Although the big Android smartphone news from MWC is expected to be you-know-what from you-know-who, Nokia isn’t going to let Samsung enjoy all the free publicity unchallenged. HMD Global, the Finnish company that now produces Android smartphones under the Nokia name, has announced four new Android phones, and they’re all actually worth a look.
The Nokia 9, Nokia 8 Pro, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 4 probably aren’t going to set any Android sales records, but it’s also good to see HMD Global sticking with the best parts about Nokia’s design, rather than just build yet another series of identikit phones.
Nokia 8110 4G
Last year, HMD Global had a surprise win at MWC when it revealed the Nokai 3310 4G, a reimagined version of Nokia’s classic candybar featurephone that worked with modern cell networks.
This year, the company is doubling down on nostalgia with the Nokia 8110 4G, a more up-to-date version of Nokia’s classic banana phone. It has a curved design that “matches your face,” according to HMD’s execs, and comes in yellow or black. There’s a 2MP camera on the back, 4GB of storage inside, and a Snake game in case you get bored. It will cost around $80 when it launches in May.
Nokia 8 Sirocco
While the rest of Nokia’s new lineup goes with a milled aluminium approach, the Nokia 8 Sirocco goes a very different way for its construction. It has a milled stainless steel core down the middle, sandwiched on both sides by curved Gorilla Glass. That makes it 7mm thick at the chunkiest point, slimming down to 2mm around the edges. The design is also IP67 water-resistant, like most other flagship phones at this point.
Inside, you’re looking at 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but all that will cost you dearly: 749 Euros, which should translate to around $900 when the phone is released in April.
Nokia 7 Plus
The Nokia 7 Plus also shows off HMD Global’s very different approach to design. It’s a unibody aluminium design, but it eschews the normal bare metal feel, as the back is coated with a ceramic paint that gives a smoother texture that should be more comfortable to hold. The sides of the device are anodized aluminum, which gives a contrasting two-tone look to the design.
On the front, there’s a 6-inch screen with an 18:9 ratio that should be good for photography, although not the best for watching movies. Camera-wise, the Nokia 7 Plus has two cameras on the back (one regular, one telephoto) and the selfie camera on the front that you’d expect. All the camera glass is made by Zeiss, and HMD is also promising a whole bunch of software tricks to make the photos good.
Back when Nokia made Windows Phones, it used Zeiss optics to make the cameras some of the best that you could buy. Although the mobile camera game has changed significantly from 5 years ago, we can still hope that HMD’s hook-up with Zeiss will yield the same kind of high-quality photography experience.
The Nokia 7 Plus will be available in April for around $450.
No, you’re not dreaming: Nokia does already have a Nokia 6, but it’s been updated this year with a fresh design and some internal changes. It has a two-tone all-metal design, a dual-lens camera setup, facial recognition, and and a Snapdragon 630 internal processor. There’s also wireless charging onboard.
With the exception of the distinctly mid-tier processor, that’s a whole bunch of features that have no place being in a mid-level phone, especially one that looks this good.
Gold, black copper, and two-tone white are the three colors that will be available at launch in April. The price should be somewhere around $300, making it highly competitive as a mid-tier device.
The Nokia 1 costs nearly the same as the new Nokia 8110 4G, but it’s less about nostalgia, and more about cramming as many features of a real Android phone into the cheapest possible body. It will cost just $85 when it launches around the world in April, and for that you’re getting 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and some kind of HD display. There’s also a bunch of colored backers available if you want to switch up the design.