HMD Global, the Finland-based maker of Nokia branded phones, announced today that Android 9 also commonly referred by the codename “Pie”, is arriving on its midrange smartphone, the Nokia 7.1, launched last month in the U.S.
With this upgrade, the Nokia 7.1 joins the Nokia 6.1, 6.1 Plus and 7 Plus running the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system.
“Nokia 7.1 is our 4th smartphone running Android 9 Pie, alongside Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 6.1 [United States] with even more to come by the end of the year,” said Juho Sarvikas, HMD Global’s chief product marketing officer. “We’re really proud to be able to ramp up our rollout and offer even more Nokia smartphone users the chance to get a slice of Android 9 Pie that’s pure, secure and up to date.”
The Nokia 7.1 is currently priced at just $350 (Amazon, Best Buy, B&H) for 64GB of storage expandable to 400GB with an optional microSD Card, and comes with a PureDisplay screen which offers a high contrast ratio, greater clarity, and enhanced colors as well as a dual rear depth-sensing camera equipped with optical lenses from Germany-based company Zeiss.
Android 9 Pie brings a whole new set of features (listed below), including App Actions, exclusive to Android One devices and Google Pixel phones.
Android One is the purest form of Google’s mobile operating system also known as “stock Android” without any unnecessary pre-installed applications or a custom “skin” on top of the search engine company’s default user interface.
Here are the key features you can expect after updating to Android 9 Pie:
- App Actions helps get things done faster by predicting the user’s next move and displaying the right action
- App Slices identifies relevant information of favorite apps to make them more easily accessible when required
- Adaptive Battery uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to understand usage patterns and prioritize battery power on important apps
- Adaptive Brightness automatically adapts phone brightness by learning from user interactions with different settings
- The new navigation system features new gestures and a single home button that provides intelligent predictions and suggestions (user enabled)
With Android 9, Google also updated the “Digital Wellbeing” app that can be downloaded from the Play Store and adds the following features:
- Dashboard highlights screen time and phone usage including how many times the device had been unlocked and the number of notifications received
- App Timers set time limits on app usage
- Wind Down and Do Not Disturb set a daily schedule to get ready for bed. The screen fades to grayscale, while Do Not Disturb silences notifications for a restful sleep. Users can activate Do Not Disturb anytime they want to disconnect.
Atherton Research’s Take
HMD Global is making true of its promise made last year at Mobile World Congress that all of its Nokia branded smartphones released to date – yes, that’s not a typo, all of them – will receive Google’s latest operating system: From the cheap ($100) Nokia N1 (Android Go) to the $900 Nokia 8 Sirocco flagship.
This is quite remarkable knowing how slow and unpredictable well-known smartphone makers including Samsung, LG and Motorola have been in updating their old devices with Android’s regular security patches, not to mention to Google’s latest operating system.
Along with struggling smartphone maker Essential, the Finnish smartphone maker has been among the fastest to update its devices to the latest patches and operating system, followed by Chinese maker OnePlus which even promised to update early next year the OnePlus 3 launched over 2 years ago.