The Nokia 10 was rumored to be coming out in 2019 - as you're reading this in 2021, you can probably tell how that worked out. Two years on, we haven't seen on heard anything about this mythical device.
We've been waiting for a follow-up to the Nokia 9 PureView since its release in early 2019, and as time's gone on, we've slowly been giving up hope to see this rumored phone.
With the news that Nokia owners HMD Global has changed its smartphone naming scheme, the existence of a Nokia 10 seems even less likely than normal, but we're holding out hope. So the Nokia X20, X10, C10 and G10 exist, but they're mostly affordable devices, not the mid-range or premium handset we expected.
The Nokia 9 PureView follow-up was thought to be called the Nokia 9.2, or 9.3, but Nokia 10 was a name we'd also heard, and more recent news makes it seem much more likely that'll be the final release name of the device.
While Nokia is typically a mid-range and budget phone champion, it does release the odd flagship from time to time, and that's exactly what we're expecting the Nokia 10 to be: the new best phone from the company.
The company's foray into 5G devices with the Nokia 8.3 5G gave us a fine but uninspired device; hopefully the Nokia 10 will allow the company to show off some cool new camera tech or other top features.
If you're a Nokia fan or just interested in all the rumored phones, we've compiled the leaked information below, as well as a wish-list for what we want to see in the device.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The new top-end Nokia phone
- When is it out? Probably 2021
- How much will it cost? Likely at least $699 / £549 / AU$980
Nokia 10 release date and price
We were expecting the new Nokia flagship to be shown off at MWC 2020, as HMD Global (the company behind current Nokia phones) had a press conference there on February 23, but due to coronavirus fears the keynotes speech was cancelled.
A long time has passed since then, and rumored release dates came and went. The latest release rumor points to a launch in the first half of 2021, while another fairly recent release date rumor suggests the phone has slipped all the way into the second half of 2021.
Note that the phone could launch as the Nokia 10, but as noted we've also heard that we might see the Nokia 9.2 or Nokia 9.3, an improved version of the Nokia 9 PureView that was launched at MWC 2019. Given Nokia's new naming scheme, there might also be a letter involved.
We possibly could see the Nokia 9.2/9.3 and Nokia 10 (or whatever it lands as) released separately as two different phones, so bear that in mind.
Regarding price, the Nokia 9 PureView launched for $699 / £549 / AU$980, and we'd expect a new 'better' phone to cost at least that much, if not more. Saying that, unless it's a huge upgrade on the older phone we wouldn't expect it to cost a whole lot more.
Nokia 10, Nokia 9.1, Nokia 9.2 or Nokia 9.3?
We're calling the new smartphone the Nokia 10, because its predecessor was the Nokia 9. However, as noted above we've heard a few different names that the brand could use for its new smartphone.
Given that the brand has launched new G, C and X ranges, there's a good chance that the Nokia 10 will have a letter ahead of its number, but we're not sure what letter, and whether the number will still be 10.
There's also the Nokia 9.1, which makes sense in a way, because when the company releases updated smartphones it uses a decimal system – the Nokia 7.1 was succeeded by the Nokia 7.2, for example. This name would suggest the new flagship is just a slightly improved version of the 9 PureView, not an entirely new device.
Then again, we've also heard Nokia could skip 9.1 and leap straight to 9.2, a name possibly chosen to make up for the fact it's been delayed so long. We've even heard it referred to as the Nokia 9.3, so take your pick.
Nokia 10 was posited as a name since it's a step up from Nokia 9, and the 9.-something names all imply the phone will be a small step up from the 9 PureView, rather than a whole new thing.
The name 'Nokia 10' seems increasingly likely as, in October 2020, an official Nokia document leaked that name-dropped the phone. Still, as stated, that could end up being different to the Nokia 9.-something.
That would be quite a bizarre leap, but arguably no more so than, say, Samsung skipping from Galaxy S10 to S20.
Nokia 10 / Nokia 9.3 leaks, rumors and news
We've heard the successor to the Nokia 9 PureView could be a 5G handset. That would make sense, especially now that many phones are 5G - including the company's own Nokia 8.3 5G.
