HMD Global was expected to launch the Nokia 8 Pro or Nokia 9 flagship smartphone at MWC 2018. However, the Finnish company showed Nokia 8 Sirocco, a redesigned version of its existing Nokia 8 instead at the largest mobile event in Barcelona. While the launch of Nokia 8 Sirocco cast a shadow on the launch of Nokia 9, it does seem to be scheduled for the second half of this year.
According to NPU, the Nokia 9 launch is still on the cards for HMD Global, and even the Nokia 8 Pro could be announced by the company. In terms of specifications, the Nokia 8 Pro is said to be an upgrade with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, and could be launched sometime in August 2018.
The specifications of Nokia 9 is not known just yet, but it is also likely to launch with Snapdragon 845 mobile platform. Nokia 9, however, is said to be a camera-centric smartphone that could feature the rumored penta-lens camera setup patented by Zeiss. It is also said to feature an in-display fingerprint sensor, which only Vivo has managed to implement on its smartphone for now.
At MWC 2018, HMD Global embraced Android One, the stock Android program from Google. It said all phones from Nokia will be part of Android One program, but it is not clear whether Nokia 8 Pro and Nokia 9 will also ship with Android One branding. To recall, Android One was meant to be designed for lower-end smartphones, but Google seems to pushing Android Go devices while Android One is basically partner devices running stock Android.
There is no doubt that HMD Global has made a great start in its very first year as the licensee of Nokia brand. The Finnish startup has managed to surpass one percent market share at the end of Q4 2017, according to Counterpoint Research. It is now a bigger brand than OnePlus, HTC, LG to name a few. It has also refreshed its offerings to include more models.
With the launch of Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco, it was widely anticipated that the company would launch a Snapdragon 845-powered flagship smartphone. It now seems that the rumored device will arrive sometime at the end of this year.