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 and even more so far in 2018.
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), thin bezels, and an improved 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 $550, but it doesn’t come with a warranty.
- 5.5-inch P-OLED display with 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, 534 ppi
- 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 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 Nokia 7 Plus features the Bothie mode that lets you use front and back cameras simultaneously.
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 295 pounds (~$390). It wasn’t released in the U.S.
- 6.0-inch IPS LCD display with 2,160 x 1,080 resolution, 403 ppi
- Snapdragon 660 chipset
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
- 12 and 13MP rear cameras, 16MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,800mAh battery
- Android 8.0 Oreo
- 158.38 x 75.64 x 9.55mm
- Nokia 7 Plus review
- Nokia 7 Plus with Android One, Full HD+ display is finally official
- Nokia 7 Plus specs and hardware breakdown
- Hands-on with Nokia’s new lineup from MWC 2018
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. and is up for pre-order at Amazon and Best Buy.
Nokia 6.1 Plus
The Nokia 6.1 Plus is the first smartphone from the company to feature a notch and comes with quite a few upgrades over its smaller but also recently released sibling, the Nokia 6.1. You get a larger 5.8-inch display, the faster Snapdragon 636 chipset under the hood, and a dual rear camera setup (16MP + 5MP) that is capable of taking some excellent photos. The only problem with the Nokia 6.1 Plus is availability: the phone isn’t available in the U.S. or most European countries. But it was released in India.
Nokia 6.1 (2018)
The 2018 edition of the Nokia 6 sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display and is powered by the Snapdragon 630 chipset and 4GB of RAM. It comes with Nokia’s Bothie camera feature and includes OZO Audio recording that’s described as “an advanced spatial audio technology with 3D capture and playback capabilities.” The smartphone is equipped with a single 16MP camera on the back, has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and runs Android 7.1 Nougat. It’s now available in the U.S. via Amazon.
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 120 euros (~$140).
- 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1,280 x 720 resolution, 267 ppi
- 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
Although this smartphone is more expensive than the Nokia 2, 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 but hasn’t yet been released in the U.S. or Europe. It goes for 11,500 rupees (~$155).
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 (or will be soon) in Europe, Middle East, Africa, India, Asia Pacific, Australia, and Latin America.
There you have it — these are the best Nokia phones available. Which one would you get? Let us know in the comments.
- HMD Global refreshes low-end range with new Nokia 2.1, 3.1, 5.1
- Who knew: Reviving Nokia costs a fortune
- Exclusive: Nokia is working on a remake of the Nokia 2010
- Nokia 8 gets Pro Camera update for Lumia-like manual controls
- Hands-on with Nokia’s new lineup from MWC 2018
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