Nokia 5.1 now getting a healthy serving of Android 9 Pie

Nokia 5.1 smartphone

HMD Global chief product officer Juho Sarvikas announced on Twitter yesterday morning that the company is now pushing out Android 9 Pie to the Nokia 5.1. That makes the Nokia 5.1 the fourth Nokia smartphone to get Pie this year so far.

Exact details weren’t disclosed, but we’re expecting a phased roll-out over the next few days. We also don’t know how large the download is, though we’re expecting it to be at least one GB — make sure you’re on Wi-Fi before you download.

With Pie, the Nokia 5.1 should now have new system navigation functionality, Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, and App Actions. There isn’t yet a changelog to confirm these features — the Nokia 8’s Pie update excluded Adaptive Battery, so perhaps not every Pie feature is available on the Nokia 5.1.

It’s nice to see HMD Global continually on top of its Pie roll-out — the company came out on top in terms of how quickly it updated a wide swath of its devices by the end of 2018.

According to HMD Global’s Pie timeline, the next Nokia smartphones to get Pie by the end of March are the Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 2.1. Following these devices are the Nokia 3 and Nokia 1, which will get Pie in “early Q2 2019.”

NEXT: Nokia in 2019: Onwards and upwards

The best phones of MWC 2019

MWC 2019 is already coming to a close, but a huge amount of devices debuted during the show. From foldables to 5G, this year’s event saw a lot of innovation in a space many would say has been stagnant. While many amazing devices were shown off at this year’s event, only a few can reign supreme.

These are the best phones of MWC 2019.

Huawei Mate X

While Samsung jumped the MWC gun by announcing the Galaxy Fold days before the annual Barcelona event, Huawei was quick to bite at its heels with the Mate X. With an enormous 8-inch unfolded display and a still fairly massive 6.3-inch main display in its default state, Huawei’s model shows the potential of unfolding your device to give your content a much bigger display to play on.

Huawei’s model has no notch of any kind, instead opting to mount the cameras on a small grip on the side of the device. This solves multiple problems, making the phone easier to hold unfolded and also letting someone having their photo taken see their image on the other side of the phone.

It may seem strange not to include Samsung’s Galaxy Fold on the list, but we actually got to touch the Mate X at MWC this year. The experience made us stop thinking of this device as just a weird concept and accept that it is actually a unique and interesting product.

The Galaxy Fold may very well be equally interesting. Without actually seeing and touching the device outside of a glass box on a show floor, we’re reserving judgement until we can test it in full.

Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10 Plus

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 series wasn’t technically unveiled at MWC 2019, but clearly the company wanted reviewers to experience the device in the beautiful and challenging conditions of MWC 2019 Barcelona. Samsung unveiled the device just a day before most of us got on planes headed to the event, so while it didn’t hold a press event at the actual show, we think the devices still deserves a mention.

We’re still working hard on our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, but our initial impressions have been incredibly positive. Samsung has been refining the design of these devices for almost a decade now, and the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus feel like the apex of the company’s ethos.

With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in the base model, this is one of the best devices on the market from a pure power perspective. Add that Samsung has maintained all the bells and whistles like wireless charging (and reverse wireless!), IP68 water and dust resistance and even a headphone jack, and you’ve got a phone that already firmly secures a spot as one of the best phones of 2019.

We don’t won’t to go too in depth on this device since our full review is coming shortly, but it only makes sense for this device to be on our list of the best devices of MWC 2019.

Nokia 9 PureView

The Nokia 9 PureView has been leaked and rumored for quite a long time, but it still surprised us with its innovative penta-camera array and relatively low price. While specs might indicate this device is a top of the line 2018 flagship, the unique features and competitive price make it a lot more interesting.

The phone’s three monochrome cameras mean it can capture an astounding amount of detail — almost three times more than a standard RGB camera sensor. We saw how powerful monochrome sensors can be on the Huawei P20 Pro, but with three sensors it’s anyone’s guess how amazing the camera on this device will be. This device can capture 1200 layers of depth, compared to the standard three to seven captured in most smartphones, which means it could theoretically rival a traditional DSLR or mirrorless camera system.

