HMD’s Nokia is launching the $699 Nokia 8 V 5G UW, the company’s second 5G device. In a major shift for HMD, it’ll be sold through Verizon, making the Nokia 8 V HMD’s first high-end device that’ll be available through a US carrier.
Despite the new branding, though, the Nokia 8 V is effectively a Verizon-branded version of HMD’s first 5G phone, the Nokia 8.3 5G, that it announced in March. The Nokia 8.3 5G finally launched in the US in September as an unlocked device for the same $699 price, although there’s a key difference between it and the Verizon model: the Nokia 8.3 5G only supports sub-6GHz 5G, while the Nokia 8 V 5G UW supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G networks.
As for the actual Nokia 8 V, it visually appears identical to the 8.3 5G, although it comes in a gray color scheme instead of a blue one. Otherwise, expect the same 6.81-inch display (with a hole-punch camera and a Nokia-branded chin on the bottom) and a prominent quad-camera array on its rear, with a main 64-megapixel sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
Inside, you’ll find a Snapdragon 765G processor with an integrated 5G modem, a 4,500mAh battery, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage — those last two numbers mark a downgrade from the unlocked Nokia 8.3 5G, which offers 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Rounding things out are a power button (with an integrated fingerprint sensor), a customizable voice assistant button, USB-C for charging, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It’ll ship with Android 10, although HMD promises that an Android 11 update is already in the works. Absent are any wireless charging features or waterproofing.
The company has been building toward this moment for some time, beginning in the beginning of 2019 when HMD’s Nokia started to sell phones through carriers again. Until now, though, those phones have skewed toward the low end of the hardware spectrum, but the Nokia 8 V promises to offer a more premium device.
The question is whether HMD’s $699 device will be able to muster sufficient competition to other major devices from more established premium brands when customers are making their choice of a new phone at a Verizon store.
The $700 price point is a crowded one, with a lot of great phones like the $699 Pixel 5 (and its top-tier camera), the $699.99 Galaxy S20 FE and its high-end features, or the $729 iPhone 12 mini (which offers flagship features at a matching $699 price when purchased through a carrier like Verizon) — all of which offer 5G and similar (if not better) features than HMD’s option.