Nokia planning Nexus-style experience with fast updates

Nokia was once known as the ruler of all cellphones, but since the rise of Android and iOS it got lost in the dust and struggled to stay relevant. Through various buyouts and attempts with Microsoft Windows Phone, Nokia continued to produce great devices, although it could never regain the popularity or success it once had. Now that HMD-owned Nokia has stepped into the Android ring, it’s promising an experience that very well could attract consumers in this very competitive market. Could Nokia unofficially become the new Nexus?

During MWC 2017, Nokia officially unveiled its three new Android smartphones: Nokia 6, Nokia 5, and Nokia 3. The Nokia 6 is essentially the flagship of the group, with its 5.5-inch 1080p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, 3GB of RAM and a 15-megapixel main camera. The Nokia 5 and Nokia 3 take incremental steps down in specs and price from there, but all three phones are very low cost with the Nokia 6 coming in at around $243 USD.

What sets these phones apart from the rest is that they come with pure Android running at 7.1.1 Nougat. Nokia gets big thumbs up for this as many more premium and expensive phones from other manufacturers are still being released with Android 7.0 with the hope of an update soon. According to a recent announcement by HMD it looks like Nokia is not planning to stop there.

Android is no stranger to the word “fragmentation,” with thousands of manufacturers producing smartphones with Google’s OS, yet the distribution of software versions is all over the place with the vast majority several versions behind with no update in sight. HMD knows this and according to Per Ekman, HMD Global’s Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, Nokia is promising a stock Android experience with almost Nexus update speed and maintaining low prices for the phones themselves.

One of the big reasons many consumers fail to see timely updates to their version of Android is the heavy skinning and unique features that manufacturers layer on top of the stock experience to have their devices stand out in the crowded marketplace. This is all good and can provide excellent software experiences, but since software updates tend to include crucial security fixes, being stuck on the same OS version for months or even longer is simply unacceptable.

Keeping Android at a stock or near-stock level would allow Nokia to reduce the amount of internal testing required for new versions and push out that new version, in theory, much quicker than phones with a lot of proprietary features. This is very encouraging, but it will be interesting to see if Nokia can actually follow through with this. Manufacturers have promised timely updates in the past with very mixed results, but if this promise can be maintained it will certainly set Nokia apart from the competition.

Does this announcement make you more likely to consider Nokia for your next smartphone?

Source: Know Your Mobile

About the Author: Kevin Arnold

Kevin has been obsessed with technology ever since the days of playing with commands in MS-DOS. As a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology where he studied a combination of New Media Programming and Photography, Kevin lives in New York City where he works as a photo retoucher. His first "smartphone" was the good old LG Voyager with its slide-out physical keyboard. The first Android device Kevin owned was the now-infamous HTC Thunderbolt, which he still has in a drawer somewhere. Currently rocking both the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, Kevin has a (un)healthy obsession with phones and has owned more than he can remember. When he's not shopping for a new phone, Kevin enjoys lots of food and wine, video games, astronomy, and the Big Apple.

  • Richard Dennis

    How Nexus like? Internal raidos, works on Gfi?

  • Jason Rayner

    If this actually happens, nokia comes to US with Nokia 5&6 with stock Android and updates, not to mention competitive pricing, then I’m done. Nokia take my money!

  • solis

    Fast software updates would entice me for sure. We’ll see if they deliver this Nexus-like software update experience on the recently announced models.

  • CF542

    This would be amazing so I hope they follow through. I’ve given up on the big names like LG and Samsung because I’m over the custom interface and slow updates. Give me pure Android any day, please.

  • Ap4ss3rby

    Stock android: one reason I do custom ROMs

  • komrath

    Nah, I think I will just get OnePlus or Honor next time I need a new phone :-) Or iPhone, skipping the iCloud nonsense, using Google services that work often much nicer on iOS than Android :/

  • Mail carrier

    Bluetooth 5.0 and water resistance. If Nokia gets those it’ll go to the top of the list. Keep a flat screen! Have a large battery! I prefer all of these working outdoors, not sold on the durability of curved screen phones.

  • Gavin Davies

    I would be definitely be interested, if Nokia kept there phones stock. Also if they could release drivers for the custom ROM’s and keep it easy to route there devices. I think they would be a big hit like OnePlus.

    However OnePlus has got more expensive over time hence i think there is a gap in the bottom and mid market for them.

  • picoFarad

    I’ve been missing Nokia’s simplicity and build quality. Match that with a naked Android and I’m sold. I’m clinging to my 5x, but also bracing for bootloop.