We’re eagerly waiting to review this device, but our hands-on time indicates it could be a sleeper hit. We’ve always adored devices in the Android One program due to their simplified software, and Nokia has continued to surprise us with delightful experiences since its resurgence with HMD Global.

Sony Xperia 1

While Sony has had a hard time selling mobile devices recently, the company has always tried hard to create phones showcasing the best it has to offer. With a 4K 10-bit HDR display tuned by the Bravia team and a triple-camera system developed alongside the Sony Alpha team, we’re excited to see what Sony can deliver in the Xperia 1.

At our briefing for the device, Sony told us it scrapped the “XZ” naming scheme to indicate it was completely reimagining what its devices should be. Arguably the biggest design change is the phone’s new 21:9 aspect ratio, which Sony thinks is superior for content consumption. While most online content is still 16:9, we have seen a radical shift towards the cinema standard for a lot of content, even some on YouTube.

It’s clear Sony is pushing this idea hard, allowing the device to shoot photos and video in 21:9, as well as record in 24fps, the traditional standard for motion pictures. For someone who wants as many high-end content creation capabilities as they can get, this device looks incredibly exciting.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G logo

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G

While Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 was announced about four months ago, the new 5G variant excites us because of the precedent it sets for the cost of 5G devices. Because 5G is still so new, manufacturers are charging much more for phones that support it. Xiaomi is looking to live up to its legacy of low-cost, high end devices with the Mi Mix 3 5G.

The Mi Mix 3 5G costs just 599 euros, and while we recognize that is a lot of money, the original device already cost ~418 euros. The new device also comes packed with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 chip, which is reason enough to pick it over the original Mi Mix 3. While the baseline storage has been downgraded to 64GB from 128GB, Xiaomi is clearly trying to find every possible corner to cut to keep this phone as affordable as possible.

We loved the slider mechanism and fullscreen display of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and we’re sure the 5G model will be every bit as exciting. Until 5G networks are actually live, you’ll still get 4G speeds, but this an investment into the future of wireless tech. You’re definitely future-proofing with this device.


A number of other interesting and innovative devices were announced at MWC 2019, but these are our top picks this year. Have a different opinion? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments! Let’s get that discourse going!

Sample photo shows off what the Nokia 9 PureView’s camera chops might be capable of

91Mobiles/OnLeaks

Just a day ahead of the Nokia 9 PureView launch, HMD Global head of social media and digital engagement Edoardo Cassina shared a picture presumably taken with the unannounced phone on Instagram.

According to Cassina, professional photographer Konsta Punkka took the picture in Scotland. Cassina didn’t say which Nokia phone took the image, though we can safely assume it was the Nokia 9 PureView due to the timing of the upload and the amount of detail in the photo. HMD Global chief product officer Juho Sarvikas re-shared the picture on Twitter.

Taking a look at the picture itself, it’s easy to get excited over what the Nokia 9 PureView’s rumored five cameras are capable of. Even though the sun is peeking above the mountains in the background, the sky isn’t completely blown out. More impressive is how much detail the shadows exhibit, which lets you better see the rock formation in the middle.

Editor’s Pick

Then again, you can argue that the photo’s hyper-realism gives it an unnatural and artificial feeling. Also keep in mind that Punkka supposedly edited the photo on the phone, though to what extent is unclear. Lastly, neither Cassina or Sarvikas shared a link to the original photo — we only have the compressed image on Instagram to work with.

Regardless, the dynamic range in the photo looks very impressive and will at least give shutterbugs a good foundation to work from.

HMD Global will hold its MWC 2019 press event tomorrow, February 24. The company is expected to officially announce the Nokia 9 PureView during the event.

Nokia 9 PureView press renders look great, but not much we haven’t seen

Press renders of the Nokia 9 PureView. 91mobiles

The Nokia 9 PureView was one of the most hotly-anticipated smartphones of 2018. Unfortunately, the device didn’t launch in 2018, with HMD Global continuously pushing back the device’s release.

