HMD leaves Nokia behind with the official announcement of the ‘repairable’ Pulse family

HMD leaves Nokia behind with the official announcement of the ‘repairable’ Pulse family

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If you felt like the global smartphone market was in need of a little more brand diversity, HMD is here today to make that wish a (commercial) reality with not one and not two but three new Android handsets.

For those unfamiliar with that name, HMD stands for “Human Mobile Devices”, and after taking care of Nokia-labeled smartphones and dumb phones for the past seven years or so, the Finland-based company is now committed to doing its own thing
That doesn’t mean the Nokia name is dead and buried, mind you, but instead of receiving sequels to devices like the Nokia G42 or G310, we’re getting the first-ever HMD Pulse lineup today… at least in Europe.

The Pulse Pro is (naturally) the best of the three phones

With a fairly modest Unisoc T606 processor and 6GB RAM under the hood, the 6.65-inch HMD Pulse Pro is obviously not a top-shelf alternative to the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra or Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max. When you consider the lackluster 1612 x 720 pixel resolution of the otherwise pretty smooth 90Hz display and the absence of 5G connectivity, you’re unlikely to find this thing a very strong candidate for the title of best budget phone in 2024 either.

But compared to the Pulse and Pulse Plus, the Pulse Pro is a little more impressive, featuring among others a “market-leading” 50MP selfie camera in addition to 50MP primary and 2MP secondary rear-facing snappers.

 

The key selling point of the entire HMD Pulse trio seems to be the “Gen 1 repairability” (as the company calls it, suggesting further improvements in this department down the line). Currently, what this means is that you don’t need an “engineering degree” to replace a broken screen, charging port, or battery in the comfort of your own home.

Instead, you will simply have to order a self-repair kit from iFixit… when they actually become available and if the need to replace one of those components ever arises. Of course, the phone itself has to start selling first, which is expected to happen “soon” across the old continent at a very reasonable price of €179.99.
There’s really no point in converting that number to US dollars as this particular device is unlikely to arrive stateside, but our European friends and readers may want to know that €180 will buy them a hefty 5,000mAh battery with 20W charging support, 128GB internal storage space, and pre-installed Android 14 software with two guaranteed OS upgrades down the line as well.

The “standard” Pulse is already up for grabs in Europe and likely coming to the US… eventually

If you live in a country like France, Italy, or Spain, you can order the non-Pro HMD Pulse right now at €139.99 and get the same aforementioned “Gen 1” repairability, as well as a 90Hz 6.65-inch screen, Unisoc T606 processing power, and 5,000mAh battery capacity.

This low to mid-end device differs from its Pro sibling with a 4GB RAM count, 64 gigs of storage, and perhaps most notably, a very humble 8MP front camera and 13MP rear-facing snapper. Although it’s not 100 percent confirmed just yet, the HMD Pulse is also widely expected to stand out from the Plus and Pro variants with official US availability under a tweaked HMD Vibe name.

Last but not necessarily least, the HMD Pulse+ remains shrouded in secrecy (for some reason) as far as European pricing is concerned. With the same exact panel and an extremely similar design as the Pulse and Pulse Pro but a middling combination of a 50MP rear camera and 8MP front imaging sensor, as well as 4GB RAM and 128GB storage, the Pulse Plus is likely to cost around €159.99… and struggle to find a large audience.

 

All in all, these are certainly commendable rookie own-brand efforts from the company behind all the best (and worst) Nokia smartphones of the last few years, but it’s rather hard to get truly excited about the HMD Pulse family, at least at first glance.



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