The best Nokia phones really do exist, despite what many believe. The association of Nokia phones with being primarily cheap burner phones (opens in new tab) with brick-like builds that were ubiquitous in the early 2000s is misleading, as some of the latest Nokia smartphones are actually superb at keeping up with the latest advancements in flagship phone technology, and are even manufactured to be ultra eco-friendly.
Nokia re-entered the mobile phone market in 2016, through the formation of the Finnish company HMD, and became competitive once again, with its new range of sophisticated Android smartphones. Today, while even the best Nokia phones don't match up to the top-quality Apple iPhones (opens in new tab) or Samsung Galaxy phones (opens in new tab), they still have a lot to offer if you're looking for a smartphone that costs under a grand.
With that in mind, this article brings together our picks of the best Nokia smartphones available today, at a range of budgets that include the latest releases to the cheaper and more rugged smartphones (opens in new tab). We'll walk you through the main differences between these devices, and give you the information you need to choose between them for yourself or to gift to a loved one.
The best Nokia phones in 2023
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The Nokia 8.3 is our clear choice as the best Nokia phone you can buy today. Firstly, because it has a lovely camera, and secondly because despite being one of the priciest models on our list, it’s still nicely affordable.
The rear camera is by far the best that Nokia has to offer right now, featuring a 64MP f/1.9 main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor with an aperture of f/2.2, a 2MP macro sensor, and a 2MP depth sensor. The 24MP front camera captures good-quality selfies and works well on video calls too, assisted by Zeiss optics in each lens.
The Nokia 8.3 is significantly bigger than the average smartphone, which means that screen protectors and cases aren't as easy to come by. On the plus side, the greater surface area makes room for a generous-sized 6.81-inch LCD screen, boasting 1080 x 2400 resolution. In terms of storage, 64GB is a fraction of what you'll get on a top-end phone, but should still be enough for most people’s needs.
The 4,500mAh battery of the Nokia 8.3 is pretty capable and should get you through an entire day, unless you're doing some intense video streaming. Overall, this is not the best phone on the market by any means. But if you’re looking for a high-end experience, a decent camera, and 5G at a fraction of the price of a new iPhone, Samsung, or Google Pixel phone, the 8.3 offers excellent value for money.(opens in new tab)
The Nokia X30 5G is a great all-rounder and a bargain price for what the device can do. The camera system includes a main 50-megapixel f/1.8 lens that performs superbly in both daylight and darker scenes with advanced AI camera features such as Dark Vision and Portrait AI, and Capture Fusion technology. The video quality produced is pretty good too, with spatial audio.
The operating system on this device is running the latest Android 12, so there are plenty of compatible apps and software which you can download, with no task that you can't throw at it with the options of either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and power from the Snapdragon 695 5G chipset.
Described as one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly smartphones around, the Nokia X30 5G is made almost entirely from recycled materials, so there's no excuse for other manufacturers not to follow suit, pushing the limits of smartphone life expectancy, especially with Nokia's 3-3-3 promise which you can learn more about in our full phone review of the Nokia X30 5G. (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
The Nokia 7.2 has a lot to offer for the small price of around $200/£200. The 48MP main camera sensor is one of the key selling points of this smartphone, coupling an 8MP ultrawide camera with a 5MP depth sensor. The front camera is 20MP, and again, all of these cameras benefit from integrated Zeiss optics.
The 6.3-inch LCD screen provides 1080 x 2280 resolution and bright, crisp visuals, with a Gorilla Glass coating on the front and back, and a frosted finish on the rear. The Nokia 7.2 boasts a premium-looking design that makes it look more expensive than it actually is, and the 3,500mAh battery will probably keep you going all day if you’re not doing anything too power-intensive.
Overall this mid-range Nokia smartphone is a great choice for those who only need the basics, with a decent camera system and modern operating system that can handle multitasking on multiple apps and keep you going with stable battery life.(opens in new tab)
This rugged phone from Nokia is designed to be indestructible, with military-grade drop-proof protection as well as being able to withstand being submerged in water as deep as 1.5 meters for up to one hour, as well as being dust-proof.
If you're a bit of an adventurer, need a phone that's suitable for regular camping, or happen to work in the trade industry or around a construction site, then the Nokia XR20 just might be the best Nokia phone for you. Aside from being ultra-rugged and sturdy, this device has a pretty good camera unit too, with a main 48MP camera.
This phone is also included as part of Nokia's 3-3-3 promise which involves full coverage and a guarantee that this smartphone will be up to scratch until at least the rollout of Android 15 in roughly three years' time. Nokia pledges that the company will cover 3 years of security patches, monthly security updates, and OS updates, on all its latest devices, plus include a 3-year manufacturer warranty also. Read our full Nokia XR20 review (opens in new tab).(opens in new tab)
Short of cash for a new phone? Then this is where Nokia really comes into its own. For less than $120 / £100, you can pick up a smartphone running Android 10 and with a decent (4.000mAh) battery, in the form of the Nokia 1.4.
