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Nokia Pilot Uses Blockchain to Improve Health Data Benefits

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While technology has improved access to health data, the data is often not leveraged to its full potential due to privacy concerns and concerns about data authenticity.

Nokia has partnered with OP Financial Group, a Finland-based financial services group, to use blockchain technology to establish more trust in managing health data. According to a Nokia blog, the purpose of the pilot project, which involves 100 people, is to provide individuals more control over their personal health data.

Blockchain Benefits

Blockchain technology can give people control over who they share their health data with. The blockchain ledger is maintained by parties that can have competing interests, which differs from centralized services such as Google, Facebook and Dropbox.

Under the pilot project, any data a user wishes to share is encrypted and can only be accessed by its intended participants. The owner of the data uses the Nokia Steel HR to share their data and provide proof of the data’s authenticity.

Users share their data from wearable Nokia devices and are rewarded for doing so. Participants’ daily activities are shared through the app, creating a private record on the blockchain. OP automatically rewards users with points based on what steps they have taken with respect to their fitness goals.

Also read: This blockchain platform aims to end healthcare data breaches

New Possibilities

The pilot project will shed light on possibilities for incentive models like smart health insurance and in supporting programs that promote healthy lifestyles.

The project organizers believe it will only be possible to provide trustworthy advice on health issues and extract useful insights by establishing users’ trust. Nokia’s blockchain platform has been designed to address these issues. Nokia believes its collaboration with OP marks a step in creating a global digital health ecosystem that will benefit both individuals and society.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Nokia 3 Gets December Android Security Patch Update

HMD Global has started rolling out the monthly software update for the Nokia 3. The Android update, which started rolling out last week, includes Google’s latest Android security patch update. Although this update is still based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, the security patches offer an improved level of security for HMD’s budget Nokia 3 smartphone. Most high-end, flagship smartphones from other brands haven’t yet received the update for the month of December. The update has been released as part of HMD’s promise of offering monthly updates its smartphones.

Apart from the latest security patch, the December update also includes improved system stability along with a few enhancements to the user interface on the Nokia 3. The new update, available as OTA download, comes with a 345.4 MB file size and is being rolled out to users globally, including India.

We had reported, last week, that the Nokia 3 will receive the Android 8.0 Oreo update directly and HMD is planning to skip Android 7.1.2 Nougat for the phone. The company also stated that it would release Oreo beta builds for the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 soon.

 

 

The Nokia 3 is a dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) device that runs on stock version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The smartphone has a 5.0-inch HD display with a resolution of 720×1280 pixels. It is powered by a 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM.

In the camera department, the Nokia 3 sports an 8-megapixel rear sensor with LED flash. On the front is another 8-megapixel sensor for selfies and video calling. The smartphone has an internal storage of 16GB, which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card.

In terms of connectivity, the Nokia 3 has Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include proximity sensor, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and a gyroscope. It also has a 2630mAh non-removable battery under the hood.

This is Why Nokia Android Phones DON’T Support Project Treble

Google’s Project Treble was designed as a way to mitigate the problems of Android fragmentation going forwards. However, the initial seeding phase of the initiative has seen some teething pains, and Nokia’s current run of Android phones are not immune.

Project Treble, at its core, is pretty straightforward: it separates the core Android OS framework (Google’s bit) from the vendor’s )the phone maker’s) customization so that updates can be pushed through to the phone OTA without the vendor needing to modify it.

This way, whenever a new update is ready, phones rocking Treble would receive the update OTA without the maker of the phone – LG, Samsung, Huawei, HTC – having to lift a finger. On paper, and in the future, it is a brilliant plan to solve the issue of Android fragmentation that plagues millions of devices in circulation.

However, in order for Treble to do its work, it needs to be up and running on the phone before it is shipped to the customer – and it is here where some brands are running into trouble. Over time this will not be an issue, as all Android phones should ship with it, but for now, there is a bit of catch-up going on.

And HMD’s Nokia brand is firmly in the “catch-up” camp, confirming that none of its current-generation Nokia Android phones will support Treble. Nokia says Treble cannot be retrofitted on a handset after it has shipped… but this isn’t entirely true.

Huawei, for instance, has confirmed that it will bring Treble to its older phones during the latter part of 2017, indicating that Nokia might just be telling porkies about not being able to install Treble on older handsets.

Huawei also confirmed, during its Note 10 launch, that it has been working closely with Google on getting Android P better integrated with its Kirin chipset. The company, which is fast becoming one of the biggest players on the planet, is keen to usurp Samsung as the king of the Android space and is working closely with Google to achieve this.

Perhaps Nokia should drop Huawei an email and find out how it’s retrofitting Treble on older Android handsets. I’m sure its punters would appreciate it!

Nokia Trials Blockchain in Bid to Secure Health Data – CoinDesk

Finnish communications giant Nokia has announced a new blockchain pilot aimed at developing new ways to store healthcare data.

In a press release on its website, Nokia announced that it had begun the project with OP Financial Group. One hundred participants are taking part in a bid to test how they could store and share their health data while also enjoying a degree of privacy around that information.

The companies are using a blockchain due to the security features it offers, according to Nokia’s website. The software allows the company to control access to the data being collected, ensuring that only verified parties can access it.

As Nokia explained in its announcement:

“While the value of connected health data is widely recognised, it is often not leveraged to its full potential due to authenticity, availability and privacy concerns. Trust is a vital requirement in order for health data to provide the greatest benefit to individuals, families and our global society.”

The program uses wearable devices to track daily steps and hours of sleep, storing this data on a blockchain. These results are compared to users’ fitness goals. Users who meet or make progress toward these goals will receive loyalty points depending on their participation in the pilot.

Nokia said that it believes this program can help develop “insights on global health issues” – provided that users trust the systems being used, that is.

OP Financial’s laboratory head, Kristian Luoma, said this pilot program is an example of how blockchain can be applied to health programs in the future, particularly to applications which require trust from users.

Nokia was one of a number of technology firms to join the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger blockchain project in late 2016.

Image Credit: 360b / Shutterstock.com

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android – it’s a classy return

Review HMD’s efforts to put the Nokia brand over what we call the “Shenzhen generics” formula haven’t exactly set the world on fire yet. But in all honesty, you’ll struggle to find anything better for £399, the revised price of the Nokia 8.

China’s supply chains and market maturation have caused a great levelling in the phone industry. For about two or three years, you’ve been able to get a top-specced phone from a no-name brand – and what additional features Samsung or Sony offered didn’t really matter to most people. Models from Xiaomi, Oppo and ZTE repackaged quality components but otherwise indistinguishable. They were largely generic. And made in or around “Shenzhen”. Hence “Shenzhen generics”.

