The Nokia 9 flagship smartphone was rumoured last year but never came to fruition and we thought it probably wouldn't happen after we got the stunning Nokia 8 Sirocco.
But now it looks like the Nokia 9 PureView will launch this month. Nokia has so far failed to really make an impact in the flagship phone space, but the Nokia 9 PureView could change all that. It looks like it will offer flagship specs along with a unique camera twist.
Here's everything we know about the Nokia 9 PureView, thought to be codenamed "Beholder".
Release date and price
- Mobile World Congress 2019 launch
- Seems like it will have flagship-level priceing
Nokia has chosen Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as the place to launch the Nokia 9 Pureview. As you can see from the below tweet, the event will be on 24 February. We now know that Nokia's press conference is taking place at 4PM CET, 3PM GMT.
We also believe the event could see the launch of the Nokia 8.1 Plus in addition to the Nokia 9. Will there also be a retro surprise as with the Nokia 3310 and 8810 banana phone that we saw launched in 2017 and 2018 respectively?
We— Juho Sarvikas (@sarvikas) January 25, 2019
would like you to tune into our Barcelona MWC showdown on the 24th of Feb
There's no word at present what the price might be, but aside from the possibility the Nokia 9 this is clearly a flagship-grade handset. The Nokia 8 Sirocco launched at £699, and we suspect the Nokia 9 PureView will go higher - perhaps £799.
There's a lot of competition in this space, however, so pricing will be key.
Nokia 9 design
- Penta lens design on rear
- Deep blue colour in several leaks
- Glass build with curved edges
The Nokia 9 is most striking at the rear where it features a penta-lens camera alongside a flash and another sensor - more on that shortly. The rear of the phone also has curved edges as well as the usual Nokia, Zeiss lens and Android One logos.
The front of the camera doesn't have a notch. The bezels aren't massive, but they are bigger than on many other Android flagships that we've seen launched in 2018 and 2019. And with many phones like the Galaxy S10 opting for a pinhole front-camera arrangement, the bezels are disappearing entirely.
TThis is Nokia 9 (2018) with a Penta-Lens camera. (render based on leaks) pic.twitter.com/gOQA8W08Cj— Ben Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) September 6, 2018
There's no fingerprint scanner on the rear as it's going to be placed under the display, something that we saw a lot of in 2018 and will see more of this year. The construction appears to be glass rather than metal - which has been used in the majority of Nokia Android phones - and the use of glass will enable Qi wireless charging.
ITHome has come by an image of a prototype TA-1094 model - this is the only "live" shot we have of this phone in the wild.
The design was further shown in a leak courtesy of Evan Blass - @evleaks - around the turn of the year. It looks more like an official render than previous appearances of the handset.
One of the important things we see in the reveal from Blass is a clearer image of the front design, showing off that 5.99-inch display with no notch - but those slightly larger top and bottom bezels than rivals. It's not edge-to-edge, but it looks like a quality design.
Nokia 9 PureView "Beholder." HNY pic.twitter.com/x4Kh3anP46— Evan Blass (@evleaks) December 31, 2018
What's missing at the moment are the physical dimensions of this phone. We know the screen size, but we don't know exactly how large this phone is going to be. In early February a press image of the phone leaked via 91Mobiles.
Hardware and specs
- 5.99-inch 2K HDR display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
- Under-display fingerprint scanner
One of the biggest leaks so far on the Nokia 9 PureView is a promo video shared by MySmartPrice. Formatted to be a vertical video, we suspect it's part of HMD Global's social reveal of the new phone. It corroborates many of the design details we mentioned above, while also confirming many of the hardware details.
Firstly, we think the Nokia 9 PureView is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, although there is also a growing amount of noise suggesting it will stick with the last-generation Snapdragon 845. Some rumours are now starting to appear suggesting a future version of the Nokia 9 (or even a successor) could be a 5G handset with the optional X50 5G modem. However, this won't be in the initial model that launches and we reckon it would have a different model name anyway.
The display is confirmed to be 5.99-inches, while the resolution is given at 2K. Nokia hasn't confirmed the pixels, but through some calculations, we estimate that it will be 2880 x 1440p, 537ppi with an 18:9 aspect. Why 18:9? - because there's no notch and that's the aspect of the Nokia 7 Plus, which looks similar.
As we mentioned, the Nokia 9 has an under-display fingerprint scanner confirmed by the leaked video. This is likely to be an optical sensor like those already introduced in other handsets this year, but ultrasonic sensors are set to be increasingly widespread in 2019 and strong rumours are pointing towards the Samsung Galaxy S10 having one.
Chinese 3C Certification shows the Nokia 9 PureView TA-1094 will have a fast charger in the box, supporting charging speeds up to 18W.
A listing on Google's Android Enterprise website also revealed a couple of the Nokia 9 PureView's key specifications. The listing corroborated the 6-inch display, whilst also showing RAM at 4GB, storage at 128GB and the OS as Android 9.
That penta-lens camera
- Penta-lens design
- Dual cameras on the front
Most of the interest, however, is in the five-camera setup on the rear of this phone. It's been the subject of most of the leaks, being the most distinctive thing about the design.
But what will it offer? The video leak we've seen suggests that including five lenses - and these are Zeiss lenses - will offer 10x the light capture. It's not clear what it will offer 10x more light camera than, but that can be achieved by a number of different routes - by having a larger aperture on the camera, a larger sensor - but in this case it looks like it's from having more lenses.
We suspect that Nokia will attempt some sort of auto-bracketing, taking photos at different exposures and combining them for better low-light and HDR photos. Certainly, these things are suggested by the video.
At the moment it's not clear if there will be a zoom lens or wide-angle lens - the focus of Nokia's messaging is more detail, more texture and the ability to refocus post-shooting. Lots of people offer this, but it might be that Nokia will give you five different levels from different photos.
We think the lenes may comprise a standard high-megapixel shooter, a wide-angle lens, a telephoto zoom lens, a depth-of-field camera for portrait mode and possibly a monochrome lens and/or 3D ToF camera.
What's not clear is whether there's actually going to be anything unique: phones like the Pixel 3 prove that a single lens with good processing can do much of what Nokia is talking about - so the jury is out on whether all these lenses will actually make for a better camera.
Nokia 9 and Android One
- Android Pie confirmed
- Updates guaranteed with Android One
At Mobile World Congress 2018, HMD Global committed to Android One - and that's what you get on the Nokia 9 PureView too.
Android One means that the Nokia 9 PureView will be pure Android without any clutter - the only thing that will be changed is the camera app - which you'll need for all those lenses on the back.
The leaked Nokia video also confirmed two years of Android version updates, so that takes you through Android Q and Android R into 2020, with the phone launching on Android 9 Pie, as the Google listing confirms.
We will update this feature as we hear more on the Nokia 9 PureView.