Sources quoted by Nokia Power User have suggested that the Finnish brand’s upcoming flagship smartphone, known simply as the 9, will be unmasked in late July or the first few days of August this year.
Its retail release may not occur for a month after this point, but it seems more and more likely that the 9 will touch down before the end of 2017 and mark the high point of Nokia’s release schedule, at least from a technical perspective.
Insiders have claimed that the Nokia 9 will come packed with the cutting edge Snapdragon 835 chipset, along with 6GB of RAM, a 5.5 inch display with a QHD resolution and a beefy 3800mAh battery.
Photography capabilities should be impressive, with a dual lens primary camera setup that can snap 22 megapixel images expected. There will also be a pair of biometric scanners built in, one which handles fingerprint while the other can read the unique form of a user’s iris.
By contrast with the mid range models that have already been announced, the Nokia 9 looks like a true attempt to take on market leaders like the new Samsung Galaxy S8. Whether it will succeed commercially is yet to be determined.
Last month Nokia confirmed that it was returning to the mobile market, along with a modern iteration of its classic 3310 handset. Now reports from various retailers in the UK have shown that there is plenty of demand for this retro-inspired device, according to Tech Radar.
Carphone Warehouse spokesperson, Andrew Wilson, said that the 3310 was generating much more interest than any other flagship device that has been unveiled during the Mobile World Congress industry event in the past.
Of course, this may come down to the fact that the new 3310 will be sold at a fraction of the cost of high end launches from the likes of LG and Sony. And the initial buzz surrounding this phone may be due to a mix of nostalgia and novelty, so it might not translate into long term success.
Observers have also pointed out that the 3310 may be problematic because of its lack of compatibility with networking standards outside of Europe, making it better suited to people who are planning to stay within the continental bounds of the EU. But with roaming charges soon set to be ditched altogether, this could be the perfect holidaymaker’s companion.
Although it has been more than a decade and a half since the Nokia 3310 first hit the market, it remains one of the most iconic and commercially successful mobile handsets in history. This week the Finnish manufacturer announced that it will be reviving it for the modern era, according to the Guardian.
In terms of pricing, the reissued 3310 will go on sale for around £60, which suggests that it could well feature fairly basic hardware. But the extent to which it will mirror the features of its predecessor or strike out on its own remains to be seen.
Nokia will presumably need to update the internals to cope with the new types of networking that have emerged in the years since the 3310 was discontinued. However, fans of the device will no doubt be hopeful that the retro user interface remains intact.
While much of the response to this news has been positive, there are also plenty of sceptical voices adding to the conversation on social media. Some believe that while this quirky move could gain some momentum for Nokia in the short term, the realities of the smartphone-centric world will be too much for the 3310 in the long term.
The first new Nokia phones since the Finnish brand was discontinued by Microsoft are set to hit the market next year, with insiders expecting to see a pair of high end Android-powered devices arriving at Mobile World Congress 2017 ahead of a Q2 release.
Nokia itself is not going to be manufacturing the handsets but has, instead, sold the rights to build smartphones bearing its brand to fellow Finnish firm, HMD. Furthermore, with a marketing budget of close to half a billion pounds signed off, the return of Nokia-badged phones will be heralded far and wide.
The technical specs of the expected flagship devices remain a mystery, but they should run the latest version of Android and feature components that are powerful enough to make them competitive with other front-running phones, according to the Telegraph.
Nokia’s deal with HMD is set to last for at least a decade, showing that both firms have long term ambitions. And while Nokia struggled to find its footing in the wake of the arrival of the modern smartphone age, it still has an excellent brand reputation and strong identity which should stand it in good stead for its return to the fray.
While Microsoft may have retired the Nokia brand from the mobile market, it looks as though the Finnish firm is preparing to make a comeback before the end of 2016, with as many as four fresh mobiles and tablets apparently in the works.
Android Authority reports that an executive representing Nokia in China has confirmed that it is indeed in the process of developing multiple smartphones, with the intention to launch them in the last few months of the year.
In spite of Nokia’s previous support for Windows Phone, it seems that the gradual decline of Microsoft’s mobile platform has motivated it to instead pick Android as the OS of choice for its upcoming devices.
What makes this news even more interesting is the suggestion that Nokia will not be handling the manufacturing itself, but will instead be outsourcing this to a firm called HMD.
At least two of the new phones will sit at the upper end of the market in terms of specifications, with the promise of QHD screen resolutions, octa-core processors and high pixel count cameras all circulating on the rumour mill.
Nokia still holds some clout as a brand, so its return to the fray is not particularly surprising. Whether or not it will stay afloat this time around is another question.