The best and worst Nokia smartphones we've ever reviewed

The best and worst Nokia smartphones we've ever reviewed

Back in the day, Nokia was the undisputed leader on the handset market, leaving its rivals trailing in the dust. Ah, glorious days of old! Unfortunately, due to one reason or another, Nokia failed to retain its positions and slowly stepped off the throne that it once held so dearly. Alas, Nokia, as we once knew it, is no longer in business, because it sold its Devices & Services divisions to Microsoft. Until Q4 2016, Nokia can't put its name on a smartphone.

Taking a look back in time, we can easily see that Nokia has been responsible for some of the most popular mobile handsets in the world, archaic by today's standards devices that still remind us of the Finnish company's former glory. Though not as popular as it's feature phones, Nokia's smartphones certainly deserve their spots on the industry's hall of fame.

Naturally, we've reviewed many of these over the years. While some of them turned out to be really intriguing and quite good devices, others were simply sub-par to what Nokia usually churned out on the market. We've devised a neat list with all the good and bad Nokia smartphones that we have ever reviewed. Note that apart from Windows Phone ones, we've also included Symbian ones.


7. Nokia Lumia 510


Released back in late 2012, the low-end Lumia 510 failed to impress. Among its disappointing specs were the measly 256MB of RAM on board, 4GB of native storage, and the lack of a microSD card slot. The latter was somewhat strange, given that Nokia aimed it at the entry-level market segment.




Apart from supporting Adobe Flash Lite right off the bat, the Symbian-powered Nokia C6 was a mix of disappointments. It was visually-unappealing, it was thick, it had a resistive touchscreen - totally not the best Nokia device we've held in our hands.



5. Nokia 6790 Surge


Okay, the Surge is weirdly-shaped and this is among the things that made this 2009 Symbian smartphone a total flop. We still fail to comprehend why Nokia designed it this way; regardless, the Nokia 6790 Surge is one of those devices that look interesting from afar, but totally disappoint when you touch them.




The Nokia E6 was not that bad, but it's weaknesses failed to make it shine in our eyes. In particular, the device had a pretty under-performing camera that came with no auto-focus on board; it also housed some pretty low-end hardware that was hardly coping with Symbian Anna. As a whole, it was a disappointment.




The Nokia X7 was yet another device that Nokia somewhat doomed from the start - it came with a pretty dated software, which led to the inevitable slowdown of the phone's overall performance. Add the fixed-focus camera, sub-par screen resolution, and you get a phone that did not stand up to Nokia's standards.




Oh, the Nokia 5250! The affordable, albeit basic Nokia smartphone unfortunately did not have what was necessary to win us over; on the contrary, the lack of Wi-Fi, 3G, and GPS (arguably the most basic connectivity standards) were one of the biggest setbacks of the phone. Add the low native storage to the mix and you have a recipe for market disaster.


1. Nokia X


The first Nokia device ever to (sort of) run Android, the Nokia X, was unfortunately a pretty disappointing one. Its performance was appalling, the rear camera did not have a flash sidekick and as a whole was a pretty sub-par one (not to mention the lack of a front-facing snapper), and the build of the phone also left a lot to be desired - all of this combined make for a phone that was mostly "meh".




The Nokia N900 was a notable Nokia device from 2009, which was an able-bodied multi-tasker sporting a large screen, perfect call quality, and a browser that supports Flash. It was running on the Linux-powered Maemo 5 platform, which well-designed and did its job almost impeccably. 




The Lumia 920 is a Windows Phone device that made us fall in love with its spectacular camera - the low-light performance, image stabilization, and additional traits made it a venerable and noteworthy cameraphone. These are just few of the reasons that made us fall in love with it, though - its crisp display and useful on-board apps.



5. Nokia Lumia 720


The Nokia Lumia 720 is a 2013 mid-ranger that we truly fell in love with. The appealing design, good camera, and the speakers made the Lumia 720 a device that offered very good bang for the buck.



4. Nokia Lumia 1520


The large Nokia Lumia 1520 is a 6-inch beast that boasted some pretty respectable specs - a quad-core Snapdragon 800, 2 gigs of RAM, a 20MP rear camera, and a 3,400mAh battery at the back made it one of the best-spec'd Windows Phone devices to ever see the light of day. 




3. Nokia E90 Communicator


This device from 2007 was more of a portable computer than any other Nokia device before it. With a full QWERTY keyboard, a large battery, and a large display that was perfectly visible in broad daylight, the E90 Communicator was one of the most functional devices in its time.



2. Nokia N82


Housing a nifty Carl Zeiss camera at its back, the Nokia N82 was among the very best Nokia has ever churned out from its factories. This Symbian warrior did not have any major flaws, albeit its keyboard was a hate-it-or-love-it affair at best. The rear camera had a xenon flash sidekick and a dedicated shutter key, which certainly hinted that this Finnish trooper is an able-bodied photographer. The rest of the Nokia N82 was also pretty spectacular, which earns it the runner-up spot in this list.



