Smartphone innovation isn’t just for flagships

It’s easy to feel that many smartphones are more or less the same, with similar features, functions and designs. But while it may seem that smartphones are reaching their peak of innovation, HMD Global, a Finnish startup that has entered the global smartphone market with the next generation of Nokia phones running Android, feels there is still plenty of room for growth and ingenuity.

Set up in December 2016, HMD Global bills itself as a collective of passionate and experienced people who believe that technology can enhance and improve the lives of billions of people around the world.

 Using partnerships with Google, ZEISS and more, HMD has already built an impressive and differentiated portfolio of Nokia smartphones – becoming one of the leading players in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Russia. HMD Global CEO, Florian Seiche believes that the Android smartphone space in particular is a highly crowded market, adding: “Devices are rarely updated with the latest software, and with that a consistent experience across a device range from a single manufacturer is hard to find.” HMD says it has sought to change this by delivering a portfolio of smartphones that not only deliver a smartphone for everyone at every price point but are also kept up-to-date with regular updates.

With consumer trends shifting towards owning smartphones for longer, HMD Global has committed to offering an experience which gets better over time. Nokia smartphones offer two years of OS upgrades, three years of security patching, no bloatware or any unnecessary preloads and access to latest innovations from Google including Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness and Digital Wellbeing.

 And it isn’t just smartphones. HMD Global also builds great feature phones – like the revived and remastered Nokia 3310 and Nokia 8110. In fact, the most recent IDC figures indicate HMD Global is the largest feature phone player globally, driven by the remakes of classic Nokia handsets – of which they’ve sold more than 10 million units.

 HMD Global also believes there is a lack of choice for consumers. Flagship devices gain a lot of attention, but the experience becomes more consistent and less thoughtful as you go down through many price points. Consumers are often expected to make compromises on design, build quality or the experience itself. With today’s Nokia smartphones, you don’t need to compromise. Offering outstanding design and build quality across different prices, the current portfolio of more than 15 smartphones all deliver a great Android experience so you can be proud of your Nokia phone, no matter how much it costs.

 With a nod to the reliability of the Nokia brand, HMD’s approach to design goes beyond the looks. Led by Chief Product Officer, Juho Sarvikas, HMD Global’s design and product teams focus on using sturdy materials and building devices to last, saying: “Our ethos of delivering purposeful innovation and delivering first-class imaging experiences at different price points, means we can offer value flagship features like PureDisplay screen technology and industry-leading ZEISS optics to consumers at prices that are unmatched by other brands.”

While the world is looking towards trends like AI and 5G will undoubtedly have a big impact on the mobile industry, leading to changes in consumer behaviour. In addition, smartphone cameras and gaming experiences are getting better every year and they continue to close the gap on dedicated cameras and consoles.

 Ultimately, 10 years is a long time for any technology space. It took 122 years for trains to reach 80% of countries, Pokémon Go did that overnight so the rate of change is constantly increasing. It’s anyone’s guess if mobile will still be our most important device in the next decade. However, while mobile is still king, HMD Global is tirelessly working to develop innovation where it matters and bringing a new generation of Nokia devices to fans around the world.