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New Nokia phones: which one’s right for you?

Characteristically great battery life? Check. Robust construction? Check. But Nokia's new breed of smartphones have much, much more besides.

When the famously hardy Nokia 3310 was rebooted and revamped last year, it launched a thousand memes and sparked a wave of nostalgia for the handset with the marathon battery life.

But if you think Nokia is just about retro phones and old glories, think again.

Since the 3310 redux arrived, we’ve seen a slew of keenly priced, highly-rated Nokia smartphones come to market, with up-to-the-minute features that are at the cutting edge of pocket technology.

More impressively, they’re just as robust and dependable as the Nokia phones you remember. And because they’re all powered by the Android One operating system, they harness artificial intelligence features that optimise your battery life to keep Nokia handsets ticking for longer. Just like the old days.

That's not all, though. Nokia's Android One-powered phones are super-secure, with security updates every month to ensure your phone is watertight and your personal information stays out the wrong hands.

And with pre-installed apps kept to a minimum and unlimited, free-of-charge, high-quality photo storage space with Google Photos, if you choose any Nokia Android One phone there'll always be plenty of room for snaps, videos, games and whatever else you need.

Take a look a wide range of Nokia phones on our one-stop comparison page.

Keen snapper? Android One has got you covered too. Innovative Google Photo image recognition technology allows you to search your photos using terms such as 'drinks' or 'Spain'.

And should you want more information about a particular image, it's got the gen you need. Example? Okay.

Imagine you've spotted what you think is a rare, lesser-spotted bird. You can make sure by firing up Google Lens, which will recognise the bird and serve up the gen you're looking for. Or if you've got a snap of a music venue, you can activate Lens and see who's playing a gig there soon. Handy, no?

Rounding off Android One's standout features is that Google Assistant is built-in. That means you can search, get directions and much, much more, simply by saying 'OK Google' to get started and then using voice commands. Parents will also appreciate the free-to-download Family Link app, which allows you to monitor your children's usage, block in-app purchases and set limits on screen time.

Here, we take a look at our pick of the best of new breed of Nokia smartphones. Sit tight and we’ll help you find one to suit your needs and that’s within your budget.

Nokia 8 Sirocco

The crème de la crème of the New Model Nokia, the Sirocco 8 is fashioned from a single block of stainless steel. And feels and looks lovely.

It’s an effect that’s topped off by curved edges, which carry just a hint of Samsung’s Galaxy S range, and the screen’s protected by hard-wearing, solid Gorilla Glass 5.

At 5.5-inches, the 8 Sirocco P-OLED display is pleasingly crisp and bright. It’s water-resistant for up to half an hour in a metre of water. And the 12-megapixel rear camera with ZEISS optics and 2x optical zoom serves up impressive stills and video.

At 3,250 mAh, the battery is large (the iPhone XS’s comes in at just 2,658mAh) and has a handy fast-charge mode, that’ll get you zero to 50% in half an hour.

What’s more, the artificial intelligence that’s at the heart of the phone’s Android One operating system is always working in the background to optimise your battery longevity, by prioritising background activity for the apps you rely on most.

Better still, it’ll even cut power-usage when you stash your phone in your bag.

Pick up the Nokia 8 Sirocco on a pay monthly contract.

Buy the Nokia 8 Sirocco SIM free for £379.

Nokia 7.1

The newest member of the Nokia family offers a lot of smartphone for not much outlay.

Available in Midnight Blue or Gloss Steel, the Nokia 7.1 is a striking handset with a handsome, glossy finish. But like the much pricier iPhone range, it’s the large, Full HD+ 5.84” that spans the entire front of the phone and really catches the eye.

The fingerprint scanner is impressively fast and responsive. And the dual camera that sits just above it pairs 12-megapixel and five megapixel lenses to help you get great portrait shots with the adjustable ‘bokeh’ effect. That’s when you fade out the background to bring the subject of your shot into extra-sharp focus.

You can even get the same effect on the 8-megapixel front camera, too. So your selfies look that much more dramatic. Want a group selfie or just want to get more of the background in the shot? The phone’s 84-degree wide-angle field of view means you can.

Like the 8 Sirocco, Android One powers the phone. Which means it’s easy to use and to get to grips with and helps eke out every bit of power from the 3060mAh battery.

Pick up the Nokia 7.1 on a pay monthly contract.

Buy the Nokia 7.1 SIM-free for £326

Nokia 5.1

Nokia 5.1 landscape

Ostensibly a budget phone, the Nokia 5.1 packs in an awful lot at a price point well under £200.

So what do you get for that? For starters, a pleasingly ‘premium-feeling’ all-metal construction that’s a long way from those plastic-backed budget smartphones of yore. And there’s a surprisingly zippy fingerprint scanner to keep your personal details secure, too. Again, that’s a real novelty at this price.

The LCD screen comes in at 5.5 inches. And although it’s not quite as bright and crisp as the AMOLED displays you’ll find on pricier smartphones, video and TV still looks good.

Battery life isn’t half bad, either. We found the 2,970mAh power pack got us through a full day, as long as we didn’t overdo it on video and power-hungry apps and games. Internal storage is 16GB, with the option to boost that by 128GB by adding a microSD card.

Rounding off the spec sheet is a 16-megapixel rear camera with phase-detection and auto-focus and an eight-megapixel front camera for selfies. Both of which are way above average and will do just fine for snaps to post on Instagram and Facebook.

Pick up the Nokia 5.1 on a pay monthly contract.

Buy the Nokia 5.1 SIM-free for £149

Nokia 6.1

Nokia 6.1 landscape

Low-cost smartphones typically look like generic black slabs that only a trained eye can tell apart. Not so, the Nokia 6.1.

With charming rounded edges, an eye-catching copper trim and an aluminium-and-Gorilla Glass 3 construction, it looks and feels fantastic and gives lie to the notion that low-cost means low quality. It feels hefty and solid too, in keeping with Nokia handsets of old.

The 5.5-inch HD screen performs well and looks lovely, and the 3,000mAh combines with the phone’s Android One software to get you through a full day on a single charge. Handily, there’s also a USB-C fast-charge mode for those occasions for when you use your phone more heavily. We found we got just shy of 40% with an hour’s charge.

Unlike most ‘value’ phones, the 16-megapixel rear camera copes well with a range of lighting conditions and you can record 4K video to add a sheen of professionalism when you watch your mini movies on a 4K TV. At the front, there’s an eight-megapixel camera that handles selfies with aplomb.

There’s internal storage of 32GB to play with. And if you need more, you can add a microSD card and boost capacity by a further 256GB. Oh, and there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack, too. So you won’t need to shell out for new wireless headphones.

Buy the Nokia 6.1 SIM-free for £250

Nokia 8110

More than any other phone-maker, Nokia has spearheaded the vogue for retro-styled handsets. And if retro is your thing, there’s none more stylish than the 8110. Especially in the eye-searingly bright yellow colourway.

As some of you may remember from its star turn in the Matrix Reloaded, the 8110 features a cool and compact slider phone shape that stands out a mile in a smartphone market dominated by identikit slab-shapes.

Unlike its original incarnation from 1996, the revamped 8110 is equipped with a colour screen and runs all the key Google apps, such as Maps, Google Assistant and YouTube. There’s also a microSD card slot so you can expand storage and 4G support for speedy browsing.

It’s not all change, though. Just like its predecessor, the 2018 take on the 8110 has a battery that last for days. In fact, we got a whole week out of it before we needed to recharge.

All of which adds up to a great second phone. Or a handset that’s perfect for taking to festivals.

Buy the Nokia 8110 SIM-free for £65

Category: Features
Tagged: nokia
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