HMD Global outlines Android Pie update roadmap for its devices

Among Android device makers, it is the new kid on the block, HMD Global, that has done well so far in terms of keeping its word and delivering updates. Not just that but also delivering the said updates on time.

That is not something we get to say about any Android brand every day since they are notorious for never delivering software updates, least of all to the kind of budget devices that HMD Global makes. When they do commit to providing updates, they are often delayed and doled out in a typical favouristic way – the latest premium devices go first, their predecessors follow and then the rest are left for the dead if they are not lucky to get any crumbs falling from the high table.

So far this year, HMD Global has continued what it started last year – when it was among the very first to roll out Android 9 Pie for its devices with the venerable Nokia 7 Plus going first and others following its footsteps – this year by rolling out Android Pie to the mid-range Nokia 5.1 Plus just the other day. This is largely thanks to HMD Global’s commitment to making minimal alterations to Android and its decision, in 2018, to include all its devices under Google’s Android One program.

In case there are other users of Nokia-branded smartphones from the Finnish company out there whose devices are yet to receive their slice of Android Pie, here’s when they can look forward to that happening:

DeviceUpdate dateStatus
Nokia 5.1 Plus27th December 2018Done
Nokia 6.130th October 2018Done
Nokia 6.1 Plus31st October 2018Done
Nokia 7.127th December 2018Done
Nokia 7 Plus28th September 2018Done
Nokia 818th January 2019Done
Nokia 8 Sirocco9th January 2019Done
Nokia 1Early Q2 2019Pending
Nokia 2.1Q1 2019Done
Nokia 3Early Q2 2019Pending
Nokia 3.1Q1 2019Ongoing
Nokia 3.1 PlusJanuary 2019Done
Nokia 5January 2019Done
Nokia 5.1Q1 2019Rolling out
Nokia 6Q1 2019Done
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One of the features of the Nokia 6 that we liked when we reviewed the device early last year, the sound from its dual speaker setup, is what is standing between it and Android Pie according to HMD Global’s Chief Product Officer, Juho Sarvikas. The company is still working on the device’s Dolby Atmos implementation according to Sarvikas.

The Nokia 3.1 Plus and the Nokia 5 are getting their slice of the pie this week.

As can be noted from the above table, one device is missing. HMD Global had, last year, committed to updating its entire 2017 and 2018 smartphone lineup (basically, all its smartphones) so, it’s interesting to see the Nokia 2, missing from the list.

The Nokia 2 had the misfortune of launching just before Android Go became a thing, something that its predecessor, the Nokia 2.1, took proper advantage of. As a result, its performance often came on the short end of things and, that may have come back to haunt it since its internals just fall short of what one requires of a device that provides a full-blown Android experience. Maybe HMD Global is still working on an update that will bring the Go Edition of Android Pie to it? That is the best hope that users of the device can cling on, for now.

It should be an interesting experience to all users of Nokia devices from 2017 that had a physical home button flanked on either side by capacitive hardware buttons when they encounter the gestures that define Android Pie.

Managing to update all its devices by mid-2019, as the above update roadmap shows, will mean that HMD Global, which was the fastest Android device maker to release Android Oreo (both 8.0 and 8.1) to its devices, will be ready for Android Q, which should be occupying all our time at that time if we are working with a May announcement (at Google I/O 2019).

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