Now, it’s 2019, and it finally looks like the Nokia 9 PureView will see the light of day. As a testament to that, a new set of press renders just hit the internet, via 91Mobiles. Although the renders show a really cool phone with some very unique design elements, it’s hard to be that excited for it considering we’ve been seeing leaks for this device for months now.

However, you should judge that for yourself. Check out the renders below:

Press renders of the Nokia 9 PureView.
Press renders of the Nokia 9 PureView.

The star of the show is obviously the penta-lens camera setup — that’s five lenses on the rear along with a flash and an autofocus module. While we won’t know for sure until we see some samples, it’s likely this unique rear camera setup will make the Nokia 9 PureView one of the best mobile shooters on the market when it finally launches.

Editor’s Pick

On the front, you’ll see the thick top and bottom bezels along with some razor-thin side bezels. You’ll also notice there’s no notch or punch-hole camera in sight. You’ll also see a fingerprint icon on the front, suggesting the Nokia 9 will feature an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Overall, the press renders look exactly as we expected. We anticipate HMD Global to finally unveil the Nokia 9 PureView at Mobile World Congress 2019, which starts at the end of this month. Keep your fingers crossed that there won’t be any more delays.

Click here to read about various rumors surrounding the Nokia 9 PureView.

NEXT: Two years on: HMD Global talks about what Nokia has achieved and what’s coming soon

For 2019, expect more Nokia smartphones in the U.S.

Even though HMD Global is one of the fastest-growing smartphone makers in the world, its presence in the U.S. leaves much to be desired. That might change in 2019, when HMD Global looks to expand its presence in the U.S.

In an interview with Digital Trends, HMD chief marketing officer Pekka Rantala acknowledged that the U.S. is “one of the biggest smartphone markets in the world,” and that there are “big boys out there” in the U.S., where companies like Apple and Samsung hold the most mind and market share.

Even with stiff competition, Rantala is “confident” that HMD will increase its business in the U.S. this year.

To that end, HMD head of sales in the Americas Cristian Capelli said the company is in talks with U.S. carriers. Expanding its retail distribution remains HMD’s first goal in the U.S., but Capelli said that carriers will eventually “be the main outlet.”

Editor’s Pick

You can currently buy Nokia smartphones in the U.S. from retailers like B&H, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Micro Center. For HMD to further expand its retail presence would be good news for its bottom line.

Also good news for its bottom line: selling a wider array of Nokia smartphones in the U.S. That’s not to say devices like the Nokia 6.1 and Nokia 7.1 are bad smartphones. It’s just that seeing higher-end smartphones like the Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco officially sold in the U.S. would be nice to see to increase competition and the number of choices.

In the U.S., you have Apple, you have Samsung, and you have everyone else. With the likes of LG and HTC struggling to regain relevance, HMD has a real chance to carve out a large space to call its own in the U.S.

The Nokia 6 (2019) might have a display cutout for the front camera

Nokia 5.1 smartphone

It’s been a little over a year since HMD Global announced the Nokia 6 (2018). With a successor likely on the horizon, Twitter account Nokia Leaks published what could be the successor’s specifications.

According to the leak, the so-called Nokia 6 (2019) — it’s also referred to as the Nokia 6.2 — features a 6.2-inch display with a cutout for the front camera. This could be the same hole-punch display that was featured in recently-leaked Nokia 8.1 Plus renders.

The Nokia 6 (2019) also reportedly features dual rear 16-megapixel cameras with OZO Sound support. OZO Sound uses algorithms and the phone’s microphones to capture 360-degree spatial sound. The leak didn’t say if the Nokia 6 (2019)’s cameras also support OZO Focus and Zoom, which let you track an audio source and isolate audio to correspond to video zoom, respectively.

Editor’s Pick

Under the hood, the Nokia 6 (2019) reportedly sports Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 632 processor and either 4GB or 6GB of RAM. As with the Nokia 6 (2018), the RAM amount might depend on the storage size.

