Under the terms of the Microsoft buy out, Nokia is unable to launch a new smartphone until the fourth quarter 2016. This might be a little over eighteen months away in the real world, but in smartphone circles it's between one and two generations newer than the latest devices we're just about to receive. But let me otherwise put this into some perspective: by the time Q4 2016 rolls around, Project Ara will be old news and likely in its second iteration. Samsung will have likely moved their processors to the 10nm die size, which until recently was considered technically impractical! With the above in mind, today's news that Nokia have been testing a model with the designation 1100 is interesting.
The original Nokia 1100 dates back from 2003 and for reference sake, I've included an image of it in the gallery below! It's one of those nearly indestructible Nokia devices, but it's certainly not a smartphone. I do not expect the new Nokia 1100 to look anything like this. The Nokia 1100 model that appeared in the Geekbench website purports to be quite different: this new Nokia 1100 is running Android 5.0 Lollipop and uses the 32-bit, 1.3 GHz, quad core MediaTek MT6582 processor that also appears in Android One devices. This particular processor is limited in its functionality and support: customer devices can have a maximum screen resolution of 720p or 1,280 by 720 pixels, a camera resolution of up to 8MP but it does support 1080p resolution video recording and playback at 30fps.
Nokia, it would appear, are experimenting with technologies, software and devices even though they are unable to release a device. If Nokia were to release a new generation 1100 model, I am sure that it will be based on much newer hardware and I suspect that an engineer took it upon him or herself to test the device, perhaps to purposely remind the technology world that they are still developing handsets and technologies. And this is good news. Microsoft may have bought Nokia's handset business (to ensure that at least one manufacturer continued selling their devices) but the business has retained its cache of engineers. The Nokia N1 tablet looks a very interesting proposition: Nokia have used near-stock Android but used their Z Launcher on top. Nokia have sold each one that they have made in the limited markets that it's been available in so far.
I'm also reminded of Eric Schmidt who, when Nokia decided to go with Microsoft's emerging Windows Phone 7 in February 2011, explained that Google's door would always be open to Nokia if they wanted to switch to Android. What do our readers think? Do you believe this is a tease from Nokia to remind us that they're still in the smartphone game? Are they developing new technologies and do you think we'll see more and more leads in the coming eighteen months? Let us know in the comments below.