Nokia 5.4 and Nokia 3.4, though they have competitive hardware and attractive design, take a slightly different trajectory.
Nokia 5.4 (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)
HMD Global, maker of Nokia-branded smartphones, launched the Nokia 5.4 and Nokia 3.4 in India on Wednesday. While the Nokia 5.4 starts at Rs 13,999, the Nokia 3.4 starts at Rs 11,999. These Nokia “budget” phones enter an ever-crowded market that, as things stand today, is governed largely by specs and features. More the merrier. The Nokia 5.4 and Nokia 3.4, though they have competitive hardware and attractive design, take a slightly different trajectory in that HMD is not looking to blow consumers’ minds through “killer” specs (available at rock bottom prices). The focus rather, is on experience and better still, on security and reliability – trust if you will.
A philosophy that all new-age Nokia phones follow to a T. This is by design.
“We have never got into this format of commoditization. We feel that this is not good for the consumer. When you are looking at a specs versus price equation, it is important to look at it not only from a hardware specs point of view, but also from software and security angles because that includes the whole experience on the device. That is something that we will continue to communicate and focus on,” HMD Global vice president Sanmeet Kochhar told Financial Express Online.
As soon as you buy a new phone today, with say 2GB RAM, after three months or after six months you realize there is another product at the same price which has more RAM. Your phone is now outdated, or old fashioned and you would want to change it. Most smartphone brands that are into launching phones by the dozen in quick succession argue that this is so they can offer the latest and greatest technology to end-users as soon as it is available to them. And while it is a consumer-friendly approach to an extent, brands must also spend ample time to differentiate their products on grounds of experience.
“What happens if you are not upgrading your software, which nobody else except Nokia talks about right now? You see that your phone is having issues in terms of performance, in terms of battery. If you don’t get timely software upgrades, you won’t receive the advancements in technology that are happening in the field of artificial intelligence, in terms of adaptive battery or in terms of imaging and all these benefits only come in with upgraded software.”
Also, device security is paramount, something that more and more people – average buyers – have started to talk about especially since last year.
“Our focus has always been on providing the most secure devices. While this has been our promise all along, this proposition became even more relevant after the India China geopolitical situation came out and everybody started looking at the data stored on their phone and wondering if their data was secure,” Kochhar said.
HMD provides two years of operating system upgrades across different devices in different price bands. The brand ensures that “for three years your Nokia phone is not only the latest, but always up to date, and in fact it continues to get better, as we move forward, because you have a new software even on a Nokia phone which you buy for, let’s say Rs 8,000 in India.”
In this way, Nokia users (tend to) get more value with their purchase over the lifetime of the device.
Going forward, HMD will continue to focus on this aspect. “Our differentiation lies in terms of having a better, future-proof software. When you are buying a Nokia phone, you are getting software which is going to last for much longer and then you will not be forced to change your device (as frequently).”