Shop for Nokia 5.1, 3.1, and 2.1

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Nokia is heading into the summer with three budget-friendly phones -- all under 189 euros or roughly $221, £165 or AU$290. The Nokia 5.1, 3.1 and 2.1 phones for 2018 refresh last year's models enough to compete with handsets like the Motorola G6 ($249) and the Alcatel 3V ($150).

These phones are laser-focused on delivering the essentials for cheap, so don't go looking for premium features like wireless charging or 3D front-facing cameras. That said, this Nokia trio does add some welcome updates.

Nokia 5.1 gives you unlimited free Google Photos uploads

The Nokia 5.1 has upped its screen game with a 5.5-inch display and a much higher resolution than 2017's 5.2-inch Nokia 5 ($70 at Amazon). It follows the trend of a tall, narrow 18:9 screen ratio. Android One, the most "pure" version of Google's OS that isn't on a Pixel phone, is at its core.

One change from last year is the placement of the fingerprint sensor, which has been moved from below the screen to the back, freeing up space for the screen.


The Nokia 2.1, 3.1 and 5.1 side by side.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Both the 16GB and 32GB versions of the Nokia 5.1 come with an unlimited photo upload on Google Photos.

The handset arrives in July with the 16GB at a price of 189 euros or roughly $221, £165 or AU$290 converted, and the 32GB at 219 euros or $255, £190 or AU$340 converted.

Nokia 5.1 specs:

  • 5.5-inch screen, 443 pixels per inch with an 18:9 screen ratio
  • 16-megapixel rear camera
  • 8-megapixel wide angle front-facing camera
  • Octa-core MediaTek 6755 processor
  • 16GB or 32GB of storage
  • 2GB or 3GB of RAM
  • Android One software
  • Fingerprint sensor on the back
  • Unlimited photo upload on Google Photos
  • Colors: satin copper, temper blue and black
Now playing: Watch this: Nokia's 5.1, 3.1, 2.1 bring the essentials on the cheap

Nokia 3.1 costs under 170 euros

With stepped-down specs across the board, the Nokia 3.1 has a smaller, 5.2-inch display. It's got an aluminum frame and plastic backing, which may help keep your smeary fingerprints at bay.

Also running Android One, this handset uses an octa-core MediaTek processor instead of the quad-core chipset on last year's Nokia 3 ($192 at Amazon). You'll be able to pick it up in June -- the 16GB version costs 139 euros (around $162, £122 or AU$215 converted) and the 32GB model will go for 169 euros (around $197, £150 or AU$260 converted).

Nokia 3.1 specs:

  • 5.2-inch screen, with an 18:9 screen ratio
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • 8-megapixel wide angle front camera
  • Octa core Mediatek 6750
  • 16GB or 32GB of storage
  • Android One software
  • Metal body aluminium diamond cut
  • 2.5d gorilla glass screen

Nokia 2.1 has a huge 4,000 battery

Finally, there's the humble Nokia 2.1. You'd think this phone would be the smallest of this trio with the skimpiest battery life, but no!

Its major selling points are the 5.5-inch screen and 4,000 mAh battery tucked inside, which promises to run for two full days on a single charge.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

As the most wallet-friendly of the three, the Nokia 2.1 phone runs on Android Oreo Go software, a simpler version of Android designed specifically for inexpensive handsets.

The Nokia 2.1 goes on sale in July, for a supercheap 115 euros (around $134, £100 or AU$180 converted).

Nokia 2.1 specs:

  • 5.5-inch screen, 720p LCD
  • 4,000mAh battery promises two-day battery life
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor
  • 1GB of RAM (expandable up to 128GB)
  • Android Oreo Go software

Correction, May 30 at 4:06 p.m. PT: Changes the number of megapixels from 8-megapixels to the correct 5-megapixels for the Nokia 2.1 front camera.