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Nokia Announces First Android-Powered Smartphone — But It’ll Only Be Sold in China

Nokia Announces First Android-Powered Smartphone — But It’ll Only Be Sold in China
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Nokia has officially returned to the phone market with the announcement of its first Android smartphone.

But before you get excited about reliving some early-aughts nostalgia, keep in mind that the newest Nokia-branded device will only be available in China through online retailer JD.com. HMD Global, the Finnish company that won the exclusive Nokia licensing rights, said that the growing market is a strategically important one where “premium design and quality is highly valued by consumers.”

“It is no coincidence that we have chosen to bring our first Android device to China with a long-term partner,” the company wrote in a press release. “Launching our first smartphone device, in such a strategically important market, with JD.com, a trusted online retailer, marks a signal of intent.”

The Nokia 6, as the phone is called, seems like a pretty standard Android offering: it’ll run on Android Nougat, and will have a Snapdragon 430 processor and a X6 LTE modem. The phone will come outfitted with 4 gigabytes of RAM and 64 gigabytes of internal storage, according to The Verge.

The device’s 5.5-inch display will have a hybrid in-cell screen wrapped in 2.5D Gorilla Glass. As far as cameras, the Nokia 6 will have a 16-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front camera. The entire construction of the device is machined from individual blocks of aluminum, promising both aesthetics and structural integrity, according to HMD’s press release.

Sure, nothing about the device is incredibly revolutionary — it’s solidly a mid-range phone with certain features, like its aluminum unibody design, expected to set it a notch above its competitors. But it could be an important step for HMD Global, and a good test-of-the-waters for the Nokia brand in a market that’s still in its growth stages, according to Forbes.

HMD Global bought the licensing rights to start producing Nokia-branded smartphones in May 2016. Previously, Nokia had sold the majority of their business to Microsoft in 2014. Unlike Microsoft’s Nokia Lumia series, which runs on Windows OS, the Nokia 6 will be able to tap into the vast Android app economy.

Still, before you give up all hope for Nokia smartphones coming to your market, the press release notes that the Nokia 6 is only a “first step,” and the company promises that there is more to come this year. It’s not too much of a stretch to guess that we’ll see Nokia-branded Android smartphones in the U.S. and Europe in the near future.

HMD Global said that the phone will be released in “early 2017.” It’ll retail for about $250 U.S. Dollars, or ¥1699 in local currency.

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