HMD Unveils Its First Android Phones Without the Nokia Badge

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Key Takeaways

  • HMD has introduced its first Android phones without a Nokia label.
  • The Vibe is a budget-plus device with a Snapdragon chip and 90Hz screen.
  • The Pulse, Pulse+, and Pulse Pro are very low-cost options for Europe.

HMD has introduced its first Android phones to go without Nokia branding, the Vibe and the Pulse.

The Vibe (not yet pictured) is headed to the US and is also the most powerful model with a mid-tier Snapdragon 680 chip, a 90Hz 6.6-inch display, and a 13-megapixel primary rear camera. The 4,000mAh battery isn’t exceptional, but the 3.5mm headphone jack makes it more useful if you can’t justify wireless earbuds.

HMD will sell the Vibe in the US for $149.

The Pulse, Pulse+, and Pulse Pro (pictured here) represent HMD’s phone line for Europe. The entry Pulse has a low-end Unisoc T606 system-on-chip, 4GB of RAM, a 13MP main rear camera, and the same display as the Vibe. Opt for the Pulse+ and you’ll get 8GB of RAM as well as a 50MP primary camera. The Pulse Pro brings quicker charging and a 50MP selfie cam.


HMD Pulse+ and Pulse Pro
HMD Pulse+ (left) and Pulse Pro (right)

All of the phones offer what HMD called “Gen 1 repairability.” You can replace a broken battery, charging port, or display by getting an iFixit repair-it-yourself kit. The brand also touts “sleek” designs with uncommon colors like Apricot Crush (orange) and Twilight Purple.

The Pulse, Pulse+, and Pulse Pro will respectively sell for €139, €159, and €179.

HMD was originally the phone business Nokia sold to Microsoft in 2014. It bought operations back in 2016 and started shipping Nokia-branded handsets that same year. The company has sold basic cellphones under its own name, but hasn’t delivered smartphones until now.

The focus on budget phones isn’t surprising. Nokia-badged Android phones have covered a wide range of price points and have often centered around the mid-range. The inaugural HMD phone series caters solely to cost-conscious buyers — that could help it sell without treading on Nokia’s territory.