Best Nokia phones — what are your options? (August 2019)

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Nokia 9 PureView Review

Nokia smartphones — which are made by a company called HMD Global — are some of the best devices in the world when it comes to getting great features, solid hardware, and frequent software updates all at incredibly low prices. But which are the best Nokia phones you can get? We’re here to help with that!

Below you’ll find all the best devices available right now in order from most expensive/most powerful to least expensive/least powerful.

Unlike many other smartphone manufacturers, HMD Global has yet to push out a flagship device at the flagship prices we are now seeing (over $800, usually). As such, even though we refer to some Nokia devices as “high-end,” they will still be much, much cheaper than high-end devices from other OEMs such as Samsung.

Related: The best Samsung phones you can buy right now

To that point, HMD Global’s bread-and-butter with the Nokia brand is mid-range devices, i.e. those smartphones priced between $200 and $450. This is where you’re going to see the Nokia brand shine the brightest.

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 Nokia phones:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Nokia phones regularly as new devices launch.

1. Nokia 9 PureView — High-end

Nokia 9 PureView Review

The Nokia 9 PureView was one of the most hotly-anticipated devices of 2018. However, after a series of delays, it wasn’t officially launched until early 2019. Once it did land, a lot of the excitement had worn off and, unfortunately, a lot of the specs had become old hat.

Now, that doesn’t mean that the Nokia 9 isn’t a great phone: it definitely is. It’s just that a 2019 flagship phone should come with the Snapdragon 855, not the 845, and the 6GB of RAM paired with 128GB of storage would have been more exciting if it was an 8GB/256GB pairing.

Obviously, the biggest highlight of the Nokia 9 PureView is its stunning quad-lens camera on the rear, which is still the only quad-lens setup on the market. But even there the Nokia 9 didn’t measure up to expectations as our camera review pegged it as only slightly above average.

All of these dings might be a big deal if the phone cost as much as other major flagships. However, you can find the Nokia 9 PureView for as cheap as $500 (its list price is $699), which immediately makes up for any complaints we might have. If you’re looking for the top-of-the-line Nokia experience, this is the best you’re going to get.

Keep in mind that this device is GSM-only, so it will not work on Sprint or Verizon in the United States.

Nokia 9 PureView specs:

  • Display: 6-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 845
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Rear cameras: 12MP x 5
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 3,320mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie

2. Nokia 8 Sirocco — High-end

Nokia 8 Sirocco review

The Nokia 8 Sirocco is an iterative upgrade over the 2017 Nokia 8. The fingerprint scanner was moved to the back of the device and some specs received a bump, but otherwise, the Nokia 8 and the Sirocco are very similar.

But, for a time, the Nokia 8 Sirocco was the closest thing we had to a bonafide flagship under the “new” Nokia name (the previous device on this list usurped it).

Now, none of that should sway you from considering this device. It’s easy to get for less than $500 and it still has some decent specs, especially when you consider it launched in early 2018. It also has the latest Android 9 Pie software and will definitely receive an upgrade to Android 10 at some point in early 2020.

Here in the United States, the Nokia 8 Sirocco didn’t receive an official release. Therefore, if you do buy it online it will come without a manufacturer’s warranty. It’s also GSM-only, so no Sprint or Verizon support for this device.

Nokia 8 Sirocco specs:

  • Display: 5.5-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 835
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Rear cameras: 13 and 12MP 
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 3,260mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie

3. Nokia 8.1 — Mid-range

Nokia 8.1

If you like the idea of the Nokia 8 Sirocco but don’t like the $500 price tag, you should check out the Nokia 8.1, which is the best mid-range device the company offers. It looks a lot like the Nokia 8 Sirocco but features some modern stylings, such as the notched display on the front.

The Nokia 8.1 is also a bit bigger than the Sirocco and has a bigger display-to-body ratio. Unfortunately, the display resolution is a bit of a downgrade as compared to the Sirocco, but it still offers 1080p.

You’re also going to lose out on the high-end Snapdragon 800 series processor since the Nokia 8.1 comes with the Snapdragon 710. This is a great chip, no question, but it likely won’t match the speed and stability of the 835.

Once again, the Nokia 8.1 didn’t get a U.S. release but is fairly easy to get throughout the rest of the world. The button below will take you to an Argos purchase page for our friends looking to buy in the United Kingdom.

Nokia 8.1 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, FHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 710
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Rear cameras: 13 and 12MP 
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 3,500mAh
  • Software: Android 9 Pie

4. Nokia 7.1 — Mid-range

Nokia 7.1 Review

The Nokia 7.1 has a few advantages over the Nokia 8.1, the biggest of which is full band support here in the U.S. (which means this device will work on any U.S. carrier, a rarity on this list). Unfortunately, it does also feature some downgrades, especially in the camera department.

With the Nokia 7.1, you get a similar (although smaller) form factor as you see on the Nokia 8.1. You also get some similar specs, most notably in RAM, internal storage, and screen resolution.

However, all three cameras (the two on the rear and the one on the front) are downgraded as compared to the Nokia 8.1, as are the battery capacity and processor.

Still, when you factor in that this device will cost you under $300 and can be used on nearly any carrier around the world, those trade-offs seem like a bargain.

Nokia 7.1 specs:

Display: 5.8-inch, Full HD+
Chipset: Snapdragon 636
Storage: 64GB

Rear cameras: 5 and 12MP
Front camera: 8MP
Battery: 3,060mAh
Software: Android 9 Pie

5. Nokia 7 Plus — Mid-range

The Nokia 7 Plus.

