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Best Nokia phone 2023: Find the finest Nokia smartphone for you

It’s not just nostalgia – Nokia has some superb-value smartphones to choose from. We’ll help you find one that’s right for you

Known for its low-cost devices, the best Nokia phones sit comfortably at the cheaper end of the smartphone spectrum. So while you might not be getting the high-end specs of iPhone or Samsung handsets, purchasing a Nokia can only be a good thing for your finances.

In fact, in the battle for budget supremacy, Nokia has been a market leader alongside fierce competition from Motorola in recent times. So it should be no surprise to find Nokia hunkering down on producing great-value handsets today, including one of the only new smartphones that we recommend available for less than £100.

Nokia isn’t all about ultra-low cost handsets, though, as it still produces some promising mid-rangers that benefit from componentry that’s usually reserved for pricier phones. Whatever the price range, its smartphones are generally built tougher than other manufacturer’s handsets, too. Nokia has even brought out a rugged smartphone for the modern world that may take you back to the indestructible Nokia 3310 of yesteryear – although it has updated this in recent times should you be interested.

But we know you’ve come here to read all about top smartphones that the legendary Finnish corporation produces today, so to drop you right into the good stuff we’ve listed our favourite Nokia models directly below. Considering every important feature you’ll want in a smartphone, and that all-important price point, these are the best options when grabbing a new Nokia.

How we test Nokia smartphones

Every smartphone we review is tested using our standardised list of benchmarks. We begin with performance and GPU testing, where we use the Geekbench and GFXBench apps available on the Google Play store. These tests provide us with performance figures which are used to directly compare against their predecessors and similarly priced competitors.

Next, we test a Nokia phone’s screen using a display colorimeter and DisplayCal software. After running the various tests, we receive data that lets us know how colour accurate the display is, as well as the peak brightness and contrast.

After charging the phone up to 100%, we perform our battery rundown test, which consists of a 20-hour looped video with the screen set to a standardised brightness and data connections switched off. We let the phone run dry, charge it back up and record the timestamp where the video left off.

Finally, we test all available shooting modes in the camera app, putting each camera sensor through its paces. This is performed via low-light tests, portrait shots (both front and back cameras), and landscape photography. We also test the various video recording settings on offer.

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The best Nokia smartphones you can buy in 2023

1. Nokia X20: Best-value Nokia

Price: £299 | Buy now from Nokia

Most of us just want decent speeds, a capable set of cameras and a trusty battery out of a smartphone, and the Nokia X20 delivers on all three for a relatively budget price. Its Snapdragon chipset and quad-camera array will compete against most similarly priced rivals, and it lasted almost 18hrs in our looped video test, which is not to be sniffed at. You’ll also find a range of other sensible features, including a USB-C port and thumbprint reader, alongside a 3.5mm audio jack, Google Assistant button, and a microSD card slot for extra storage.

An added perk when purchasing the X20 is that, upon registering your new phone’s IMEI number, climate action charity Ecologi will plant 20 trees in your name. Add in a 100% compostable case, a three-year warranty and three years of monthly Android security updates, and it’s clear that there is some longer-term thinking with the X20, making it a worthy investment as your next smartphone.

Read the full Nokia X20 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G; Display: 6.67in, 1,800 x 2,400; Storage: 128GB; Cameras: 64MP, 5MP (ultrawide), 2MP (depth), 2MP (macro); Operating system: Android 11; Weight: 220g

Buy now from Nokia

2. Nokia C21 Plus: Best budget Nokia

Price: £100 | Buy now from Amazon

Super cheap for a new smartphone, if saving money is the aim of the game you’ll struggle to do better than the Nokia C21 Plus. Staying within double figures means flagship features and componentry are lost, but you are getting excellent value.

First off, there’s 32GB of storage – and space for a microSD card to expand things much further – supporting Android 11 Go. Externally, you’ll find a large 6.52in screen on the front and two decent cameras on the back, and it’s all packaged into a robust, plastic chassis. Fetching an Expert Reviews Recommended award during its full review, we really couldn’t knock this one too much given it’s a smartphone for £100 – unbeatable as things stand.

Read out full Nokia C21 Plus review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Quad-core 1.6GHz Unisoc SC9836A; Display: 6.52in, 1,600 x 720; Storage: 32GB; Cameras: 13MP, 2MP (depth); Operating system: Android 11 Go; Weight: 178g

Buy now from Amazon

3. Nokia G50: Best big-screen Nokia

Price: £200 | Buy now from Amazon

Phones used to be tiny, but now many are supersized. If that’s how you prefer your smartphones, or your larger-than-life hands simply require a bigger handset, then the massive 6.82in screen on this Nokia G50 should suit you down to the ground.

Other than its size, what stood out for us was the G50’s quality cameras for this price, which consists of a 48MP main lens, 5MP ultrawide and a 2MP depth sensor. Expand its 64GB storage by up to 512GB through a decent microSD card and you’ll be able to use those lenses almost without limits. The Snapdragon 480 processor is pretty great value, too, since the same chipset is found in more expensive Nokias on this list: the X20 and XR20. Plus, its 5G compatibility may sneak it ahead of other similarly priced rivals, like the Poco X3 NFC.

Read the full Nokia G50 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G; Display: 6.82in, 720 x 1,560; Storage: 64GB/128GB; Cameras: 48MP, 5MP (ultrawide), 2MP (depth); Operating system: Android 11; Weight: 220g

4. Nokia XR20: Best rugged Nokia

Price: £319 | Buy now from Amazon

In the market for a near-indestructible phone? Nokia probably came to your mind first, but perhaps with a mental image closer to a Nokia 3310 rather than the Nokia XR20. Yet, for a smartphone, the XR20 is tough; its reinforced screen and rubber bumpers are packed into an altogether sturdy design. Anybody working in a physical profession or leading an outdoors lifestyle will appreciate this added protection.

Admittedly, the internal specs didn’t blow us away for the price, nor did the cameras and 6.67in display, so there is a bit of a compromise on that front. Still, it’s future proofed by 5G connectivity and updates to at least Android 14. So, if you’re the type to damage your phone and just want something competent to last you more than a few months, look no further.

Read out full Nokia XR20 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G; Display: 6.67in, 1,800 x 2,400; Storage: 64GB/128GB; Cameras: 48MP, 13MP (ultrawide); Operating system: Android 11; Weight: 248g

5. Nokia 5.4: Best Nokia under £150

Price: From £125 | Buy now from Amazon

As the follow up to the Best Buy award-winning Nokia 5.3, the 5.4 had a lot to live up to. While it didn’t surprise us as much as the previous iteration, the sequel retained everything we loved about the 5.3, made some improvements, and kept it at the same affordable price.

Notably, the main camera has been bumped up to a 48MP number (from 13MP), which is now capable of 60fps video (rather than 30fps) alongside improved wind-noise cancellation and spatial audio. This smartphone looks and feels premium, too, in either the Polar Night or Dusk shimmering colours, with its small bezels and hole punch selfie camera. Likewise, the processor is pretty capable.

All this makes for a good value proposition – especially since the Nokia 5.4 is now selling for less than when we reviewed it.

Read the full Nokia 5.4 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Octa-core 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 662; Display: 6.39in, 720 x 1,560; Storage: 64GB/128GB; Cameras: 48MP, 5MP (ultrawide), 2MP (depth), 2MP (macro); Operating system: Android 10; Weight: 181g

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