It’s likely that the Nokia 6 (2019) will runs Android 9 Pie out of the box as the phone is probably a part of the Android One program.

Nokia Leaks claims that the Nokia 6 (2019) will first launch in China which might coincide with the Nokia 8.1 Plus’. If true, the Nokia 6 (2019) will possibly be announced either at the end of January or sometime in February. Nokia Leaks also claims that the phone is “definitely coming” to the U.S.

Nokia 5.1 Plus is latest device to get hot slice of Android Pie

The Nokia 5.1 Plus, also known as the Nokia X5. HMD Global/Nokia

HMD Global brought Android Pie to the Nokia 8 last week, but the firm isn’t finished just yet. The Nokia brand licensee has just announced that the update is now heading to the Nokia 5.1 Plus too.

Juho Sarvikas, HMD Global’s chief product officer, confirmed the news on Twitter. Exact details weren’t disclosed, but we’re expecting a phased roll-out over the next few days. Don’t panic if you’re not seeing the update on your device just yet.

Screenshots of the change-log show that the Nokia 5.1 Plus update weighs in at over 1.2GB, and is said to include new system navigation functionality, Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, and “predictive application actions.” The latter sounds like a fancy name for Android Pie’s App Actions feature. Otherwise, you can also expect the December 2018 security patches to be included in this update.

We’re happy to see Adaptive Battery apparently included in the roll-out, especially after this feature didn’t make it into the Nokia 8’s Android Pie update. HMD is reportedly bringing the feature to the 2017 flagship in a later update.

We’re glad to see the Finnish company upgrading its cheaper phones, but Twitter users have voiced their displeasure at the lack of Pie for the Nokia 8 Sirocco. Sarvikas previously said the Sirocco’s update would be “next in line” after the Nokia 8, so we can certainly see why owners of the pseudo-flagship would be upset.

NEXT: New Nokia smartphone hits FCC — Is it another low-end champ?

Nokia 8.1 hands-on: The best yet from HMD Global?

Nokia 8.1

Last week, HMD Global unveiled the Nokia 8.1 in Dubai and today the company launched its latest smartphone in India.

The new Nokia 8.1 is not a successor to the Nokia 8 or Nokia 8 Sirocco in terms of specifications and also isn’t in the same segment as those flagship smartphones. The nomenclature can confuse you, but essentially, the Nokia 8.1 is the successor to the Nokia 7 plus – a segment that the company likes to call as ‘affordable premium’.

I spent some time with the Nokia 8.1 ahead of its launch, and here are my first impressions of the same.

Design

Nokia 8.1

The Nokia 8.1 sports an elegant dual-tone design with 6000-series aluminum frame that packs in a sculpted glass body. The chrome trims, that we’ve seen on Nokia 7 plus before, up the aesthetics of the phone.

The Nokia 8.1 has a definite flair to it without any outlandish design choices, and the glass and metal are sandwiched tastefully.

On the front, there’s a 6.18-inch Full HD+ edge-to-edge display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio and 420ppi. It’s an HDR10-compliant display and has a contrast ratio of 1500:1. With the notch and minimum bezels, the 8.1 manages to pack in a larger display than even the Nokia 7 plus.

It’s a beautiful and bright display – with great legibility outdoors in sun – and the new Adaptive Brightness feature in Android 9 Pie automatically adjusts your settings learning from your screen brightness preferences.

Hardware

The Nokia 8.1 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, Qualcomm’s maiden SoC in its new 700 mobile platform series. Snapdragon 710 fits comfortably between the mid-range 600 and high-end 800 series and aims to make premium smartphone features more accessible via mid-range devices, like the 8.1.

And it succeeds in that very well. The AI-powered Snapdragon 710 is a solid chipset and the Nokia 8.1 could give you the impression of flagship innards in your daily drill. With 4GB of RAM, the smartphone just blazes through anything thrown at it.

There’s 64GB of internal storage, and although it’s expandable by up to 400GB using microSD card, many multimedia hoarders would find it a tad underwhelming.

