A year or two ago we felt a little sorry for Nokia. The last breath of the Finnish company appeared to have been blown several times after numerous take-overs and course instructions, but this edition of MWC shows the company in secret to have made a very interesting comeback.
Last year the company surprised with several good phones, and a new 3310. That had little to do with the classic old model and was just a cheap feature-phone with 3G and Snake for old times’ sake. You could not do much with that, but the popularity was unmistakable.
Banana and The Matrix
The 3310 was an obvious publicity stunt, but a successful one: everyone knew about the new old telephone, which was often mentioned in the same breath as the other ‘real’ phones of the company. It is also telling that Nokia repeats the trick this year with a modified version of the
That device has many nicknames. The ‘banana phone’, the ‘Matrix phone’ … The company embraces the nostalgia with this nice device that you can buy for 79 euros. In terms of specifications, of course, it does not mean anything: you can email and browse with the custom apps, but there is no Android on which you cannot download apps. Oh well, that is not necessary – this is just a nice gadget.
But Nokia is now much more than just a nostalgic factory. Led by the company HMD Global (which is now licensing the Nokia brand), a whole series of new devices are produced every year, which may not catch the eye, but are very solid and good.
This year both the Nokia 1 (the budget model), the Nokia 6 (a slightly more expensive budget model), the Nokia 7 (a midrange model), and the Nokia 8 Sirocco.
The names are perhaps not so inspiring, and if we are very honest, the devices themselves are not the most striking models. But that does not mean that they are not good – on the contrary! Especially the Nokia 8 can at least measure its specifications with other premium devices. Whether that is the case in practice, we have to learn during a review, but for the moment we are enthusiastic.
In particular, the battery life is very good – according to Nokia, all devices can easily spend 2 days on a full battery. The devices also have cameras from Zeiss, 18: 9 resolutions, dual sim, USB-c … The beauty of it is that there is something for everyone. There is a device in every budget class.
Also striking is the attention Nokia spends on the latest version of Android. The company has signed up with Android One, the Google program that encourages manufacturers to come up with updates for Android faster.
All devices that the company presents this year also run on the latest Android Oreo and updates come ‘as soon as possible’ according to the company.
That may seem the best thing about the Nokia phones. Where major manufacturers such as Samsung or Huawei increasingly fall back on often unnecessary new features and unnecessary fuss, Nokia does not have such pretensions. The devices are not exciting, but the company does look at what buyers want: timely Android updates, long battery life, and a good camera. What also fits in that street is the fact that Nokia makes phones for every price range without too many differences. In the meantime, the devices are immediately available internationally.
The new Nokia’s are not exciting, but that is not necessary. The company gives customers what they need – that is what we would like to see more often at manufacturers.