS LCD display with 2,160 x 1,080 resolution, 420ppi
- Snapdragon 710 chipset
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 400GB
- 12 and 13MP rear cameras, 20MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,500mAh battery
- Android 9.0 Pie
- 154.8 x 75.76 x 7.97mm
- Nokia 8.1 hands-on: The best yet from HMD Global?
- Nokia 8.1 is official: HMD Global’s new mid-ranger
- Nokia 8.1 specs
Nokia 7 Plus
The Nokia 7 Plus is an Android One smartphone, which means it runs stock Android. Announced at MWC 2018, it’s quite an upgrade over the Nokia 7. The display got bumped up from 5.2 to 6 inches and has an 18:9 aspect ratio. The handset also features a dual-camera setup, a newer chipset (Snapdragon 660 vs. 630) and a larger battery (3,800 vs. 3,000mAh). The 7 Plus also features the same Bothie mode as the Nokia 8 Sirocco. It has a modern design with relatively thin bezels and an aluminum body that looks and feels premium — although it lacks a “wow” factor to set it apart.
The smartphone went on sale in China in March and sold out in five minutes. The device has since been launched in other markets like India and the U.K., where it goes for 26,000 rupees and 280 pounds (~$360). It wasn’t released in the U.S.
This is an Android One device featuring a 5.84-inch Full HD+ display with a notch. It offers a little less power than the Nokia 7 Plus, as it comes with the Snapdragon 636 chipset under the hood along with 3 or 4GB of RAM. There’s a dual-camera setup on the back and the phone supports the Bothie mode for taking photos with the front and rear cameras at the same time, like many other Nokia phones. The Nokia 7.1 has a headphone jack, a 3,060mAh battery, and a metal and glass body that looks generic. Only the model with 3GB of RAM is available in the U.S. through Amazon and will set you back $350.
Nokia 6.1 Plus
The Nokia 6.1 Plus sports a 5.8-inch Full HD+ display and is powered by the Snapdragon 636 chipset and 4GB of RAM. It comes with Nokia’s Bothie camera feature, has a modern design with thin bezels and a notch, and packs a 3,060mAh battery. The smartphone is equipped with a dual-camera setup on the back, has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and runs a stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo. It’s available in India but has not yet been released in the U.S. or Europe. Consumers in these two regions can get their hands on the Nokia 6.1, which offers less in the specs department than its larger brother but comes in cheaper.
Best budget phone: Nokia 2.1
Like the rest of Nokia’s 2017 lineup, the ultra-affordable Nokia 2 has a new 2018 version — the Nokia 2.1. The Nokia 2.1 shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor, but a couple of key improvements make it worth the upgrade and place it number one on the list of the best Nokia phones on a budget.
On the similar side of things, the Nokia 2.1 also comes with 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM, features a similar 8MP rear camera, and packs an equally beefy 4,000mAh battery that promises excellent battery life. However, the phone now comes with a larger 5.5-inch display, albeit with the same 720p resolution. The biggest upgrade is in the processor department, with the Nokia 2.1 packing the Snapdragon 425, which is a huge improvement over the Snapdragon 212 of the Nokia 2.
The device is part of the Android Go program, making it easier for the entry-level hardware to handle the software package. Google also announced the Android Pie edition of Go and this device will be one of the first to receive the official update to the latest software. The Nokia 2.1 is already available in India and select markets priced at just 7,000 rupees and 115 euros (~$130).
- 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1,280 x 720 resolution, 267ppi
- Snapdragon 425 chipset
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB of storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
- 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
- Non-removable 4,000 mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition)
- 153.6 x 77.6 x 9.7mm, 174g
If you’re looking for the Nokia 2.1 but are in the U.S., you’re in luck. Verizon just started carrying the exact same handset but rebranded it to the Nokia 2V. This handset still runs Android Go, features a 5.5-inch LCD display, a Snapdragon 425 CPU, 8GB of storage, and 1GB of RAM. All of the other specs remain the same as the Nokia 2.1 and you can get it for the low price of $70.
Although this smartphone is more expensive than the Nokia 2.1, it still won’t break the bank. It offers a 5.2-inch HD display, packs a 2,990mAh battery and the MediaTek 6750 chipset, and comes with 2GB of RAM under the hood. Other specs and features include a 13MP rear camera, 16GB of expandable storage, and Android 8.0 Oreo. It’s available in black, blue, and white.
Nokia 3.1 Plus
The Nokia 3.1 Plus is an upgraded version of the 3.1. It sports a larger 6.0-inch display, has a dual-camera setup on the back, and comes with a different processor — MediaTek Helio P22. There are 2 or 3GB of RAM available along with 16 and 32GB of storage that can be expanded. Other specs and features include a 3,500mAh battery, a fingerprint scanner, and an 8MP selfie snapper. It’s already available in India as well as certain European markets.
Additionally, the Nokia 3.1 Plus was brought to the U.S. market thanks to Cricket Wireless. This budget device is well suited for the prepaid carrier with its budget-friendly $130 price tag.
The last device on our best Nokia phones list is the Nokia 1. It’s the least powerful smartphone in the company’s lineup, but it’s also the cheapest. The Android Go device comes with a 4.5-inch display, the MediaTek MT6737M chipset, and 1GB of RAM. The company is pitching it as a “transition” device for those moving from feature phones to their first smartphones, with Google’s leaner OS offering a simple, data-efficient version of Android capable of running on low-cost hardware. The Nokia 1 is already available in many regions including Europe and the U.S.
There you have it — these are the best Nokia phones available. Which one would you get? Let us know in the comments.