There has been a huge gaping vacuum in the smartphone world for years. More specifically, the Android smartphone world. And Nokia Mobile aka HMD Global has set out to fill it. Nokia Mobile wants to be the Apple of Android smartphones. I will explain it.
Year after year, Android smartphone enthusiasts watch Apple iPhone users upgrade their one, two and sometimes three year old iPhones with the latest iOS updates. Those older iPhones get the latest features that iOS has to offer. And they get them quickly too.
But no matter how expensive the Android smartphones, whether it was a Samsung, an LG, a Sony Xperia, or any other Android manufacturer, owners of Android smartphones often waited in vain for software updates.
The Problem Of Woeful Android Updates
It is so bad that it is now over 6 months since Android 8 Oreo rolled out and only about 1% of Android smartphones have been updated. It is a pain for woke/conscious users and a persistent nightmare for Google.
Google, tired of the trend, acquired Motorola Mobile years ago to put some pressure on other brands to provide speedy updates. But on the grand scale, Motorola itself didn’t live up to that expectation and was eventually sold to Lenovo. Sadly, today’s Moto brand is not living up to the promise of fast Android software updates. Plus, only a handful of its models ever get on the update list.
Google’s Nexus lineup took up the challenge and had success with the updates. The Nexus line was dropped and replaced with the Pixel product line. Google’s Pixel smartphones have been a delight to their owners. They have rave reviews, and they get speedy software updates.
But you have to pay through your nose to get one. Like the iPhone; right? Right. But they are not selling like the iPhone is. Which means the statistics for Android updates won’t change significantly.
Nokia Mobile, The New Defender Of Android
Nokia is now back in the mobile business after a few years hiatus. Guess who is making smartphones with great build quality, offering stock Android and promising speedy software updates? Yes; Nokia Mobile.
HMD Global says that no matter the model you buy, they will provide software updates for at least two years after launch. And guess what? Those Nokia phones are selling way better than Google Pixel phones.
For years, Nokia championed Microsoft’s mobile software and struggled to make money from it. Now, Nokia is a champion of Google’s mobile software and are selling in droves. What is the attraction?
– solid build quality
– pure Android software
– speedy software updates
– good cameras
The new crop of Nokia smartphones are slightly pricey – they tend to cost a little bit above the competition. They are not expensive in their classes; just a tad costlier. But then, none of the competition offers the package that Nokia is offering right now.
From where I stand, it looks like fair game. If you want well built, good looking Android smartphones with good performance, good cameras, that you can afford, and that will get the next two major versions of Android, the brand to look to is Nokia.
If you do not love stock Android, you must look elsewhere, but you won’t get that full package. No other Android brand offers two years of software updates on all their models. Most will update just their flagship products to the next version of Android and that is it.
Infinix Mobility and TECNO do that. It is really nice to see that Oreo is rolling out to the Infinix Note 4. Samsung, Huawei, LG, Sony, Xiaomi and others do that as well. You are promised the next major update to the version it is launched with. Sometimes, Samsung provides two major updates for its flagship devices.
In Practice, How Fast Have Nokia’s Updates Been?
The Nokia 8 launched with Android 7 in October and got Oreo the next month. Nokia 7 was launched same month as the 8, and got Oreo in January 2018. Nokia 3 got Oreo in April 2018. Nokia 5 and 6 are on Oreo too already. Nokia 2 is the only Nokia smartphone from 2017 that is still running Android 7 Nougat but is billed to get the Go version of Android 8 Oreo soon.
Some of these models are already on Oreo 8.1 and all of them have up-to-date security software patches. I am typing this article on the Nokia 7 Plus, and it already is updated to Oreo 8.1 and has April security patch.
Pretty impressive. No-one else has pulled off this sort of commitment to software updates for Android smartphones before. Not even Motorola in its hey days.
Nokia Mobile, The Apple Of Android?
Google must be tripping itself ecstatic over Nokia Mobile. They have wanted this for years. And now, a notable brand with the financial muscles is on the same page with them.
Looking for budget smartphones that get updated to newer versions of Android software is like looking for a needle in a giant haystack. Yet, Nokia has pulled it off with the Nokia 3 and 5, and partly with the Nokia 2. And these are well-built budget devixes too. SokiS hardware and software.
While other brands struggle to deliver updates to their flagships, Nokia has pulled it off amazingly well. 2017’s LG G6 is yet to get Oreo as I type this. Samsung Galaxy S8 only recently got it. The Nokia 8 has had it since November.
Hats off to HMD Global for combining solid hardware with up-to-date, secure software. It is a new day for Android.
Nokia wants to be the Apple for Android, and it looks like a solid game plan. HMD Global sold 8.4 million Nokia smartphones in 2017, their first year of operation. That isi0 to 8.4m. The 2018 lineup of Nokia smartphones is looking even better than last year’s. Here is to more solid hardware and speedy updates.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.