Nokia 9 PureView: Specs, release date and rumours
It’s been a long time coming, but the hotly-anticipated Nokia 9 PureView is supposedly just around the corner. Here’s everything we think we know about Nokia’s forthcoming flagship.
Under the charge of HMD Global, Nokia has remained a relevant and successful player in the mobile space, but with its successes namely tied to the affordable and mid-range market, many are curious about what new premium smartphone experiences the company might be cooking up.
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Talk of a successor to its 2018 flagship, the Nokia 8 Sirocco, first cropped up halfway through last year, with Nokia’s own Twitter account teasing a mysterious new device, citing an August 21 reveal.
Unfortunately, the silhouetted handset turned out to be nothing more than the preamble to the Indian release of both the Nokia 5 Plus and 6 Plus. It wasn’t until November of that same year that @OnLeaks and 91Mobiles released renders of a device allegedly based on CAD files of the Nokia 9 PureView, reigniting talk of its arrival.
Nokia 9 PureView – Design
91Mobiles’ images reaffirmed rumours that the phone would pack a distinct five-lens camera array, set against a pillowed glass back – not unlike the one that features on the 8 Sirocco. The 9 also looks to sport a metal frame with inline hardware controls (a power key and volume rocker) and a USB-C port at its base.
Some renders have raised questions around whether or not the next Nokia flagship will feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. Based on the component’s absence from 2018’s Sirocco, it seems unlikely that HMD would bring back the feature for its 2019 top dog, but we won’t know for sure until the phone formally launches.
Following on from 91Mobiles’ imagery, SlashLeaks picked up rendered images (above) of a transparent phone case with cutouts that reinforce the likelihood of a multi-lensed rear camera setup (and a headphone jack).
Separately, Indian tech site MySmartPrice claimed to have acquired a promotional video that not only provides a clearer picture of what the finished handset will look like, but also lists off a number of the Nokia 9 PureView’s most prominent features.
Nokia 9 PureView – Screen
Although recent Nokia phones, such as the Nokia 8.1, have dabbled with a notched display, the Nokia 9 PureView is unlikely to pack one. Every alleged image of the handset so far has shown a more conventional chin and forehead-style bezel, complete with rounded corners (not unlike the Google Pixel 3) and a single front-facing camera.
Although the pillowed (apparently Gorilla Glass) frontage does offer some rounding, the 9 looks to retain a flat face overall, instead of a curved display like the ones found on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, Note 9 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
The Nokia 9 PureView is expected to pack an extended 5.99-inch AMOLED panel with an 18:9 aspect ratio, a 2K resolution, HDR support and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Nokia 9 PureView – Performance and battery
MySmartPrice’s video corroborates the rundown of expected internals cited by a number of other pre-existing rumours. As such, the Nokia 9 PureView is expected to adopt the widely-used Snapdragon 845 chipset, in place of the forthcoming Snapdragon 855 that the majority of 2019’s Android flagships will most likely make use of.
However, there have been rumblings of an updated version of the 9 arriving later in 2019 that not only makes the jump to an 855 SoC, but also integrates 5G support.
In addition, the phone is cited as packing in 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, with a question mark hanging over the possibility of microSD expandability – a feature present on the Nokia 8 but absent from the Sirocco.
As for the battery, we’re hoping that talk of the Nokia 9 PureView boasting a sizeable 4150mAh cell proves to be true, as such a generous capacity could help the PureView compete with current top players with regards to longevity, like the Mate 20 Pro.
The phone’s glass back isn’t just there for cosmetic reasons either, with wireless charging likely to make a return, although there’s no word yet on whether fast 10W charging speeds will be possible.
Nokia 9 PureView – Camera
Even before Nokia’s phones had enough capability to be considered truly ‘smart’, they possessed impressive imaging chops, with Carl Zeiss optics being a regular facet of the photographic proposition that most of the company’s phones brought to the table.
In fact, back in 2017 HMD Global and Carl Zeiss announced that they were again working together on “standard-defining imaging capabilities”, which many have taken to mean the return of a camera-driven smartphone experience; something the company hasn’t yet truly delivered on since its takeover of the Nokia brand.
As for the rest of the photographic imaging experience, the zenith of Nokia’s imaging tech can be attributed to the company’s PureView initiative (see: 2012’s Nokia 808 PureView and 2013’s Nokia Lumia 1020), which in its most basic sense relied on a huge camera sensor in order to pull off some impressive feats of mobile photography.
It now looks as though the Nokia 9 might be the perfect device to mark the return of the PureView name and the pedigree that comes with it. As spotted by Nokiamob and Engadget, HMD reacquired the PureView trademark from former owner Microsoft in August 2018, a fact confirmed by a filing with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
The penta-sensor camera array that we’ve seen in almost every leaked image of the Nokia 9 already comes branded with the Zeiss name, but beyond that, there’s little we know about the underlying hardware. That informative MySmartPrice video above does at least give us some idea of what the phone’s snappers could be capable of.
Users will be able to snap five simultaneous shots, presumably one from each of its rear sensors, likely for depth detection, letting you adjust bokeh, and refocus shots after the fact.
Lossless zoom is also a strong possibility, not unlike the Hybrid Zoom experience on the Mate 20 Pro. More sensors also imply more light for improved low-light photography. HDR shooting and Google Lens integration also appear to be built into the experience too.
Nokia 9 PureView – Release date
As for when the Nokia 9 PureView actually makes its formal debut, a number of predicted dates have already come and gone, with Mobile World Congress now on the cards as the stage for the phone’s official launch event.
As mentioned above, people wrongly assumed that Nokia’s teaser Twitter post citing an August 21 (2018) launch was going to serve as the Nokia 9’s original arrival date. Once that passed us all by, the next big trade show of the year, IFA, which takes place every September, seemed like a suitable time-frame but again, no such luck.
At the turn of the year, 91Mobiles made a return to the rumour mill, citing “sources in Nokia’s distribution channels” who, contrary to our expectations, stated that the phone was destined to make its debut at a special event in Dubai at the end of January.
Following this, a separate launch was then apparently set to be staged in India in February, meaning the phone would be on shelves before MWC 2019 kicked-off on February 25 in Barcelona.
Despite the website’s apparent tip-off surrounding the Nokia 9 PureView’s launch strategy, not long after HMD Global’s Chief Product Officer, Juho Sarvikas posted an excited tweet, inviting Nokia fans to tune in to the company’s “Barcelona MWC showdown on the 24th of Feb”.
If the Nokia 9 PureView’s launch was originally meant to take place earlier in 2019, or even 2018, its delay might have something to do with that distinctive camera array.
Reports from Winfuture.de, citing HMD Global’s marketing manager for Germany, Britta Gerbracht, suggest that Nokia wasn’t happy with the PureView camera system and the results it was producing during development. More time may have been needed to perfect it before the company was ready to push the phone out into the world.
Nokia 9 PureView – Price
As far as pricing is concerned, the Nokia 8 arrived with a relatively competitive price tag of £499, while its capable successor cost a more significant £699.
With the increasingly steep asking prices of many flagship smartphones this past year, paired with the complicated camera setup that the Nokia 9 PureView is expected to deliver, it isn’t a stretch to assume that the phone will cost even more than its 2018 predecessor, perhaps even breaking the £899 barrier.
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