We'd also heard that Nokia's next flagship wouldn't be shown at MWC 2020, so that it could have the high-end Snapdragon 865 processor, as the Nokia 9 had a slightly outdated chipset and it suffered as a result. The cancelling of MWC 2020 made that somewhat of a moot point, though.
The announcement of Nokia 9.2 is likely to be delayed until the autumn due to the replacement of the processor on the Snapdragon 865.#Nokia9 #NokiaMobile #HMD #Nokia2020 pic.twitter.com/DbAFdMFi6vDecember 30, 2019
However, the Snapdragon 865 has been available for ages now, and we're now hearing that the Nokia 10 has been further delayed so that it can include the Snapdragon 888.
More recent leaks suggest the Snapdragon 775 processor, new for 2021, is going to be the chipset that powers the Nokia 10 (or whatever it's called). Along with that it will apparently have a sapphire glass display and a stainless steel frame.
Something else we've heard about the next Nokia phone, possibly the Nokia 10, is that it could have an under-screen selfie camera instead of one housed in a notch or bezel, which is a premium feature that could be slightly out of place on a Nokia phone unless this is a truly top-end device.
Presumably this device wouldn't be a Nokia 9 PureView successor, then, as that's a high but not quite top-end phone. For this feature we'd expect a truly cutting-edge flagship.
Speaking of cameras, a source speaking to Nokia Power User claims the Nokia 9.2 PureView (as they call it) will have a very different camera setup to the Nokia 9, though they don't elaborate on how it will differ. There has been talk of a 108MP primary camera and five rear cameras in total, so it looks as though the handset could score highly in the photo-taking department.
Finally, we've heard that Nokia has a foldable phone in the works, and while it's highly unlikely the Nokia 9.1 or 9.2 would be this device, it's possible Nokia could release this handset as the Nokia 10, marking it out as a big leap.
What we want to see in the Nokia 10 / Nokia 9.2
Here are some features we'd hope to see in the next Nokia flagship phone, to make it's a true contender to the other premium phones out right now.
1. A versatile camera
While the Nokia 9 PureView had five rear cameras, we actually found the photo-taking capabilities weren't great, and that's because the cameras all had the same lens and resolution, with the only difference being that some were black and white.
The company did this to ensure its phone took fantastic standard pictures, but because of this it didn't have any snappers with an ultra-wide or telephoto lens, and therefore there was less versatility in terms of pictures you could take.
In the Nokia 10, or whatever the new Nokia flagship is called, we'd hope for a few different lenses, so we can take zoomed-in pictures, decent macro shots, and more. Higher-res sensors wouldn't hurt either.
2. A powerful processor
While the Nokia 9 PureView didn't have a terrible chipset, its Snapdragon 845 chipset was the top-end piece of tech from the year before, and so plenty of phones from 2019 beat it in terms of performance.
Since one of the phone's unique selling points was that it took five photos at once, and exported them as RAW files, a good processor would have been useful.
We'd like to see the current top-end chipset in the Nokia 10 or Nokia 9.2, which will almost certainly be the Snapdragon 865 if the new phone releases in 2020.
This processor would provide the phone snappy processing (obviously), which should be great for photo capture, graphical rendering for games, and even possibly 5G connection, since that chipset has a built-in 5G modem.
3. 5G compatibility
It seems like 2020 could be the year that 5G phones really start becoming affordable, with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G and Oppo Reno 5G from 2019 all setting you back quite a bit to buy.
We'd like to see Nokia lead the cheap 5G phone charge, with a device that most people can afford (although a 5G plan will still probably be pricey). The Nokia 9.2 could be a prime candidate for this if prices are kept in line with its predecessor.
4. A more comfortable design
One thing we found about the Nokia 9 PureView is that it wasn't exactly the most comfortable phone to hold, with steep angles on the edges and a totally flat screen, in a year when lots of flagships started using curved displays.
On top of that the phone didn't seem to have oleophobic coating, which meant your fingerprints really easily showed up on its screen and body.
If HMD Global really wants its flagship to compete with the other top-end, or even mid-range, smartphones of 2020, it's going to need to create a phone that's great to look at, not just to use.
- Check out the best Nokia phones