How to choose the best Nokia smartphone

From Nokia 1 to Nokia 8, we break down everything you need to know to choose the right Nokia handset.

Updated July 17th, 2018
Name Product Processor type Display size (inches) Display resolution Internal storage
Nokia 3
Nokia 3
MTK 6737
5.00
1280 × 720
16GB
Nokia 6.1
Nokia 6.1
Snapdragon 630
5.50
1920 x 1080
64GB
Nokia 1
Nokia 1
MT6737M
4.50
854 x 480
8GB
Nokia 8 Sirocco
Nokia 8 Sirocco
Snapdragon 835
5.50
2560 x 1440
128GB
Nokia 3310 3G
Nokia 3310 3G
N/A
2.40
320 x 240
128MB
Nokia 5
Nokia 5
Snapdragon 430
5.20
1280 × 720
16GB
Nokia 8
Nokia 8
Snapdragon 835
5.30
2560 x 1440
64GB
Nokia 7 Plus
Nokia 7 Plus
Snapdragon 660
6.00
2160 x 1080
64GB
Nokia 6
Nokia 6
Snapdragon 430
5.50
1920 x 1080
32GB

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Fast Nokia phone facts

  • The Nokia of today is not the same company that dominated the mobile industry in the 1990s. Slowing sales saw Microsoft buy the business back in 2014, only to sell it in 2016 to the current Nokia brand holder HMD Global.
  • In its current iteration, Nokia manufactures and sells a wide range of smartphones at both the high and low ends of the market and has even begun rebooting classic Nokia handsets like the 3310.

What to consider when choosing a Nokia phone

Nokia's modern smartphones span the entire breadth of the mobile market, from $1,000+ feature phones down to $100 budget handsets. This provides plenty of choice no matter what budget you're working with, but it can also present a challenge in determining which handset is right for you.

To help you wade through the sea of slick marketing and complex specifications, we've highlighted the main factors to focus on below. Keep these in mind as you compare Nokia smartphones, and you'll be better equipped to find a handset suited to your specific needs.

Which Nokia phone is best?

No matter how good a phone is, it will never be the unequivocal "best" for everyone everywhere. We all use our phones in slightly different ways, and we each value various aspects like screen size and battery life according to our own wants and needs.

So instead of declaring a single "best" Nokia handset, we've split our recommendations into various categories tailored for different types of phone users. These recommendations are built on the back of our years of experience reviewing smartphones in Australia, but always remember to consider them alongside your own preferences, rather than taking them as gospel.

finder's pick

Nokia 8

Premium power at a solid price

The Nokia 8 combines quality components and a competitive price into a single attractive package.

Promoted

For Nokia's first crack at a premium phone, the Nokia 8 is an impressive device. A dual-lens 13MP camera array provides aspiring photographers with the tools to take sharp snapshots and record 4K video. A capable Snapdragon 835 processor ensures responsive performance when browsing the web, using apps or playing games. And a 3090mAh battery bucks the Nokia trend by outlasting almost all competing handsets of similar specs.

Best of all, in the year since its launch, the Nokia 8 has dropped in price dramatically. Originally retailing for $899, you can now find it going for hundreds of dollars cheaper than that. This makes it a seriously solid value proposition and hands-down our pick of the Nokia smartphone family.

Read our full review of the Nokia 8 here

Best Nokia phone for photography

Nokia 8 Sirocco

Competent camera, competent smartphone

Photography isn't Nokia's strong suit, but the Nokia 8 Sirocco still manages to deliver solid camera performance without any major hang-ups.

Promoted

Recommending a Nokia phone for photography is tough, simply because there are so many smartphones from competing manufacturers like Huawei and Samsung that include higher-quality cameras with greater versatility at a cheaper price than anything Nokia has to offer.

Still, if you're adamant about sticking with Nokia, you'll want to look at the Nokia 8 Sirocco. The rear-facing camera combines a 12MP wide-angle lens with a 13MP telescopic lens for decent yet unremarkable photos, and the camera app supports quick switching between automatic and pro modes – a handy feature for when the default settings are just slightly off-base.

Read our full review of the Nokia 8 Sirocco here

Best cheap Nokia phone

Nokia 1

No frills, low bills

Android Oreo Go turns what would otherwise be a lacklustre device into a surprisingly capable smartphone.

Promoted

Once you drop into the sub-$200 smartphone range, you need to be prepared to accept considerable compromises. For the Nokia 1, this means dealing with a mediocre 5MP rear-facing camera, a battery that can take hours to charge to full and a plastic design that reinforces the phone's budget feel.

In exchange for these sacrifices, though, you get a supremely affordable handset that performs better than it should thanks to the inclusion of Oreo Go, Android's budget-focused operating system. Oreo Go comes with custom versions of some of the most popular Android apps, each optimised specifically to run well on low-powered hardware like the Nokia 1. For day-to-day tasks, these optimised apps allow the Nokia 1 to perform on par with smartphones packing significantly more power and significantly higher price tags.

Read our full review of the Nokia 1 here

Looking for a Nokia phone on a plan?

Buying a Nokia phone on a contract isn't as easy as grabbing an iPhone or Samsung handset. Only a handful of Australian telcos stock Nokia smartphones, and some models aren't available on contract at all – the Nokia 1, for instance, can only currently be purchased outright.

For a look at the Nokia handsets you can get on contract, check out the table below:


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