The best Nokia phones to buy in 2018

Nokia 8 Sirocco

If you have lived more than two and half decades, it’s possible that your first phone was a Nokia. Despite how dominant the brand was back in the days, the name Nokia was almost forgotten, until a year ago.

After years of trying to beat Google via competing platforms, the Finnish company finally resolved to join Android and launched the first device in January 2017 – the Nokia 6. A year down the line, it’s like Nokia never left as just about everyone is talking about the company and its latest moves in the smartphone industry. The Nokia phones are sold by HMD Global, who have acquired the license for the brand.

Today, we have a good number of Nokia phones that we can recommend to you but don’t expect any of those classics to appear on the list.

Best Nokia phones [December 2018]

Device U.S. U.K. India
Nokia 8.1 Price to be confirmed Price to be confirmed Price to be confirmed
Nokia 8 Sirocco $550 £399 INR 36,999
Nokia 7.1 $350 £320 INR 19,999
Nokia 6.1 Plus NA £235 INR 15,999
Nokia 6.1 $229 £229 INR 13,499
Nokia 5.1 Plus NA £250 INR 10,499
Nokia 3.1 Plus NA NA INR 11,499
Nokia 3.1 $150 £119 INR 10,499
Nokia 2.1 NA £100 INR 6,999
Nokia 1 NA £80 INR 4,999

Above are some of the best phones Nokia has on offer in the market at the moment. Let’s talk about them. But just so you know, some of them have been announced but are yet to hit the shelves. As for the surprisingly missing Nokia 7 Plus, it is because of the phone’s availability and the imminent launch of Nokia 7.1 Plus that led to its omission on the list, but if you can find it in a shop near you, don’t hesitate to grab one.


Nokia 8.1

Nokia-8.1The Nokia 8.1, as you may have guessed, is the successor to the Nokia 8 from 2017, but honestly, it isn’t what we expected in terms of performance specs. Or at least for the processor. Still, the Snapdragon 710 chipset that powers the Nokia 8.1 is a product of the same 10nm process used in the production of the Snapdragon 835, which basically means we are getting just about the same phone when it comes to raw power.

However, the screen is bigger with a new 18.7:9 aspect ratio, a notch, and a lower 1080p resolution. You are also getting a bigger battery, a much better selfie camera, improved AI-powered Carl ZEISS optics camera on the back, and latest Android 9 Pie out of the box, among other premium extras like NFC, 3.5mm audio jack, USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and so on.

Specs
  • 6.18-inch 18.7:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 13MP main camera with ZEISS optics and OIS
  • 20MP front camera
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Rear-mounted FPS, Face unlock, 18W fast charging, etc.

Nokia 8 Sirocco

Nokia-8-Sirocco-3-1

You’ll love the new design of the Nokia 8 Sirocco which features a bezel-less design in the trend at the moment, compared to the standard Nokia 8 which has a dated design featuring large bezels.

The crown of the jewel is Android One. This is stock Android, which is what many diehard Android fans always pray for. The Nokia 8 Sirocco ships with Android Oreo out of the box and given that the Nokia 8 has already received Oreo 8.1, we expect the Sirocco to get the update straight out of the box, much like what happened with the Nokia 6 2018.

One little problem, though: The Nokia 8 Sirocco is obviously a year late and furthermore, you might be put off by the steep asking price of €749. In India, the Sirocco has a price tag of INR 49,999, which makes it hard to justify the product in a market that has the likes of Huawei Honor 10, OnePlus 6, Vivo X21, Asus ZenFone 5Z, and many others exchanging hands for a lot lesser.

Specs
  • 5.5-inch 16:9 pOLED Always-on display with QHD resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset
  • 6GB RAM and 128GB of expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 12MP main camera and 5MP selfie camera
  • 3260mAh battery with Quick Charge 4.0
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, no 3.5mm audio jack, rear-mounted scanner, NFC, fast charging (QC 4.0), wireless charging, etc.

If you can live with the huge bezels on the OG Nokia 8, however, it’s still a great option, especially now that it can be purchased for much lower than the initial asking price of €600. In India, it is out of stock!


Read More: Nokia 8 Sirocco: Specs, Release date and more


Nokia 7.1

Does-price-of-Moto-G6-Plus-and-Nokia-7.1...

The Nokia 7 Plus was – and still is (at least for those who can still get hold of one) – a great piece of hardware. Great build, top-performing specs, a big battery, good cameras and best of all, up to date software all at an affordable price tag. Well, the first of its successors, the Nokia 7.1, is among us and as expected, it is an equally impressive handset.

  • 5.84-inch 19:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor
  • 3GB or 4GB RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB expandable storage, up to 400GB
  • Dual 12MP + 5MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 3060mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo, Pie update available
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, rear-mounted FPS, etc.