For IP reasons, we never saw most of these in Europe, which meant that to take advantage of the new value proposition entailed a lot of risk: grey channel imports with no support. The opportunity arose to de-risk the proposition, then: building a local brand with local support. WileyFox attempted to do this with budget models, and BKK-owned OnePlus at the high end. HMD is doing it using the revived Nokia brand across the board: both cheap and high-end, and the Nokia 8 is the high end. Nokia is guaranteeing monthly security updates and a local number to ring.

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

Having seen so many of these generics, I didn’t expect that HMD would add a great deal of value. But largely thanks to subtle design choices it made, the Nokia 8 is really a very satisfying thing to have and use. There’s only one non-generic tech “feature”, and we can get it out of the way quite quickly: simultaneous use of the front and back cameras. Useful, no doubt, to video bloggers but hardly anyone else.

The Nokia 8 has one of those designs that feels “just right”. My review model was the eye-catching copper. The case is a 6000 grade aluminium: which looks like glass but goes “thutt” when you tap it with a fingernail. It has some of the disadvantages of glass: a smudge magnet that’s quite slippy. But it has serious advantages too, with the treatment Nokia has given it. It’s robustly scratch resistant. Check out the durability tests in this video to see what it can withstand.

There’s no flex or creak, the 2.5D glass fits perfectly, and the antenna lines are colour blended so you hardly notice them. This is a quality product.

You’re also getting a top-end Snapdragon, a super display (554ppi blasting out up to 700 nits), and real optical image stabilisation (missing, and much missed from the OnePlus 5s).

The phone lacks IP67 water and dust resistance, being rated at IP54 instead, and lacks wireless charging. Phones that boast these are between £250 and £300 more expensive, though, if you’re comparing like for like, and not taking advantage of carriers deals on say, the Galaxy S8.

IP67 phones are often quieter than they should be, and given the choice between a quiet phone and a waterproof phone I’d go for the former every time. The Nokia 8 speakers give you a great old school clunk and crystal clear (and very loud) sound.

UX

“Pure Android” is how HMD positions its phones, and it’s as close to stock as you can get on a non-Google phone. With the butt-ugly Android Oreo 8.0, this isn’t necessarily a good thing, however. Google has really taken Android and beaten it with the ugly stick this year. For its minimalist launcher, Nokia has merely tweaked a few icons. Have a look at the settings to see how minimalist this is: there’s hardly anything you can change. (The icon mask. That’s about it.)

If your Nokia 8 doesn’t come with Oreo, it’ll update to 8.0 as you enrol.

Battery life should get you through a day – I do miss the feature phone mode that Huawei adds to the generic formula – and radio reception was good. As an aside, monitoring network performance I did notice that Nokia pumped up the signal indicator to suggest the strength was stronger than it actually was. For a signal of strength of around –110dBA, the borderline between yellow and orange warnings, Nokia tells you you’ve got about “four bars”. Other phones give one or two. But it performed perfectly well.

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

Unencumbered by cruft: the Home Screen (there’s just one) and the contents of the App Drawer. Click to Enlarge

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

Quick Settings in Oreo 8.0 are very sparse

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

Nokia’s Launcher couldn’t really be more minimal

Imaging

Nokia’s imaging led the industry for over a decade – so if you’re reviving the brand you need a decent story to tell. The Nokia 8 features Zeiss-branded lenses and the difference in quality is immediately apparent shooting into bright sunlight. The first image below is an absurdly unreasonable shot for any camera, so I was astonished the phone did such a good job balancing out things out.

As with so many devices, it’s a dual sensor setup: two 13MP sensors, one colour and one mono, with f/2.0 aperture.

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

OnePlus 5T is like the little sister you always feared was the favourite

READ MORE

The inclusion of OIS was also saw a marked improvement over the OnePlus 5T – now £100 more expensive – I reviewed a fortnight ago. Videos are smooth and it capture night scenes much more effectively.

The “Live Bokeh” can’t be adjusted after the fact, as it can on Huawei phones, which is a limitation of HMD’s own lack of software initiatives. I’m surprised Nokia hasn’t sprung, at the very least, its own Gallery app, relying on Google’s Photos apps. I appreciate the company is only really one year old but this is a false economy: if you make phones, you need your own Gallery app to show off your imaging smarts.

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

The Camera app: Pro Mode

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

Click to Enlarge

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

Click to Enlarge

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return
4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

Click to Enlarge

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

Bokeh effect: click to enlarge

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

The Night Shot – on a very dark street – captures a surprising amount of light. But you’ll need to keep very still.

4d955_nokia8_polished_blue Nokia 8: As pure as the driven Android - it's a classy return

Panorama effect. Click to enlarge

Conclusion

Having had a hands-on already, I didn’t have high expectations from the Nokia 8, but it was a nice surprise. The proposition was interesting at £499, but looks quite compelling at £399. I’d like to see more originality from the company, but as a first flagship it’s a promising start. ®

Nokia Trials Blockchain in Bid to Secure Health Data

Finnish communications giant Nokia has announced a new blockchain pilot aimed at developing new ways to store healthcare data.

In a press release on its website, Nokia announced that it had begun the project with OP Financial Group. One hundred participants are taking part in a bid to test how they could store and share their health data while also enjoying a degree of privacy around that information.

The companies are using a blockchain due to the security features it offers, according to Nokia’s website. The software allows the company to control access to the data being collected, ensuring that only verified parties can access it.

As Nokia explained in its announcement:

“While the value of connected health data is widely recognised, it is often not leveraged to its full potential due to authenticity, availability and privacy concerns. Trust is a vital requirement in order for health data to provide the greatest benefit to individuals, families and our global society.”

The program uses wearable devices to track daily steps and hours of sleep, storing this data on a blockchain. These results are compared to users’ fitness goals. Users who meet or make progress toward these goals will receive loyalty points depending on their participation in the pilot.

Nokia said that it believes this program can help develop “insights on global health issues” – provided that users trust the systems being used, that is.

OP Financial’s laboratory head, Kristian Luoma, said this pilot program is an example of how blockchain can be applied to health programs in the future, particularly to applications which require trust from users.

Nokia was one of a number of technology firms to join the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger blockchain project in late 2016.

Image Credit: 360b / Shutterstock.com

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Three Fantastic Things About Android Oreo On The Nokia 8 – Forbes

The Nokia 8 is already one of 2017’s most exciting handsets, representing the return of the Finnish brand to the smartphone market. Powered by Android, Finnish start-up HMD Global promised the speedy delivery of both the monthly security patches and the updates to Android.