The Nokia 8.1 packs a 3500mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging.

  Nokia 8.1
Display 6.18-inch (15.70cm) PureDisplay
Full HD+ (2246 x 1080)
18.7:9 aspect ratio
420ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
8 x Kryo 360 CPU
10nm manufacturing process
GPU Adreno 616
RAM 4GB LPPDDR4x
Storage 64GB e-MMC 5.1
Expandable up to 400GB
Cameras Front camera: 20MP

Rear camera:
12MP f/1.8 aperture primary sensor
13MP depth sensor
OIS + EIS
Dual Hi-Cri flash

Battery 3500mAh
18W fast charging
Audio 3.5 mm headphone jack
Single speaker with smart amplifier
Nokia OZO surround sound capture
Connectivity LTE Cat. 6, 2CA, L+L, VoLTE, VoWiFi
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS/AGPS+GLONASS+Beidou
IP Rating None
Sensors mbient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer (G-sensor), E-compass, Gyroscope, Fingerprint sensor (rear), NFC
Software Android 9 Pie
Android One
Dimensions 154.8 x 75.76 x 7.97 mm
180 g
Colors Blue/Silver, Steel/Copper, Iron/Steel

Camera

Nokia 8.1

The Nokia 8.1 sports a 12MP primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture and 1.4 micron pixel size combined with a 13MP depth sensor with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). The Zeiss optics are combined with some AI smarts like automatic scene detection and professional portrait shots, and Nokia’s Pro Camera goodness as well as Dual-Sight mode that allows you to simultaneously shoot and stream from both the cameras.

The phone, interestingly, allows you to capture 4K video at 30fps. Apart from hardware stabilization, there’s also EIS that would help in those videos.

On the front, there’s a 20MP adaptive selfie camera with pixel binning technology that helps you take better shots in dimmer conditions.

Android One

Nokia 8.1

Like other phones in HMD Global’s portfolio, the Nokia 8.1 is an Android One smartphone. It ships with Android 9 Oreo out of the box, and offers a clean, stock Android experience. With phones on Android 8.1 Oreo still launching in December 2018, HMD Global deserves big props for offering one of the most up-to-date Android experience on Nokia phones.

Android One certification means the smartphone will receive two years of guaranteed Android “letter” upgrades and three years of monthly security updates. Nokia 8.1 is also a part of the Android Enterprise Recommended program.

Gallery

Summary

The Nokia 8.1 sits pretty between the mid-range smartphone segment and the ‘flagship killers’. It’s a well-rounded smartphone that tries to punch above the specifications sheet thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor that aces the performance bit.

The cohesive experience and stylish design of the Nokia 8.1 makes me wonder if this is the best Nokia phone since HMD Global brought the brand home. You’d have to look hard to find an issue with this one, really.

The Nokia 8.1 comes in three color variants – Blue/Silver, Steel/Copper, and a new Iron/Steel combination – and will globally retail at 399 Euros ($450).

While the device is going on sale in the Middle East for 1499 UAE Dirhams this week, it is priced at ₹26,999 ($372) in India and will go on sale on Amazon.in and top offline retailers.

4 reasons why HMD Global is a spiritual successor to Nokia, not just a brand licensee

Nokia 7.1 back of both colors

This week marks the second anniversary of the Nokia name’s return to smartphones under HMD Global. We’ve seen a slew of smartphones from HMD since then, ranging from entry-level devices to high-powered flagships.

It’s easy to dismiss HMD Global as a mere pretender and brand licensee. After all, it’s not the real Nokia, right? Here’s why the company should be seen as a proper spiritual successor to Nokia.

A ton of former Nokia employees

HMD Global CEO Florian Seiche.

HMD Global CEO Florian Seiche

One thing you might not know about HMD Global is many of its executives were actually former Nokia employees. Whether it’s current CEO Florian Seiche (a former Nokia Europe executive) or the company’s design directors, there are loads of HMD people with “Nokia” on their resumes.

