Comeback! 2024 “Nokia Lumia” has a modern design and Android, but is HMD 10 years late?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Comeback! 2024 “Nokia Lumia” has a modern design and Android, but is HMD 10 years late?
What you’re looking at below (in yellow) is a fan-made render of a more “futuristic” Nokia Lumia device. Posted on Twitter, the render dates back to February 2023.

Little did this Nokia fan know that HMD - Nokia’s new caretaker, will replicate their idea of what a “futuristic” Nokia Lumia phone would look like… almost 1:1. At least if you look past the rear camera placement.

And I have some thoughts…

What a comeback! HMD is bringing back the iconic Nokia Lumia design - could these be the most unique-looking phones of the year?

See, I’ve never owned a Nokia Lumia, which is why you won’t find a “nostalgic” undertone to this story. However, I’ve admired the design of Nokia’s Lumia phones for a while… and from afar.

One thing becomes clear from the leaked renders, and this is that HMD’s new phones will be colorful. Very colorful. And when you take a look at the vast majority of the new phones we get nowadays, this is actually refreshing.

Of course, design is purely subjective, one thing’s for sure - the throwback design will be a big reason people will find HMD’s version of the legendary “Lumia” attractive.

In the context of modern smartphone design, it’s worth noting that HMD’s new phones will combine flat and round elements, which is a bit of a precedent. The leaked images show a super-curvy side frame, white the top and bottom will be super… flat.

Surprise! No surprises… HMD’s twist on the Nokia Lumia - not a camera monster running Windows, but a basic mid-range Android phone

Design aside, perhaps the more important question is whether HMD can make a competitive modern Nokia Lumia phone - not just one that looks like a Lumia.

Of course, the biggest difference between the “Lumia” HMD is about to launch and a phone like the Nokia Lumia 1020 is that the 2024 twist on the Lumia won’t be running on Windows Mobile but Android. But that’s a given…

HMD’s leaked Lumia-like phones are expected to carry the codenames “Tomcat” and “Nighthawk”. In the leaked renders, they look virtually identical.

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In terms of specs, “Tomcat” is rumored to feature the following specs, making it the more premium model:

  • 120hz OLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 with 8GB/12GB of RAM, 256GB storage
  • 108 MP primary camera (with OIS) + 8MP ultra-wide + 32MP selfie
  • 4,900mAh battery + 33W wired charging (no wireless charging expected)
  • IP67 dust and water resistance
  • Stereo Speakers, under-display fingerprint reader
  • Android 14

Meanwhile, “Nighthawk” is said to pack a less powerful chip and omit the ultra-wide camera (but add a 3.5mm headphone jack):

  • 120hz OLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 with 8GB of RAM, 256GB storage
  • 108 MP primary camera (with OIS) + 32MP selfie
  • 5,000mAh battery + 33W wired charging (no wireless charging expected)
  • IP67 dust and water resistance
  • Stereo Speakers, under-display fingerprint reader, 3.5mm headphone jack, memory card slot
  • Android 14

HMD has all the (legal) rights to make a modern “Nokia Lumia”, but can it make it competitive?

Of course, these are just rumored specs. However, if they turn out to be accurate, I’d say HMD’s version of the iconic Lumia is a bit confusing. Unless there’s a true flagship model somewhere in the mix - one we haven’t heard of yet.

Getting your hands on a Nokia Lumia 1020 used to mean getting your hands on one of the best camera phones on the market, which certainly isn’t the point here. That being said, “Tomcat” and “Nighthawk” look like a pair of very good mid-range phones, meaning their success will likely boil down to affordability.

Anything between $200-400 seems like an acceptable price point here. However, going beyond the $400 mark would put HMD’s mid-rangers dangerously close to the likes of the Pixel 8a, OnePlus 12R, and Galaxy S23 FE - phones from established brands, with better software support, and more powerful hardware.

Identity crisis: HMD’s new phones to look like a Nokia Lumia, but the company is serious about making a name for itself, and this name isn’t “Nokia”

In the end, the angle of the story that stands out to me is HMD’s slightly bizarre approach to the transition from making “Nokia” to making “HMD” phones.

Just recently, the company vouched to reinvent itself by making HMD-branded phones, moving on from the beloved Nokia branding. At the same time, HMD is now about to come out with a bunch of Lumia-inspired mid-range phones…

In a similarly bizarre logic, I’m actually glad that’s the case, simply because Nokia’s spirit and identity are almost too iconic to end up in the bin.

But this begs the question… Does HMD really want to be “HMD” instead of “Nokia”? Because if that’s the case, a brand new identity would certainly help establish the Finnish phone-maker as a brand new player on the smartphone scene.

Anyway, I’m Finnish-ed with this story…

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