Nokia’s first-ever appearance at IFA was an important one.
Nokia’s about to have a huge year.
On one front, the infrastructure side of its business is getting a boost from the trade war between the US and China. In the race to build the world’s 5G networks, Nokia now has a lead as Huawei is hit with restrictions.
It’s also been busy on the product side – Nokia is releasing a varied and exciting range of phones. From high-end flagship phones with impressive specs, to simple feature phones.
However, before I get into these phones, I need to mention that only some models will make it to New Zealand, and right now Nokia isn’t clear on which ones they’ll be.
Nokia has a solid line-up of new feature phones. What’s a feature phone? It’s what phones were in the late 90s and early 2000s, before the advent of smartphones. No QWERTY keyboards, (usually) no touchscreens, no app store – simple phones to perform simple tasks.
In fact, the spiel for these phones sounded like something straight out of the 90s. Room for 20GB of MP3s! A two-inch screen! Battery life measured in days!
The feature phone range is a continuation of Nokia’s callback to its past glory, while also filling a niche in the market other companies seem loathe to even look at. At Consumer I’m always receiving inquiries asking for “just a simple phone that does texting and calling”, and that’s what these feature phones are, with just a few extras.
The Nokia 110 is a colourful little all-round phone designed for kids and seniors. The Nokia 2720 Flip is a flip-phone (and my favourite in the range), made for those who have motor impairments (or those who just love the retro look). Finally, there’s the Nokia 800 Tough, a nearly indestructible phone.
The Tough can be dropped from a height of 1.8m and still work. At the launch event, they had someone dropping one over and over from that height (and often higher) and offering it to anyone else to do the same. It can last under water for 30 minutes at a depth of more than a metre. The design team joked you could throw it out the window into traffic and it’d be fine.
These basic phones were balanced by the new Nokia 6.2 and 7.2 – two beautiful high-end smartphones with “Scandinavian design principles”. I was able to sit down with the design team to discuss what this actually meant and how they design from start to finish – but that was a long and involved conversation, so I’ll save it for a separate post.
These bigger phones are typical smartphones, with multiple cameras and giant screens. They also run “pure” Android, this means no added bloatware and the fastest security updates.
All in all, it was an impressive launch from the Finnish company. Especially for their first ever trip to IFA.