HMD Global’s habit of launching new phones at MWC has not gone away as the show got a glimpse of three new launches from the company, this time the budget lineup: Nokia 1 Plus, Nokia 3.2, Nokia 4.2 and the classic Nokia 210.
Let’s begin with the Nokia 4.2, a new series from HMD Global which fills the void between the mid-range Nokia 5 and a cheaper Nokia 3. Nokia said that the 4.2 is meant to offer a “flagship experience” at a cheaper price tag. But this doesn’t mean that you’ll get Qualcomm’s 800 series chipset but rather looks only. It has a 5.71-inch notched display that’s sandwiched between the glass at the front and back.
Inside you get the Snapdragon 439 chipset with either 2GB/16GB or 3GB/32GB configuration. Although the phone won’t be able to run games like PUBG you’re bound to get for what you paid — i.e. $199 for the maxed out variant.
For the camera, you get a dual 13MP (f/2.2) + 2MP depth sensors with PDAF, and an LED flash. The primary camera is bundled with night mode that stitches two images into one to create a well exposed low-light photo. Selfies are taken care of by an 8MP front camera cramped inside the notch. The AI-driven camera will also be used for face unlock.
However, Nokia 4.2’s more interesting features lies at the rim of the phone. Nokia has put a dedicated button at the left side of the phone for the Google Assistant. But there’s a neat trick up its sleeve — i.e. press it just once to toggle the Assistant, press twice to bring Google’s Visual Snapshot view, and press and hold to keep the mic open for an always listening mode just like on a full smart speaker.
There’s also a notification light inside a power button that lits up when your device is facing down and you receive a notification, which is a unique way to integrate a notification light. The price of the base variant sits at $169, while the 3/32GB model will cost $199.
Next is the Nokia 3.2, a younger sibling of the Nokia 4.2 and a proper successor to Nokia 3.1. While the 3.1 came with MediaTek’s chipset, this one gets the Snapdragon 429 chipset with same 2/16GB and 3/32GB memory options. Unlike the 4.2, this one has a bigger 6.26-inch TFT display with a teardrop notch.
It also has the same Google Assistant button and a glowing power button for Notifications. But Nokia has cut some corners here; the Nokia 3.2 gets a plastic back, instead of the glass, though it has a fingerprint scanner. The camera also faces same scarcity here: it has a single 13MP camera at the back and a low res 5MP camera for selfies.
With this the price also gets a little bit cheaper, the higher model is priced at $169 and the lower option costs $139.
Nokia 1 Plus
And then there’s Nokia 1 Plus, also a proper upgrade to Nokia 1 which was an Android Go phone based on Android 8 Oreo. This time the Plus model gets a pleasing aesthetics with a bigger 5.45-inch display (with 18:9 aspect ratio).
Most importantly, the phone now runs on Android 9 Pie Go instead of the Android 9 Pie. The Nokia 1 Plus will set you back $99 and will be available from April like every phone mentioned above.
Finally, there’s Nokia 210, a classic Nokia feature phone. The phone has no funky design but has basic features and functions: a 2.4-inch QVGA display, 16MB of memory and has a physical keyboard, in case you missed it. Not to get too deep into it but the phone has some classic games as well, including Snake.
The Nokia 210 has an adequate 1,020mAh battery, FM Radio and an app store designed for the company’s Java-based OS. The feature phone will cost you $33 when it releases later this year.