While HMD Global was probably wise not to take on the likes of Apple, Samsung or Huawei in the ultra-high-end smartphone arena during its first year of Nokia-licensed activity, the Finnish company’s 2018 strategy might be a different kettle of fish.

Next year’s very first Nokia-branded handset to see daylight could be that long overdue premium 9, and a refreshed Nokia 8 is expected to join the curvy powerhouse to an announcement event in China on January 19.

This second-gen Nokia 8, likely to be dubbed Nokia 8 (2018), would arrive only a few months after the original, which feels highly unusual. But the first-gen never reached a bunch of important markets around the world, and the sequel, if real, could go international at Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress in late February.

Interestingly enough, Chinese media seems to think the Nokia 9 will retain a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio for its 2K resolution-sporting screen, while the 8 (2018) should jump on the 18:9 (or 2:1) bandwagon, with an unspecified pixel count.

That sounds a little bit similar to Huawei’s Mate 10/Mate 10 Pro dual-flagship arrangement, although both the Nokia 9 and 8 (2018) are tipped to offer water resistance and Snapdragon 835 processing power, lacking 3.5mm headphone jacks.

Previously rumored to cost at least 5,000 yuan, the 9 is now expected to start at a more palatable CNY 3,699 ($560) with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage, going up to CNY 4,199 ($635) if you need twice the internal digital hoarding room.

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