Nokia 8 Sirocco: HMD Global's new flagship unveiled - TechCentral

Nokia 8 Sirocco: HMD Global’s new flagship unveiled

The new Nokia line-up. From left, the Nokia 1, the Nokia 8 Sirocco, the Nokia 7 Plus, the new Nokia 6 and the Nokia 8810 4G feature phone

HMD Global, which has the global licence to make Nokia-branded phones, has launched a new flagship device, the Nokia Sirocco, which will go on sale in April.

The Android Oreo-powered smartphone, which has curved Gorilla Glass 5 that the company claims can withstand the pressure of three grown men standing on it, is the latest high-end phone from HMD Global, which is slowly reintroducing the Nokia brand to the world after Microsoft’s failed acquisition of the once-iconic smartphone brand.

The Nokia 8 Sirocco looks very good on paper. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which is paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. It has a 5.5-inch 2K OLED display and is virtually bezel-less, meaning its footprint is smaller than the previous flagship phone from HMD Global, the Nokia 8, introduced in 2017.

The Sirocco name is taken from Nokia’s former high-end feature phones and is meant to appeal to consumers who have affinity for the brand. The new device has a recommended retail price of €749 (about R10 600 before import duties, VAT and other taxes).

The new phone, which has two rear-facing cameras — a 12-megapixel “ultrasensitive” lens paired with a 13-megapixel telephoto lens — features wireless charging, IP67 water and dust resistance as well as fast charging and wireless charging. It offer 360-degree “special audio” and three “quality” microphones that “can record distortion-free sound at the loudest rock concert”, HMD Global said ahead of the Sunday launch of the device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The company also announced a range of mid-range and entry-level devices, including:

  • The Nokia 1, an entry-level device with 4G connectivity and running Google’s new lightweight Android Go operating system. The phone, which has interchangeable covers, will be available in April for US$85 (about R1 000 before taxes). It is meant to target some of the estimated 1.3bn feature phone users who haven’t yet upgraded to a smartphone. The Nokia 1 has 8GB storage and 1GB RAM, and supports SD cards up to 256GB in size.
  • A refresh of the Nokia 6, introduced at Mobile World Congress in 2017. The fingerprint reader on the updated device has moved to the rear, increasing to the screen-to-body ratio. The phone has a 5.5-inch 1080p display and has Zeiss optics on the camera for the first time. HMD claims the new phone is 50% faster than its predecessor and uses a Snapdragon 630 processor paired with 3GB of RAM. It also supports USB-C fast charging. It will cost €279 (R3 700 before taxes).
  • The Nokia 7 Plus, which has the same rear-facing cameras as the Sirocco along with a 6-inch 1080p display in 18:9 aspect ratio and a face unlock feature. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 660 processor and has 4GB of RAM. It has a huge 3 800mAh battery and will go on sale in April for €399 (R5 700 before taxes). It will come in black/copper and white/copper variants.
  • The Nokia 8110, a reinvention of the classic Nokia feature phone of the same name (see story).

HMD Global says it wants to make Nokia one of the world’s leading smartphone brands again. It sold 70m devices in 2017.  — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media

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