Phones

Nokia-branded Android phones could launch this year

Hey, if Pokemon can make a comeback, maybe Nokia can too. A Nokia fan site reports high-end Nokia phones equipped with Android Nougat are set to debut around next winter.

At least two Nokia phones may launch this year or next but sporting Android instead of Windows Phone.

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The Nokia name may get to live on with at least a couple of high-end phones reportedly set to debut in late 2016 or early 2017.

HMD Global, which purchased the Nokia brand from Microsoft this past May, is said to be developing two Android smartphones with a metal design and the "famous Nokia feel," Nokia fan blog NokiaPowerUser said on Saturday, citing "trusted sources."

Both phones would be equipped with the upcoming Nougat flavor of Android, said NPU, which also focuses on Windows Phones. A fingerprint scanner and a highly sensitive camera sensor will also be part of the package, NPU said. Based on Nokia's work with Graphene material, the imaging sensor may be the most sensitive one ever found on a Nokia phone, according to the sources.

Microsoft's 2013 move to acquire Nokia's Windows Phone handset business never panned out in a market dominated by Apple and Android. By dumping Windows Phone and hopping on the Android bandwagon, HMD is looking to convince consumers to give the Nokia brand another shot.

Marketed as "sturdy and robust," the two phones would be resistant to both water and dust, NPU said. The smaller of the two phones would sport a 5.2-inch screen, while the larger will offer a display of 5.5 inches. The resolution hasn't been confirmed, NokiaPowerUser said, but it will likely adopt a QHD (2,560x1,440-pixel) display.

The phones may also offer an improved version of Nokia's Z-Launcher interface, which tries to learn how you use your smartphone and adapt itself accordingly.

The two phones and possibly one or two other Nokia Android phones are due for release around the end of 2016, the sources said. But based on testing and development, the time frame may change to the first quarter of 2017, the sources added.