Nokia is making its way back to smartphones, first announcing that it's going to be embracing Android and reaffirming that position in December on formation of the new organisation, and in January, announcing its first device.
Unlike other brands that are more predictable, Nokia is starting fresh. There was a lot of rumour and speculation in the run up to the first launch device, the Nokia 6, but we've now got full confirmation of this device, possibly known as the Nokia D1C.
We're breaking down how it unfolded and running through the confirmed specs for Nokia's first Android phone.
Nokia Android phones: Two families rumoured
- Mid-range Nokia D1C - potentially launched as the Nokia 6
- Flagship Nokia P1
For Nokia's 2017 line-up of phones, there were rumours that Nokia was working on two (or more) handset lines.
There were some codenames floating around - like Nokia D1C - although the rumoured specs of this device and the leaked designs, all closely match the Nokia 6.
Then there's the Nokia P1, which is thought to be the flagship.
Nokia 6 design
- Aluminium body, anodised
- 154 x 75.8 x 7.85mm (8.4mm with camera bump)
The biggest thing outlined by HMD Global when announcing the launch of the Nokia 6 was talk about the process and the quality of the build. The company details that it takes 55 minutes to machine the Nokia 6 from a block of 6000 series aluminium, before it's anodised twice and polished five times, taking 10 hours to complete. It's the sort of attention to manufacture that we've become used to from companies like HTC or Apple.
There's 2.5D glass on the top, giving nice soft curves to the edges of the display, leading into the bodywork. There's a central fingerprint scanner beneath the display, flanked with back and recent app buttons.
One of the interesting details is the antenna lines which stick to the ends of the phone very much like the iPhone 7. There's a 3.5mm headphone socket, but this handset used Micro-USB rather than the newer USB Type-C.
One of the interesting details is that this Nokia phone offers dual speakers with amplifiers that claim do be able to create a Dolby Atmos effect.
We're left with no doubt that this is a premium quality metal unibody handset.
Nokia 6: Hardware specs
- 1920 x 1080 pixels, 5.5 inches, 403ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, 4GB RAM
- 64GB storage
The hardware specs for the rumoured Nokia D1C closely align with the confirmed specs for the Nokia 6, with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset. There's 4GB of RAM onboard and 64GB of storage, both of which are acceptably high, even if the chipset is towards the mid-range. There is a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
The 5.5-inch display offers a full HD resolution, which again sees this as a mid-range device, but it's a resolution that's worked at this size for companies like Huawei or OnePlus. It's difficult to judge the quality without spending some time with this phone, but we suspect it will be a compelling offering.
There's a 3000mAh battery, which sounds like a great capacity for a device of this size.
Nokia 6: Cameras
- 16-megapixel F/2.0 rear camera with 1.0µm pixels, PDAF
- 8-megapixel F/2.0 front camera with 1.12µm pixels
The Nokia 6 has a 16-megapixel rear camera, offering phase detection autofocus, so it should be nice and fast. The pixels are reported to be 1.0µm, which is a little small compared to some of the 2016 flagship devices, meaning that they might not be as well equipped to capture light, which could affect the quality. The F/2.0 aperture should help with this though.
The camera is 8-megapixels and takes a small bump to 1.12µm, again with F/2.0 aperture. It reports a 84 degree field of view, so it's fairly high resolution and wide aperture, so should be good for selfies.
On the camera front, the Nokia 6 offers automatic scene recognition and an exclusive camera app. We're yet to see much of this camera app, so we've no idea how it works.
Nokia 6: Software
- Android Nougat confirmed
Despite jumping off the Symbian train and falling into the Windows Phone quagmire, one of the details that Nokia has publicly confirmed is that it's working on Android devices. The Nokia 6 launches on Android 7 Nougat. There have been no other details announced about software customisation - although the devices in the images released by Nokia have customised icons.
Nokia did release a launcher for Android called Z Launcher. This launcher would let you scribble to find apps to save you digging into the apps tray to get what you want, so perhaps that will be a feature of the new phone.
Nokia 6 release date
- Confirmed for early 2017
- China exclusive for Nokia 6
- HMD has a stand at MWC 2017
Nokia has confirmed that the Nokia 6 will be exclusive to JD.com in China, at 1699CNY, with no word on when plans for the rest of the world will be announced.
For Nokia to make a big bang in the rest of the world, the most obvious time to do so would be at Mobile World Congress 2017, in February. The company has stated that it will be targeting H1 2017, i.e., the first half of 2017, for its global devices.
Fortunately, we already know that HMD will be at MWC, because the company will have a stand there.