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(Pocket-lint) - Smartphone fans like their specs and in a world where the easiest point of comparison is numbers, some might be surprised to learn that the new Nokia 9 PureView is launching on Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.

The 845 was the flagship platform of 2018; it was in the Google Pixel 3, the OnePlus 6T and a whole load more. We've already seen devices launching on the Snapdragon 855 in 2019 - the Xiaomi Mi 9, for example. So why is HMD Global using old hardware in its new flagship phone? 

It all comes down to the camera.

The Nokia 9 PureView camera system was built in collaboration with Light and Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 845 is in place because of the development that was needed to ensure that the camera data could be processed as efficiently as possible. It's a custom arrangement that's been developed specifically for that five-camera system. 

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It's not just a case of choosing different hardware and swapping one for the other. When Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer at HDM Global, was asked why this was the case - he responded it was because they wanted to launch the phone - and waiting to develop the solution for Snapdragon 855 would mean that they couldn't launch the phone at Mobile World Congress 2019.

Does it matter that it's on older hardware?

Not really no - we've seen so many great devices running Snapdragon 845 that we know the power that Qualcomm offers in this older 800 series. It's made for a great smartphone experience through 2018 and will continue moving forward. Yes, this isn't the very latest, but it is trying to do something different - and that's the most important thing.

Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 23 February 2019.