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Nokia 8 vs Nokia 6 vs Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3: Which Nokia Android phone is best for me?

Nokia’s first Android flagship phone has finally arrived, but how does the Nokia 8 compare with the other Nokia Android mobiles of 2017: the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6?

Nokia branded handsets have made a welcome return in 2017, now crafted by manufacturer HMD Global, who bought the rights to the name last year. In that short time we’ve seen a number of feature phones launched, including a remastered model of the classic 3310 mobile, not to mention four new Android smartphones covering a range of budgets.

Latest to be released is the Nokia 8, the first flagship device from this brand to sport Google’s Android OS. With some drool-worthy specs, including a dual-lens camera, premium processor and Quad HD 5.3-inch display, this handset is certainly for demanding users only. The phone’s €599 asking price should make that all too obvious.

The Nokia 6 is the next handset in descending order of price, although it’s well under half the cost of the Nokia 8. You still get a sleek aluminium body as well as a larger 5.5-inch display to gawp at, although the specs have understandably been cut back to save on cost.

You’ll find a similar metal finish on the slightly cheaper Nokia 5, along with a more basic 5.2-inch screen. Finally, the Nokia 3 is the most affordable of the new Android bunch and also the most compact, with a dinky 5-inch display housed in a metal-and-plastic frame.

So how do these four Nokia Android blowers directly compare and which should you buy? Here’s our in-depth look at the specs, features and design work, to help you decide, having spent some hands-on time with the Nokia 8.

Nokia 8 vs Nokia 6 vs Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3: Specs

Phone Nokia 8 Nokia 6 Nokia 5 Nokia 3
Screen size 5.3-inches 5.5-inches 5.2-inches 5.0-inches
Screen resolution Quad HD (2560×1440) Full HD (1920×1080) HD ready (1280×720) HD ready (1280×720)
Water resistant? Splash Resistant (IP54) No No No
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes Yes No
OS Android Nougat 7.1 Android Nougat 7.1 Android Nougat 7.1 Android Nougat 7.0
Processor Snapdragon 835 Snapdragon 430 Snapdragon 430 MediaTek 6737
Memory 4GB 3GB (Arte Black 4GB) 2GB 2GB
Storage 64GB 32GB (Arte Black 64GB) 16GB 16GB
MicroSD? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear camera 13-megapixel dual-lens 16-megapixel 13-megapixel 8-megapixel
Price? €599 (£549) £220 (Arte Black £280) £180 £120

Nokia 8 vs Nokia 6 vs Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3: Design

Although the Nokia 6, 5 and 3 models are a serious chunk of change cheaper than the flagship model, they all sport a metallic frame in one form or another. In fact, all but the most affordable Nokia 3 boast an aluminium unibody, while the cheapest handset still offers solid metal edging as well as a polycarbonate backing.

Of course, the Nokia 8 is the most attractive of the four new Android phones, as you’d expect from a flagship. Not only is it pleasingly slender, but you can pick it up in a selection of finishes and colours, including matte blue and silver models and a stand-out polished copper version. This might be a bit of a fingerprint magnet, yet we love it all the same.

The standard Nokia 6’s full metal body also comes in a choice of colours, including copper, black and tempered blue. You can actually get a glossy version of this handset also, in the special edition Arte Black model. However, that will cost you another £60 on top of the standard asking price.

Besides that, the Nokia 5, Nokia 6 and Nokia 8 all sport a similar design. While the more affordable models lose some of the finer detailing of the flagship and are a little chunkier, they still sport a clean finish as well as a centrally-located camera spine.

At the bottom of the new Android range is the Nokia 3, which rocks a metal rim despite that polycarbonate material around back. This means it feels less premium than the other two new Nokias, although it’s not too off-putting given the low asking price.

A fingerprint scanner is built into the home button of the Nokia 8, Nokia 6 and Nokia 5, for fast and convenient security. As for water resistance, you get simple IP54 ‘splash proofing’ on the flagship and no kind of protection with the other handsets.

Nokia 8 vs Nokia 6 vs Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3: Screen and media

The Nokia 6 may be a piggy in the middle in many respects, yet it serves up the biggest display of these four new phones. That 5.5-inch Full HD panel sports a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, giving it a pixels-per-inch score of 403. In normal speak, that means you can expect quite crisp, clear visuals when checking your photo roll or streaming a spot of Netflix.

Next in terms of sizing is the Nokia 8, which offers a 5.3-inch panel. This being the flagship device, you get a much sharper Quad HD (2560×1440) resolution, for impressively detailed image reproduction. You’ll also enjoy a more powerful maximum brightness (topping out at 700 nits compared with around 450 for the next model down), although we personally haven’t struggled when it comes to clarity on the other mobiles here.

