HMD Global unveiled five new smartphones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) last month, but none of them was powered by the Snapdragon 845 chipset. The Finnish company will reportedly launch two phones running Snapdragon 845 in the second half of this year – Nokia 9 and Nokia 8 Pro. Now a Nokia 9 concept render has emerged out of China that shows what the flagship smartphone would look like with a notch.
The Android herd is rushing to copy the iPhone X’s display notch design. Asus and nearly a dozen other vendors have already unveiled smartphones with a top cutout. LG, OnePlus, Huawei, and others are also set to launch their notched smartphones in the coming months. HDM Global doesn’t want to be left behind, even though it’s fully aware that the notch is a design compromise rather than a sensible feature.
Folks at NokiaPowerUser have learned from sources that the Nokia 9 would have a cutout at the top. The latest concept render shared by Chinese publication ITHome shows an all-screen design with a top notch. The notch appears smaller than it is on Apple’s iPhone X. It still has thin bezels at the bottom with Nokia branding at the bottom right corner. Nokia 9 would be a true flagship with a powerful processor and premium specs.
The Nokia 9 concept has two front cameras, an ear speaker, and a proximity sensor housed within the notch. Icons for battery, cellular connectivity, and time are on the right side of the notch while notifications will likely appear on the left. Though the phone should run Android Oreo out of the box, we can expect it to receive the Android P update by the end of this year.
Google has added native support for the top cutout in Android P, which would ensure that the notch doesn’t hurt the user experience. Unlike the concept image above, the Android P developer preview displays time on the left side of the notch. The concept phone’s display is not curved on the sides. The recently launched Nokia 8 Sirocco has a curved display, so it would be unreasonable for HMD Global to deprive the more premium Nokia 9 of the dual-edge display.
You can also notice the accented colors on the Nokia 9, which we recently saw on the Nokia 7 Plus. The accented colors highlight the power and volume buttons. Though the concept doesn’t show the rear panel, the phone is rumored to have an all-glass back to facilitate wireless charging. NokiaPowerUser recently claimed that the Nokia 9 would feature an in-display fingerprint sensor rather than a rear-mounted one.
Chinese vendor Vivo showcased a smartphone with the in-display fingerprint scanner at the MWC. Vivo uses Synaptics’ Clear ID FS9500 sensors on its smartphone. But the technology makes the device more expensive than it should be, and it isn’t fast enough. So, there is a good chance HMD Global could drop the optical fingerprint scanning to keep costs down. Samsung is still struggling to implement the technology on its flagship smartphones.
Nokia 9 would be powered by the Snapdragon 845, the most powerful processor available to Android vendors right now. It is said to feature a 5.7-inch OLED screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The rumor mill claims that it would be available with 6GB RAM and 64GB/128GB of internal storage. Just like Google Pixel 2 and iPhone X, it would ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack. Customers will have to use Bluetooth headphones or a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter for audio.
Recent reports suggest that Nokia 9 could feature the rumored five-camera setup on the back. HMD Global will likely source the camera lenses from Carl Zeiss. The device is also expected to offer the Bothie feature that lets users take photos and videos with front and back cameras simultaneously. It would also have the OZO Audio 3D technology. It’s worth pointing out that HMD Global hasn’t yet confirmed the existence of Nokia 9.
Sources told NokiaPowerUser recently that the Finnish company was planning to launch the Nokia 9 and Nokia 8 Pro in the third quarter (July-September). Other reports suggest that the Nokia 8 Pro could launch in the summer while the Nokia 9 could be shown off at the IFA show in September. HMD Global is releasing too many phones with minor differences, which could end up confusing potential customers. The Nokia 9 rumors could also hurt the sales of Nokia 8 Sirocco.