Best Nokia phones of 2021: find the right Nokia device for you

The best Nokia phones are budget to mid-range Android devices that are durable and dependable, because that's what the company has focused on in the past few years, though there are a few premium phones in the mix too.

That certainly looks to be the case with the Nokia 10 that we're expecting to see sometime in 2021. While few details have emerged yet (right down to the lack of an official name), it looks like it'll be a premium flagship device that will reportedly sport the yet-unannounced Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 chipset. With Nokia phones now made by fellow Finnish company HMD Global, who licenses the use of the Nokia name, this could be the time for the once well-loved brand to see a resurgence.

While we wait and see what happens next, there are several other quality Nokia smartphones that offer simple design and strong, clean Android software. Each is a solid choice if you want a phone that lasts a good three years thanks to amazingly frequent software updates. 

We’ve fully reviewed each of the phones here and listed the pros and cons so you can see which has the best features and price for your needs and budget.

Best Nokia phones 2021 at a glance:

  1. Nokia 9 PureView
  2. Nokia 8.3 5G
  3. Nokia 6.1
  4. Nokia 7.2
  5. Nokia 7 Plus
  6. Nokia 8.1
  7. Nokia 5.3
  8. Nokia 8

Best Nokia phones 2020

Nokia 9 PureView

(Image credit: Nokia)

1. Nokia 9 PureView

Nokia's newest flagship smartphone

Release date: February 2019 | Weight: 172g | Dimensions: 155 x 75 x 8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.9-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2880 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3,320mAh | Rear camera: 12MP, 12MP, 12MP, 12MP, 12MP | Front camera: 20MP

Eye-catching five camera cluster
Decent photos for sub-flagship price
Middling other features
Not a comfortable hold

The Nokia 9 PureView is Nokia's most recent flagship phone, and it comes with cutting-edge features to match. In particular, it comes with one important feature (or five depending on how you count it) in the form of its five-sensor rear camera, which is the most we've seen in a smartphone.

It's not exactly an expensive phone either, compared to some of the flagships you can buy today, so if you want a photographic smartphone powerhouse without taking a chunk out of your bank account, this may be the phone for you.

The Nokia 9 PureView has problems, as most phones do, but it represents the best Nokia has to offer right now.

Read our in-depth Nokia 9 PureView review

Nokia 8.3 5G

(Image credit: HMD Global)

2. Nokia 8.3 5G

A respectable entry into the 5G market for Nokia

Release date: October 2020 | Weight: 220g | Dimensions: 171.9 x 78.6 x 9mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.81-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 | CPU: Snapdragon 765G | RAM: 6GB/8GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 12MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 24MP

Good display 
3.5mm headphone jack 
Annoying Google Assistant button 
Small storage size for some 

The Nokia 8.3 5G offers some strong specs for the price with a large 6.81-inch display that's ideal for watching movies while on the move or playing games. With a chunky battery lfe, it'll last you all day too, even if you are enjoying that extra screen space to its fullest. 

There's a dedicated Google Assistant button that invariably gets in the way and proves annoying, but otherwise, the Nokia 8.3 5G is reasonably well designed if unremarkable looking. Similarly, while the camera setup sounds impressive on paper, the macro sensor is rather mediocre so we wouldn't recommend this one for avid photographers.

Still, the Nokia 8.3 5G is an ideal Nokia-flavored option if you're desperate to try out 5G. With its strong battery life and large display, it should keep most people happy, despite its flaws. 

Read our in-depth Nokia 8.3 5G review

Nokia 6.1

(Image credit: Nokia)

3. Nokia 6.1

A low-tech but hardy phone

Release date: April 2018 | Weight: 172g | Dimensions: 149 x 76 x 8mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 630 | RAM: 3/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP

Durable yet attractive
Generous HD screen
Solo rear camera
Battery just about lasts a day

While the Nokia 6.1 doesn't quite have all the bells and whistles of the other Nokia handsets above, it's still a great device – especially given many of the downsides we could attribute to it wouldn’t realistically be expected on a phone of its price.

It's a tough device with a robust design and strong frame – fans of solid and secure phones will love the Nokia 6.1's durability.

It also packs some pretty impressive specs for its low price, with a competent chipset and splendid screen – yet its camera loadout isn't as impressive as it could be.