With Android 8.0 Oreo now rolling out to the flagship handsets, let’s take a look at three of the new features that Oreo offers the Nokia 8.

Ewan Spence

HMD Global’s Nokia 8 (image: Ewan Spence)

Making Notifications Work

With the prevalence of notifications from social networks, alerts from the latest games, messaging clients, and more, the typical smartphone user has a lot of notifications to deal with. The update to Oreo offers the Nokia 8 user more ways to control these notifications.

Assuming the developer has activated the feature, applications now have a display badge that shows how many notifications are outstanding for that application. No doubt more apps will have this as standard in the coming months as updates roll out.

You can also set up notifications to have higher priorities. When one comes in a right swipe will show the cog icon. Press that and notifications of this type will be oven higher priority which could include a different sound or an on-screen pop-up. Notifications from your Mum can now have an audible tone while those from your Line Manager will remain silent, even in the same app.

As for notifications that you need to remember, but not right now, you can snooze them so they pop up later for you to action – just swipe and hit the clock icon.

Better Malware Protection

Strictly speaking Google Play Protect is rolling out alongside Oreo (older devices will receive Play Protect), picking up the Oreo update is a surefire way of picking up the extra security layer. It constantly scans your smartphone, its apps, and your data to ensure there are no problems or security issues.

Yes,  apps are vetted before they appear in the Google Play Store for issues, but Play Protect continues that process daily to maintain your digital security.

Battery life and background rules

Getting more power out of a single charge remains a target that continues to be stretched. Oreo’s code works int he background to minimize the drain placed on the battery by unruly apps. Most of this is in the background, limiting the calls that apps can make for processor time or going online so in theory the battery gains will ‘just happen.’

Ewan Spence

Nokia 8 running Android Oreo’s easter egg octopus (image: Ewan Spence)

And A Bonus…

You get the now-traditional Android Easter Egg. Head to the settings app, choose system, then About phone. Start tapping the Android Version line and you’ll see some concentric circles appear. Tap these eight times then long-press and you’ll get an Octopus puppet on-screen to play with.

I wonder what ‘O’ Google would have chosen if it was told it couldn’t use Oreo…

Now read my full review of the Finnish flagship that is the Nokia 8…

Three Fantastic Things About Android Oreo On The Nokia 8 – Forbes

The Nokia 8 is already one of 2017’s most exciting handsets, representing the return of the Finnish brand to the smartphone market. Powered by Android, Finnish start-up HMD Global promised the speedy delivery of both the monthly security patches and the updates to Android.

With Android 8.0 Oreo now rolling out to the flagship handsets, let’s take a look at three of the new features that Oreo offers the Nokia 8.

Ewan Spence

HMD Global’s Nokia 8 (image: Ewan Spence)

Making Notifications Work

With the prevalence of notifications from social networks, alerts from the latest games, messaging clients, and more, the typical smartphone user has a lot of notifications to deal with. The update to Oreo offers the Nokia 8 user more ways to control these notifications.

Assuming the developer has activated the feature, applications now have a display badge that shows how many notifications are outstanding for that application. No doubt more apps will have this as standard in the coming months as updates roll out.

You can also set up notifications to have higher priorities. When one comes in a right swipe will show the cog icon. Press that and notifications of this type will be oven higher priority which could include a different sound or an on-screen pop-up. Notifications from your Mum can now have an audible tone while those from your Line Manager will remain silent, even in the same app.

As for notifications that you need to remember, but not right now, you can snooze them so they pop up later for you to action – just swipe and hit the clock icon.

Better Malware Protection

Strictly speaking Google Play Protect is rolling out alongside Oreo (older devices will receive Play Protect), picking up the Oreo update is a surefire way of picking up the extra security layer. It constantly scans your smartphone, its apps, and your data to ensure there are no problems or security issues.

Yes,  apps are vetted before they appear in the Google Play Store for issues, but Play Protect continues that process daily to maintain your digital security.

Battery life and background rules

Getting more power out of a single charge remains a target that continues to be stretched. Oreo’s code works int he background to minimize the drain placed on the battery by unruly apps. Most of this is in the background, limiting the calls that apps can make for processor time or going online so in theory the battery gains will ‘just happen.’

Ewan Spence

Nokia 8 running Android Oreo’s easter egg octopus (image: Ewan Spence)

And A Bonus…

You get the now-traditional Android Easter Egg. Head to the settings app, choose system, then About phone. Start tapping the Android Version line and you’ll see some concentric circles appear. Tap these eight times then long-press and you’ll get an Octopus puppet on-screen to play with.

I wonder what ‘O’ Google would have chosen if it was told it couldn’t use Oreo…

Now read my full review of the Finnish flagship that is the Nokia 8…

Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia’s Oreo Upgrade …

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new screen technology and biometrics from Samsung, leaked Galaxy S9 and Note 9 hardware, Google fixing some Pixel 2 issues, Nokia 8 moving to Oreo as Samsung works on software issues, OnePlus 5T’s Lava Red edition, and Google’s solution to the emoji cheeseburger.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Samsung Turns The Screen Around

If a smartphone is going to be truly bezel-free (as opposed to the marketing speak version of bezel-free) then the screen is going to have to wrap round all of the sides, and reach the back plate of the device. It looks like Samsung has worked out how to achieve this for a future device. Gordon Kelly reports:

Popular Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital has the scoop having uncovered a brand new Samsung WIPO (World International Property Office) patent which details how the company will build a completely bezel-less phone. And this is not ‘bezel-less’ like the meaningless marketing terms being thrown around by smartphone companies today. This is zero bezels, no notch, nothing.

The patent (WO/2017/204483) shows exactly how Samsung will achieve this. The company plans to use “bent areas” on the main display so it can curve 180 degrees around the top, bottom and sides of the smartphone.

More here on Forbes.

Samsung’s Fingerprint Secrets

How will you verify your identity on 2018’s Android devices? There’s more proof that Samsung is working hard on improving the ease of use of its fingerprint sensor, as a patent this week exposed a method of reading a fingerprint that is built into the main display assembly. I’ve taken a closer look at how Samsung could manage this:

The international patent was submitted in April 2017, while the Korean patent was filed during 2016, showing that this is a long-standing goal of Samsung’s design team. With smartphone design trending towards larger screens and smaller bezels (or curved edges that tuck the bezel out of sight) the beloved fingerprint sensor has generally been pushed to the back of the machine. It is a suitable surface from an engineering point of view but ergonomically tricky to get a comfortable fit for every user.