We’ll be totally honest here: the Nokia 7 Plus is likely a better phone than the Nokia 7.1. In fact, the 7 Plus might be the best mid-ranger the company has yet offered. The only reason we’re putting it below the Nokia 7.1 on this list is simple: it’s slightly older and doesn’t have as modern of a design.

Oh, and the Nokia 7 Plus is GSM-only, so it doesn’t have the same carrier compatibility as the 7.1 here in the U.S. (meaning the 7 Plus will not work on Sprint or Verizon).

If none of that stuff matters to you, the Nokia 7 Plus is probably your best choice. It has a terrific form factor, some great cameras (for the price), a better processor as compared to the 7.1, and a bigger battery. You get all of that for relatively the same price as the 7.1.

In general, we’d say this: if you live in the U.S., get the Nokia 7.1. If you live anywhere else, get the Nokia 7 Plus. Clicking the button below will take you to a purchase page. If you’re in the U.S., be aware that this device will not come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

Nokia 7 Plus specs:

Display: 6-inch, Full HD+
Chipset: Snapdragon 660
Storage: 64GB

Rear cameras: 13 and 12MP
Front camera: 16MP
Battery: 3,800mAh
Software: Android 9 Pie

6. Nokia 5.1 Plus — Entry-level

An image of the Nokia 5.1 Plus taken from the Nokia website.Nokia

When you dip down to the entry-level tier of HMD Global’s offerings, things get a little murky. Yes, you’re going to spend less than $200 on the Nokia 5.1 Plus (and the next two phones on this list), but for just a few dollars more you could get something much better such as the Nokia 7 Plus.

However, if you are on a strict under-$200 budget, then the Nokia 5.1 Plus is a good bet. Its specs certainly aren’t going to blow you out of your seat, but it has an attractive, modern design and is readily available in the United States (although it won’t work on Sprint or Verizon).

The big advantage with the Nokia 5.1 Plus as compared to the next device on this list (the Nokia 4.2) is that the 5.1 Plus has a USB-C port. That will allow for faster charging and faster data transfer speeds as compared to the Micro-USB port on the Nokia 4.2 (and the Nokia 2.2).

However, a big disadvantage with the Nokia 5.1 Plus is that this device lacks an NFC chip, which means you can’t use this device for contactless payments using something such as Google Pay.

Click the button below to buy the Nokia 5.1 Plus!

Nokia 5.1 Plus specs:

Display: 5.9-inch, HD+
Chipset: Mediatek Helio P60
Storage: 32GB

Rear cameras: 13 and 5MP
Front camera: 5MP
Battery: 3,060mAh
Software: Android 9 Pie

7. Nokia 4.2 — Entry-level

Nokia 4.2

The Nokia 4.2 and the Nokia 5.1 Plus are right around the same price (just under $200). Why then would you choose the 4.2 over the 5.1 Plus? Well, the Nokia 4.2 is a bit smaller (if you’re looking for a more compact device) and has a slightly better processor. It also has a waterdrop notch, which is a nice touch for such a cheap phone.

However, as stated in the previous section, the Nokia 4.2 has a Micro-USB port, which, at this point, is painfully old-school. If you can sacrifice the slightly better processor, it might be better to get the Nokia 5.1 Plus for this reason alone.

If the slow, non-reversible Micro-USB port is no big deal to you, the Nokia 4.2 does have another advantage: an NFC chip. The Nokia 5.1 Plus lacks this feature which means you cannot use the Nokia 5.1 Plus for electronic contactless payments using something like Google Pay. You can do this with the Nokia 4.2, however.

As usual, the Nokia 4.2 will not work on Sprint or Verizon in the U.S., but its global availability is pretty good. Click below to buy!

Nokia 4.2 specs:

Display: 5.7-inch, HD+
Chipset: Snapdragon 439
Storage: 32GB

Rear cameras: 13 and 2MP
Front camera: 8MP
Battery: 3,000mAh
Software: Android 9 Pie

8. Nokia 2.2 — Entry-level

The Nokia 2.2 from various angles.HMD Global

The Nokia 2.2 smartphone is the best ultra-cheap phone you can get from HMD Global without venturing so low as to enter Android Go territory. In general, if you’re looking for the best phone you can get for the least amount of money possible, the Nokia 2.2 is your new friend.

A notable feature about the Nokia 2.2 is the presence of a removable battery — something rarely seen in modern smartphones. If this is an important feature to you, consider yourself lucky!

Outside of that, though, the Nokia 2.2 offers the bare minimum of specs and features. It does have an NFC chip, which is great, but it — like the Nokia 4.2 up above — is stuck on the outdated Micro-USB port for charging and data transfer.

Unlike every other device on this list, you also only get one single camera lens on the back of the Nokia 2.2. Don’t buy this phone expecting to use it to become the next Instagram star!

The Nokia 2.2 will only work on GSM-based carriers in the U.S., which means no Sprint or Verizon. It is available in the U.S., though, with a full manufacturer’s warranty. Click below to buy!

Nokia 2.2 specs:

Display: 5.7-inch, HD+
Chipset: Mediatek Helio A22
Storage: 32GB

Rear camera: 13MP
Front camera: 5MP
Battery: 3,000mAh
Software: Android 9 Pie

These are our picks for the best Nokia phones you can get, although there are a lot of other options out there as well. We’ll be sure to update this post once new models hit the market.

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