The Nokia 3.1 has a 13MP sensor behind f/2.0 lens for its main camera - up from the 8MP imager on the Nokia 3. A single LED flash completes the main setup.
The interface is simple - shutter release at the bottom, a switch to video mode next to it and a shortcut to the gallery on the other side. On the opposite end a tiny mode selector gives you the option to choose Regular photo, Panorama, or (very basic) Manual mode. Toggles for Beauty, self-time, HDR, flash, and selfie camera complete the top row.
The 13MP photos we took with the Nokia 3.1 are nothing to phone home about. They are just fine for the price bracket with enough detail, pleasant colors, and good contrast. The noise levels are higher than we'd like them, and the dynamic range is barely average, but other than that - the 13MP samples meet the expectations for the class.
There is no Auto HDR but triggering manually HDR will do the job for when the dynamic range is just not enough. The HDR mode on the Nokia 3.1 exposes more detail in the shadows and restores the blown highlights. There is also a small boost in contrast, but sometimes it may give a bit unnatural look. Still, the HDR photos are pretty good.
The low-light images aren't impressive either, but most of the time they are not blurry, the focus is accurate, and they turned out more detailed than we expected from a low-tier smartphone. There is noise, sure, but the resolved detail is more than what we got from the more expensive Nokia 6.1, and that's something.
Feel free to pixel peep in our Photo compare tool - we've pre-selected a couple of phones we found relevant, but those can easily be replaced in the drop-down menus.
The Nokia 3.1 has an 8MP selfie camera with fixed focus and HDR support. The Nokia 3's front snapper was capable of autofocus, which means we are treated with a downgrade here. This was also the case with the Nokia 6.1, so it's not surprising but still disappointing as you should always aim for the focus spot - not too far and not too close.
The selfies turned out very good - sharp, with lots of detail, good colors and great contrast. The noise levels are a bit high, but don't get in the way, at least not in broad daylight.
The Nokia 3.1 captures 1080p videos at 30 fps - an improvement over the 720p recording available on the previous Nokia 3 model. The video stream is captured with 15.5Mbps bitrate, while the audio is mono but with a high 128Kbps bitrate. The container that those clips are stored is the antiquated 3GP, which is a bit of a letdown.
The 1080p videos turned out nice with mostly steady 27-30fps. There is enough detail, low noise, and the colors and contrast are good. The dynamic range is below average, and the foliage is smudged, though. And don't expect a good audio quality in the captured videos - it's not.
You can download this 10s video (20MB) and watch it on your device.
You can also head over to our Video compare tool and see how the Nokia 3.1 stacks up against other phones.