+ Tuesday November 19th, 2019

Over the weeks and months leading up to MWC, we’ve seen more than a few leaks about the new Nokia 9, and after its official announcement at HMD Global’s pre-MWC press conference today, we’re pleased to say they got it mostly right. What that means is that HMD Global is bringing a true competitor into the flagship smartphone camera market, and we couldn’t be more excited. Say hello to the Nokia 9.

Five times the fun for photography

Without a doubt, the headline feature of the new Nokia 9 is the 5-sensor rear camera array, and according to HMD Global, it will be the most advanced computational photography system in any smartphone today. Unlike other multi-camera phones, Nokia’s 5 cameras all use the same f/1.8 lenses with 12MP sensors behind them. That’s right — no wide angle, no telephoto, no differing apertures waiting to be combined.

What HMD Global has done is built a system where the 5 cameras simultaneously capture the same images — 2 of the sensors in full-colour RGB, and 3 in monochrome. Using 3 monochromes sensors, HMD is able to capture 2.9 times more light and the combine that with the colour images for more detail and better low-light performance.

Using computational photography, the 5 images are stitched together, creating one single image with all of the combined data from the 5 cameras. If that sounds like it will take a lot of computational power, well it kind of does — HMD has packaged a Snapdragon 845 including the hexagon DSP (Digital Signal Processing) to handle the heavy lifting.

There’s no OIS included, but between the 5 sensors and the computational photography, it’s unlikely that the Nokia 9 will need it. HMD also made special note that the Nokia 9 will not feature the all-too-familiar camera bump – preferring instead to create a seamless unibody housing, which I think I prefer.

Not only can the 5 images be stitched together but each of the 5 sensors can be independently controlled, with each sensor being set to a different expose time. The imaging system can also capture a full depth map thanks to the 5 sensors. Overall we’re expecting the Nokia 9 to produce some truly amazing photos in basically all lighting situations.

There’s other specs, too

There’s more to the Nokia 9 than just the camera, of course.

Rounding out the specs you’ll find 6GB of RAM, 128GB onboard storage, a 6-inch QHD (2K, or 2560 x 1440) OLED notch-less display and in-display fingerprint sensor. It’s all powered by a 3,320 mAh battery with a USB-C charging in an IP67 rated body. There’s no 3.5mm headphone jack, though.

The Nokia 9 will ship from March 2019 for $699 (or around $1027.59 AUD). We don’t have local pricing or availability yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we see it.

Duncan Jaffrey   Associate

Duncan Jaffrey

Duncan has been interested in technology since coding "Mary had a little Lamb" in Basic on his ZX Spectrum. A fan of all things Android, most days you'll find Duncan trawling the web for Android news or quietly editing away on Map Maker.

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Surprising there is no optical zoom and wide-angle cameras in that lot but this will probably make computational stitching of the photos easier and faster.

What is the black circle opposite the flash?

Ausdroid Reader

Wow, I really hope this camera arrangement lives up to the hype, especially in such a “reasonably” priced handset compared to other recent flagship devices.

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