Nokia was almost forgotten until the Finnish company decided to make the shift to Android, debuting with a series of budget phones led by the Nokia 6.
The brand, which was at some point owned by Microsoft, is now owned by another Finnish company, HMD Global. These two have forged a magnificent relationship that is set to give birth to a series of devices that emulate what the Google Nexus lineup has been offering Android users.
As you may know, it’s only Google-owned devices that can guarantee you get fast, timely software updates thanks to their use of stock Android OS. By stock OS, it means that there’s nothing to do with the likes of Samsung Touch Wiz, Infinix XOS, Tecno HiOS and lots of other customized skins that come on top of the stock Android OS. It means you get to experience Android OS as Google intends you to, not the way some other developers want it to be like.
One thing that made the Google Nexus lineup such a success, other than running stock Android OS, is the affordable pricing of the phones. A quick comparison between the prices of the Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Pixel, Pixel XL will give you a clear picture of how the Nexus lineup was very affordable yet offering the same top-notch experience. For instance, the Nexus 6P, a 2015 flagship, made its debut with $499 as the price tag. On the other hand, the budget Nexus 5X came in at $379. In 2016, the Pixel was priced at $649 while the Pixel XL came in at $769 – big difference!
This price change did not go down well with Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X users who were looking forward to upgrading their devices. As a result, they have been forced to keep their 2015 handsets, turn to other affordable non-Google devices with heavily customized interfaces and slow updates, or pay the price for the Pixel. Luckily, the phones can be purchased via contracts, but this is not applicable in all markets.
Now, to ease this pain, HMD Global is reportedly planning to come in with Nokia phones that bring back the old Google Nexus feel – stock Android OS, fast updates and very affordable prices. At $250, the Nokia 6 is just one example of these phones and in fact, the device has already received an update to Android 7.1.1 Nougat, even before it is released.
HMD Global VP for Middle East and North African region, Per Ekman, confirmed that the partnership with Google will not only see all Nokia phones come preinstalled with Android OS, but also ship with “the right kind of inputs, including the Google Assistant.” In fact, it is this comment that has led to the increased speculations that the Finnish company will release devices that have Google Nexus-like features.
Where other vendors add skins to the stock Android OS, HMD Global intends to ship Nokia phones with pure Android OS, something that would ensure the fast updates’ goal is achievable. Pure Android OS coupled with fast software updates and competitive pricing sounds much like Google Nexus – and fans of the outgoing Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will for sure have something to smile about, if this is indeed the case.
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