Looking at the specs of the Nokia 7.1, it is no way a successor to the Nokia 7 Plus. However, it is a class above the Nokia 7 released in 2017 and largely remained in China. While the Nokia 7.1 might not actually be a convincing deal in India, Asia and even some parts of Europe, for those in the U.S., this could easily be the best midrange phone available right now.

Nokia 6.1

Nokia-6-2018-.

The OG Nokia 6 remains to be one of the best-selling devices in Nokia’s short Android history. However, the phone had one major downside – a weak Snapdragon 430 chipset. In 2018, the second-generation Nokia 6 (2018) takes care of this problem while at the same time refining the design of the handset, yet it keeps the same price tag. Cool huh!

The Nokia 6 2018 has a price tag of $270 in the U.S., £229 in the UK and INR 16,999 in India.

Specs
  • 5.5-inch 16:9 LCD display screen with full HD resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset
  • 3/4GB of RAMn and 32/64GB of expandable storage
  • 16MP back camera and 8MP selfie camera
  • Android 8.0 Oreo (Android One), Pie update available
  • 3000mAh non-removable battery
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, rear-mounted scanner, NFC, fast charging, etc.

Read More: Nokia 6 2018: Price, Specs, News, and more


Nokia 6.1 Plus

Nokia-6.1-Plus

But what if you also want a taste of the notch? Well, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is the first of its kind from HMD Global. Not only is it the first to come with a notched display, it is also the first in the company’s lineup to come with the Snapdragon 636 chipset. If the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio on the standard Nokia 6.1 didn’t excite you, the Nokia 6.1 Plus takes this to the next with a 19:9 aspect ratio for a high display to body ratio.

Specs
  • 5.8-inch 19:9 FHD+ LCD display screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB expandable storage
  • 16MP + 5MP back camera
  • 16MP selfie camera
  • Android 8.1 Oreo (Android One), Pie update available
  • 3060mAh non-removable battery
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, rear-mounted scanner, NFC, Quick Charge 3.0, etc.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus starts selling in India, the global launch market, on August 30 and while it is expected to be available in other markets too, the exact availability details are still unclear. In India, though, you can grab one in a Black or Blue finish priced at INR 15,999, which is about $230, but there’s also a White variant that might not be sold here.

Although a good price, it’s still costlier than other Snapdragon 636-totting devices in India such as Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro, which cost INR 12,999 and INR 14,999 for the same memory options, respectively. Heck, you can even grab the 6/64GB variant of the ZenFone Max Pro M1 at INR 14,999, but of course, you’ll miss out on the luxury that comes with owning a Nokia device and the notch.

Nokia 7 Plus [Bonus]

Nokia-7-Plus-1-1If you are a fun of size, the Nokia 7 Plus is the best option. It’s the biggest so far, featuring a massive 6 inches of display real estate with the latest 18:9 aspect ratio and thus a full HD+ resolution. Like the others, it runs Android One out of the box and has a price tag of €399. The Nokia 7 Plus has a price tag of INR 25,999 in India. Unfortunately, those in the U.S. didn’t get an official launch, but the Nokia 7 Plus can be found on Amazon for about $350.

Here’s what you get:

  • 6-inch 18:9 LCD display with full HD resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chipset
  • 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage
  • Dual 12MP + 12MP main camera and 16MP selfie camera
  • Android 8.0 Oreo, Pie update available
  • 3800mAh battery
  • Extras: Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, rear-mounted scanner, NFC, fast charging, etc.

Read More: Nokia 7 Plus: Specs, Release date and more


Nokia 5.1

Nokia-5.1-6

HMD Global’s follow-up to the Nokia 5, which was a mere iteration of the Nokia 6, packs some punch. Unlike its predecessor, however, you are getting familiar hardware as far as 2018 smartphone design trends are concerned. There’s a new 18:9 form factor for the display screen and under the hood, you are getting a MediaTek processor in place of Qualcomm’s.

Specs
  • 5.5-inch 18:9 FHD+ LCD display
  • MediaTek Helio P18 processor
  • 2GB or 3GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB expandable storage, up to 256GB
  • 16MP main camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 2970mAh battery
  • Android 8.0 Oreo

One little hiccup, though, is that the Nokia 5.1’s availability details have been hard to come by, but we do know the device’s global availability is set for July. It’s likely that the U.S. could be a possible destination after the device appeared on the FCC, but pricing details are still unclear. Of course, we’ll update this post with the full details when we get them.

Meanwhile, and if you can’t wait, the outgoing Nokia 6 2017 should also make for a good buy, especially now that its price has been discounted. The 2017 model can now be obtained at a much cheaper price tag of about $200 or just INR 14,999 in India.


Read More: Nokia 5: Everything you need to know


Nokia 5.1 Plus

Nokia-5.1-Plus

Fans of the notch have even more to smile about. If the Nokia 6.1 Plus is out of reach, there’s the Nokia 5.1 Plus. In terms of design, you are basically getting the same phone as the Nokia 6.1 Plus, but due to its slightly weaker configuration, the Nokia 5.1 Plus attracts a cheaper price tag.

