On the heels of its launch of its first Nokia feature phones last month, HMD Global on Sunday unveiled its first smartphone under the Nokia moniker.
Simply dubbed the Nokia 6, the Android Nougat-based phone features a 5.5-inch screen with full HD resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with X6 LTE modem, 64 GB of storage, dual sound amplifiers, a 16 mp rear camera, and an 8 mp front camera. According to HMD, it takes just under an hour to machine the aluminum unibody of each Nokia 6 from a block of 6000 series aluminum and more than ten hours to put the casing through two separate anodizing processes.
The device is set to be available exclusively in China through JD.com in early 2017 for around $245 (1699 Chinese yuan). And the company indicated the single-market initial release is no accident.
In its press release, HMD said the decision to launch in China is “a reflection of the desire to meet the real world needs of consumers in different markets around the world.” With eMarketer forecasts indicating the number of smartphone users in China is expected to jump from 552 million in 2016 to 593 million this year, HMD said China is a “strategically important market where premium design and quality is highly valued by consumers.”
“China is the largest and most competitive smartphone market in the world,” HMD Global Vice President for Greater China Nestor Xu said. “It is no coincidence that we have chosen to bring our first Android device to China with a long-term partner. JD.com is known for its upwardly mobile customer base and it has for many years believed in the Nokia brand and sold millions of our products to Chinese customers. Launching our first smartphone device, in such a strategically important market, with JD.com a trusted online retailer marks a signal of intent.”
The Nokia 6 launch comes around a month after HMD launched its first two Nokia feature phones in mid-December. Those devices, the Nokia 150 and 150 Dual SIM, include 2.4-inch screens, VGA cameras with LED flash, and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a slot for Micro SD cards that can support up to 32 GB of storage.