HMD Global announces the Nokia 6; its first Android Smartphone for the Chinese Market

HMD Global announces the Nokia 6; its first Android Smartphone for the Chinese Market

Update 10:42PM: the official product page for the phone has gone live. We have amended the article to provide an accurate set of specifications.

While this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is just about wrapping up, HMD Global has decided to unveil some rather exciting news – its first Nokia-branded Android smartphone. The company has issued a press release and promotional footage of the Nokia 6, giving us the first sneak peak of what HMD Global has been working on since they acquired the exclusive brand licensing rights from Nokia. There’s only one catch – the smartphone will be launched only in China.

HMD Global cites the strategic importance of launching in the Chinese market given the potential growth of smartphone users expected in 2017. Furthermore, the company is banking heavily on the Nokia brand to bring success. They expect consumers to latch on to the premium build quality expected of a Nokia-branded phone and have also priced the device competitively within the Chinese market.


Meet the Nokia 6

A new Nokia 6 smartphone is seen in this handout image released by HMD to Reuters on January 7, 2017. HMD/Handout via Reuters

A new Nokia 6 smartphone is seen in this handout image released by HMD to Reuters on January 7, 2017. HMD/Handout via Reuters.

The device features a 5.5″ IPS LCD FHD (1080×1920) screen with a brightness up to 450 nits and covered with a protector layer of 2.5D Gorilla Glass. Internally, the smartphone is running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor, 4GBs of LPPDDR3 RAM, and 64GBs of storage expandable via a micro-SDHC card slot. All of this is powered by a battery rated at 3,000 mAh. HMD Global touts that the device can last at a maximum 32 days on stand-by, 18 hours on 3G talk time, and 22 hours of continuous music playback. We would of course have to vigorously test these claims once the device has been released.

In terms of connectivity, the SoC contains an X6 LTE modem capable of Cat. 4 LTE connectivity speeds up to 150Mbps download/50MBps upload. The supported bands for this device are listed below. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this device supports many of the LTE bands found within the United States, in case you were wondering (I was):

GSM:850/900/1800/1900 MHz
WCDMA:850/900/1900/2100 MHz CDMA:CDMA
2000/ EVDO Rev. A (BC0) TD-SCDMA:Band 34,39
FDD LTE:Band 1, 3,5 TDD
LTE:Band 38,39,40,41

Design-wise, the device measures 154 x 75.8 x 7.85 mm, but the depth is actually 8.4mm when considering the protruding camera lens. There are also dual smart amplifiers (TFA9891) on the device which are coupled with Dolby Atmos audio technology. The rear camera is a 16MP sensor with dual LED flash, phase detection auto-focus (PDAF), 1 μm pixel sensor, and an f/2.0 aperture lens, while the front facing camera is a 8MP sensor with 1.12 μm pixel sensor, f/2.0 aperture lens, and wide-angle capture of 84 degrees. Finally, the phone is running on Android Nougat, which HMD Global states is “the latest version” of Android Nougat, but is actually running Android 7.0, not 7.1.

Further details regarding the device can be gleaned from the promotional video posted on Nokia’s website. We can’t say much about the build quality until we can actually hold the smartphone with our own two hands, but we did notice that the device features a micro-USB port (clearly visible at 00:35 in the video) rather than a USB Type-C port as we’ve grown accustomed to lately. But given the fact that this device is a Chinese-exclusive, it makes sense for HMD Global to opt for the older USB port. In addition, it appears the phone will feature capacitive navigation buttons rather than on-screen buttons, while the physical home button doubles up as the fingerprint scanner.

We can confirm these details from the product page, and indeed the phone is sporting a micro-USB 2.0 port with USB OTG support. Furthermore, we now know that the device does have a 3.5mm headphone jack, so at least HMD Global has the “courage” to not follow the recent trend in gutting the audio jack.

HMD Global will be selling the device through its exclusive online retail partner, JD.com, for 1699 CNY sometime “in early 2017”. This converts to approximately 250 USD, though we are unlikely to see the device priced exactly like this if, or when, it launches internationally.

We do hope that HMD Global eventually brings this device, or hopefully a device with better specifications, to other markets. Although many of us Android enthusiasts here at XDA have questions regarding whether or not HMD Global will commit to frequent updates or will not get in the way of development, there are also many people eager to see the revival of the Nokia brand and the design quality that has been missing in their absence.

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