With just 33% smartphone penetration, all eyes are set on India as the country holds the biggest window of opportunity for all smartphone vendors to grow phenomenally. Probably, that’s the reason why Nokia has been deliberately trying to establish its market in both ‘feature’ phone and smartphone segments.
The first wave of devices released last year included – Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6, and Nokia 8 – all under the Android hood. On 28th of last month, HMD Global officially launched Nokia 1 (INR 5499) with Android Go Edition in India. In yet another effort to revive Nokia in Indian smartphone market, the company released the rest of its lineup – Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 6 (2018) and Nokia 8 Sirocco – today.
It was in MWC 2018, the Finnish startup HMD Global – who owns the brand name Nokia an sell devices under it – first revealed these devices. Exactly after a month, the company has launched all the three devices in India.
‘Nuff said, let’s take a look at what these devices have got under the hood –
- Nokia 6 (2018): It is the updated version of the handset launched last year. Aluminium clad with Snapdragon 630 SoC, sports a 5.5″ full HD IPS display, 3GB/4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB of storage, 16MP rear and 8MP front cameras, Bluetooth 5.0 and 3000 mAh battery with fast charging. This mid-range device is price tagged with INR 16,999 and starts selling from April 6.
- Nokia 7 Plus: The device features a 6.0″ full HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Under the hood, it has Snapdragon 660 Soc with 4GB of RAM and 64GB inbuilt storage. It has a 12MP dual camera setup at the back. Sadly, no OIS. It also sports a 16MP selfie camera. Nokia 7 Plus is equipped with 360 spatial audio system for better surround sound. HMD Global has decided to sell Nokia 7 Plus INR 25,999.
- Nokia 8 Sirocco: It is the company’s flagship for the first half of 2018. It has P-OLED 5.5″ display with 16:9 form factor. Under the hood, it has Snapdragon 835 Soc along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, also, it has 3260mAh battery with Quick Charge 4.0. It has a 12MP dual rear camera setup with Carl Zeiss optics and dual tone LED flash. The telephoto lens offers 2X optical zoom and the primary lens offers OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). The front and back glass panels are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The device will debut at INR 49,999.
If you wish to have a comparative glance of all the three Nokia devices launched today, you can visit this page.
All the three devices will run on Android One with additional features like face unlock and AI-assisted camera modes. Also, all the three smartphones are machined out of series 6000 Aluminium.
Will Nokia 8 Sirocco/Nokia 7 Plus Win Back Lost Ground
Pekka Rentala, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, considers that India is among ‘the top 3 countries‘ for HMD Global.
In mid-2016, Microsoft sold the manufacturing, distribution and sales rights of Nokia phones to HMD Global and Foxconn – the leader in smartphone manufacturing, also manufactures iPhone for Apple. Since then both HMD global and Foxconn have made a concerted attempt to revamp Nokia in India. Needless to say, Microsoft failed to make a fortune with Nokia when the device was based on Windows platform. The outdated Lumia handsets caught some gaze initially but failed to impress in the long run.
The commitment of HMD to review Nokia is clearly visible from the growing sales figures of Nokia smartphones. The sales of Nokia smartphones grew from just 100k units in Q1 2017 to whopping 4.4 million units in Q4 2017. From virtually nothing at the beginning of the year, Nokia accounted 1% of global smartphone market by the end of 2017.
The contribution of India, however, to the overall sales of Nokia smartphone is still unclear. And the real test for HMD global will start from the sales of the three Nokia smartphones launched today.
For HMD Global, competing with leading smartphone vendors, likes of Xiaomi and Samsung will be an uphill battle. Xiaomi has penetrated the market with powerful devices tagged with very competitive prices. On the other hand, Samsung and Apple have captured the premium smartphone market by offering the latest technologies and hardware components.
Disappointingly, Nokia branded handsets definitely don’t boast to be the ‘best-specced’ devices. If we ignore the limited new features offered in these devices, the rest is just an iteration of old technology. Besides, the exorbitant prices at which these devices are tagged with are not competitive enough. For instance, Nokia 8 Sirocco, which is price tagged with INR 50,000 (US$775) has to stand against Honor View 10 and the upcoming OnePlus 6. At this price, it seems quite unfair to think that a majority of shoppers will fall for the device made by a relatively lost brand.
Even for the mid-range Nokia 6 (2018), the market is flooded with strong competitors which are offering better value for money.
On the positive side, HMD announced that it will stick to the Android One platform which will help in the faster device updates. The manufacturer has kept its word as all the phones in its portfolio have received timely updates, thanks to the collaborating with Google.
All said and done, HMD Global has made Nokia successful in marking its presence in India – the world’s second-largest smartphone market, but will it be able to turn the tides with its latest lineup? That is yet to be seen in some time. Meanwhile, we would love to know your views on the latest offerings of Nokia, and, given a choice, will you buy any of these as your next smartphone?