Happy 2019! If we are already starting to pick out smart trends for the New Year, "add lots and lots of cameras", look like a pretty good front runner. Samsung is already on this track with devices like the Galaxy A9 and upcoming Galaxy S10, both of which have four cameras on the back, but now it seems that HMD's Nokia brand is going to sometime with five rear cameras. During the last weekend of 2018, both Evan Blass and MySmartPrice shared pictures for the upcoming Nokia 9 Pureview, which promises to be the highest end of the HMD Nokia phone to date.
Nokia 9 first leaked in September when trypophobia-inducing camera setup immediately turned heads. The rear camera setup contains seven holes containing five cameras, with the extra two holes used for an LED flash, and it appears to be a sensor cluster. For the first time, a video from MySmartPrice gives us an idea of what all these cameras really do: it promises that the phone takes 5 simultaneous pictures, which will result in "10x more light capture" compared to a regular camera sensor. This sounds a lot like Google's computational shooting work with a single-objective Pixel camera, taking multiple shots in quick succession and merging them all for better light with low light. The multi-image idea has been shown to work, but we need to see if extra physical lenses improve it.
The video also promises a "2K" 5.99 inch screen, a Snapdragon 845 SoC, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage space, a screen fingerprint reader, Qi wireless charging, and Android 9 Piece with two year updates. We do not see the top and bottom of the device in the video, but previously it has shown a USB-C port on the bottom and no headphone jack.
Rumors call Nokia's "flagship" device, and while it's the highest end phone of the brand, it's hard to see this competing with the $ 800 + flagship out there from other companies. First I am not sure that the front design will cut it with large top and bottom fittings that are dated in a world of small notches, camera holes and sliding, all-screen devices. Secondly, the video claims that it is shipping with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, which is last year's high-end smartphone SoC. 2019 is about Snapdragon 855, and we have already had device messages with the new chip.
Of course, like all Nokia products, Nokia 9 will live and die from the price. It's not going to match up to $ 800 + flagship phones out there, but it doesn't have to be priced at $ 800. HMD's Nokia phones have made a name for themselves in the Android world by tackling price points that no other touches, and offers excellent value for price and shipping with stock Android. Hopefully, Nokia 9 follows this trend. There is no word on the launch date, but we have both CES and Mobile World Congress come up.
Listing image by Evan Blass