Best Nokia phones: Flagships, mid-rangers, and budget models (October 2019)

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 comes with Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box 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 one.


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

4. Nokia 7.2 — Mid-range

Nokia 7.2 back panel landscape

The Nokia 7.2 is the newest device on this list. HMD Global announced the phone in September 2019, and it has now become the best mid-ranger with the Nokia brand name.

The star of the show is the triple rear camera system featuring a 48MP primary sensor. That’s the same caliber of sensor as you’ll find in phones much, much more expensive than this, including the just-announced OnePlus 7T. In fact, the OnePlus 7T and the Nokia 7.2 even look remarkably similar.

Granted, you’re not going to see the same specs on the Nokia 7.2 as you do on the OnePlus 7T. The Nokia 7.2 offers a weaker processor, less RAM, and a smaller battery. But hey, you’ll spend about half as much on the Nokia 7.2 as you would on the OnePlus 7T, so it ain’t all bad news.

The Nokia 7.2 is also a rarity on this list in that it supports all of the major wireless bands here in the US, which means this device will work just fine on Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Out of all the devices on this list of the best Nokia phones, this might be the best value and even the best overall choice, period.


Nokia 7.2 specs:

Display: 6.3-inch, Full HD+
Chipset: Snapdragon 660
RAM: 4GB
Storage: 128GB

Rear cameras: 48, 8, and 5MP
Front camera: 20MP
Battery: 3,500mAh
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 cuts a few corners to keep the price down. 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 US 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

5. Nokia 7 Plus — Mid-range

The Nokia 7 Plus.

For a time, the Nokia 7 Plus was the overall best mid-range phone from HMD Global, but that crown now goes to the Nokia 7.2. Still, the 7 Plus is one of the best devices the company has yet offered, so it’s still worth a look.

Unfortunately, the Nokia 7 Plus is GSM-only, so it doesn’t have the same carrier compatibility as the 7.2 here in the US (meaning the 7 Plus will not work on Sprint or Verizon).

If you don’t live in the US, though, the Nokia 7 Plus is a solid choice. It has a terrific form factor, some great cameras (for the price), the same processor as the 7.2, and a slightly bigger battery. You get all of that for less money than you would spend on the 7.2.

In general, we’d say this: if you live in the US, get the Nokia 7.2. If you live anywhere else, the Nokia 7.2 is a solid choice, but the Nokia 7 Plus still has plenty to offer. Clicking the button below will take you to a purchase page. If you’re in the US, 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
RAM: 4GB
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 7.2.

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
RAM: 3GB
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 US, but its global availability is pretty good. Click below to buy!


Nokia 4.2 specs:

Display: 5.7-inch, HD+
Chipset: Snapdragon 439
RAM: 3GB
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 US, which means no Sprint or Verizon. It is available in the US, though, with a full manufacturer’s warranty. Click below to buy!


Nokia 2.2 specs:

Display: 5.7-inch, HD+
Chipset: Mediatek Helio A22
RAM: 3GB
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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