London — Nokia-branded phone makers announced a number of new devices on Tuesday, including “military-grade” smartphones designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions.
According to HMD Global, the Nokia XR20 is the most durable phone ever created. The XR20 features a rugged 6.67-inch Gorilla Glass Victus display from American tech company Corning, which can withstand scratches and drops from about 6 feet.
Known in the mobile industry as a “rugged” phone, it is a niche category in the market primarily for extreme sports enthusiasts and manual workers. The HMD says it wants the Nokia XR20 to serve a more mainstream audience.
In a marketing video, the company shows a woman spilling coffee over the phone and rinsing it in the kitchen sink. Then, after the girl accidentally dropped the device, she picked it up and dropped it back on the stone path. After all, it’s almost intact.
Perfect for mobile phone brands that are famous for their durability. The myth that Nokia mobile phones are “indestructible” has been the subject of countless Internet memes. According to the HMD, the Nokia XR20 can be submerged in water for up to an hour and can withstand extreme temperatures.
Beyond the rugged qualification, HMD’s new smartphone supports ultra-fast 5G internet and features a dual-lens main camera with 48 megapixels and 13 megapixels. There are two colors, black and blue.
The HMD also introduces four years of monthly security updates and three years of Android operating system upgrades.
HMD CEO Florian Seiche said most people want a phone that can be stored longer. He added that the HMD uses the Nokia XR20 to target consumers as well as corporate clients.
“This fits the requirements of many enterprise devices,” he said. “They don’t want to pay $ 1,000 or $ 1,500 for a clunky, dedicated, rugged device.”
Nokia XR20s start at £ 399 in the UK and $ 549.99 in the US. It will be shipped from August 24th.
The company is trying to open up a niche market for the mobile phone market, selling a modern revival of retro Nokia mobile phones and smartphones from low to medium.
According to IDC, the smartphone market is struggling, with a 2020 market share of only 0.6%. This is lower than LG, which recently decided to shrink its mobile business.
However, HMDs are a more prominent player in the feature phone (or “dumb phone”) market, with old-school mobile phones accounting for 16% of the market last year.
On Tuesday, the company announced the latest version of Nokia’s 6310 phone, announced in 2001. The new 6310 only supports older 2G networks, unlike previous remakes that supported 4G.
According to the HMD, this is because the target audience is interested in Nokia’s legacy, but only needs basic text and audio capabilities.
The Nokia 6310 is available in black and yellow and retails for £ 49.99.
Other products announced by the HMD on Tuesday included the Nokia C30, a 99-pound smartphone with a large 6.82-inch display, and four Nokia earphones. The finest Nokia Clarity Earbuds Pro is included in the Nokia XR20.
The move to online sales last year meant that the HMD was “successful in sustaining profits,” Seiche told CNBC. The company also promotes its services through its own network called HMD Mobile.
However, Seiche added that the global shortage of semiconductor components can be difficult for HMDs and other device manufacturers.
Demand for low-end models is so high that “certainly there is overall tightness,” he added, “there may be some imbalances across the market.”
The new Nokia XR20 smartphone can be beaten
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