This is the year of 5G whether you want it or not, and you can thank Qualcomm for making the new network technology mandatory in its latest ARM chips. That has led to some extremely big, expensive smartphones in 2020, but HMD plans to launch a more affordable 5G Android phone in the US this year. The Nokia 8.3 5G falls between flagships and budget phones, but we don’t know when it’ll launch or exactly how much it will cost in the US.
The Nokia 8.3 5G is not technically a new phone, but it’ll be new for the US. HMD announced the 8.5 5G back in March alongside the 5.3 and 1.3. The Snapdragon 765G inside this phone has an integrated 5G modem unlike the 865, which needs a separate modem. There are only two high-power processing cores and six low-power — the 865 has a 4×4 setup. The 765 doesn’t crush benchmarks like the 865 does, but it has better battery life, and the real-world performance is almost as good.
Odds are this 5G phone will only support sub-6 frequencies. The cost associated with millimeter wave, which is only common in the US, has thus far limited ultra-fast 5G to flagship devices. That’s not a huge loss, though. Millimeter wave only has a range of a few hundred feet and doesn’t pass through walls.
HMD equipped the Nokia 8.3 with a giant 6.8-inch 1080p display, but it’s an LCD rather than OLED. That means a bit more bezel at the bottom of the phone, but HMD has helpfully slapped the Nokia logo in there in case you forget what phone you’re using. Happens all the time, right? The 8.3 also sports a 64MP main camera sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth sensor.
In March, there were precious few phones running the Snapdragon 765 system-on-a-chip (SoC), but this part of the market has since filled in with devices like the LG Velvet, Motorola Edge, and OnePlus Nord. That might make the Nokia 8.3 a tougher sell. HMD hasn’t mentioned US pricing just yet, but the international 8.3 5G runs €600, which is about $648. The Nord, which is available internationally and will come to the US in some form, is currently €200 less. The Velvet is slightly cheaper, and the Edge is just a bit more. So, it’s a much more crowded field in late 2020 than early 2020.
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