Meanwhile the Nokia 5 features a smaller 5.2-inch display and a 720p resolution (1280×720 pixels), giving it a lower pixel density of 282ppi. The Nokia 3 also sports this lower resolution for its relatively dinky 5-inch panel.

All four of these phone screens are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, to keep scratches and other damage at bay. Good news if you’re a bit of a butter fingers.

Likewise, all of Nokia’s handsets can have their available storage space expanded via a microSD memory card. That’s especially important for the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5, which only give you 16GB of room – half of which is used up by Android and the other pre-installed apps. Thankfully storage is less of an issue with the 32GB Nokia 6 and the 64GB Nokia 8.

Nokia 8 vs Nokia 6 vs Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3: Features and OS

As you might expect, every Nokia smartphone launched this year serves up Google’s Android OS. From flagship down to the most affordable device, this is a raw, vanilla version of Android Nougat, with no bolt-on extras or design tweaks to speak of.

That means you can expect smooth performance, as the software isn’t bogged down by unnecessary UI overlays and extra bits. As an added bonus, the lack of adjustments means you can expect Nokia to rollout Android O updates for all of these devices soon after Google releases its new Pixel 2 handsets.

Nokia 8 vs Nokia 6 vs Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3: Performance and battery life

It’s no surprise that the Nokia 8 is the most powerful handset here, well suited to the most demanding of users. That Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset is an absolute beast, offering performance that can rival almost any other handset out there (as well as strong energy efficiency and connectivity).

Step down in price and you’ll notice a big drop in specs when it comes to power. Both the Nokia 6 and Nokia 5 rock Qualcomm’s more basic Snapdragon 430 chipset. The Nokia 6 comes with 3GB of RAM (4GB in the case of that funky Arte Black model) while the Nokia 5 offers a more meagre 2GB. We’ve noticed a fair few stutters on the Nokia 5, which you won’t see anywhere near as often on the Nokia 6.

A MediaTek 6737 processor and 2GB of RAM is crammed inside the Nokia 3, so this is definitely a handset for simple everyday use. Web browsing, messaging and the rest should be fine, although don’t expect to play games with a smooth frame rate or enjoy a spot of video editing on the side. Even so, you’ll not be enjoying a slick UI experience.

When it comes to battery tech, the Nokia 5, Nokia 6 and Nokia 8 are almost a match, packing a cell size around the 3000mAh mark. Lower your budget a little and the Nokia 3 offers a smaller 2,650mAh capacity battery, although that smaller screen and energy-efficient processor means you should enjoy similar battery life.

You’ll get Quick Charge 3.0 support on all but the Nokia 3, for recharging in a jiffy.

Nokia 8 vs Nokia 6 vs Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3: Camera tech

If you want memories to cherish, the Nokia 8 offers the best camera tech of the bunch.

As the only snapper here to boast two lenses, the Nokia 8’s ‘Dual Sight’ 13-megapixel camera can capture pleasing bokeh shots as well as ‘bothie’ snaps using both the front and rear cameras at once. You can record up to 4K resolution video too, using the rear or the 13-megapixel selfie shooter, or even live stream your existence to Facebook or YouTube via Nokia’s camera app. This is also the only Nokia smartphone from 2017 to offer OIS, for reducing blur and shakiness.

Take a look at our Nokia 8 camera preview, following our hands-on session with the new flagship device.

The Nokia 6 might not boast two lenses, yet that 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture lens and two-tone LED flash is still a respectable and fast-action shooter (thanks in part to the nippy Phase Detection Autofocus). You have manual controls to tweak your snaps as well as the ability to shoot up to Full HD video, although gone is the ‘bothie’ mode, live streaming and live bokeh feature. Meanwhile the front-facing eight-megapixel wide-angle snapper, also f/2.0, will take care of selfies and video calls.

Next up is the Nokia 5, which drops the main camera specs down to a 13-megapixel sensor, although you get the same two-tone flash, f/2.0 aperture lens and Phase Detection Autofocus. You also get another eight-megapixel front camera, for your selfie needs. Check out our in-depth Nokia 5 camera review for more info and samples.

If you’re not too bothered about capturing crisp, detailed photos, the Nokia 3’s 8-megapixel camera should suffice for simple, sharable shots. As for the front camera, this has the same resolution and f/2.0 aperture as the other Nokia phones here.

Check back soon for our full Nokia 8 camera review and our in-depth review of the full smartphone.

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