A full Android experience doesn’t need to be an expensive product, and the return of Nokia is going to show how in the 3.1.
Nokia has certainly changed in the past decade. The once king of phones that wouldn’t break no matter how often you dropped them has become something else past its relationship with Microsoft, and now that HMD is using the brand, the phones arriving with “Nokia” stamped on the front are definitely trying to not only survive, but really make an impact in the marketplace.
Stretching across the landscape, Nokia’s new handsets range from budget to mid-range to premium, but there’s certainly a solid thwack of an attempt happening in the first of those, and that continues this week with one more.
Nokia’s 3.1 is the latest, delivering a handset with a metal frame and glass display, protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3, not exactly the current standard of Gorilla Glass 5, but still resistant enough for scratches and such.
The phone itself is more a play to make mid-range metal mobiles a little friendlier to the budget part of the market, and while the $249 price point achieves that, the focus here is on a pure Android experience with a connection to Google updates that makes it always up to date.
That means the Nokia 3.1 is part of Google’s Android One, a version of the operating system that is about as stock as stock could be, and is everything Google thinks its operating system should be with none of the overlays on top from other brands, and all of the updates.
In fact, those updates are guaranteed to be there for two years, with three years of monthly security patches also provided as part of the package.
“We believe everyone should have access to the most useful, dependable and future-proof smartphones in the world,” said Mark Trundle, Country Manager for HMD Global in Australia, the maker of Nokia’s phones.
“With the new Nokia 3.1, we’ve crafted a perfect balance between power and design in our most affordable Android One smartphone to date,” he said. “Aussies can experience the latest Google innovations like Google Assistant and Google Photos, as well as enjoy more storage and battery-maximising features that continue the Nokia legacy.”
The phone will also offer a big 18:9 full-view screen, though it will run it at a high-def only resolution, which is no doubt one of the drawbacks of a mid-range phone. Likewise, the performance will probably be acceptable, but not great, with MediaTek inside, offering eight cores, though not likely to be the speed demon other eight-core chips can be.
However, there’s also a 13 megapixel camera at the back, an 8 megapixel up front, and room to upgrade the 16GB storage with a microSD slot, with the phone coming in at $249.
Retailers like Harvey Norman and JB HiFi will be getting the Nokia 3.1, where it will compete with other phones when it arrives in August.