1. Nokia N95


Without a doubt, the Nokia N95 was one of the most advanced and sophisticated smartphones at its time. The N95 was the perfect example of what Nokia could pull in its heyday. A device that is worth remembering.



Done yet? Well, why don't you check the highest- and lowest-rated smartphones coming from Samsung, LG, or HTC?

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45 Comments

1. gaming64 unregistered

Where's the 3310?

3. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

NEVERMIND N 95 8 GB is the KING !

24. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

I used my N95 for nearly 5 years, it was an amazing device, great call quality and it had an amazing antenna (would get signal in places where no other phones seemed to work.) For it's time it was amazing, too bad Nokia went the way of the Dodo after that. The Microsoft buyout was ok for them and their new WP devices are great but I've never owned a Nokia since the N95 :(

28. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Nokia never produce a bad phone at all. It is a legend and we all lost Nokia

4. PeterK.

Posts: 314; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

Despite its fans' aspirations, the Nokia 3310 doesn't classify as a smartphone, gaming 64.

6. progosu

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 21, 2015

back then phonearena's editors were like not even born yet so they didn't manage to review it at all.

7. gaming64 unregistered

Then it's time to review the 3310. I DEMAND IT, PHONEARENA. LOL

2. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

N 95 8 GB is the KING !

5. gaming64 unregistered

N 95- Grenade 3310- Atomic Bomb

8. Bondurant

Posts: 779; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

N95 may have been an "advanced phone" in popularity and among amateurs using java apps. But not the advanced of its time. Windows Mobile phones at that time was far far ahead.

32. luis.aag90

Posts: 272; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

What are you taking about?? The N95 was a Symbian Smartphone, therefore it could run more than just Java apps. It also had multitasking since its early days. Actually all Symbian apps were written in C++. All those FACTS mean the N95 and any Symbian device WAS a Smartphone. Windows Mobile was nice but complicated for regular users.

9. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Missing the N9

41. monoke

Posts: 1145; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Gotta love that swipe ui!

10. nghtwng68

Posts: 108; Member since: Nov 26, 2009

The Nokia 808 Pure View truly deserves to be on this list. Still one of the BEST camera phones without a doubt. Having had and enjoyed both N82 & N95, the 808 Pure View was a class act that trumped both devices.

12. gaming64 unregistered

Despite the 41 megapixel camera, its software didnt take advantage of the camera in a more immersive experience.

30. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

808 seriously lack many things to be considered in the best... I will agree with N82. It was the best phone of its time. Well, nokia is doomed for good. Atleast they are not able to fool their fans with miserable phones until 2017

11. TheHossein

Posts: 93; Member since: Sep 27, 2014

1100 Rocks , however Its not a smartphone !

13. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

I still have my old Nokia Lumia 920.........

20. Smarter

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

Throw it out, Lumia 920 was a very bad phone, buy Meizu, Motorola or Blackberry. Be modern!

23. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

I said, i still have, but i didn't say i still use it...actually i use an LG G2 now.

29. Smarter

Posts: 60; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

Resourceful reply, dude ;)

14. nenadmitrovic

Posts: 64; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

N73, generation before n95, great phone

15. hritikbhimani

Posts: 29; Member since: Jan 08, 2012

I believe nokia n-73, n8, 808 pureview and the 6600 should be among the best

16. psychok9

Posts: 43; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

What coincidence! Just yesterday I was seeing my beautil photos with my Nokia *love* N82!!! Amazing for the time. Nokia full camera like Lumia 1020 + Android + removable battery and microSD = my best "geek" dream :)

18. TheStanleyFTW

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 20, 2013

Also my "geek" dream. LETS DREAM TOGETHER! :D

17. OdysseasP

Posts: 67; Member since: Aug 08, 2014

In my opinion the Nokia Lumia 1020 should be at the top and the Nokia 808 Pure View should be in the second place. Also can you make a similar list but this time include only Nokia mobile phones? Thank you in advance.

19. UglyFrank

Posts: 2191; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Looking at this made me think "bezels are disgusting"

21. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

I think N95 was so great ,Nokia became megalomania and didn't care about anything especially the OS.. And that was a good reason why the fall down.

22. JayBEE

Posts: 176; Member since: Apr 03, 2014

I really miss my N900. If the mini USB port/charger had not broke on it, I'd still be using it as my main phone. My kingdom for a device with a similar formfactor/hardware keyboard and I'd ditch my Galaxy Note 3 in a heartbeat!

38. monoke

Posts: 1145; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

That little brick was pure linux pc shrunken down. True multitasking beast. Had stylus before note made it 'cool'. No need to root/jailbreak anything. Even today's android doesn't have as sensible ui as maemo 5 imo. Just love the thing! Resistive screen was only downer.

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