HMD Global, the company that owns the license to make Nokia phones, is introducing a selection of new phones. And alongside those phones, there’s also a new way to purchase one of them to encourage you to keep it for longer than usual. That’s right, HMD Global doesn’t want you to keep upgrading your phone, an unusual strategy for any phone maker.
Nokia’s plan to ‘redefine phone ownership’
The new way to buy and keep your phone is called Circular, and it will “redefine phone ownership,” according to HMD Global. So what’s it all about? On the surface, it’s a simple phone leasing service, where you sign up with the company and pay monthly for your new Nokia phone. It’s a fixed contract for just three months, then you’re free to cancel, continue, or upgrade when you want. But don’t do that, because Circular is all about keeping your phone.
What makes it different from the rest is that HMD Global will reward you for keeping your phone, but not through free gifts or a break on your monthly payments. Instead, you earn virtual credits called Seed of Tomorrow (yes, really) to invest in a set of curated environmentally aware causes. The longer you keep your phone, the more seeds you get, and the more causes you can support. Unconnected, Ecologi, and Clear Rivers are the names already onboard.
Depending on the one you choose to support, your seeds will do different things. Spent with Ecologi, they will help fund the planting of new trees, while Unconnected will help bring network connectivity to people in the greatest need. Seeds spent with ClearRivers will help clear rivers of plastic waste. However, at this stage, it’s not clear how many “seeds” you earn and how long it will take to get them. All we do know is that one seed is worth 17 trees planted in a curated forest with Ecologi.
The phone will remain the property of HMD Global, but with this comes peace of mind, as it will be replaced in the event of loss, damage, or theft. It’s also promising to help out with questions about the product, and provide troubleshooting advice too. When you do eventually return the phone, it will go on to live again as a refurbished device, get recycled, or be donated to charity.
The program will launch in the U.K. and Germany first, and plans will cost between 10 and 25 British pounds per month (about $12 to $30, depending on the phone you choose). There are four choices at the moment, including the new Nokia X30 5G and G60 5G, plus the existing Nokia XR20 and Nokia T10 tablet. The Nokia T20 tablet will be added in the future, and while Circular will be available through Nokia’s online store at first, there will be partner options in the future. Plus, there are plans to introduce Circular in other countries too.
The Circular plan is part of what makes the latest run of Nokia phones the “most sustainable yet,” according to HMD Global, with its devices and packaging being made of more recycled material, plus lengthy warranty periods and monthly security and software updates too. Add in the new Circular plan, and there are plenty of reasons to keep your phone longer than you would normally.
Nokia X30 5G
The Nokia X30 5G is the poster smartphone for Circular. The phone has a chassis made from 100% aluminum and a polycarbonate rear cover made from 65% recycled material, plus it is durable with an IP67 water resistance rating and Gorilla Glass Victus over the screen. On the software side, you get three years of major operating system updates and security updates, plus the X30
The phone has a 6.43-inch AMOLED screen with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, a 4,200mAh battery, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and 128GB or 256GB of storage space. On the back is a 50-megapixel main camera with 4-in-1 pixel binning and optical image stabilization (OIS), plus a 13MP wide-angle camera with special new night modes for improved lowlight images. On the front is a 16MP selfie camera. The X30 5G will cost 529 euros (or around $530) when it’s released.
Nokia G60 5G
Less expensive than the X30 5G and not quite so environmentally friendly, the G60
Not a phone, but a tablet. The Nokia T21 has a 10.3-inch screen with a 2000 x 1200 pixel resolution, and is powered by a Unisoc T612 processor and 4GB of RAM. There are two storage options, 64GB or 128GB, and there’s space for a microSD card up to 512GB. The battery has a big 8,200mAh capacity, there are stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack on the body, and a single 8MP camera on the back. Another 8MP camera is on the front for video calls. The Nokia T21 will cost 239 euros (or $240) when it’s released.
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