Nokia's (or rather HMD Global's) first Android-based smartphone is called simply the Nokia 6, and it will be available for buying sometime in early 2017. There is a catch, however. The Nokia 6, announced by HMD Global on Sunday, will be initially available for buying for 1699 CNY (roughly Rs 16,739) in China only, with no word on global availability and pricing for now.
But, the bigger point to note here is that Nokia is back. There was -- previously -- no estimated time frame around which Nokia would launch its smartphones. Although, reports had hinted that Android-based Nokia phones would be released some time in Q2 2017. The Nokia 6, it seems, would be hitting the market (albeit, just in China) sooner than one would have anticipated.
Surprisingly, HMD Global did not take the global stage at CES to unveil Nokia's new smartphone. It, instead, decided to announce it rather silently which means global media is still to get their hands on a functional unit. The company has, however, teased the phone on its global website, and also took the wraps off of what's in store.
The Nokia 6 is an all-metal smartphone - boasting of 6000 series aluminium - with chamfered edges and curved 2.5D Gorilla glass on the front. It has a physical home button on the front that also houses a fingerprint scanner, and is flanked by touch-based capacitive keys which are backlit. The power button and the volume rocker lie on the right, while the SIM card slot rests on the left. It comes with a standard Micro USB 2.0 port (and no USB C-Type) and also supports USB OTG.
Hardware specs include: a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor clubbed with 4gigs of RAM under the hood, and 64GB of internal memory which is further expandable by up to 128GB via microSD card slot. The speaker setup on-board the Nokia 6 comes with dual amplifiers and supports Dolby Atmos sound technology. The Nokia 6, moreover, carries a 16-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.0 aperture, Phase Detection Autofocus and dualLED flash. On the front, it comes with an 8-megapixel camera. The phone is backed by a 3,000mAh battery.
The Nokia 6 runs Android Nougat software out-of-the-box and is also 4G LTE capable. It's yet to be seen whether it would be running a near stock version of it like the Moto phones do, or whether there would be some third-party skinning involved. "From the outset we have stated that we intend to move with speed to establish a position as a player in the smartphone category and create products that truly meet consumer needs. The Nokia 6 is a result of listening to our consumers who desire a beautifully crafted handset with exceptional durability, entertainment and display features. Our ambition is to deliver a premium product, which meets consumer needs at every price point, in every market. We start today, with our premium, high quality Nokia 6; built to deliver a fantastic core user experience for Chinese consumers. We look forward to unveiling further products in the first half of this year," Arto Nummela, CEO, HMD Global said.
Finland-based HMD will manufacture Nokia's upcoming phones -- for ten years in a row -- in partnership with Foxconn: the same company that also makes Apple's iPhones. HMD will invest a minimum of 500 million Euros in marketing in the first three years alone and will broadly deal with developing (marketing) and selling all Nokia-branded smartphones and accessories.
The Nokia 6, it seems, is just the beginning. Clearly, more Nokia smartphones are in tow. The fact that Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri will be hosting a keynote at the upcoming MWC event in February raises lots of possibilities. Chances are the world would also get the first look at the Nokia 6 at the MWC, prior to availability. Going by its spec-sheet, the Nokia 6 appears to be a decent mid-ranger banking heavily on nostalgia.