Sanmeet Singh Kochhar, general manager for the Middle East at HMD Globa, holds Nokia 9 PureView. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

HMD Global, makers of Nokia phones, is aiming to differentiate from the crowd with the right combination of hardware and software on its new devices.

The Finnish company launched five models – Nokia 9 PureView, Nokia 1 Plus, Nokia 3.2, Nokia 4.2 and a Nokia 210 feature phone - at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, on Sunday.

Sanmeet Singh Kochhar, general manager for the Middle East at HMD Global, told Gulf News that Nokia 9 is the first smartphone in the industry with five rear cameras of 12MP with f/1.8 aperture each and it is the first device that uses all the five Zeiss cameras when taking pictures. It has three monochromatic and two colour lenses.

Annette Zimmermann, research vice-president at Gartner, told Gulf News that camera is one feature where a consumer will really value so much.

Nokia 210 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

If brands improve and enhance the camera feature, then she said that consumers will notice it and brands have been trying to differentiate from the crowd with camera specs and features.

However, she said that volume is still coming from the cheap feature phones for Nokia rather than smartphones.

Kochhar said 2018 has been a very good year for the company when compared to 2017.

“2019 is going to be a defining year for us and we have the right devices to make an impact. We are present at more than 2,000 stores across the UAE,” he said.

However, Zimmermann said that it does not look positive for Nokia this year, as their smartphones are expensive for the same technology offered by other brands.

“HMD is still banking on the nostalgic Nokia brand to grow but things have changed so much now and I think the brand is not strong enough for a premium price now. They should lower the prices to see growth,” she said.

HMD has a very close relationship with Google and is a Google partner.

“Our story has been around the pure and secure Android and this is going to play a big role as we move along. The hardware is getting commoditized and very difficult to differentiate the specs. So, software is going to play an increasing role in future and that is going to differentiate between us and the competition,” Kochhar said.

Moreover, he said that everyone wants a piece of the Android 9 Pie because you get a lot of enhancements on the device and AI capabilities by offering an experience which gets better over time such as the adaptive battery, adaptive brightness, Google Lens and digital wellbeing, etc.

He added that most of the devices that were bought two years ago have got Pie update.

“We launched devices on Android Nougat and later updated to Oreo and now Pie. We are first OEM to move devices to Pie on Qualcomm 630, 636, 660 and MediaTek Helio P60 processors. Chipmaker Qualcomm worked on all of our devices to make it work properly,” he said.

People who have bought Nokia 5, launched in June 2017, are using the Pie OS and are able to reap the benefits of AI, he said.

According to a recent study, he said that 70 per cent of the consumers have to change their device due to software not working or battery is dying or the phone is hanging and these issues are due to the software.

“These issues can be enhanced by a software update which many manufacturers are not able to do so. Our devices get two-year OS updates. From May, all Android One devices will have a dedicated Google Assistant button,” he said.

Nokia 9 PureView

Sanmeet Singh Kochhar displays Nokia 9 PureView Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

• A six-inch Quad-HD+ AMOLED display with 1,440 x 2,960 resolution
• Powered by 2.8GHz Qualcomm 845 processor
• Houses 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage capacity
• The microSD card supports up to 512GB.
• The front sports 20MP Zeiss camera
• The image and pictures are captured in RAW format as default rather than JPEG
• The screen houses in-display fingerprint sensor
• 3,320mAh battery also support wireless fast charging
• It is priced at Dh2,299 and availability in the middle of March.

Nokia 1 Plus

Nokia 1 plus Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

• 5.45-inch screen
• 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory
• 2,500mah battery
• 5MP front and 8MP rear camera
• 1.5GHz MediaTek 6739 processor
• Nano 3D patent back
• Android Go OS (lighter version of Google Play)
• Priced at Dh299 and availability in the middle of March

Nokia 3.2

Nokia 3.2 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

• 6.26-inch display
• Waterdrop design
• Polycarbonate body
• 4,000mAh battery
• Notification light on power button
• Qualcomm 429 processor
• 2GB/3G of RAM and 16/32GB of ROM
• 13MP rear and 5MP front cameras
• Back fingerprint sensor
• Price not available but availability in May

Nokia 4.2

Nokia 4.2 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

• 5.71-inch display
• Waterdrop design
• Dedicated Google Assistant button
• Notification light on power button
• 8MP front and 13MP and 2MP depth-sensing back cameras
• Qualcomm 439 processor
• 3GB of RAM and 32GB of ROM
• 3,000mAh battery
• Rear fingerprint sensor
• Price not available but availability by end of April