Nokia has so far failed to really make an impact in the flagship phone space, but the Nokia 9 PureView could change all that. It looks to be offering flagship specs along with a unique camera twist.
Here’s everything we know about the Nokia 9 PureView, though to be codenamed “Beholder”.
Release date and price
It now looks like Nokia has chosen Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as the place to launch the Nokia 9 Pureview. As you can see this event will be on 24 Febrary and Nokia’s press conference normally takes place around 4pm CET, 3pm GMT although we don’t yet have a confirmed time.
There’s no word at present what the price might be, but this is clearly a flagship-grade handset. The Nokia 8 Sirocco launched at £699, and we suspect the Nokia 9 PureView will go higher – perhaps £799.
There’s a lot of competition in this space, however, so pricing will be key.
Nokia 9 design
- Penta lens design on rear
- Deep blue colour in several leaks
- Glass build with curved edges
Early leaks give us a render of the Nokia 9 PureView phone via leaker Ben Geskin. This shows a notched display design as well as seven holes in the rear casing for the penta-lens camera. Let’s focus on the rear of the phone to start with.
There’s no fingerprint scanner in the design as its going to be placed under the display, something that we’ve seen a lot of in 2018. The construction appears to be glass rather than metal – which has been used in the majority of Nokia Android phones – and the use of glass enables Qi wireless charging.
In the real world, ITHome has come by an image of a prototype TA-1094 model that looks very similar to the leaked render – this is the only “live” shot we have of this phone in the wild, at the time of writing.
Bigger and more important leaks, however, cement the design and those some courtesy of Evan Blass – @evleaks – which shows off a higher-quality image, looking more like an official render than previous appearances.
One of the important things we see in this reveal is a clearer image of the front design, showing off that 5.99-inch display with no notch – but slightly larger top and bottom bezels than some rivals. It’s not quite edge-to-edge, but it looks like a quality design.
Hardware and specs
- 5.99-inch 2K HDR display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
- Under-display fingerprint scanner
One of the biggest leaks we have on the Nokia 9 PureView is the from a promo video shared by MySmartPrice. Formatted to be a vertical video, we suspect it’s part of HMD Global’s social reveal of the new phone. It corroborates many of the design details we talk about above, while also confirming many of the hardware details.
Firstly, we think the Nokia 9 PureView is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855. Some rumours are now starting to appear that suggest a future version of the Nokia 9 (or even a successor) could be a 5G handset with the optional X50 5G modem. However, this won’t be in the initial model that launches.
The display is confirmed to be 5.99-inches, while the resolution is given at 2K. Nokia hasn’t confirmed the pixels, but through some calculations we estimate that it will be 2880 x 1440p, 537ppi with an 18:9 aspect. Why 18:9? – because there’s no notch and that’s the aspect of the Nokia 7 Plus, which looks similar.
The Nokia 9 also looks set to have an under-display fingerprint scanner and that’s something confirmed by the leaked video. This is likely to be an optical sensor like those already introduced in other handsets this year, but ultrasonic sensors are set to be increasingly widespread in 2019 and strong rumours are also pointing towards the Samsung Galaxy S10 having one.
That penta-lens camera
- Penta-lens design
- Dual cameras on the front
Most of the interest, however, is in the five-camera setup on the rear of this phone. It’s been the subject of most of the leaks, being the most distinctive thing about the design.
But what will it offer? The video leak we’ve seen suggests that including five lenses – and these are Zeiss lenses – will offer 10x the light capture. It’s not clear what it will offer 10x more light camera than, but that can be achieved by a number of different routes – by having a larger aperture on the camera, a larger sensor – but in this case it looks like it’s from having more lenses.
We suspect that Nokia will attempt some sort of auto-bracketing, taking photos at different exposures and combining them for better low-light and HDR photos. Certainly, these things are suggested by the video.
At the moment it’s not clear if there will be a zoom lens or wide-angle lens – the focus of Nokia’s messaging is more detail, more texture and the ability to refocus post-shooting. Lots of people offer this, but it might be that Nokia will give you five different levels from different photos.
What’s not clear is whether there’s actually going to be anything unique: phones like the Pixel 3 prove that a single lens with good processing can do much of what Nokia is talking about – so the jury is out on whether all these lenses will actually make for a better camera.
- Android One
- Android Pie confirmed
At Mobile World Congress 2018, HMD Global committed to Android One – and that’s what you get on the Nokia 9 PureView too.
Android One means that the Nokia 9 PureView will be pure Android without any clutter – the only thing that will be changed is the camera app – which you’ll need for all those lenses on the back.
The leaked Nokia video also confirmed tw years of Android version updates, so that takes you through Android Q and Android R into 2020, with the phone launching on Android 9 Pie.
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