HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones is a brand most of us have come to associate with. A number of us grew up in an era when Nokia was a big brand and we saw our parents swear by it.
Fast forward and the lack of innovation saw Nokia die. The company had its own struggles over the years – a partnership with Microsoft for making Windows-powered smartphones failed and 2016 was the year that we saw the once upon a time king of mobile phones brand die.
Nokia’s failure became a case study that made a number of smartphone companies realize the importance of continuous evolution and enhancements. Whilst smartphone brands like Samsung and Apple for example were coming up with advanced smartphone tech every year, Nokia simply made windows phones with basic features. We reviewed a number of these devices on this website including the Lumia 532. They were not the best, to be honest. In the era of 4G, Nokia didn’t even have 3G-enabled devices.
In the same year, however, HMD Global bought the Nokia brand from Microsoft which was worth $300bn at its height. HMD was formed by former Nokia employees in Finland. Under the sale agreement, Nokia was to receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of every Nokia branded mobile phone and tablet, covering both brand and intellectual property rights. With this, the Nokia brand was officially back to the market – just that this time they were Android Nokia smartphones.
HMD then started to focus on expanding its global smartphone market presence with the Android Nokia devices, including Africa and markets like Kenya. This was a big deal for the company considering Nokia had led the global market for cell phones for a long time.
A recent Counterpoint research even ranked Nokia phones leader in smartphone industry trust rankings. research is based on four aspects: how fast a company provides software and security updates to their devices, build quality, and the number of devices recommended for enterprise use. Nokia phones led the 2020 trust rankings on three key aspects; Software, Security Updates, and Build Quality.
HMD Global’s Nokia phones also have the most significant share of portfolio devices recommended for enterprise users.
This brand positioning is what HMD Global aims to keep.
In a previous interview with TechTrendsKE, Gerald Muthwale, HMD’s Kenya Technical Account Manager said, ‘’ Support from our marketing team, our R&D team and other collaborations has allowed us to push some pretty quality devices into the market allowing us to give consumers very good experiences throughout’’
Ever since HMD Global joined Google’s Android One program in 2018, it has provided more extended support for its devices. The company has been applauded as one of the manufacturers that provide hasty updates to its devices, an uncommon phenomenon in the fragmented Android land.
While 98% of Android smartphone brands offer inconsistent software and security updates (or none at all), a 2020 report showed 20 Nokia phones sold by the company from the third quarter of 2019 to Q2, 2020 had all been upgraded to Android 10. Some of these devices had been launched with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.
Nokia emphasizes technology innovation, fun spirit, design, and ease of use to build a “trusted relationship” with its customers.
Nokia phones sport robust build quality. The phones lead in Counterpoint’s most recent report for “undergo[ing] tougher tests than the industry average,” according to Counterpoint Research’s Associate Director, Tarun Pathak.
Build quality tests are based on different factors, including product robustness, force measurement, drop and impact, fatigue, wear and scratch, thermal tests, moisture and liquid tests, and other qualitative and quantitative observations.
“We, therefore, concluded that, when considered alongside the faster software and security updates, the strong build quality means Nokia phones will last the test of time,” Pathak added.
In an Interview with Talouselama, HMD Global stated that they delivered around 55 million Nokia phones during 2020 which includes both smartphones and feature phones.
For now though, there’s no need to wait to get your hands on a great Nokia-branded phone as there are plenty of good options. In Kenya, the company recently unveiled the Nokia G20 and Nokia 5.4 with a number of new devices lined up.