The Nokia 3, 5, 6 or 8: Which Should I Buy?


It’s been a while since Nokia have been at the top of the phone charts. But 2017 marks the beginning of a new era for the once thriving mobile company, with the release of four new smart phones. Not only are these Nokias, but they’re also Android devices. Thinking about picking up a new Nokia? Then we’ve got the low down on how the four new devices compare.

The Basics

Yes, these are true Android phones, there’s no more Windows (though Nokia was long associated with Windows phones). Obviously, there are differences between the four models, which are known as the Nokia 3, the Nokia 5, the Nokia 6, and the Nokia 8, but all four come out of the box running Android 7.0 Nougat. Other than that, we’re talking about the kind of spec differences that you’d expect, with the Nokia 8 at the top end of the spectrum, the Nokia 3 at the bottom, the 5 somewhere in the middle, and the 6 representing the phablet market. All four phones are smart phones, all four have fantastic, sturdy build quality, and all are pretty affordable too. But let’s look more at the spec differences you can expect to see…

The Engine

Performance is, of course, key in a good smartphone, and that means taking into account CPU and RAM specs. The Nokia 3 gets a quad core 1.4 GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM. The 5 has an octo core 1.4 GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM. The 6 comes in with an octo core 1.4 GHz processor and 3 GB of RAM. And finally, the 8 gets octo core processing with a quad core 2.5 GHz and a quad core 1.8 GHz CPU and 4 GB of RAM.

Too many numbers for you? In basic terms the 8 is very fast, the 6 a little slower, the 5 slower still and the 3 the slowest. However, all four are pretty responsive phones, and a casual user should be just fine even with the 3’s low power.

The Screen

In terms of screen size you’re looking at a full five inches even on the smallest Nokia 3. The Nokia 5 gets 5.2 inches, and unsurprisingly the phablet Nokia 6 gets a large 5.5 inches, and the Nokia 8 gets 5.3 inches. Not a huge amount of difference there, and all four should be fine for comfortable viewing and typing.

Resolution is a different story though. The Nokia 3 and 5 both get 720 x 1280 pixels (working out to 294 PPI on the 3 and 282 PPI on the 5). The 6 gets a sharper 1080 x 1920 pixels, which is around 403 PPI. And the 8 gets full HD with 1440 x 2560 pixels, so around 554 PPI. Long story short: the Nokia 8 is going to give you the sharpest resolution and the best picture quality. However, the low res 3 and 5 are both fine for anything other than full HD video or picture editing.

All four phones get LCD touch screens complete with IPS tech for great viewing angles, so no difference in screen material.

The Cameras

Camera are again probably what you’d expect, with few surprises. The low end 3 gets an 8 MP front camera and an 8 MP rear cam. The 5 kicks it up a notch with an 8 MP front cam and a 13 MP rear cam. The 6 gets the same 8 MP front cam plus a 16 MP rear cam. The 8, however, blows them all away with a 13 MP front camera and 12 MP dual rear cameras (that’s two lenses for extra sharpness and depth). Want to take awesome pics? Then the Nokia 8 is going to be the clear choice.

Connectivity, Memory, and Battery Life

There are no worries about connectivity here. All four Nokias feature WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G and 4G. Internal memory varies a little more, however. The Nokia 3 and 5 both have a mere 16 GB of internal storage. The 6 gets more with 32 GB of storage, but the 8 is the largest model with a full 64 GB of storage. However, all four phones do have micro SD card slots, so you can easily add more memory if you need it.

There’s not a big difference in battery life either. The Nokia 3 has a 2630 mAh battery, and the 5 gets a larger 3000 mAh battery, but battery life is fairly even due to the larger screen on the 5. The large screened 6 surprisingly also gets a 3000 mAh battery, which means shorter battery life on the 6 than on the 3 and 5. The 8 only gets a 3090 mAh battery, which given its extra processing power probably also means lower battery life than the 3 or 5.

And the Price…

As you’ve probably already guessed, there’s going to be a fair amount of difference here when it comes to price. The smaller Nokia 3 goes for around £119, which makes it a bargain on the budget phone market. The Nokia 5 is just a bit more at around £179, so still very affordable. The larger screened Nokia 6 is one of the cheapest phablets around at about £219. Finally, the flagship, high specced Nokia 8 is around £500 (which is still cheaper than most flagship phones).

All in all, the four new Nokia devices are great deals and are priced very competitively. If you’re looking for an affordable new Android, then the Nokias should be top of your list.

So Which One’s For Me?

Which Nokia you choose depends a lot on your needs. High power users are going to want to go for the Nokia 8 with its high processing power. On the other hand, the bargain Nokia 3 is a great casual phone that’s not going to break the bank. The Nokia 5 is really a compromise option, whilst the 6 offers that larger screen, so if you’re a big reader or movie watcher on your phone that’ll be the choice for you.

In the end, this is going to be a personal decision. But one thing is for sure, Nokia is back with a vengeance and all four new Nokia mobiles are fantastic devices.

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