Nokia 3.1 was a decent value option when it was released by HMD Global back in July, but it lacked some important features like a fingerprint sensor. It was also quite small.
Now HMD Global is back with a new version called Nokia 3.1 Plus, and it addresses some of these complaints. The new phone skips from a high 5.2-inch display to a 6-inch display, still in a 18: 9 format, adding a fingerprint sensor on the backside without spending much under $ 200.
Nokia 3.1 also moves to a somewhat finer and newer MediaTek processor, the Helio P22. It is still paired with 2GB or 3GB of RAM, so this is still very much a budget phone when it comes to power, but it should be an improvement.
HMD Global also announces two days of battery life. Even if the phone does not make it so far, the larger 3,500mAh battery should be enough. In some markets, the phone also adds NFC.
The phone's most up-to-date update is the addition of a second camera on the back so it can offer portrait mode effects. It's doubtful how good they want to be from a phone, this is cheap, but it speaks to how much of a product function this has become.
Unfortunately, there are still areas where 3.1 Plus misses or cuts corners that the predecessor did not. 3.1 Plus still lacks support for 5GHz Wi-Fi, which means you will not be able to use newer (and faster) Wi-Fi networks. Gorilla Glass also falls from the screen in favor of unmarked "tempered glass", which seems like a miss that Gorilla Glass is largely the industry standard.
As 3.1, 3.1 Plus Micro USB uses for charging, although it is normal in this price range and not necessarily a bad thing if you already have a drawer filled with those cables. Storage is 16 GB or 32 GB, expanded by microSD. And there's even a headphone jack. It's also a part of Android One, which means there are promised security and OS updates, so it's going to move from Oreo to Pie in the end and probably to what's coming as well.
The phone is being sold in India this month, and it will expand globally. The prices are listed at € 159 (around $ 184 USD) for the 2 GB / 16 GB model and € 179 (around $ 207 USD) for the 3 GB / 32 GB model. It's not much more than the usual 3.1 seller for – it's currently $ 159 USD on Amazon – and it's worth it for the fingerprint sensor alone.
HMD Global has made some solid phones under the Nokia brand for low-end and midrange markets. But there is a lot of competition out there and phones like 3.1 Plus have to fight with many great and possible alternatives – especially in India where this phone starts.