HMD Global’s next entry-level smartphone will be marketed as the Nokia 1 and launch as part of Google’s Android Go program in March, one industry source from Russia said Tuesday. The device is understood to be planned for a global release, with its Russian price tag amounting to 5,990 rubles, or just north of $100 (€85). According to the same report, the Nokia 1 will be equipped with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal flash memory, though it’s still unclear whether a microSD card slot will be part of the package. If HMD’s low-end Android phones released over the course of this year are any indication, the Nokia 1 should support expandable storage.
The upcoming device is said to be equipped with an HD display, i.e. one that features a resolution of 1,280 by 720 pixels amounting to a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9. While the Finnish phone vendor is expected to start transitioning to the 18:9 (2:1) image format in early 2018, it will be beginning that shift with high-end models like the rumored Nokia 9, as was the case with every other original equipment manufacturer in the industry. The company adopted a relatively comprehensive product strategy for the return of Nokia devices to the market, having released a wide variety of offerings spanning all price ranges, from the Premium Nokia 8 and mid-range Nokia 6 to the entry-level Nokia 2 and even feature phones such as the Nokia 3310 (2017). According to some estimates, HMD is on course to sell over ten million smartphones in the first year of the global availability of its Android products and may be able to crack the world’s top ten list of largest OEMs in 2018.
Originally announced at Google I/O 2017, Android Go is a revision of the company’s ubiquitous mobile operating system specifically designed for devices with no more than 1GB of RAM. Whereas standard Android builds are likely to be sluggish on such low-end hardware, Android Go is meant to provide a lightweight experience fueled by its highly optimized app ecosystem. The initiative is hence similar to the Android One project, though it takes a more fundamental approach to optimizing software experiences for low-end hardware and is also available in more territories.