Nokia may as well be our new best friend as far as Android goes if it manages to keep its word. HMD Global, the licensees and current custodians of the Nokia brand, is promising to release the Android 8.0, Oreo, update to all its Android smartphones in due course.
In a tweet, Juho Sarvikas, the HMD Global Chief Product Officer, makes the promise without giving an exact timeline; a wise move given the usual lies device makers tell every time a new flavour of Android is released by Google for PR purposes while not really planning to walk the talk.
Nokia has won plaudits across the board for pairing their well-crafted and designed smartphones with a rarity these days: pure Android. As such, it is able to quickly roll out updates since it does not have to spend eons trying to figure out if those updates conflict with any alterations it may have made to already existing software on the devices, something the competition, with its ugly custom skins on top of Android, has to grapple with.
Since it launched its first Nokia-branded smartphones at the start of the year, HMD Global has joined BlackBerry, another “about-to-die-but-came-back-to-life-thanks-to-Android” device maker, in being first with Android security patch updates every month, something that the well-established Android device makers like Samsung, Huawei, LG, Sony, HTC and others struggle. While some may argue that the two, Nokia and BlackBerry, have a thin device profile to update, their willingness to do so is inspiring and something the rest can emulate.
On Nokia’s part, it has not hesitated to accompany the monthly security patch updates with what matters to most users: upgrades to the latest versions of Android. Of the 4 Nokia smartphones running Android out there (Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6 and the new Nokia 8), only the low-end Nokia 3 was lagging behind as far as updates went and that was to be rectified last month.
At the beginning of the year, HMD Global promised to stick with a 2-year software support schedule, a slight improvement to the standard 18-month timeline deployed by most Android devices makers and which they struggle to follow anyway.
While Nokia fans and Nokia device users will surely be thrilled by this news, the same cannot be said of users of old Sony Mobile Xperia smartphones whose bad news arrived the other day disguised as good news for those who will buy their yet-to-hit-the-market latest smartphones from IFA 2017.
For the Kenyan device buyer, this news means that buying any of the 3 Nokia smartphones currently on sale in the country through telecommunications company Safaricom and other retail outlets, may be the only way to be first in line to experience Android Oreo. We can’t wait to see that happen.