Apple’s solution on the iPhone is to switch to facial recognition. Samsung’s solution appears to be getting a fingerprint sensor that works in the main screen area.

Read more here on Forbes.

71410_960x0 Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia's Oreo Upgrade ...

Samsung on August 23, 2017 in New York,unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

But Is This an S9 or Note 9 Fingerprint Sensor?

The question now is when Samsung can roll out the new sensor. Although the ambitious choice would be to push it for the Galaxy S9. Given the reveal at CES is just over a month away the technology should be more widely leaked if it was going to be implemented. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reckons the Galaxy S9 will miss out:

Given Samsung was long expected to fit the Galaxy S8 with an in-screen fingerprint reader, the news this technology has subsequently run late for both the Galaxy Note 8 and now the Galaxy S9 a year later will be a bitter pill to swallow for many. Especially with patents making it clear Samsung has been hard at work with on this for some time. So fingers crossed for the Galaxy Note 9.

The second announcement ETNews has is less surprising. Its sources confirm Samsung will have no rival to the iPhone X’s Face ID 3D facial recognition system in the Galaxy S9. Instead the report claims Samsung will continue with the combination of an iris sensor and (less accurate and secure) facial recognition using the front camera. Whether this will annoy Samsung fans or see them nonplussed given the fingerprint reader is at least retained, remains to be seen.

More here on Forbes.

Google Prepares Fix For Broken Pixel 2

Following reports of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets suffering from random reboots, Mountain View has been looking for a fix. The issue has been found and an update is expected in the near future that will correct the problem Chaim Gartenberg reports:

Fortunately, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users will have one less thing to worry about soon, as Google has announced that it has identified a problem causing the phones to randomly reboot. It will be issuing a fix “in the coming weeks…” That could come either bundled as part of a monthly security update (which sometimes include Pixel fixes) or a future Android software release.

More at The Verge.

Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia’s Oreo Upgrade …

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new screen technology and biometrics from Samsung, leaked Galaxy S9 and Note 9 hardware, Google fixing some Pixel 2 issues, Nokia 8 moving to Oreo as Samsung works on software issues, OnePlus 5T’s Lava Red edition, and Google’s solution to the emoji cheeseburger.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Samsung Turns The Screen Around

If a smartphone is going to be truly bezel-free (as opposed to the marketing speak version of bezel-free) then the screen is going to have to wrap round all of the sides, and reach the back plate of the device. It looks like Samsung has worked out how to achieve this for a future device. Gordon Kelly reports:

Popular Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital has the scoop having uncovered a brand new Samsung WIPO (World International Property Office) patent which details how the company will build a completely bezel-less phone. And this is not ‘bezel-less’ like the meaningless marketing terms being thrown around by smartphone companies today. This is zero bezels, no notch, nothing.

The patent (WO/2017/204483) shows exactly how Samsung will achieve this. The company plans to use “bent areas” on the main display so it can curve 180 degrees around the top, bottom and sides of the smartphone.

More here on Forbes.

Samsung’s Fingerprint Secrets

How will you verify your identity on 2018’s Android devices? There’s more proof that Samsung is working hard on improving the ease of use of its fingerprint sensor, as a patent this week exposed a method of reading a fingerprint that is built into the main display assembly. I’ve taken a closer look at how Samsung could manage this:

The international patent was submitted in April 2017, while the Korean patent was filed during 2016, showing that this is a long-standing goal of Samsung’s design team. With smartphone design trending towards larger screens and smaller bezels (or curved edges that tuck the bezel out of sight) the beloved fingerprint sensor has generally been pushed to the back of the machine. It is a suitable surface from an engineering point of view but ergonomically tricky to get a comfortable fit for every user.

Apple’s solution on the iPhone is to switch to facial recognition. Samsung’s solution appears to be getting a fingerprint sensor that works in the main screen area.

Read more here on Forbes.

5c463_960x0 Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia's Oreo Upgrade ...

Samsung on August 23, 2017 in New York,unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

But Is This an S9 or Note 9 Fingerprint Sensor?

The question now is when Samsung can roll out the new sensor. Although the ambitious choice would be to push it for the Galaxy S9. Given the reveal at CES is just over a month away the technology should be more widely leaked if it was going to be implemented. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reckons the Galaxy S9 will miss out:

Given Samsung was long expected to fit the Galaxy S8 with an in-screen fingerprint reader, the news this technology has subsequently run late for both the Galaxy Note 8 and now the Galaxy S9 a year later will be a bitter pill to swallow for many. Especially with patents making it clear Samsung has been hard at work with on this for some time. So fingers crossed for the Galaxy Note 9.

The second announcement ETNews has is less surprising. Its sources confirm Samsung will have no rival to the iPhone X’s Face ID 3D facial recognition system in the Galaxy S9. Instead the report claims Samsung will continue with the combination of an iris sensor and (less accurate and secure) facial recognition using the front camera. Whether this will annoy Samsung fans or see them nonplussed given the fingerprint reader is at least retained, remains to be seen.

More here on Forbes.

Google Prepares Fix For Broken Pixel 2

Following reports of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets suffering from random reboots, Mountain View has been looking for a fix. The issue has been found and an update is expected in the near future that will correct the problem Chaim Gartenberg reports:

Fortunately, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users will have one less thing to worry about soon, as Google has announced that it has identified a problem causing the phones to randomly reboot. It will be issuing a fix “in the coming weeks…” That could come either bundled as part of a monthly security update (which sometimes include Pixel fixes) or a future Android software release.

More at The Verge.

Three Fantastic Things About Android Oreo On The Nokia 8

The Nokia 8 is already one of 2017’s most exciting handsets, representing the return of the Finnish brand to the smartphone market. Powered by Android, Finnish start-up HMD Global promised the speedy delivery of both the monthly security patches and the updates to Android.

With Android 8.0 Oreo now rolling out to the flagship handsets, let’s take a look at three of the new features that Oreo offers the Nokia 8.

Ewan Spence

HMD Global’s Nokia 8 (image: Ewan Spence)

Making Notifications Work

With the prevalence of notifications from social networks, alerts from the latest games, messaging clients, and more, the typical smartphone user has a lot of notifications to deal with. The update to Oreo offers the Nokia 8 user more ways to control these notifications.

Assuming the developer has activated the feature, applications now have a display badge that shows how many notifications are outstanding for that application. No doubt more apps will have this as standard in the coming months as updates roll out.

You can also set up notifications to have higher priorities. When one comes in a right swipe will show the cog icon. Press that and notifications of this type will be oven higher priority which could include a different sound or an on-screen pop-up. Notifications from your Mum can now have an audible tone while those from your Line Manager will remain silent, even in the same app.