Specs
  • 5.86-inch 19:9 HD+ LCD display screen
  • MediaTek Helio P60
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB expandable storage
  • 13MP + 5MP back camera
  • 8MP selfie camera
  • Android 8.1 Oreo (Android One)
  • 3060mAh non-removable battery
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, rear-mounted scanner, NFC, fast charging, etc.

The Nokia 5.1 Plus was launched alongside the Nokia 6.1 Plus in India, but HMD hasn’t given a clear roadmap as to where the devices are headed next.

Nokia 3.1

Nokia-3.1

If you are in the market for a good budget phone, not just a Nokia phone, the Nokia 3 is one of the best out there. But this great handset, which was at times troubled when a lot is thrown at it, now has a successor that promises even more raw power, a new design language that conforms to 2018 standards, an improved camera, a bigger battery, and Project Treble support out of the box, yet still available on the cheap.

At under $160, there’s nothing to regret about this phone. Although you won’t be wowed by the specs list, there aren’t many sub-$150 devices out there that are guaranteed regular software updates and the Nokia 3.1 is, including the version after Android Pie.

Here’re the specs you get:

  • 5.2-inch 18:9 HD+ LCD display
  • MediaTek MT6750N chipset
  • 2GB or 3GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB expandable storage, up to 256GB
  • 13MP back camera
  • 8MP front camera
  • 2990mAh non-removable battery
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, etc.

Related: Nokia 3.1: Everything you need to know

Nokia 3.1 Plus

Nokia-3.1-Plus-5

A small upgrade over the standard Nokia 3.1, the Nokia 3.1 Plus isn’t easily available in most markets. The phone still packs a MediaTek chipset, but a superior Helio P22 chipset mated with the same memory options as its sibling. You also get a second lens on the back camera, a fingerprint scanner, and since the screen is also much bigger at 6 inches, you also get an equally bigger battery unit to keep the phone alive.

Specs
  • 6-inch 18:9 HD+ LCD display
  • Helio P22 octa-core processor
  • 2GB/3GB of RAM
  • 16GB/32GB of storage (microSD card slot included)
  • 13MP+5MP main camera with phase detection autofocus
  • 8MP selfie wide-angle camera
  • 3,500 mAh battery
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.1, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, rear-mounted FPS, etc.

Like any other Nokia phone, you are promised at least two years of software updates, meaning the Nokia 3.1 Plus will receive an update to both Android 9 Pie and Android Q that comes after.

Nokia 2.1

Nokia-2.1

The Nokia 2.0 had nearly everything one needs in a basic smartphone, especially the battery life, but it lacked a bit in performance specs. The Nokia 2.1 takes care of this in the best way possible by throwing in there a superior processor, a bigger display screen, and an equally big battery unit. The underlying software is a slimmed-down version of Android 8.1 Oreo aka Android Go which is still based on Android One and has a promise to get Android 9 Pie Go update.

With the Nokia 2.1, you are getting a device with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, has a big battery, a bigger screen than its predecessor and even the Nokia 3.1, supports fast battery charging technology, and is also cheap.

Specs
  • 5.5-inch 16:9 HD LCD display with Gorilla Glass protection
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB storage, expandable up to 128GB
  • Android Oreo
  • 8MP main camera
  • 5MP selfie camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Extras: LTE, MicroUSB, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, Fast battery charging, stereo speakers, etc.

Of course, by picking up the Nokia 2.1 over the Nokia 3.1, you’ll be foregoing things like more RAM and storage, a slightly better camera, and an 18:9 display aspect ratio. If you can live without these, the Nokia 2.1 is without a doubt the real deal here. The fact that you can grab one for as little as €100 makes the deal even sweeter.

Nokia 1

Nokia-1-3

If you are a longtime user of Nokia feature phones and wouldn’t mind getting an affordable first-time Nokia smartphone, the Nokia 1 is the best option available. Based on the lightweight Android Go, you can be sure of an excellent device that takes care of every basic task required of a phone. The promise of software updates, including Android P, is one of the major USPs of the Nokia 1.

Here’re the specs:

  • A 4.5-inch LCD display with 480 x 854 pixels resolution
  • MediaTek MT6737M chipset
  • 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage
  • 5MP back camera and 2MP front camera
  • Android Oreo (Go edition), upgradable to Android P (Go edition)
  • 2150mAh removable battery
  • Extras: Bluetooth 4.2, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio jack, etc.

The Nokia 1 has a price tag of $85 and can be bought for as little as INR 4,999 in India.


Are you looking to buy a Nokia phone? If yes, then which one and why? Also, do let us know what are your thoughts on HMD Global and its Nokia phones.

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