(Pocket-lint) - The Nokia 9 PureView was announced in 2018, introducing an innovative five-camera system driven by Light technology. It promised a breakthrough in image quality, it promised depth control like never before, it promised ... it promised a lot.
The Nokia flagship never really set sail. Release was limited, testing by the media was limited and it quietly slipped into the background. But rumour has it that Nokia is preparing to return with a new Nokia 9 flagship phone.
Nokia 9 release date and price
- Expected launch in H2 2020
Rumours of the Nokia 9 update have come and gone over the past couple of years. Firstly it was said Nokia was going to make a quick update to the core hardware, but that didn't come to pass. More recently, it's been suggested that the Nokia 9.3 could launch in second half of 2020.
The most likely planned venue would be IFA 2020, due to be held in September 2020, but we have no idea whether that trade show will go ahead. However, September is a reasonable timeframe for the launch.
What will the new Nokia flagship be called?
- Nokia 9.2 or Nokia 9.3?
Those following Nokia's naming strategy will know that the company likes to release updated phones as dot increments, so you end up with the Nokia 7.2 for example. In 2020, however, the company jumped from the Nokia 8.1 to the Nokia 8.3. At the time Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer at HMD Global, explained to us that this was keep everything in line and move straight to 5G on the Nokia 8.
There's nothing to suggest that HMD Global would use a different strategy on other devices - to launch anything as a .2 would now date it, so Nokia 9.3 - as widely suggested - looks like the likely name.
Nokia 9 design
Little has actually been said about the design so far. We know that this device is expected to come with a five-camera array on the rear, so we'd expect that physical design to remain similar, but rumours suggest that five-camera system will be entirely different this time around.
Early renders suggested a waterfall display, pushing bezels back and a slightly squared design, although we thing that's unlikely given Nokia's recent devices. There's also the suggestion that the camera array will look a lot more like the Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 8.3 devices.
Beyond that, there's very little information on what it will actually look like, but one concept design has taken rumours and created a version of the device that looks a lot like the Lumia 1020, which gives it come retro charm.
Nokia 9.3 display
- Waterfall display?
- Punch hole camera?
Details are thin on the ground around the size and aspect of the Nokia 9.3 display, but there is the suggestion that it will have a 120Hz refresh rate, something we've seen suggested as "almost confirmed", suggesting a final decision is still to be made by HMD Global. The panel supplier is expected to be LG.
There's been talk of both a punch hole camera and an under display camera, with the latter suggestion the more progressive. Although under display cameras have been prototyped, we're yet to see a production model using this technology. We've seen it suggested a number of times, although it's difficult to establish the reliability of these claims.
Nokia 9.3 hardware and specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 + 5G
Nothing has really been said about the hardware for the new Nokia 9, but it's unlikely to be anything other than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. Whether it's the newer version - the 865+ that's expected to appear in the latter half of 2020, or the version that's currently available, we don't know.
With Nokia already making a step towards 5G with the Nokia 8.3, we'd expect the Nokia 9.3 to be 5G too, using the Qualcomm X55 modem, as many recent smartphones have.
Beyond that, there's very little information about what to expect from the new phone.
Nokia 9.3 cameras
- Conventional camera system
- 64 or 108MP main camera
- OIS on main camera
The Nokia 9 PureView is notable because of the Light system that it used, with multiple sensors capturing information with the focus on image quality. It's thought that Nokia is going to ditch the Light system for a more conventional multi-camera system instead.
That's likely to result in a high-megapixel main camera, telephoto, wide-angle and perhaps macro. We suspect Nokia is looking at the success of companies like Huawei and will follow that path instead.
As for the specifics, there's very little out there. It's said that Samsung's 108-megapixel sensor is in evaluation, as is Sony's 64-megapixel sensor. It's thought that the main camera will have OIS. It has also been reported that the Nokia 9.3 will offer 8K video capture at 30fps, although this feature is still in development.
With Nokia thought to be working with Zeiss again, we're expecting to get some exclusive Zeiss effects from the camera too.
This is probably one of the most appealing things about the Nokia 9.3 PureView - the pure Android software. There aren't many choices for pure Android phones - if you don't take the Pixel 4 XL, there's not a lot out there. This might be about to change with the Moto Edge+ and Nokia certainly plays in the pure Android space.
We'd expect the phone to launch fairly soon after the announcement of Android 11, but it's difficult to know if it will be ready for full release on a new device. That might not happen if we're waiting for the Pixel 5 to launch to debut the new software.
All the Nokia 9.3 rumours and leaks so far
Here's a rundown of all the leaks and rumours for the Nokia 9.3, building up the picture of this forthcoming phone:
13 May 2020: Nokia 9.3 PureView will reportedly shoot 8K video
It's though that the Nokia 9.3 will have some high resolution powers with 8K video at 30fps, along with exclusive Zeiss effects.
4 May 2020: Nokia 9.3 PureView might channel the Lumia 1020
Concept renders give the Nokia 9.3 a distinctly Lumia look - and it looks great. There's very little to say these are going to be what the phone looks like however.
21 April 2020: Under display camera and 120Hz display rumoured again
Another round of rumours suggests that Nokia might be looking to put a camera under the display of the Nokia 9.3, as well as using a 120Hz refresh rate.
14 April 2020: Nokia 9.3 PureView might ditch the complicated camera setup for something simpler
Rumours suggest that Nokia is going to move away from the Light camera system of the original phone and offer something a lot more conventional.
13 April 2020: 10 Nokia 9.3 prototypes in testing, camera configuration undecided
A Nokia leaker on Twitter has suggested that there are multiple versions of the Nokia 9.3 in testing, and wide range of camera configurations are being tested.
It hasn't been decided which of the sensors will be used for video shooting: there is a choice between a 64-megapixel sensor from Sony and a 108-megapixel sensor from Samsung. However, both models on both sensors show impressive results and the final version is almost ready. pic.twitter.com/o5Q9TAt4W0— Nokia anew (@nokia_anew) April 13, 2020
8 April 2020: Nokia 9.3 to launch in H2 2020
Reinforcement of the Nokia launch rumours, now with the suggestion that it will be the Nokia 9.3 following the Nokia 8.3 launch.
30 January 2020: Nokia 9.2 could come with an under-display front camera
Nokia is said to be looking at under-display technology for the front camera on the next Nokia 9.
3 January 2020: Nokia 9.2 flagship update might not happen until late-2020
Reports suggest that Nokia won't be releasing a Nokia 9 update until the second half of 2020.
21 October 2019: Nokia is doing another five-camera phone - will it be 5G, too?
Renders appeared of a new five-camera phone, suggested to be a new version of the Nokia 9. It features a punch hole camera in the waterfall display and a redesigned camera array on the back, fitting the design of other Nokia devices.
29 July 2019: Rumour: 5G Nokia PureView 9.1 coming 2019, processor and camera improvements included
Rumours suggested that Nokia was looking at updating the hardware in the Nokia 9 PureView with a move to Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and a punch hole front camera. The rumoured update never appeared.