As for notifications that you need to remember, but not right now, you can snooze them so they pop up later for you to action – just swipe and hit the clock icon.

Better Malware Protection

Strictly speaking Google Play Protect is rolling out alongside Oreo (older devices will receive Play Protect), picking up the Oreo update is a surefire way of picking up the extra security layer. It constantly scans your smartphone, its apps, and your data to ensure there are no problems or security issues.

Yes,  apps are vetted before they appear in the Google Play Store for issues, but Play Protect continues that process daily to maintain your digital security.

Battery life and background rules

Getting more power out of a single charge remains a target that continues to be stretched. Oreo’s code works int he background to minimize the drain placed on the battery by unruly apps. Most of this is in the background, limiting the calls that apps can make for processor time or going online so in theory the battery gains will ‘just happen.’

Ewan Spence

Nokia 8 running Android Oreo’s easter egg octopus (image: Ewan Spence)

And A Bonus…

You get the now-traditional Android Easter Egg. Head to the settings app, choose system, then About phone. Start tapping the Android Version line and you’ll see some concentric circles appear. Tap these eight times then long-press and you’ll get an Octopus puppet on-screen to play with.

I wonder what ‘O’ Google would have chosen if it was told it couldn’t use Oreo…

Now read my full review of the Finnish flagship that is the Nokia 8…

Three Superb Things About Android Oreo On The Nokia 8

The Nokia 8 is already one of 2017’s most exciting devices, representing the return of the Finnish brand to the smartphone market. Powered by Android, Finnish start-up HMD Global promised the speedy delivery of both the monthly security patches and the updates to Android.

With Android 8.0 Oreo now rolling out to the flagship handsets, let’s take a look at three of the new features that Oreo offers the Nokia 8.

Ewan Spence

HMD Global’s Nokia 8 (image: Ewan Spence)

Making Notifications Work

With the prevalence of notifications from social networks, alerts from the latest games, messaging clients, and more, the typical smartphone user has a lot of notifications to deal with. The update to Oreo offers the Nokia 8 user more ways to control these notifications.

Assuming the developer has activated the feature, applications now have a display badge that shows how many notifications are outstanding for that application. No doubt more apps will have this as standard in the coming months as updates roll out.

You can also set up notifications to have higher priorities. When one comes in a right swipe will show the cog icon. Press that and notifications of this type will be oven higher priority which could include a different sound or an on-screen pop-up. Notifications from your Mum can now have an audible tone while those from your Line Manager will remain silent, even in the same app.

As for notifications that you need to remember, but not right now, you can snooze them so they pop up later for you to action – just swipe and hit the clock icon.

Better Malware Protection

Strictly speaking Google Play Protect is rolling out alongside Oreo (older devices will receive Play Protect), picking up the Oreo update is a surefire way of picking up the extra security layer. It constantly scans your smartphone, its apps, and your data to ensure there are no problems or security issues.

Yes,  apps are vetted before they appear in the Google Play Store for issues, but Play Protect continues that process daily to maintain your digital security.

Battery life and background rules

Getting more power out of a single charge remains a target that continues to be stretched. Oreo’s code works int he background to minimize the drain placed on the battery by unruly apps. Most of this is in the background, limiting the calls that apps can make for processor time or going online so in theory the battery gains will ‘just happen.’

Ewan Spence

Nokia 8 running Android Oreo’s easter egg octopus (image: Ewan Spence)

And A Bonus…

You get the now-traditional Android Easter Egg. Head to the settings app, choose system, then About phone. Start tapping the Android Version line and you’ll see some concentric circles appear. Tap these eight times then long-press and you’ll get an Octopus puppet on-screen to play with.

I wonder what ‘O’ Google would have chosen if it was told it couldn’t use Oreo…

Now read my full review of the Finnish flagship that is the Nokia 8…

Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia’s Oreo Upgrade, Google Fights New Pixel 2 Problems

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new screen technology and biometrics from Samsung, leaked Galaxy S9 and Note 9 hardware, Google fixing some Pixel 2 issues, Nokia 8 moving to Oreo as Samsung works on software issues, OnePlus 5T’s Lava Red edition, and Google’s solution to the emoji cheeseburger.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Samsung Turns The Screen Around

If a smartphone is going to be truly bezel-free (as opposed to the marketing speak version of bezel-free) then the screen is going to have to wrap round all of the sides, and reach the back plate of the device. It looks like Samsung has worked out how to achieve this for a future device. Gordon Kelly reports:

Popular Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital has the scoop having uncovered a brand new Samsung WIPO (World International Property Office) patent which details how the company will build a completely bezel-less phone. And this is not ‘bezel-less’ like the meaningless marketing terms being thrown around by smartphone companies today. This is zero bezels, no notch, nothing.

The patent (WO/2017/204483) shows exactly how Samsung will achieve this. The company plans to use “bent areas” on the main display so it can curve 180 degrees around the top, bottom and sides of the smartphone.

More here on Forbes.

Samsung’s Fingerprint Secrets

How will you verify your identity on 2018’s Android devices? There’s more proof that Samsung is working hard on improving the ease of use of its fingerprint sensor, as a patent this week exposed a method of reading a fingerprint that is built into the main display assembly. I’ve taken a closer look at how Samsung could manage this:

The international patent was submitted in April 2017, while the Korean patent was filed during 2016, showing that this is a long-standing goal of Samsung’s design team. With smartphone design trending towards larger screens and smaller bezels (or curved edges that tuck the bezel out of sight) the beloved fingerprint sensor has generally been pushed to the back of the machine. It is a suitable surface from an engineering point of view but ergonomically tricky to get a comfortable fit for every user.

Apple’s solution on the iPhone is to switch to facial recognition. Samsung’s solution appears to be getting a fingerprint sensor that works in the main screen area.

Read more here on Forbes.

0be63_960x0 Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia's Oreo Upgrade, Google Fights New Pixel 2 Problems

Samsung on August 23, 2017 in New York,unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

But Is This an S9 or Note 9 Fingerprint Sensor?

The question now is when Samsung can roll out the new sensor. Although the ambitious choice would be to push it for the Galaxy S9. Given the reveal at CES is just over a month away the technology should be more widely leaked if it was going to be implemented. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reckons the Galaxy S9 will miss out:

Given Samsung was long expected to fit the Galaxy S8 with an in-screen fingerprint reader, the news this technology has subsequently run late for both the Galaxy Note 8 and now the Galaxy S9 a year later will be a bitter pill to swallow for many. Especially with patents making it clear Samsung has been hard at work with on this for some time. So fingers crossed for the Galaxy Note 9.

