Why it matters: Finding a quality smartphone under $200 is no easy task but Nokia's 3.1 Plus looks to be a diamond in the rough. At just $160, this budget Android handset ticks a lot of the boxes you wouldn't expect at this price point and is finally available in the US.
I’ve long championed the use of MVNOs as a viable alternative to pricey mobile plans from the nation’s big four wireless carriers. Similarly, you can save a bundle on smartphone hardware if you’re willing to forego the major players’ flagships and lower expectations a bit. Case in point is the Nokia 3.1 Plus which recently found its way to Cricket Wireless, an AT&T MVNO (also available on Amazon).
The Nokia 3.1 Plus features a 5.99-inch HD+ display driven by Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 439 SoC that’s mated to 32GB of onboard storage (expandable via microSD card slot). A dual camera array (13-megapixel + 5-megapixel) handles photography duties around back while a single 8-megapixel front-facing shooter covers selfies and video calls.
The Nokia-branded handset packs a 3,500mAh battery that’s rated at up to two days of life. You also get USB Type-C connectivity, Bluetooth 4.2, a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and Android 9 Pie.
Above all else, the Nokia 3.1 Plus is affordable as it retails for just $159.99. At that price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value on a new mobile device.
Cricket’s rate plans start at $30 per month for 2GB of high-speed (8 Mbps) data with no contracts, no overages and taxes included.