HMD Global refreshes low-end range with new Nokia 2.1, 3.1, 5.1

By | 29th May 2018

Two of HMD Global’s first Nokia phones are getting updates. The company announced the Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 5.1, replacing the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5, along with the Android Go-powered Nokia 2.1.

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The Nokia 5.1 and 3.1 are part of the Android One program, so they should receive two years of Android updates and three years of security updates. All three phones, are slated to receive the Android P update, the company stated.

Nokia 5.1 smartphone

A sideways move for Nokia 5.1?

Starting with the Nokia 5.1, the biggest change might be the move to an 18:9 aspect ratio, in the form of a 5.5-inch 2,160 x 1,080 IPS LCD screen. The phone’s also undergone some changes under the hood, such as a switch to MediaTek power instead of Qualcomm Snapdragon silicon. This time, we see an MT6755S chipset, which HMD insists is 40-percent faster than the previous generation.

Otherwise, the Nokia 5.1 has 2GB or 3GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage (expandable via hybrid slot), a 16MP rear camera, 8MP selfie snapper, a headphone jack, NFC, MicroUSB port, a 2,970mAh battery, rear fingerprint scanner, and Android 8.0.

Nokia 3.1 smartphone

Nokia 3.1 gets the real upgrade

The Nokia 3 was originally the cheapest Nokia-branded phone in HMD’s original trio of handsets, touting modest specs and an equally modest price tag. The original phone packed a low-end quad-core MediaTek processor, but the Nokia 3.1 steps things up with a more powerful MediaTek MT6750 octa-core chipset.

It’s received a few other notable upgrades like a 5.2-inch 18:9 display (1,440 x 720), NFC (in APAC and EMEA regions), a 13MP f/2.0 main camera, and a 2,990mAh battery. If you need a bit more oomph than the base model’s 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage, you’ll be glad to see a 3GB RAM/32GB storage variant too.

Otherwise, expect Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, a 3.5mm headphone jack, metal design, and MicroUSB support.

Nokia 2.1 gets Android Go

The final model announced by HMD is the Nokia 2.1, coming roughly eight months after the Nokia 2. Don’t expect an 18:9 aspect ratio here — the phone’s sticking to the traditional 16:9 size.

On paper, you might think that the Nokia 2.1 isn’t a particularly noteworthy upgrade over the Nokia 2. It’s got the same 1GB of RAM, a larger 5.5-inch but still 720p display, the same 8MP/5MP camera pairing, identical 8GB of expandable storage, and a slightly smaller 4,000mAh battery.

The big change is in the processor department, where it swaps out the ancient Snapdragon 212 chipset for a more current Snapdragon 425. The device also has front-facing speakers if you want to crank up the volume on the train, likely to the chagrin of fellow commuters.

HMD has also decided to adopt Android Go for the Nokia 2.1. That means you should have more free storage and a faster version of Android. With its more more powerful processor, the Nokia 2.1 should easily outclass its predecessor’s performance.

hands-on with Nokia 2.1, Nokia 3.1, Nokia 5.1 smartphones

Pricing and availability

The Nokia 5.1 will be available in copper, tempered blue and black for an average starting price of 189 euros (~$218), HMD says. The more powerful model will set you back 219 euros (~$254).

Intrigued by the Nokia 3.1? It’ll be available in blue and copper, black and chrome, and white iron color combinations for a starting price of around 139 euros (~$160), with the 3GB RAM and 32GB memory variant priced at 169 euros (~$196).

If you want something cheaper with Android Go, you can grab the Nokia 2.1 in blue and copper, blue and silver, and gray and silver for around $115 (~99 euros).

The Nokia 5.1 and 2.1 are scheduled to arrive in July 2018, while the Nokia 3.1 is set to launch next month. There’s no word on regional availability just yet, but we’ll keep an ear open for details and share with you accordingly.

 Nokia 5.1Nokia 3.1Nokia 2.1
Display5.5-inch IPS LCD
2,160 x 1,080 resolution
18:9 screen ratio
5.2-inch LCD
1,440 x 720 resolution
18:9 screen ratio
5.5-inch LCD
1,280 x 720 resolution
16:9 screen ratio
SoCMediatek MT6750Mediatek MT6755Qualcomm Snapdragon 425
GPUArm Mali-T860 MP2Arm Mali-T860 MP2Adreno 308
RAM2GB/3GB
LPDDR3
2GB/3GB
LPDDR3
1GB
LPDDR3
Storage16GB/32GB16GB/32GB8GB
CamerasRear camera: 16MP
Front camera: 8MP
Rear camera: 13MP
Front camera: 8MP
Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 5MP
AudioFM radio support, 3.5mm headphone jack3.5mm headphone jack3.5mm headphone jack
Front facing speakers, stereo sound
Battery2,970mAh, non-removable2,990mAh, non-removable4,000mAh non-removable
IP ratingNoNoNo
SensorsRear fingerprint
Gravity
Proximity
Gyroscope
Ambient Light
Proximity
Gyroscope
Ambient Light Accelerometer
Magnetometer
Proximity
Ambient Light
Accelerometer
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC
Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC (APAC and EMEA only)
Wi-Fi b/g/n/
Bluetooth 4.2
SIMDual nano-SIM (or one nano-SIM and one microSD card)N/AN/A
SoftwareAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid Go (8.1)
Dimensions and weight151.1 x 70.73 x 8.27mm146.25 x 68.65 x 8.7mm
138.3g
153.6 x 77.6 x 9.67 mm
174g
ColorsCopper
Tempered Blue
Black
Blue/Copper
Blue/Silver
Grey/Silver
Blue/Copper,
Blue/Silver
Grey/Silver

What do you think of Nokia’s new trio? Let us know in the comments. For a more in-depth look at the phones, head over to our hands-on post.