Last week, speculation started swirling about a Verizon variant of the Nokia 8.3 5G. HMD Global, maker of Nokia-branded Android devices, later released a teaser about a special product launch. Now the phone is official, carrying the distinction of being the first Nokia flagship phone on a major US carrier since the Windows Phone days.
Ever since Nokia was sold to HMD Global back in 2016, the company has taken on a new life. Many of its devices are Android One phones that run stock software with guaranteed updates. Now the company is announcing a special event on September 22 that promises to unveil a new chapter in Nokia history.
Finnish startup HMD Global revived the Nokia brand by marrying the entire smartphone range to the Android One program. With their new identity, Nokia phones have grown popular, particularly in emerging markets where they can piggyback on the legendary brand image. In a bid to keep up with that growth trajectory, HMD Global recently announced that it has raised a total of $230 million from an investor group, including the likes of Google, Qualcomm, and Nokia Technologies.
More and more 5G phones are being released, but only one has truly international support for 5G bands: the Nokia 8.3 5G. First announced in March, the 8.3 5G is making its way stateside in just a few months, meaning we might have a more affordable 5G option soon.
Over the years, HMD Global has shown its commitment to releasing the latest Android updates for even its entry-level models. Many Nokia phones from 2018 are already running Android 10 after its rollout started late last year. Keeping up with that trend, the Finnish brand today released the newest Android flavor for one of its cheapest phones released in 2019—the Nokia 2.2.
The Nokia 7.2 is in direct competition against Google's Pixel 3a, and as such, it needs to offer frequent software updates to users. The phone initially shipped with Android 9 Pie but is now starting to receive the latest OS version.
In today's livestreamed event that was supposed to take place as part of the canceled Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, HMD Global was finally able to unveil its latest Nokia-branded mobile phones. The Nokia 8.3 5G is the world's first global 5G phone, which means it supports bands in every country in which 5G is currently deployed — even the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra can't boast global roaming capabilities. At the same time, the Nokia 5.3, 1.3, and a new roaming data plan from HMD also made their debut.
HMD Global is the manufacturer behind the Nokia brand revival and has created a plethora of well-received Android smartphones ever since that Windows Phone bet didn't work out. With Nokia re-established, the company seems to be searching for the next frontier, and it looks like it wants to start an additional business as a mobile operator. An "HMD Connect" app has silently appeared on the Play Store, and judging from the description and the listing's images, the Finnish company wants to focus its effort on providing data-only plans to those who travel a lot internationally.