The second announcement ETNews has is less surprising. Its sources confirm Samsung will have no rival to the iPhone X’s Face ID 3D facial recognition system in the Galaxy S9. Instead the report claims Samsung will continue with the combination of an iris sensor and (less accurate and secure) facial recognition using the front camera. Whether this will annoy Samsung fans or see them nonplussed given the fingerprint reader is at least retained, remains to be seen.

More here on Forbes.

Google Prepares Fix For Broken Pixel 2

Following reports of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets suffering from random reboots, Mountain View has been looking for a fix. The issue has been found and an update is expected in the near future that will correct the problem Chaim Gartenberg reports:

Fortunately, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users will have one less thing to worry about soon, as Google has announced that it has identified a problem causing the phones to randomly reboot. It will be issuing a fix “in the coming weeks…” That could come either bundled as part of a monthly security update (which sometimes include Pixel fixes) or a future Android software release.

More at The Verge.

Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia’s Oreo Upgrade, Google Fights Pixel 2 Problems

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new screen technology and biometrics from Samsung, leaked Galaxy S9 and Note 9 details, Google fixing some Pixel 2 issues, Nokia 8 moving to Oreo as Samsung works on software issues, OnePlus 5T’s Lava Red edition, and Google’s solution to the emoji cheeseburger.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Samsung Turns The Screen Around

If a smartphone is going to be truly bezel-free (as opposed to the marketing speak version of bezel-free) then the screen is going to have to wrap round all of the sides, and reach the back plate of the device. It looks like Samsung has worked out how to achieve this for a future device. Gordon Kelly reports:

Popular Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital has the scoop having uncovered a brand new Samsung WIPO (World International Property Office) patent which details how the company will build a completely bezel-less phone. And this is not ‘bezel-less’ like the meaningless marketing terms being thrown around by smartphone companies today. This is zero bezels, no notch, nothing.

The patent (WO/2017/204483) shows exactly how Samsung will achieve this. The company plans to use “bent areas” on the main display so it can curve 180 degrees around the top, bottom and sides of the smartphone.

More here on Forbes.

Samsung’s Fingerprint Secrets

How will you verify your identity on 2018’s Android devices? There’s more proof that Samsung is working hard on improving the ease of use of its fingerprint sensor, as a patent this week exposed a method of reading a fingerprint that is built into the main display assembly. I’ve taken a closer look at how Samsung could manage this:

The international patent was submitted in April 2017, while the Korean patent was filed during 2016, showing that this is a long-standing goal of Samsung’s design team. With smartphone design trending towards larger screens and smaller bezels (or curved edges that tuck the bezel out of sight) the beloved fingerprint sensor has generally been pushed to the back of the machine. It is a suitable surface from an engineering point of view but ergonomically tricky to get a comfortable fit for every user.

Apple’s solution on the iPhone is to switch to facial recognition. Samsung’s solution appears to be getting a fingerprint sensor that works in the main screen area.

Read more here on Forbes.

940c7_960x0 Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia's Oreo Upgrade, Google Fights Pixel 2 Problems

Samsung on August 23, 2017 in New York,unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

But Is This an S9 or Note 9 Fingerprint Sensor?

The question now is when Samsung can roll out the new sensor. Although the ambitious choice would be to push it for the Galaxy S9. Given the reveal at CES is just over a month away the technology should be more widely leaked if it was going to be implemented. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reckons the Galaxy S9 will miss out:

Given Samsung was long expected to fit the Galaxy S8 with an in-screen fingerprint reader, the news this technology has subsequently run late for both the Galaxy Note 8 and now the Galaxy S9 a year later will be a bitter pill to swallow for many. Especially with patents making it clear Samsung has been hard at work with on this for some time. So fingers crossed for the Galaxy Note 9.

The second announcement ETNews has is less surprising. Its sources confirm Samsung will have no rival to the iPhone X’s Face ID 3D facial recognition system in the Galaxy S9. Instead the report claims Samsung will continue with the combination of an iris sensor and (less accurate and secure) facial recognition using the front camera. Whether this will annoy Samsung fans or see them nonplussed given the fingerprint reader is at least retained, remains to be seen.

More here on Forbes.

Google Prepares Fix For Broken Pixel 2

Following reports of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets suffering from random reboots, Mountain View has been looking for a fix. The issue has been found and an update is expected in the near future that will correct the problem Chaim Gartenberg reports:

Fortunately, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users will have one less thing to worry about soon, as Google has announced that it has identified a problem causing the phones to randomly reboot. It will be issuing a fix “in the coming weeks…” That could come either bundled as part of a monthly security update (which sometimes include Pixel fixes) or a future Android software release.

More at The Verge.

Year one: The good and bad of Nokia’s return to smartphones

0f2a5_Nokia-logo-1-aa-gds-mwc17-840x560 Year one: The good and bad of Nokia's return to smartphones

Exactly one year ago, HMD Global gained the rights to make and sell smartphones under the Nokia brand.

The Finnish company made great progress in its first year of business. It got what was once the most respected brand name in the industry back on the map and released six Android smartphones. It also made many mistakes.

In an interview with Bloomberg last December, former CEO Arto Nummela said that HMD “will be extremely true to the Nokia brand.” Did the company keep its promise? Let’s take a look.

The good

HMD has stayed true to the Nokia brand when it comes to user-friendliness. It made a smart move by avoiding gimmicky smartphone software features and deciding to stick to the basics. Thus, Nokia-branded handsets are some of the few running stock Android.

Smartphones with vanilla Android have many advantages that make them popular. They are one of the first to get major OS upgrades. They also offer a simple, fast, and user-friendly interface, and don’t come with a ton of pre-installed apps (bloatware) most users will likely never use.

HMD has also promised to upgrade all of its smartphones to Android Oreo, as well as rolling out monthly security updates.

0f2a5_Nokia-logo-1-aa-gds-mwc17-840x560 Year one: The good and bad of Nokia's return to smartphones

Announcing the Nokia 3310 was also a smart move. The device doesn’t have exciting specs, features, or design. It’s a “dumb” phone that’s good for making calls, sending texts, and playing Snake which was all the rage back in the day. But it is a marketing goldmine.

Bringing the 3310 back from the dead was a genius move that put Nokia back on the map.

The original Nokia 3310 was one of the best smartphones of its time and is the star of countless memes that will give you a good laugh. Reviving it was a genius move which put Nokia back on the map, as the company received a ton of free publicity from big and small publications across the globe.

