Long before the Nokia 8 was launched, there was a lot of talk of there being two flagship handsets. Some went as far as saying that the Nokia 8 was going to launch in two sizes which didn't happen: we were given one Nokia 8 and the rumour cycle was reset.
But as soon as the Nokia 8 had launched, we started to hear that there was another flagship phone, the fabled Nokia 9.
We've unpicked the rumours to present everything we know about the Nokia 9 so far - and there's a lot of chatter.
Nokia 9: The name
The Nokia 9 name first appeared early in 2017, where Nokia 8 and Nokia 9 were used interchangeably. At the time, no one knew which number Nokia would be giving to its flagship phone, although the rumours started to favour the Nokia 8, which eventually launched in August 2017.
The Nokia 9 name persisted, however, with a number of rumours pinned to the device that didn't match those of the Nokia 8 device that launched. Some assumed there was a Nokia 8 Plus version, but again, that wasn't the case.
We heard more concrete confirmation of the Nokia 9 name as soon as the Nokia 8 was launched. Nokia 9 exists and it's another flagship level device coming from HMD Global - and plenty of people are talking about it.
There definitely is another Nokia smartphone coming soon from HMD Global apart from the Nokia 2. No idea when, but there is.— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) September 20, 2017
We've also seen two devices get certified in China, one thought to be the new low-end Nokia 2, the other the flagship Nokia 9. It has now also passed through the FCC, with model number TA-1005 and the codename Avatar.
Nokia 9: Design and build
- 140.9 (!) x 72.9 x 7.5mm, camera bump 8.9mm rumoured
- Metal core, glass rear
- IP67 proofing rumoured
Thanks to a huge leak shared by Indian site Compareraja working in cahoots with @onleaks, we now have a good idea of what this phone will look like.
These 3D renders appear to show that the Nokia 9 will adopt a design that's similar to Samsung, with a metal core and what looks like glass front and back, although the source doesn't explicitly state that. The rumoured dimensions are given, however, at 140.9 x 72.9 x 7.5mm with the camera bump expanding it to 8.9mm.
However, length of the phone - 140.9mm - is almost certainly not correct. That's way too small for a 5.5-inch display, with the 5.5-inch 16:9 HTC U11 measuring 153.9mm. At the moment it's not clear if the Nokia 9 will be a 16:9 or 18:9 phone. The 5.8-inch 18:9.5 Galaxy S8 measures 148.9mm so again, we doubt that a 5.5-inch 18:9.5 phone would get as small as 140.9mm - especially not hanging onto that 72.9mm width. So take those measurements with a pinch of salt.
For context: these types of leaks are often based on specs passed to case manufactures so that accessories can be designed. Previous renders from @onleaks have often been close to the final design, so there's some positivity here.
We've also now seen what appears to be an assembly line leak through Chinese website Baidu. This shows the rear panel of the Nokia 9 essentially backing up these design leaks.
HMD Global sources talking to Russian website 4Pda claim that the Nokia 9 will be more premium than the Nokia 8 and a shift to glass might be what that means. It might also be that the Nokia 9 adds some degree of waterproofing.
The sketch above shared on Twitter appears to show a curved display and a design that's not too far removed from those on Compareraja, so there's perhaps a degree of corroboration here.
Nokia 9: Display
- 5.5-inch display
- 2560 x 1440 pixels, Quad HD
In the early days of Nokia 9 rumours, we'd often see this handset mentioned when there was talk of a 5.5 or 5.7-inch display. The Nokia 8 landed with a 5.3-inch display, so it makes sense to suggest that the Nokia 9 is going to be larger. With the Nokia 9 passing through the FCC, it's confirmed that it carries a 5.5-inch display.
Rumours suggest a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution and there was mention of the Nokia 9 having an OLED display. These OLED rumours were early in 2017 and now that we have the FCC filing, we can see that the OLED display rumour is true.
Compareraja say that it's going to have a 5.5-inch OLED display - perhaps curved to the edges, but the 16:9 aspect raises some doubts: with the fingerprint scanner appearing on the rear of some of these renders - and minimal bezel on the front - it's much more likely to be 2880 x 1440 pixels or similar for an 18:9 aspect.
At the moment the display aspect isn't clear, with Chinese media reporting that it will stick at 16:9. No further details are confirmed by the FCC, other than the 5.5-inch size.
Nokia 9: Hardware specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB RAM
- 64 or 128GB storage + microSD
- 3250mAh battery with Quick Charge
About as soon as the Snapdragon 835 was launched, it was associated with the Nokia flagship. It found its way into the Nokia 8 paired with 4GB RAM, although there's also another version that subsequently launched with 6GB RAM.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform has been the default choice for a number of 2017 flagship devices and it's confirmed for the Nokia 9, thanks to the FCC filing. There's no mention of the RAM - rumours suggested 6GB - but there is reference to 128GB storage. We'll assume there's also microSD.
On the battery front, the FCC says that this phone has a 3250mAh battery and as this is a Snapdragon phone, it will almost certainly feature Quick Charge technology.
Leaks have also revealed a rear fingerprint scanner.
Nokia 9: Cameras
- Dual rear Zeiss cameras confirmed
- 12+13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front
- Could feature wide-angle and zoom lenses
- Vertically stacked
Nokia confirmed a partnership with Zeiss that came to fruition in the Nokia 8 and we'd expect to see this appearing on the Nokia 9 too. Nokia 8 features a dual camera system pairing an RGB sensor with a monochrome sensor, the aim being to boost picture quality.
Rumours of the Nokia 9 originally pointed to a 22-megapixel rear camera, but appears to be more of a wishlist, because the FCC filing for the Nokia 9 reveals that it actually as a pairing of a 12 and 13-megapixel camera on the rear, and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. No other details are revealed, but other leaks have made some suggestions there.
Some interesting details have surfaced in an app update for Nokia's camera. Buried within the app are some details about telephoto and wide-angle lenses. So far, none of the Nokia phones have offered this. Perhaps the Nokia 9 is going to make an about turn and use its lenses to offer these features, rather than the RGB/mono pairing on the Nokia 8.
Some manufacturers refer to "wide" and "tele" and it might just be that Nokia is going to do the same and either have a wide-angle lens like the LG V30 or a zoom like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. There's also the chance that Nokia is going to attempt to do both.
There's also talk from some corners about dual front cameras. Nokia isn't alone in following this line - several others have been looking at this idea too. This has appeared in a device render that looks high quality, but we've little to corroborate it with.
Nokia 9: Release date and price
- €749 rumoured
The price we've seen rumoured so far sits at €749 a fair jump up from the €599 price of the Nokia 8.
The Nokia 9 was first rumoured to be appearing in 2017, but with the end of the year approaching, it's all eyes on 2018. There has been mention of a 19 January launch date according to Chinese media. This is likely to be a global event, so there's every chance that in the UK it would be an evening launch on Thursday 18 January.
We've also seen 3C certification for a device called the TA-1042 in China and it passing through the FCC as TA-1005, suggesting slightly different versions for different markets. This certification suggest that it's nearing launch.
A January launch means that Nokia gets its device out before the storm of Mobile World Congress 2018. It may well be just planning a launch in China and then hit MWC for the rest of the world at the end of February.