Nokia phones look under threat as first HMD branded handset leaks

The end for Nokia phones as we know them?

Nokia 3.4
(Image credit: Future)

Nokia has been in the smartphone game for absolutely ages now, releasing many of the best phones over the years, but it's also been threatening to pull back slightly for a while, too. 

That process looks like it's coming ever closer now, with the leak of some new phones from HMD Global. It has been making Nokia phones under licence for a few years now, but the latest models don't appear to have any shred of Nokia branding on them.

The two handsets, spotted by the team at 91mobiles, are seemingly labelled as the N159V and TA-1585 for now, with public-facing names doubtless in the pipeline too. 

91mobiles says that it's been told the phones are likely to be mid-rangers, and while we don't have access to any specs at all, based on the camera bump and layout shown on a leaked render, that pretty much checks out.

HMD 91mobiles

(Image credit: 91mobiles)

With two cameras rather than the three or four that are more common on premium and top-end handsets, it also has what looks a lot like a matte plastic casing on the back, too.

That material could be a fancy brushed metal or artfully misted glass, of course, but going merely on appearances it would certainly seem to back up that mid-ranger idea. This doesn't have to be a bad thing, by any stretch - the mid-range market is getting more and more competitive for a reason, after all. 

The real key, though, is that new HMD logo in the middle of the phone's back, which could well be the key indicator of an all-new strategy at HMD headquarters.

Whether it can succeed in kindling interest in itself as a brand will be interesting to observe - while Nokia may not have had a widespread reputation for being on the cutting-edge (at times harshly) in recent years, it still had tremendous brand recognition.

HMD may end up feeling like a far more generic and unknown property to many prospective customers, but these phones could be the start of an attempt to turn that around. 

They'll reportedly launch in India first, as soon as April this year, targeting a different market, and it's far from certain that they'll get a UK or European release. 

We'll keep our ears to the ground on that front, though, and keep you posted. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.