HMD Global has announced a big step forward in its North American strategy with partnerships at three carriers: AT&T-owned Cricket Wireless and Verizon in the United States and Rogers in Canada.
The first phone up for sale will be the one on Cricket and that’s the Nokia 3.1 Plus. Already released for Europe and India, we find that the MediaTek processor has been switched out for a Snapdragon 439 and that the device will launch with Android Pie, putting it on another level in the prepaid industry. It also has a 6-inch extra-tall HD display, a fingerprint sensor, NFC, dual rear cameras and a 3,500mAh battery. It’s available today in stores and online for $159.99.
Coming on January 31 to Verizon’s prepaid lineup is the Nokia 2.1 or, in this case, the long-rumored Nokia 2 V. It will feature a 4,000mAh battery paired with a Snapdragon 425 with bare basic specs. As it does not carry CDMA bands, this will be an LTE-only phone. Pricing and other details will be announced when it goes on sale.
We also know that Rogers will adopt the Nokia 2.1 for prepaid customers later this quarter.
Nokia’s priority on software updates remain with regular security and OS updates — the Nokia 2 V launches with Android Oreo, but is expecting Pie in Q2 — though the process will be a bit slower to make room for carrier optimizations.