HMD has been taking so long to launch a new flagship. But doesn’t mean they’re not baking something on the labs. Details of the Nokia 9, which has been long rumored to house a Penta-lens camera, has been circulating the internet since last year. If true, this will propel the Nokia brand back again to the top as the most innovative smartphone camera maker.
It is also worth mentioning that HMD has already taken over the patent for the PureView brand, a name Nokia (later Microsoft) used to market their phones that have the best imaging tech in the world. A year ago, people have also dig into an old patent from Zeiss which allow smartphones to have five image sensors with a rotating lens plate.
Earlier this year, the maker of the 16-lens L16 camera, Light.co, has expressed their interest to bring its multi-lens and multi-sensor camera array to smartphones. They also target to release it by the end of the year. However, the company is yet to find a partner that will realize this idea. This sparks rumor of Light.co partnering with HMD/Nokia.
To make it more interesting, FIH Mobile (a part of Foxconn) also happens to have thrown in a lot of cash on Light.co ($100B to be exact) as early as 2015. Note that FIH Mobile is HMD Global’s exclusive partner which currently manufactures its phones. It is one of the companies that has invested a large sum of money to bring the Nokia phones back in the market.
Paul Jacobs, Board Member at Light, said that the partnership with FIH Mobile will allow Light to gain access to Foxconn’s “manufacturing capabilities and market power”. In return, Foxconn is also getting an “access to Light’s technology to offer breakthrough imaging quality on the devices it manufactures.” Clearly, the partnership will give Foxconn the access to all of Light’s technology and is even allowed it to share with the devices it will manufacture.
Just over a year later, in May 2016, Nokia revealed HMD as its exclusive brand licensee. It is worth speculating that during this time, Foxconn may have already had the plan to bring the Nokia brand back to the market. In the following year, rumors of the Penta-lens Nokia smartphone emerge. It is then carried over this year when HMD and Foxconn instead launch some half-baked flagship Nokia devices.
Weeks ago, a Nokia phone with five rear-facing cameras “shookt” the tech industry. The images also expose the IMEI of the device, allowing us to check its authenticity. Running the numbers to on an IMEI checker website confirms that it belongs to a Nokia phone with a model number TA-1094. The same model number the handset with Penta-lens camera is carrying on its back.
The phone also carries a codename “AOP”, which is Foxconn’s style of naming the Nokia phones. The Nokia 6, for example, got the codename “D1C” under Foxconn. Under HMD Global, codenames are off with some sense, perhaps with a little hint. The Nokia 6 appears as “Plate” on HMD Global, while the Nokia 6.1 (surprise, surprise) called the “Plate 2”. For the Nokia 9, A.K.A Nokia AOP, it appears to be “Olympic”. This alone gives us insight into what the handset will really look like. Although we probably have already seen it, assuming all the previous leak images were real.
As we all know. the logo of the Olympic Games has five rings. It is, by far, a straight out hint for the Penta-lens setup on the Nokia 9. LoveNokia also adds that “Olympic” in Chinese translates as “奥林匹克”. When romanized, this appears to be “ao lin pi ke”. Further tying up the codename “Olympic” to “AOP”.
The Nokia 9, according to rumors, will run on Snapdragon 845. However, with HMD moving the launch date to 2019, we might see it coming with a more latest chipset. Hopefully. To further its flagship status, the Nokia 9 will one of the first to use an in-display fingerprint sensor. But probably the most anticipated feature of the handset is its Zeiss-equipped Penta-lens camera.