HMD Global, which is the company that has brought back Nokia smartphones and feature phones to the market has introduced five new phones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona. Four of these are smartphones, but the fifth, the Nokia 8110 or the ‘banana phone’ as it was once known is a modern reiteration of a classic from the original portfolio, when Nokia phones dominated the world. We had a chance to check out the new Nokia phones for 2018 and here’s our first impression of the three smartphones on the list, which are the Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 6 Android One edition.
Nokia 8 Sirocco: First impressions, India launch date, expected price
Nokia 8 Sirocco is HMD Global’s new flagship phone and it looks quite different from the Nokia 8, the company’s first flagship from 2017. At first glance, one might mistake the Nokia 8 Sirocco to be the Galaxy S8 or Note8, thanks to the dual curved display with minimum bezels. Based on the limited time in the demo zone, I would say the display is what really stands out with the Nokia 8 Sirocco edition.
This is a p-OLED display which is 5.5-inches in size, which does make it more manageable than some of the other dual-curved phones which tend to sport bigger displays. However, the Nokia 8 Sirocco has 3D glass on the front and back, which makes the phone slippery and it is a fingerprint magnet. A case will be crucial to keep this phone safe.
Nokia 8 Sirocco also comes with dual rear cameras 12MP+13MP and a 5MP front camera. This phone also has a rating of IP67 for water and dust resistance, which is good to see in a device claiming to be a flagship. The looks and features of this phone make it apparent that it wants to compete in the iPhone X, Galaxy S series range, though whether it can match these phones in the camera department will be closely watched.
Other specifications of Nokia 8 Sirocco include: Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB RAM+ 128GB storage, 3260mAh battery, 5MP front camera. The phone runs on Android Oreo 8.1 Nokia 8 Sirocco will likely launch in India in April, though the exact timeline is not confirmed. The price in Euros is 749, which is nearly Rs 60,000.
Nokia 7 Plus
This is the Nokia phone which has an 18:9 aspect ratio on the display, and given the specifications and price, this could compete with other mid-range flagships in the market. The Nokia 7 has a 6-inch FHD+ display and a fingerprint scanner at the back, dual rear cameras, the newer Snapdragon 660 processor and a 3800 mAh battery on board.
From the front, Nokia 7 Plus will remind users of other phones in the market which have a similar display with reduced bezels, but from the back the distinct Nokia design continues. The dual 12MP+13MP cameras are vertically stacked in the centre of the phone and come with the Zeiss branding. Nokia 7 Plus also comes in two interesting colour choices: The Black/Copper and the White/Copper. In my opinion, the Black with Copper will appeal more to users, and looks stunning in an elegant sort of way. The frame of the phone has the copper colour, while the rest of the body is black, similar to the Nokia 6 design.
For the Nokia 7 Plus, performance and how it fares in the camera department will determine its success in the market. In the mid-premium segment, currently OnePlus 5T is the favourite and dominates in the Indian market. Will Nokia 7 Plus be able to do one better than this phone? We will have to wait and see. The price of the Nokia 7 Plus is Eur 399 and it will come to India by April in all likelihood. If one converts the Euro price, it is nearly Rs 31,000 plus.
Nokia 6, the Android One edition
Nokia 6 was the first smartphone that HMD Global had introduced in 2017 when it entered the market. The 2018 version of the Nokia 6 is an Android One edition of the smartphone. This will be getting Android OS updates for two years, which means Android P and Android Q versions when they are eventually rolled out. Users will also get unlimited storage at full resolution for their photos and videos on the Google Photos app with this Android One edition.
But the Nokia 6 is also sporting improved specifications like a new Snapdragon 630 processor, 3GB/4GB RAM and 32/64GB storage. The battery remains at 3000 mAh and the display is still 5.5-inches. The camera on the Nokia 6 is also the same: 16MP on the back and 8MP on the front. However, Nokia 6 has the new “Bothie” feature, which allows users to use both the front and rear camera at the same time.
The Nokia 6 Android One edition looks polished and premium, which is something HMD Global has managed to do across its devices no matter what the price range. The Nokia 6 Android One edition comes in three colour variants: Black/Copper, White/Iron and Blue/Gold. The Blue with gold trimmings on the side and surrounding the camera is the one that really does stand out in terms of looks and design. The Nokia 6 is also made of Aluminium 6000 series like the previous variant with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass on top. The other change with the Nokia 6 is that it now comes with the Zeiss branding on the camera. We will have to wait and see there is a noticeable change in the camera performance of the new Nokia 6 or not.
Nokia 6 Android One edition will have a price of 279 euros or nearly Rs 22,000. The original Nokia 6 launched in India at Rs 14,999 so we will have to wait and see what pricing the company picks for India. Nokia 6 Android One is already on Android Oreo 8.1 out-of-the-box.
Disclaimer: The reporter is in Barcelona attending MWC at the invite of Samsung India.