This is the Nokia 8 Sirocco:
This is the Nokia 7 Plus:
And this is take two of a phone I have mixed feelings about:
What do the three devices have in common? Well, for a start, they were all part of the star-studded lineup that included a device that was launched even before yours truly could master the alphabet at the just concluded Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, where the Nokia brand’s current custodian, licensee HMD Global, announced its clear intentions to the world.
Other than that, the three devices now have something else in common: they are now part of the chosen few that Google will happily be recommending to companies for their business use.
Just as MWC was getting underway, Google quietly made public its own list of the first devices under the Android Enterprise Recommended program.
Meant to make it easy for companies to source devices for their staff, the program may prove to be a big boon to device makers whose devices make it to the list.
The initial batch of Android Enterprise Recommended devices only included one device from HMD Global, the Nokia 8. As of then, the Nokia 8 was HMD Global’s best smartphone in the market. However, since the evening of Sunday, February 25th, things have changed. The old order has been disturbed a bit and there’s a new sheriff in town, the Nokia 8 Sirocco.
With a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is the first high-end Android One device. Yes, you read that correctly. You see, the Android One program has received a reboot and it’s no longer that peasantry thing that we expected from Google a few years ago. Rather, in 2018 and beyond, Android One will be what we refer to everything that runs our favourite software in its almost-pure form while still guaranteeing updates for at least two years, something that HMD Global promises to do with the Sirocco and the other two devices. More details on that soon, just keep refreshing the Knowledge Base page.
While the Sirocco may be lacking the Snapdragon 845 processor that every device worth its name in gold this year will be rocking and definitely things like omitting the headphone jack and not packing one of those 18:9 display panels will give the naysayers something to malign it with, HMD Global simply refreshed a good device, last year’s Nokia 8, with it. Notable omissions like the lack of a “taller” display are catered for by its sibling, the Nokia 7 Plus which packs a 6-inch 18:9 Full HD+ LCD panel.
I find the inclusion of the 2018 version of the Nokia 6 (which HMD Global is calling “the new Nokia 6” just like Apple likes confusing us with its naming scheme for iPads and Macs) rather interesting. More often than not, business users are paraded as those who will only be going for the very best that there is, i.e. flagship devices that cost well over Kshs 50,000. The Nokia 6 (2018) is not expected to cost anything more than at least half that. That means up a whole new world for the guys in IT to follow Google’s lead and recommend that the company just get every Joe and Jane a Nokia smartphone.
Google, and indeed, HMD Global, will surely be counting on the two device’s feature set and the promise of timely updates to woo the elusive business customer.