Update: A new hands on review of the Nokia 9 has now surfaced online from someone who was allowed to use the phone before it was even announced.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Nokia flagship, but a new one is rumored to be on the way, and it’s running Android.
HMD Global - the company that’s revived the Nokia name on smartphones – has so far unleashed a handful of entry-level and mid-range phones, like the Nokia 5, but higher-end handsets are likely to launch before the year is out, including one known as the Nokia 9, which could be positioned to compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8.
We’re already starting to hear rumors about it, all of which you’ll find below along with our expert analysis, and as soon as we hear anything new we’ll add it to this article.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A Nokia Android flagship
- When is it out? Probably mid-to-late 2017
- What will it cost? It will have a high-end price
Nokia 9 release date
- A June, July or August announcement
- Not hitting stores until at least September
According to an anonymous source the phone will be announced in either late July or early August, so a bit later than the June rumor, but in the same ballpark.
However, that may not be when you’ll actually be able to buy it, with the source saying to expect it on shelves towards the end of quarter 3 or later, which means September is probably the earliest you’d be able to buy the Nokia 9 if this is accurate.
TechRadar’s take: The Nokia 9 launching near the end of the year would make sense, as we haven’t heard that much about it yet, and the phone supposedly uses the Snapdragon 835 – a chipset which isn’t likely to be widely available for at least a few months.
Nokia 9 screen
- A 5.5-inch QHD OLED screen
We've heard multiple sources say the screen on the Nokia 9 will be a 5.5-inch QHD display.
QHD typically means 1440 x 2560 and it’s the standard flagship screen resolution, though some phones, such as the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, are now pushing above that. 5.5 inches is a fairly typical size too – not a small screen but not quite a phablet either.
The possible use of OLED is perhaps the most interesting aspect. This is the screen tech used by Samsung on many of its phones, but one which isn’t widely used elsewhere.
It tends to deliver more vibrant, but potentially less natural colors than an LCD display, and could soon be the tech of choice among flagship makers, with Apple also rumored to be using it in upcoming handsets.
TechRadar’s take: We only have one screen rumor and it comes from an anonymous source with nothing to back it up, so we’d take it with a huge helping of salt, that said, it seems believable.
Nokia 9 design
- An all-metal body
- Water resistance
One source claims the Nokia 9 will have an all-metal body, while another says to expect it to be IP68 certified, which would make it dust proof and water resistant to 1.5 meters deep for up to 30 minutes.
There’s no confirmed news on what it will actually look like, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s essentially a more premium version of the metal-clad Nokia 6. One leak we've also seen shows an early prototype of the phone, but it's encased in a plastic case to stop us seeing the full design.
A couple of sketches have leaked out of the supply chain too, but we're not 100 percent sure of their authenticity for now - they show a Nokia 9 with very narrow bezels top and bottom, just like several other 2017 flagships.
TechRadar’s take: Metal makes sense since it’s already been used on the lower-end Nokia 6, while water resistance is believable, as it’s a feature found on a number of high-end handsets.
Nokia 9 camera
- A dual-lens 22MP Carl Zeiss camera
- A 12MP front-facing camera
The earliest Nokia 9 rumors pointed to a dual-lens camera, and a more recent leak backs that up, with a tipster claiming it will have a 22MP dual-lens Carl Zeiss snapper on the back and a 12MP camera on the front.
Both of those cameras have more megapixels than most phones, though they’re not quite a match for the 41MP Nokia Lumia 1020.
Of course megapixels aren’t everything and most flagships have settled on rear cameras of around 12MP, so it remains to be seen how good the cameras will actually be.
There’s also no information yet on what the second lens will be used for – it could be used for optical zoom for example, or for wide-angle shots, or something else entirely.
TechRadar’s take: The couple of rumors we’ve heard both point to a dual-lens camera, so that may well be what we get, especially as a number of flagships are now adding an extra lens.
Nokia 9 battery
- A huge 3,800mAh battery
- Fast charging
There’s only one battery rumor so far, and it points to a 3,800mAh juice pack with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.
That would make it far bigger than most smartphone batteries, with even something like the LG G6 having just a 3,300mAh battery.
TechRadar’s take: A 3,800mAh battery seems surprisingly large for a 5.5-inch phone, so we’re not totally convinced by that, but it’s possible. Fast charging is likely, as that’s become a fairly standard flagship feature.
Nokia 9 OS and power
- A Snapdragon 835 chipset
- Either 4GB or 6GB of RAM
- Android 7 or later software
Sources currently seem in agreement that the Nokia 9 will have a Snapdragon 835 chipset and 6GB of RAM – though we’re only talking about two sources here. That would make for a high-end spec, topping even the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and the US version of the Samsung Galaxy S8, both of which use that chip but have just 4GB of RAM.
One of the sources adds that the Nokia 9 will also have an Adreno 540 GPU and run Android Nougat 7.1.2, which at time of writing is the latest Android release, but may not be by the time the phone actually launches.
We wouldn’t expect to see any kind of overlay, as HMD Global has stuck with stock Android on its current crop of handsets.
TechRadar’s take: The rumored specs would put the Nokia 9 at the very top-end, but they’re not unbelievable, especially as HMD will want to make a splash with its first flagship phone.
Nokia 9 other features
- 3D audio recording
- An iris scanner
- A fingerprint scanner
According to one source the Nokia 9 will have both an iris scanner and a fingerprint scanner, much like the Galaxy S8.
The same – anonymous and unproven – source claims that it will have OZO audio enhancements. This is a Nokia tech which creates a surround sound effect when you’re recording audio. It lets smartphones with four microphones record 3D audio, those with three capture spatial 360 audio, and those with two capture spatial audio.
However, the source doesn’t mention how many mics the Nokia 9 has, so even if this is true we don’t know how heavily it will be able to take advantage of the tech.
TechRadar’s take: None of these rumors are unbelievable, but as they all come from the same unproven source we wouldn’t read too much into them.
Nokia 9 price
- A $699 (roughly £640/AU$1,060) price
- May cost more for higher storage capacities
Only one tipster has mentioned the possible price of the Nokia 9 so far and they reckon it’s going to be expensive, coming in at $699 in the US (around £565/AU$935) and 749 euros (roughly £640/AU$1,060).
Direct conversions are rarely accurate, but of the two the second one is likely to be closer to the UK and Australian price, as phone prices tend to be higher internationally than you’d get with a direct conversion from the US price.
The source also mentioned that the Nokia 9 will come in both 64GB and 128GB varieties. They didn’t specify which of those these prices are for, but we’d assume this is the starting price, in which case you’d get 64GB for that.
TechRadar’s take: If these prices are accurate the Nokia 9 will cost almost as much as the Samsung Galaxy S8, but that’s possible, as from what we’ve heard so far it sounds every bit as high-end.
- At the other end of the scale there's the new Nokia 3310 (2017)