HMD Global, the Finnish company with license to sell Nokia-branded phones, has been playing its nostalgia card carefully. It first resurrected the Nokia 3310 and then introduced the Nokia 8110 Matrix phone with a smart feature phone operating system. Now, Google may have inadvertently revealed the next Nokia phone that could be resurrected by the company. At CES 2019, Google had a giant booth outside the Las Vegas Convention Centre to display all the devices that support Google Assistant. In one of the installation there, Google had the smart feature phones powered by KaiOS. While JioPhone and Nokia 8110 4G were present, there was also a third device that looked similar to Nokia N9, the first and only MeeGo powered phone.
The device was spotted by French website Nokians and it definitely makes for an interesting observation. The as-yet-unannounced device is placed in between the Nokia 8110 4G and JioPhone and one can see the Nokia logo even though the image is not very clear. Since Google is listing the device under the category of Google Assistant-supported device, one can say that it is running KaiOS, a modern operating system aimed at feature phone users.
The body and design of the device in question looks like the iconic Nokia N9 and it is even being shown in the cyan color that older Nokia phones were known for. This could only mean that HMD Global could be planning to bring back that the polycarbonate shells that were offered in different colors with this particular device. There is also a door at the top of the device that could be the cover for SIM as well as charging port.
Google has been trying aggressively to challenge Amazon Alexa and at CES 2019, the search giant went all in with its own set of devices and showcasing devices from its partners. While all Android smartphones come with Google Assistant by default, these feature phones running KaiOS are the only other devices to support Google’s digital assistant.
Watch: Nokia 8110 First Look
HMD Global has used the Mobile World Congress as a platform to launch the resurrected version of its older but successful feature phones. With Nokia 3110 and Nokia 8110 4G getting rave reviews, the company might actually introduce a modern Nokia N9 with KaiOS instead of MeeGo. With feature phones still selling in emerging markets like India, where the data connectivity is getting ever cheaper, the phone might actually be able to challenge smartphones with its design and price point.