What you need to know
- During CES 2022, HMD Global announced four new smartphones: the Nokia G400 ($239), Nokia G100 ($149), Nokia C200 ($119), and Nokia C100 ($99).
- The G400 is the only 5G model, and has a surprising 120Hz refresh rate and 6GB of RAM.
- It also plans to release a new clamshell flip phone, the $79 2760 Flip.
- All of these new phones will release in the first half of 2022.
- In an interview with Android Authority, the company acknowledged its failings with the Android 11 rollout.
Most recent Nokia phones have fallen into the $300-or-less category, offering simple software and competent specs at an affordable entry point. Phones like the Nokia G20 and Nokia X100 have made a good impression.
In 2022, it looks like HMD Global will double down on the budget smartphone category, releasing phones almost anyone can afford and partnering with more carriers. At CES 2022, HMD Global announced two new midrange "G" phones and two ultra-cheap "C" phones.
Breaking down Nokia's early 2022 lineup
The most promising model is the $239 Nokia G400. It will have a 6.6-inch FHD+ display and a 120Hz refresh rate, which is something many mid-range phones and basically all budget phones lack. With a 48MP main sensor, a robust 5,000mAh battery, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, it's perfectly respectable for this price range.
It'll also support 5G connectivity — somewhat rare for this price point — and will work with some new carriers (Dish Wireless and Consumer Cellular) in addition to HMD's usual partners (T-Mobile and TracFone). And it'll likely ship with Android 12 out of the box.
We don't know yet what chip it will have, but the G400 sounds remarkably similar to the X100's specs, another $250 phone. $40 more expensive than the G20, cheaper than the G50, and around the same price as the X100, the G400 exhibits just how convoluted Nokia's naming schemes have become. Still, it's an intriguing phone we're looking forward to testing.
Meanwhile, the $149 Nokia G100 will downgrade to a 6.5-inch HD+ screen and 4G connectivity but retain the same 5,000mAh battery. We don't have other specs yet, but at this price point it'll likely have just 4GB of RAM and a slower refresh rate. Both the G400 and G100 will release sometime in the first half of 2022.
Nokia also announced the $119 C200 and $99 C100. Of the two, the C100 seems more intriguing, thanks to a compact 5.45-inch screen for people who prefer small phones. It'll have truly budget specs, from an 8MP main camera to a 3,000mAh battery, but could easily number among the best Android phones under $100 when it launches in Q1 2022.
As for the C200, it'll have a 6.1-inch display and 4,000mAh battery, making it a more traditionally sized budget phone.
We don't know yet how many updates these phones will receive or which chipsets they'll use, but are cautiously optimistic about them. Recent Nokia phones have tended to include welcome perks like expandable storage, 3.5mm headphone jacks, Google Assistant buttons, and dual SIM support. These features found at such low prices would be a perk many Android users will appreciate.
Nokia is also releasing a new feature phone in Q1 2021, the 2760 Flip, targeted mainly towards seniors.
Acknowledging past mistakes
One of the slowest OEMs to update its phones, Nokia Mobile frequently fell behind its promised roadmap for updates and failed to deliver a promised update to the Nokia 9 Pureview.
"We did have not as much success with the Android 11 rollout, and I think we've learned from that," Taylor said.
According to Android Authority, Taylor attributed their slow rollout to the fact that Nokia "wasn't part of the Android 11 beta program" and on its "wide device portfolio." It's fair to say that Nokia released a boatload of phones in 2020 and 2021, which likely made it difficult to speedily deliver updates to all of them.
Compared to previous years, Nokia's announced phones all fall into a budget category where most other companies rarely deliver timely updates. That puts less of a time crunch on HMD, while also making it easier to create software that works on all its phones all at once.
"As we move forward, certainly on the global perspective, we've got a more focused level of device, and we're already in the beta program with Android 12," Taylor says. Given that we've already seen Android 12 stable builds for the X20, X10, and G50, it's fair to say that HMD's rollout this year has been much smoother.