The 3310 reveal also sparked consumer interest, which helped HMD bring its other smartphones to a lot of countries in a short period of time. Although the company has been in business for only a year, its handsets are on sale in China, India, the US, and the majority of European markets.

The company has also invested a lot of money into marketing, in big markets and smaller ones in Europe. This helped it ink deals with carriers throughout the old continent, something many Chinese smartphone makers have been trying to do for years without luck.

The majority of people buy phones on contracts, so partnering with carriers is a huge deal. It brings Nokia devices in front of more consumers and has a big impact on sales.

0f2a5_Nokia-logo-1-aa-gds-mwc17-840x560 Year one: The good and bad of Nokia's return to smartphones

HMD also made a smart move by releasing a smartphone in each category. There’s the already mentioned 3310 feature phone, the budget-friendly Nokia 2 and 3, mid-range Nokia 5, 6, and 7, and the flagship Nokia 8. The company has all the bases covered with its lineup, giving consumers a choice at different price points. Its smartphones also feature fantastic build quality, which has always been synonymous with the Nokia brand.

Having a few low-end and mid-range devices in its lineup is also a great way to grab consumers’ interest in developing markets, where purchasing power is lower than in the West. Offering handsets that won’t break the bank under a strong and respected brand could very easily make HMD a force to be reckoned with in emerging markets.

The bad

One of the biggest mistakes HMD has made so far is playing it safe in its designs. Its smartphones aren’t ugly, but they sure aren’t sexy either. They already look dated, especially compared to gorgeous rivals like the Galaxy S8, LG V30, and Honor 9.

Nokia smartphones— even the flagship Nokia 8— don’t have an X factor; a killer feature or two that would make them stand out. To give you a few examples, the Galaxy S8 sports a curved display, Note 8 comes with the S Pen, OnePlus 5T has Dash Charge, Moto Z2 Force features a modular design, and the HTC U11 offers Edge Sense, as do its mid-range siblings.

0f2a5_Nokia-logo-1-aa-gds-mwc17-840x560 Year one: The good and bad of Nokia's return to smartphones

HMD is trying to make high-end Nokia handsets stand out by equipping them with Zeiss optics. It’s also highlighting the “Bothie” feature, which lets you use front and back cameras simultaneously for split-screen photos and videos. However, these alone aren’t strong enough unique selling propositions to instantly make Nokia smartphones a hit among consumers.

The truth is Nokia smartphones just have the name and HMD is hoping it will be enough to make them compete for your attention and money. The company is trying to cash in on the brand and its plan has been working so far. We likely wouldn’t care about Nokia smartphones without the Nokia name.

This won’t go on forever. HMD has to start innovating and taking risks. If not, the brand will lose its appeal, as it did years back when the company refused to adopt Android and partnered with Microsoft. Making generic Android phones might be a safe bet to start, but it’s not a long-term strategy.

HMD made a mistake by not bringing the flagship Nokia 8 to the US.

HMD also made a big mistake by not focusing more on the US, one of the most important markets for smartphone manufacturers. Sure, it released the Nokia 6 stateside, soon to be followed by the entry-level Nokia 2, but it doesn’t plan on offering its flagship Nokia 8. This is a big no-no because the high-end market is where the money is. Flagships also give companies more press and get people talking.

Speaking of flagships, Nokia is still missing a device that would go head to head with the Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, OnePlus 5T… The Nokia 8 might offer top-of-the-line specs but it also has a small display for a flagship, at 5.3-inches. Not to mention those large, unattractive bezels. If HMD really wants to compete, it needs a real flagship Nokia handset.

0f2a5_Nokia-logo-1-aa-gds-mwc17-840x560 Year one: The good and bad of Nokia's return to smartphones

HMD needs a premium-looking phone that packs the latest hardware, offers a near bezel-less design, and sports a large 18:9 screen between 5.8 and 6.2 inches. We’ll likely see it sooner or later, but if HMD was serious about making a splash it would’ve already been come out. Without it, the hype around Nokia may start winding down, making it even harder for HMD to lure consumers away from the competition.

Has HMD stayed true to the Nokia brand?

The answer is yes and no. The company’s smartphones stick to the basics. They’re well-built and feature a pure Android experience, but they’re missing something. I’ve owned many Nokia devices over the years and every one of them felt like it was ahead of the competition. They were gorgeous and packed features that made them unique. You don’t get that with the new Nokia smartphones.

HMD Global is now rolling out Android 8.0 Oreo for Nokia 8

It might not be a huge deal in the entry-level and mid-range sections, but it definitely comes into play in the high-end market. People who buy flagships rarely make impulse purchases. They know their options and what’s unique about each one. The brand alone won’t be enough for HMD to capture the attention of power users. It needs something more.

Things could change. HMD obviously has more devices in the pipeline, with one of them being the Nokia 9 (see image below). Rumor has it the device will come with a 5.5-inch QHD curved display, a bezel-less design, and top-of-the-line specs. On paper, it looks like a much better competitor to the Galaxy S8, LG G6, and similar devices than the Nokia 8. But by the time it arrives the next generation of flagships will be available, so HMD might still be playing catch up.

0f2a5_Nokia-logo-1-aa-gds-mwc17-840x560 Year one: The good and bad of Nokia's return to smartphones

The company has made some mistakes in its first year of business, but it also made a lot of fantastic moves. It’s received a lot of attention in the last 12 months, but HMD will have to take its game to the next level in 2018 if it wants to return the Nokia brand to its former glory.

That’s my take, what’s yours? Let me know in the comments.

Are iPhone X, Galaxy Note 8 at $1000 really 10 times better than $100 Nokia 2?

e120e_59ade468e4b09e7071c9a610-1280x7201sep05201753225poster Are iPhone X, Galaxy Note 8 at $1000 really 10 times better than $100 Nokia 2?

If you think it’s mad to spend nearly $1,000 on a Galaxy, Pixel, or iPhone, the Nokia 2 could be your answer for a good-looking smartphone. The best part is it can get the job done at a tenth of the price.

At just $100, the Nokia 2 gives you the basics with a few factors that make it stand out. It features a five-inch LCD display and quad-core Snapdragon 212 processor. That’s far off high-end specs, but the phone has a stylish finish and qualities that do count.

According to HMD Global, the custodian of the Nokia phone brand, the Nokia 2 should last two days on a single charge and comes with pure Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

Additionally, the company has established a solid track record for promptly delivering security updates to end-users — something that’s rare at this price.

e120e_59ade468e4b09e7071c9a610-1280x7201sep05201753225poster Are iPhone X, Galaxy Note 8 at $1000 really 10 times better than $100 Nokia 2?

