Monday, January 17, 2022

The Nokia 9 Pureview from 2019 will not receive Android 11

The Nokia 9 Pureview won’t be updated to Android 11, HMD Global has announced. Instead, customers – in some countries – will get a 50% discount on Nokia XR20 if they want to buy the phone. The phone will however continue to get security updates.

HMD says the reason for this is because they had to “make the tough choice not to offer the Android 11 software upgrade for Nokia 9 PureView. Incompatibilities between the camera and the software would have led to a compromised experience that does not meet our high standards.”

This is a weird announcement for a flagship device launched in 2019. One may say it makes sense to not send over an update that may affect performance, but at the same time updates have been Nokia’s main selling point – the promise that their devices will continue to run the latest software for up to 3 years. And this is a phone with flagship specs.

In August 2019, HMD gave an outline for when its devices would receive Android 10, the Nokia 9 Pureview was then amongst the very first in schedule. It was expected that later on the phone would get Android 11. But that’s now canceled. And the cancellation is happening at a time when users should be asking for when Android 12 will be available.

The Nokia 9 Pureview from 2019 will not receive Android 11

For a company that has constantly sold the dream of vanilla Android and timely updates, it feels like a betrayal not only of that promise, but also of the customers who bought in to the brand.

On the website, Nokia says, “Your current Nokia 9 PureView won’t change and you will continue to receive security updates. But, for those of you looking to make the jump to Android 11, we’re offering a 50% discount on Nokia XR20, or another device depending on regional availability.”

In the past year, companies like OPPO and Samsung, and more, have stepped up on the timeframes for updating their devices. Samsung is promising 3-4 years of updates and so is OPPO. Which makes the HMD promise with Nokia phones no longer as exciting. They need to do more now to woo customers. Especially given competition is offering better specs at better prices compared to HMD.

Android 12 is already out. And I can’t wait to see how fast HMD send out the updates to their devices compared to companies like Samsung, OPPO, OnePlus etc who run very heavy skin customisations compared to Nokia.


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Dickson Otieno
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