Recent mobile headlines may have you pulling a Jumanji and frantically asking “What year is it?” as brands like BlackBerry and Nokia reveal some of their latest creations. The BlackBerry KEYone officially released today in the U.S. and Canada, but Nokia also announced via Twitter that their newest smartphones are slated to release “by the end of June”.
Nokia, once one of the biggest brands in mobile, fizzled out after opting to go with Windows Phone rather than Android, which ended up being bad news for Nokia, but oddly enough the Nokia brand was probably the only thing keeping Windows Phone afloat for as long as it did. Things went downhill when Microsoft acquired Nokia’s phone assets back in 2013 and streamlined the Nokia Lumia into the Microsoft Lumia. After licensing the handset brand from Microsoft and striking some deals with Google and Foxconn, Nokia reentered the smartphone market once again earlier this year with the Nokia 3, 5, and 6. All three devices range between low-end to mid-range, and Nokia has yet to unveil a true flagship.
Although unconfirmed, the hope is that will change by the end of June.
Nokia is one of the few companies that doesn’t appear to have many solid leaks regarding upcoming devices, and this latest Nokia device doesn’t seem to be any different. Names like Nokia P1, Nokia 8, and Nokia 9 have floated around for some time, but nothing seems concrete (with the exception of the Nokia 3310 reboot). As such, it can be fun to speculate what, exactly, Nokia’s next handset might be like.
Personally, I’m hoping for a touch of Nokia’s direction with Windows Phone. I distinctly remember thinking that its bright colors and plastic build was somewhat tacky, but after owning a couple myself, I absolutely fell in love with the look and feel of their Lumia line. Its bright and bold color scheme in a typical sea of black, white, and silver offerings was refreshing, and its “tanky” polycarbonate build may not have looked premium, but my Lumia devices were one of the select few smartphones I ever felt comfortable using without a case.
Nokia’s Lumias were also well-known for a couple of other traits, such as their excellent cameras with Carl Zeiss lenses and being among the first smartphones to support wireless charging, a feature that I still consider important if, for nothing else, to serve as a backup method of charging.
Aside from its notoriously tanky reputation, most of those revered features in the Nokia Lumia devices have since been adopted by other smartphones: more colors are offered now, although still typically not as bold, and wireless charging appears to be more common than not. Cameras are exceptionally competitive across the board for flagships. Despite those features becoming common, though, I still think there’s room for Nokia to make a name for itself once again in the smartphone space, even among highly competitive flagships, if that happens to be the case.
Honestly, I feel that Nokia has very little work to do to make its name stand out once again. A tanky and bold build is a given expectation, but outside of that, I feel that Nokia could succeed by adding these key features as well: long battery life, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD support, bold colors, wireless charging, waterproofing, 4GB of RAM, and a competitive rear-facing camera. Additionally, I think people would absolutely flip their lid if Nokia brought back removable batteries, but considering the 3, 5, and 6 all feature non-removable batteries, I’m not holding my breath over that one.
I think Nokia would do best by making a more modest flagship with some sacrifices made to the processor and price tag, similar to the BlackBerry KEYone. I don’t think competing directly with Samsung and Apple at the moment would work well, but I think the brand’s reputation is still solid enough to make some headway, at least.
Of course, all of this is just speculation. I myself am pretty much sold on the BlackBerry KEYone as my next device if I decide to upgrade, but I would still love to see Nokia make a successful comeback.
Readers, what are your hopes for the next Nokia device? Are you holding out until the end of June to see what they come up with? Let us know in the comments below!