HMD Global has been hitting a lot of home runs with products, especially in the midrange Android market. Its new Nokias are well built, look good and run almost-vanilla Android. Sales have been good, and cheap Nokia phones have made an impression in a competitive market. Against the big players, Nokia has carved its own little niche. In good news for fans of the brand, there are more cheap Nokia phones on the way.
Given the top end of the market is locked out by Samsung, Google and Apple, Nokia’s focused mostly on the middle of the market and below. The mighty impressive Nokia 6 and Nokia 5 series are good, dependable devices for their price. They’re also built very well, being milled from a single chunk of aluminium.
The latest iteration of the Nokia 5, the 5.1, can be described as a evolutionary upgrade. There’s an improved main camera unit (16 megapixels) plus a new selfie camera (8 megapixels). In terms of aesthetics, the antennas have been moved around so they’re not as glaringly obvious to the eye. The aluminium construction remains, and a new copper colour has been introduced. Inside, you can opt for 2GB of RAM with 16GB of storage for US$219. For the slightly higher price of US$252, you get 3GB of memory and a choice of 16GB or 32GB of storage. The Nokia 5.1 will be on sale in July.
The Nokia 3.1 is an upgrade to the Nokia 3. HMD’s chief of marketing Mr Neil Broadley says the 3 is its most successful device so far. Alongside the 3.1, HMD will also be refreshing the Nokia 2. The Nokia 3.1 has a 5.2 inch display with a 1.5GHz eight core processor from Mediatek. It’s not all that powerful, but it will do the job. You get similar memory and storage options to the Nokia 5.1, and the prices are US$160 or US$195.
Finally, the baby of the bunch is the Nokia 2.1. It runs Oreo Go, which is the lightest of the lightweight versions of Android. It’s only got a Snapdragon 425 and 4GB of usable storage. But as it’s aimed at emerging markets like Asia and Africa, not many will be all that interested in it in developed markets. The Nokia 2.1 will retail for US$115. A bargain.
Cheap Nokia phones are fantastic. You get great build quality and near vanilla Android for a good price. While this might not return Nokia to the top of the pile in the mobile market, at least the brand lives on.