Summed up: What can we expect to see from Nokia Mobile at #MWC19

More than 2 years have passed when an unknown company from Finland started executing the plan of bringing back the Nokia brand to the smartphone market. HMD Global, already one of the ten biggest smartphone vendors on the planet, is holding a press conference in three days, on Sunday 24th of February, right a day before MWC19 kicks off.

This year’s MWC will probably be the most important MWC from HMD and the Nokia brand. In the two years, Nokia Mobile did record a year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter shipment growth, driven partially by nostalgia, but also by solid devices like the Nokia 6.1 or Nokia 7 plus, but the growth slowed down in the last Christmas quarter (Q4 2018), and the market is really expecting something new to be excited about Nokia Mobile. Nokia 7 Plus was great for that last year on MWC, while Nokia 8.1 didn’t create a big fuzz when it was announced, but now, HMD needs devices that will jumpstart the interest of new consumer in Nokia phones.

During the last few weeks or months, even during the last year in case of Nokia 9, we heard a lot of rumors about what Nokia Mobile might announce at MWC19. To filter all the info a bit, we summed up what we think we could see based on all the rumors that were floating around since MWC last year. Keep in mind, nothing is official so only those at HMD really know how their MWC lineup looks like and we all will find out in just a few days.

My guess is that we might see up to four smartphones, one feature phone and some new accessories. So let’s start.

Nokia 1 Plus

Nokia 1 Plus (or Nokia 1.1 Plus) is rumored to be HMD’s new “Hero” budget model. The device appeared on the list of Google Play supported devices and Google Play Console listing for developers, so it is safe to assume that an “ultra low end” device is coming. Thanks to FCC, the model numbers of the possible Nokia 1 Plus are TA-1130, TA-1111, TA-1123, TA-1127, and the device is referred by its codename Antman or shorter ANT.

Concept by Eero (based on rumors)

Antman is a Marvel Universe superhero, and HMD’s CPO Juho Sarvikas already shared with fans via Twitter that 2019 codenames do take inspiration from the works of the great Stan Lee. The specifications of Nokia 1 Plus might look like this:

  • 5-inch (480×960p) display
  • MediaTek MT6739WW SoC
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2500 mAh battery
  • Android 9 Pie GO Edition

All in all, looks on paper as a decent budget device to be placed between the Nokia 1 and Nokia 2.1 in the 70-80 euro price segment.

Nokia 3.2

FCC – TA-1157

Building up the (lower) midrange segment, we might see the Nokia 3.2, that also might be called Nokia 4. We know that a possible new midranger comes with the model number TA-1157, and features the following specs:

  • 2GB or 3GB of RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB of internal storage
  • 3000mAh battery
  • NFC, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Dual camera on the back
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Android 9 Pie

The first info that surfaced about TA-1157 was on 31st January, when it was reported that the device visited FCC. The FCC visit revealed the look of the back side, the dual camera setup and some specs. Today, Nokia TA-1157 also passed WiFi certification confirming Android 9 Pie from major specifications.

Nokia 6.2 (less likely)

The devices we discussed earlier aren’t really that interesting. A lot of people with smaller budgets will find them attractive for sure, but what should attract the eyes of the general public is the more premium segment. The upcoming Nokia 6.2 might be the gatekeeper of the premium segment by using a new feature that appeared recently in the industry – punch hole display.

It remains to be seen if HMD’s leaked phone with punch-hole display will be called Nokia 6.2. We know for now that a Nokia device codenamed Taisun or shorter TAS exists on FIH Mobile’s servers, and that it uses one of the Snapdragon 6xx series of processors. Connecting the dots leads us to calling the punch-hole phone the Nokia 6.2 (because 6 and 6.1 were both announced at MWC) and it will probably feature a SoC we saw before on Nokia phones, fingers crossed for Snapdragon 660 or better.

Unfortunately, just released info by Nokia Anew suggests that the device won’t be announced at MWC19, but we will know for sure in three days.

Nokia 9 PureView

Now comes the King of all rumors and leaks, the Nokia 9 PureView. Why I say that? Well, the first rumor related to Nokia 9 PureView appeared on 19th January 2018 – more than a year ago. At that time, when mostly dual camera phones were trendy, it seemed crazy to hear that HMD is working on a penta camera device. From March till December of 2018, we already saw phones with three and four cameras on the back, so the idea of a penta camera phone was just a question of time. Of course, Nokia 9 PureView is rumored to feature a penta-lens camera setup.

Before going further, I would like to point out the way current multi-camera phones work and the way Nokia 9 PureView should work. We officially don’t know how the Nokia 9 will work, so I wouldn’t bet my thoughts are 100% correct. Most phones with more cameras can only use two cameras at the same time. Even Snapdragon 855 supports “just” two camera feeds at the same time. Nokia 9, on the other hand, is rumored to use five cameras at the same time, thanks to the tech developed by a company called Light. More about that Light explains on their website. What benefits will that bring in comparison the standard setups, it remains to be seen.

Sketch from January 2018 how the penta-lens phone looks from FIH labs

Before going to the specs of the phone, I find it interesting to remember all the stories related to Nokia 9 that were popping the past year. Going through the archives, it’s interesting to see that on 29th December 2017 (so, a month before the penta camera rumor), a list was shared over the internet that contains devices with Snapdragon 855. On that list, a Nokia 10 with Snapdragon 855 was mentioned with a planned release for summer 2018. We ourselves heard that two Snapdragon 855 devices are being planned for an IFA release date, and more rumors from China and Nokia Anew were initially putting the release of Nokia 9 in Q3 or Q4 of 2018.

To cut the long story short, because of not meeting internal quality standards, as an HMD exec in Germany stated, the device was postponed. The final release date, per unofficial info, is MWC2019 in just three days.

Regarding specs, the main attraction of this phone is the camera and assuming it is really good, HMD should market it as a cameraphone first. Other specs include:

  • 6-inch 2K HDR10 OLED display
  • Snapdragon 845
  • 4GB or 6GB of RAM
  • 64GB or 128GB of internal storage
  • Wireless charging
  • Underscreen fingerprint sensor
  • IP67

For some reason, HMD has been really slow in spreading wireless charging support across their lineup. At the moment, the only phone that supports wireless charging is Nokia 8 Sirocco. HMD also doesn’t offer any wireless chargers, but that should change in 3 days. According to Wireless Power Consortium, back in October 2018 HMD certified two wireless chargers – Nokia DT-500, a portable wireless charger and DT-10W, a standard wireless charger. So we can expect them to see in three days.

Bonus phone?

Considering that at MWC2017 and MWC2018 we saw a new Nokia phone re-born, First the 3310 and then 8110, it is possible HMD will again announce a feature phone inspired by one of Nokia’s iconic models. Some time ago, at CES2019, the Google Assistant team had a Nokia N9 looking device on display in the section of KaiOS-running Devices. That photo fueled speculation that maybe a new Nokia N9 is coming, but to me that doesn’t sound like a good idea. The best thing would be to wait for MWC because Nokia had so many iconic models and reincarnating the N9 as a feature phone doesn’t serve justice to the masterpiece the N9 is.

As you can see, the info around the internet suggest that we might see a lot of new Nokia devices at MWC2019. The long-awaited Nokia 9 should be HMD’s main attraction and if the camera proves to be better than anything on the market, HMD will really have a unique selling point that they can capitalize on. The competition is the stiffest ever, so it will be interesting to see if the Home of Nokia Devices can continue the growth and once again gather the most attention.

You can follow Nokia Mobile’s #GetSmart event on 24th Sunday here.