The Nokia 2 should last two days on a single charge, says HMD Global, and comes with pure Android 7.1.1 Nougat.


Image: Nokia

Other core specs include an eight-megapixel rear camera and five-megapixel selfie shooter, 1GB RAM, 8GB in-built storage, and a MicroSD slot that supports up to 128GB.

It features a Gorilla Glass display and polycarbonate back. The phone is available black with gray edges, white with gray edges, and black with orange edges.

Basically, the Nokia 2 is effectively a high-end phone from a few years back and for the price could serve as a solid second phone. And yes, it has a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The phone arrives in the US as HMD Global celebrates its first birthday since taking over the Nokia brand after Microsoft’s mobile misadventure with Windows Phone and Nokia’s Lumia phones.

The company has so far released six smartphones and five basic phones, including the Nokia 3310, in 80 markets. The company also boasts strategic partnerships with Nokia, Google, Foxconn and Zeiss, which supplies the cameras for the top-end Nokia 8.

HMD also announced today that it will begin rolling out Android Oreo to its portfolio, starting with the Nokia 8.

The Nokia 2 is available at Best Buy, Amazon, and BH.

Previous and related coverage

Android Nokia 8 flagship goes high-end with dual camera and Zeiss optics

Leaked images offer a clear shot of the new Nokia 8 with Zeiss optics.

Nokia 5 review: A solid mid-range pure-Android contender

The Nokia 5 is a well-designed mid-range handset with excellent build quality, although several compromises have been made to achieve its attractive price point.

Nokia 3, First Take: Affordable Android, but beware the trade-offs

Nokia’s entry-level Android 7 phone looks good and includes NFC, but falls short on processing power and screen resolution.

Read more on smartphones

Nokia 2 now available for purchase in US for $99

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Deal: Buy 3 Months, Get 3 Free. Unlimited Talk, Text.
Plans from $15/month

Nokia 8 just got updated to Android Oreo, adding speed and new features

Following a beta last month, the finished version of Android Oreo has now landed on the Nokia 8, bringing with it a number of improvements and new features.

The update, which we’ve had confirmation is live in the UK, will presumably be coming to the rest of the world soon if it hasn’t already, and highlights include a new picture-in-picture mode, which lets you watch a video while using another app.

That’s a feature you’ll find on most handsets rocking Android Oreo, but there’s also some stuff exclusive to Nokia handsets, such as ‘Dual-Sight’, which uses the front and back cameras simultaneously when shooting video, so you can stream your reaction to events on social media.

Fast and free of bloat

The Nokia 8 should also now power up faster and its battery might last longer, thanks to a feature that limits the background activity of the apps you use least.

And speaking of apps, there’s no bloat here, with no unnecessary apps added as part of the Android Oreo update. But what you do get is over 60 new emoji, plus new designs for the existing ones.

There’s also good news if you have a Nokia 6 or other Nokia handset, as you shouldn’t have to wait too much longer for Android Oreo, with HMD Global – the company behind recent Nokia phones – claiming that Oreo is coming to other Nokia handsets soon.

Nokia 8 and HTC U11 finally get their taste of the Android 8.0 Oreo update

Nokia has started pushing out the Android 8.0 Oreo update for the factory unlocked variant of the Nokia 8 in Asia, Europe and North America, according to HMD Global Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas.

The Android 8.0 Oreo upgrade transports a number of much-requested features, including adaptive icons, circular emoji and notification channels, with the most notable addition being support for Picture-in-Picture (PiP).

Announced back in September, the Nokia 8 is HMD Global-owned Nokia’s most impressive flagship smartphone to date, packing a 5.3-inch IPS LCD display, a Snapdragon 835 CPU, 4/6GB of RAM and a 3,090mAh battery.

Related: Nokia 8

The pièce de résistance, however, is the handset’s high-end dual-camera setup (13MP + 13MP) and 13MP selfie shooter, which can be configured to simultaneously shoot front- and rear-facing video in Full HD.

Even better, you can currently bag the Nokia 8 for less. Mobiles.co.uk currently have it available SIM-free for just £359 – the cheapest we’ve ever seen it and one of the best Cyber Monday deals around.

On a related note, HTC has begun distributing a near-identical update for the HTC U11 in the aforementioned regions. Its version, however, also bundles compatibility for Bluetooth 5.0, something the Nokia 8 supports out of the box.

Dubbed “the world’s first squeezable smartphone,” the U11 sports a pressure-sensitive frame, letting users trigger actions – opening an application, for example – by squeezing the device for a predetermined length of time.

Have you received the long-awaited Android 8.0 Oreo update on your HTC U11 or Nokia 8? If so, whereabouts are you based? Be sure to let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.

Android Oreo Officially Rolling Out to the Nokia 8; Nokia 6 and Nokia 5 to Follow Next

Last month, HMD Global kicked off a beta software program for its flagship smartphone, the Nokia 8, to let users try out an early version of Android Oreo. At the time, the company promised that a stable release will be rolled out to the device before the end of this year. Sticking to its promise, the company has announced the stable roll-out of Android Oreo for the Nokia 8.

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer at HMD Global, announced in a tweet that the company has begun rolling out Android Oreo to Nokia 8 devices. The roll-out is phased over 2 days, so it might take some time for the new update to reach all devices. Nonetheless, if you’re sporting a Nokia 8, keep an eye out for the Android Oreo OTA.

The update carries build number V4.35J and is 1518.1 MB in size. According to the update changelog, all the standard Android 8.0 Oreo features are included in the update including picture-in-picture mode, notification dots, Autofill Framework, and faster boot times. Moreover, the update also brings along the November security update which patches the WiFi KRACK exploit.

cd649_Nokia-8-Oreo-update-169x300 Android Oreo Officially Rolling Out to the Nokia 8; Nokia 6 and Nokia 5 to Follow Next

Credits: @Robinxdroid

Apart from the Nokia 8, other devices such the Nokia 6, Nokia 5, Nokia 3, as well as the entry-level Nokia 2 are also confirmed to receive an update to Android Oreo. While the company hasn’t given an exact timeline for the Android Oreo roll-out for these devices, it looks like work is already in progress for some of them. In a separate tweet, Mr. Sarvikas confirmed that the mid-range Nokia 6 and Nokia 5 will be the next in line to receive Android Oreo, adding that they will soon be added to the company’s Beta Labs program.

Whether it’s keeping up with monthly security updates or Android’s major platform updates, HMD Global has done a great job at providing timely software support to its Nokia lineup and we really hope that the company will continue doing the same in the future as well.




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