Released this February, the Nokia 1.4 comes with a sizeable 6.51-inch, 20:9 aspect screen. This serves up a 720 x 1600 resolution, which is lower than the first two phones on our list, but still good enough for most people’s needs.
It’s a similar story with photography. The 1.4’s dual camera setup, with an 8MP main sensor and 2MP macro sensor, means you’re not going to get high quality, detailed pictures. But for quick shots to share with friends or on social media, it’s perfectly acceptable.
The biggest compromises with this phone are the miserly 1GB RAM, which means it runs slowly, and that it charges by micro USB rather than the USB-C, which means it takes a long time to power up. But overall, you’ll still struggle to find a better phone at this price, from any brand on the market today.(opens in new tab)
You might think there’s no way to beat the price of number 3 on our list, the Nokia 1.4. And it’s true that this is the cheapest Nokia smartphone on our list. But if you’re really stuck for cash, there’s always the alternative option of a feature phone.
A feature phone is a cheap mobile phone that lacks the functionality of a smartphone, but can connect to the internet and perform some basic tasks. And the best Nokia feature available today is the strikingly affordable Nokia 225.
What can you do with it? Well, for a start you can make voice calls (remember them?) and send texts. You can surf the internet (slowly and painfully) with the Opera Mini browser, which is specially coded for low-powered phones... although only via mobile internet, not Wi-Fi.
You can also play some simple games, listen to music that you’ve preloaded onto a memory card, or tune in to FM radio. You can take some pictures with the 0.3MP camera for reference, although they won’t be good enough quality to share online. And that’s pretty much your lot
In short, anyone who’s grown up with smartphones, and has never experienced a feature phone, will find the Nokia 225 maddenly restrictive. If, however, you’re trying to wean yourself off internet addiction, and want a phone that’s almost exclusively for calls and texting, then this is a great (and cheap) option.(opens in new tab)
The Nokia 5.4 is another good choice for anyone who’s watching the pennies, but wants a modern and capable smartphone.
This smartphone runs Android 10, comes with a 4,000mAh battery, which should get you through a day’s normal use, and its 6.55-inch IPS LCD screen offers a “good enough” resolution of 720 x 1560. And the icing on the cake: its quad-lens camera comprises 48MP standard sensor, a 5MP ultra-wide sensor, a 2MP macro sensor and a 2MP depth sensor.
Be warned, though: those specs make the camera sound more impressive than it is, and it doesn't capture particularly good images in practice. That said, as long as you have good lighting conditions, you should be able to get reasonably decent shots. The 16MP selfie camera on the front is pretty capable too.
In short, this is a solid, if slightly flawed budget choice from Nokia. Yes, there are compromises, but at such a low price you may well find them acceptable.(opens in new tab)
Another 2020 release, the Nokia 2.4 offers a lot of good things for a very low price. These include a powerful 4,500mAh battery and a 6.5 inch LCD screen with 720 x 1600 resolution. However, as you’re paying around two-thirds the price of the previous phone on our list, the Nokia 5.4, there are an inevitable compromises in terms of capabilities.
So you get just a dual-lens camera, a 13MP main sensor twinned with a 2MP depth sensor, and a 5MP selfie camera on the front. You get half as much storage, at 32GB, and perhaps most strikingly, RAM slumps to just 2GB and the processor is less advanced too. That means this is phone is going to run pretty slowly in practice. Still, if the price is right, you may find these limitations worth the cost saving.(opens in new tab)
Sitting in between the previous two phones on our list in terms of price, the Nokia 3.4 offers a nice balance between cost and capabilities. The 6.39-inch LCD screen provides strong colors, good contrast and acceptable levels of brightness, at a resolution of 720 x 1560.
In terms of performance, it’s 4,000mAH battery provides strong battery life, but with only 3GB of RAM, it runs a little more slowly than most of the phones on this list. It runs especially slowly once you fill up the limited 32GB of inbuilt storage. That said, as long as you don’t expect too much from the Nokia 3.4, it does represent good value considering the low price.
The camera has three sensors: a 13MP main sensor, a 5MP sensor ultra-wide, and a 2MP depth sensor. However, in practice, the images it captures are less than good, even in strong light. If photography is important to you, then, it’s worth spending a little bit more on something like the Nokia 5.4 (fifth on our list).(opens in new tab)
The Nokia 6.2 is a mid-priced Nokia phone that’s very similar to the Nokia 7.2, number two on our list. Released within a month of each other, they have the same dimensions, they weigh the same; they have the same screen, the same battery and run the same operating system. They both have three-lens cameras which include a 8MP ultrawide sensor and a 5MP depth sensor
One big difference is that the Nokia 6.2 runs a slightly older processor, and has just 3GB RAM to the 7.2’s 4GB. That means it’s going to run a bit slower in practice. The main difference, though, is the camera’s main sensor, which is 48MP on the 7.2 but only 16MP on the 6.2.
If you’re not bothered about the camera, though, and you’re a relaxed type of person who can take a slight hit on the processing speed, the slightly lower price of the Nokia 6.2 might make up for this.
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