Heck, it even surprised me when the regional PR people were employees I had previously known when they were at Nokia. Of course, the presence of a large number of former Nokia employees doesn’t guarantee anything. However, there are people at the company who get why consumers bought Nokia phones in the first place.

Nokia design DNA

The back of the Nokia 8 Sirocco.

One of Nokia’s trademarks was its durable and premium designs, and HMD has certainly delivered here. You need only take a look at the Nokia 8 Sirocco to see some Nokia DNA, but even the firm’s low-end devices maintain that philosophy. It’s hardly a surprise, given how some senior Nokia designers work at HMD, but it’s welcome to see anyway.

The company also issued two retro reboots in the Nokia 3310 and Nokia 8110, and it’s tough to argue that they don’t look like something the “real” Nokia would’ve done today. (Now, about those ridiculous prices.)

The Nokia camera experience

If there was one unique selling point for Nokia Lumia phones, it was the camera experience. Back then, Nokia had been teaming up with Carl Zeiss in order to deliver better camera lenses. The firm also offered features like refocusing and cinemagraphs before most other OEMs picked up these features.

Editor’s Pick

Arguably the most influential addition has to be the inclusion of a Pro Camera mode in Lumia phones. This delivered manual adjustments (ISO, shutter speed) before Android supported it. It was all packaged in a very intuitive wheel-based menu.

We’ve seen LG adopt a similar UI for its manual mode in the years that followed, but HMD Global went the whole hog and acquired the patents for the UI last year. Now all Zeiss-equipped HMD Nokia phones have the same Pro Camera UI seen on older Nokia devices.

A focus on audio recording

The front of the Nokia 8.

The Finnish company’s phones, like the Lumia 1520 and Nokia 808, were audio recording beasts. This was due to the multiple high-quality microphones in each phone that delivered solid, distortion-free sound at a time when rival phones struggled with loud audio.

The Nokia 8 shows HMD Global hasn’t forgotten about audio capabilities, featuring three microphones and Nokia’s OZO recording tech for 360-degree surround sound recording. This audio setup has also landed on devices like the Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco, giving you better audio recording in theory than many rival devices.

What more could HMD do?

Nokia 7.1 holding and showing front of phone

HMD Global has focused on the design and camera performance of its devices, showing it understands what made Nokia a popular choice in the first place. The company’s job isn’t done yet, though.

For starters, we know the Finnish company obtained the Pureview name from Microsoft and Nokia earlier this year, suggesting more camera improvements are afoot (although Pureview was a brand name used for Nokia phones rather than a specific technology).

We also have to wonder when we’ll see a device truly manage to combine the best of Nokia and HMD. The Nokia 8 Sirocco demonstrated the firm’s design chops, but we thought the camera experience should’ve been better for the price. HMD has a ways to go to truly succeed Nokia and challenge the likes of Google, Samsung, Huawei, and Apple’s cameras.

Hopefully that oft-rumored penta-lens smartphone isn’t just a gimmick.

NEXT: The best Nokia you can buy

Nokia 7.1 now receiving Android Pie says HMD Global

Nokia 7.1 back glass on window

  • HMD Global is rolling out Android Pie to the Nokia 7.1.
  • The rollout won’t land in all regions simultaneously and may take some weeks to complete.

HMD Global Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas has announced the Android Pie rollout to the Nokia 7.1. Sarvikas mentioned the rollout in a tweet from his personal Twitter account earlier today.

The tweet was accompanied by a short video, though it only gave us a single image of the new software to look at. Sarvikas followed up on this to note that, as always, the rollout would occur in stages; some markets may take longer to receive it than others.

Android Pie introduces gesture controls (you can see the new pill-shaped icon at the bottom of the handset in the video), Adaptive Brightness and Adaptive Battery modes, and more. You can read more about it in our full Android 9.0 review.

Sarvikas didn’t deliver any other details about the specific Nokia 7.1 update, but did respond to one comment regarding HMD’s 2017 lineup to say the update would be rolled out “as fast as possible.”

Check your Nokia 7.1’s update page from today to see if it’s ready to receive the upgrade.