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Nokia 2 vs Nokia 3 vs Nokia 5: Nokia’s cheapest smartphones compared

Nokia has boosted its catalogue of affordable smartphones with the new Nokia 2, the cheapest smart device launched by the company this year. We compare the Nokia 2 with two other cut-price handsets, the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5, to see how they stand up in terms of specs, performance, features and camera smarts.

HMD hasn’t wasted any time in launching a wide selection of Nokia phones, since taking control of the brand just last year. As well as the Nokia 8 flagship handset and the revamped Nokia 3310, we’ve seen a slew of affordable devices so far in 2017.

Releases include the shiny new Nokia 2, just launched this week, as well as the – deep breath – Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6 and Nokia 8.

The Nokia 5 is of course the best of the bunch here; as that number rises, so does the price and the quality of specs. With its well-sized 5.2-inch 720p display, plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 CPU backed by 2GB of RAM, the Nokia 5 offers some respectable returns for a low price. You also get pleasingly long battery life, as well as a 13-megapixel camera.

Shuffling in behind that is the Nokia 3, with a slightly smaller 5-inch display – although the resolution remains at 720p, to keep images crisp. Sadly the specs also dip, with a MediaTek processor and 8-megapixel camera on board.

The newest Nokia 2 is the most affordable of the lot, with its big sell being long battery life – HMD reckons this blower can manage two full days of use on a charge. The Nokia 2 also features a 5-inch 720p resolution display, just like the Nokia 3. Meanwhile you once again have a Snapdragon processor on board, although just 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel camera.

As you’d imagine, the pricing reflects those specs. The Nokia 5 costs £180 here in the UK, while the Nokia 3 comes in at £120 and the Nokia 2 is priced a meagre €99 (roughly £88, although you can expect it to cost £99 when it hits UK stores).

Here’s how the Nokia 5, Nokia 3 and Nokia 2 compare when it comes to specs, cameras, performance speed and more. Check out our round-up of the best affordable phones to see our favourites from 2017.

Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3 vs Nokia 2: Design

In the image at the top of this page you have the Nokia 3 on the left, Nokia 5 in the middle and Nokia 2 on the right.

Constructed from 6000 series aluminium, all three of these handsets are metallic to the core. Even more impressive, they’re manufactured from a single piece of aluminium, making them fairly premium for the price. They’re also pleasingly tough, thanks to the Gorilla Glass screen build.

The Nokia 5 comes with the largest screen here, with a rounded finish for that metallic frame and case. This affordable blower also features a fingerprint sensor for added security and ease of access, where the other two handsets in this comparison do not.

The Nokia 3 is less premium to the touch as, despite that metallic core, it features a polycarbonate back. Meanwhile the Nokia 2 is also constructed from aluminium but does feature that less quality feeling polycarbonate back as well, although at the price that’s to be expected.

All three handsets feature LTE Cat. 4 connectivity for at least 150Mbps speeds. They charge via micro-USB ports and feature 3.5mm audio ports for headphone connectivity. We know how important that is to a lot of users, so kudos to HMD for keeping the jack in place.

Dimensions (excluding camera bump)

Nokia 5: 149.7 x 72.5 x 8.05mm

Nokia 3: 143.4 x 71.4 x 8.48mm

Nokia 2: 143.5 x 71.3 x 9.30mm

Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3 vs Nokia 2: Screen and media

All three phones here feature the same 1280×720 HD resolution. In the case of the Nokia 5 that’s on a 5.2-inch display, meaning you get 282 pixels-per-inch. Whereas on the smaller 5-inch screens of the Nokia 3 and Nokia 2, that resolution equates to a pixel count of 293ppi. In other words, these cheaper models technically boast a sharper display than the Nokia 5.

All the Nokia handsets here use the same IPS LCD display panel, with that Corning Gorilla Glass cover for scratch and shatter protection.

The Nokia 5 boasts the brightest display of the bunch (500 nits) while the Nokia 3’s panel pumps out marginally less power at 450 nits. The Nokia 2 brightness levels have not been announced, although it will likely be similar to the Nokia 3, based on the price and battery life performance. All of these phones are of course fine and dandy for indoor and outdoor use alike, with strong enough brightness to display anything clearly and without chewing through battery life.

All three phones feature microSD expansion for up to 128GB of extra storage. The Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 come with 16GB onboard, while the Nokia 2 comes with 8GB of storage. Since the Android OS and various basic apps take up a good chunk of the first 8GB, you’ll almost certainly need a microSD card in the case of the Nokia 2.

Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3 vs Nokia 2: Performance and battery life

The Nokia 2, despite being the cheapest of the bunch, is the handset that offers the most impressive battery life here; in fact, that’s kind of its USP. Packing in an efficient Snapdragon processor and lower 1GB of RAM, plus smaller 5-inch screen and a massive 4,000 mAh battery, means two days of life from a single charge. Or at least, so says Nokia. Stay tuned for our full Nokia 2 review to see if that’s really the case.

However, just 1GB of RAM has us concerned. In this day and age, Android really needs at least two to function properly. We’ll see if the Nokia 2 can still offer respectable performance despite that lack of memory.

The Nokia 5 has a larger 5.2-inch screen but smaller 3,000mAh battery, although does once again pack in an efficient Snapdragon processor. Which might account for the rather great battery life. You also get double the RAM of the Nokia 2 – and even so, performance is definitely limited.

While the Nokia 3 might have a smaller 2,650mAh battery than its siblings, it also uses a basic energy-efficient Mediatek processor. The end result is that all of these phones will give you a heavy day of usage on a charge. However, only the Nokia 5 features Quick Charge 3.0 support, for faster refuelling.

All three Nokia phones use Android in its pure form for maximum efficiency and also more timely updates. While all run Android Nougat, they are due for Android Oreo upgrades at time of publishing.

Nokia 5 vs Nokia 3 vs Nokia 2: Cameras

The Nokia 5 boasts the best camera experience here, with its 13-megapixel snapper featuring an f/2.0 aperture, dual-tone LED flash and Phase Detection Autofocus. Around the other end you have an 8-megapixel front-facing selfie snapper, which is good for everyday use.

The Nokia 3 and Nokia 2 both feature 8-megapixel autofocus rear cameras, with f/2.0 aperture and LED flash. The Nokia 3 also has an 8-megapixel front-facing selfie camera, while the Nokia 2 tops out at 5-megapixels for selfies. However, all three selfie cameras do offer 84 degrees for a wide angle field of view, meaning even at arm’s length you should get everything in shot.

Keep your browser pointed here for our full review of the Nokia handsets, coming soon.


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