Read our in-depth Nokia 6.1 review

Nokia 7.2

(Image credit: Nokia)

4. Nokia 7.2

A solid if unexciting phone

Release date: September 2019 | Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 159.9 x 75.2 x 8.3 mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 | CPU: Snapdragon 660 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 20MP

Strong main cameras 
Good performance 
Bad wide-angle camera
Very slow to charge 

The Nokia 7.2 is a solid mid-range phone, but it struggles to stand out in the sea of Nokia Android devices. That said, it has smooth performance, a premium design and good quality main cameras. 

Unfortunately the wide-angle camera is not up to scratch, which is disappointing when that can be a fun shooter to use. It is also a very slow phone to charge up and isn’t waterproof.

But the Android One version of Android 9 Pie is a godsend, with attractive stock design and a guaranteed two years of OS updates and three years of security updates, which is as good as the Google Pixel line.

Read our in-depth Nokia 7.2 review

(Image credit: Nokia)

5. Nokia 7 Plus

A middleweight marvel

Release date: March 2018 | Dimensions: 158 x 75 x 8mm | Weight: 183g | OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 660 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,800mAh | Rear camera: 12MP, 13MP | Front camera: 16MP

Pure Android
Good camera
Mid-range CPU
Camera struggles in low-light

The Nokia 7 Plus is exactly what you'd imagine from a Nokia handset, in that it's half the price of a flagship from its era yet it comes packed out with all the features you'd expect.

In particular the handset has an impressive camera loadout for its price, and can last for a long time under heavy use. There are drawbacks to the phone too, but it's still an impressive Android device.

Read our in-depth Nokia 7 Plus review

Nokia 8.1

(Image credit: HMD Global)

6. Nokia 8.1

Once the best Nokia phone you could buy

Release date: December 2018 | Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 155 x 76 x 8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2280 | CPU: Snapdragon 710 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP, 13MP | Front camera: 20MP

Well built design
Large, clear display
Not waterproof
Lacks wireless charging

The Nokia 8.1 was our favorite Nokia phone until the Nokia 9 PureView and Nokia 8.3 5G came along – it's a competent mid-range device offering up a tried-and-tested Snapdragon 710 chipset, functional camera, and adequate battery, all for a relatively low price.

For such a low-priced phone you'll certainly be impressed by its screen, with 2280 x 1080 Full HD+ and an 81% screen-to-body ratio, and an elegant design to match.

It's by no means a powerful smartphone, and it won't rival high-end models in terms of specs of functions, but at its price band it's a tempting device.

Read our in-depth Nokia 8.1 review

(Image credit: Nokia)

7. Nokia 5.3

Cheap phone holds its own

Release date: April 2020 | Dimensions: 164.3 x 76.6 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 10 Android One | Screen size: 6.55-inch | Resolution: 720 x 1600 | CPU: Snapdragon 665 | RAM: 2/3/6GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great price 
Good cameras
Average performance
Iffy display

Considering it only costs £149 the Nokia 5.3 performs well with a Snapdragon 665 and Android One, the bloatware-free, clean version of Android that guarantees you two years of updates. 

The screen isn’t great though at only 720p, and you won’t want to go anywhere near high-end mobile games as the phone will likely struggle. But the cameras are surprisingly decent and the clean, simple design is a perk.

With a rear mounted fingerprint sensor, headphone jack, and decent battery life, this is by no means a bad phone, but be aware that while it handles the basics well you won’t want to push it too hard. 

Nokia 8

(Image credit: Nokia)

8. Nokia 8

Old school cool

Release date: October 2017 | Weight: 160g | Dimensions: 151 x 73 x 8mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.3-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3,090mAh | Rear camera: 12MP, 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Beautiful design
Gorgeous QHD display
Launch price is higher than we'd expect
Not waterproof

Nokia phones are often reliable handsets that lack any defining or distinctive features, and the Nokia 8 is a prime example of this. It looks great, with an impressive display and beautifully designed body, but many of the other features could be defined as 'fine'.

The dual cameras were acceptable in 2017 when the phone was released, and features like the 3.5mm headphone jack and physical front button which used to be commonplace but aren't any more, may appeal to users who like these features.

With the Nokia 8 you're getting a solid handset that won't let you down, but won't be an icebreaker at parties either.

Read our in-depth Nokia 8 review

Post a Comment