I made a check for the Nokia/HMD phone portfolio forecast from Tomi Ahonen, but at that point the “flagship” had not arrived yet.
So let me start by reminding that for the Nokia 8 there was a clear “it’s not a flagship” judgement from Tomi: [1]

As to Nokia 8, I think that is a ‘placeholder’ device, not the best HMD can do, which will be the successor to the Nokia 8, ie the Nokia 9 – THAT is their first ‘proper’ flagship, I think.

And I anticipated that Tomi will wait for Nokia 9 (with that model number) to be announced before he will take any new Nokia phone as – ahem – “proper” flagship, but so little do I know: Tomi has told us that Nokia 8 Sirocco should be treated as a flagship device in Tomi-verse: [2]

the Nokia 8 Sirocco is a ‘proper’ flagship that will help at the top end, to drive the appeal that even for cool people who want high tech

I find it interesting that Tomi now decided that Nokia 8 Sirocco is the flagship device. It is not “Nokia 9” that undoubtedly will come, nor does it have Xenon flash, 40mpix sensor or alike. And meanwhile Huawei P20 Pro already provides the 40mpix + 20mpix + 8mpix triple camera, making it hard for the 12 mpix Nokia 8 Sirocco to “go beyond everybody” in megapixels like Tomi said the flagship would do once announced.

Nevertheless this is now the flagship Tomi was expecting, the one with which Nokia/HMD “are no doubt wanting to win the honors of best phone of year“. (And we were supposed to expect it to be special.) [3]

So how does Tomi’s forecast match to Nokia 8 Sirocco?

Tomi Ahonen “flagship”Nokia 8 Sirocco
Large/phablet screen5.5″ screen (phablet)
Removable battery or water proofWater proof (with non-removable battery)
Carl Zeiss opticsCarl Zeiss optics
41-50 mpix camera12 mpix camera
PureView brandingNo Pureview Branding
Xenon flashLED flash
MicroSD card slotNo MicroSD card slot
3.5mm headphone jackNo headphone jack
FM RadioNo FM Radio
“will hold on to micro-USB”USB-C
Priced $800-$700
(Possibly $600)
$920 USD
“goes beyond everybody on couple of specs”Nothing going “beyond everybody” in specifications
Announced in the Mobile World Congress 2017Announced in the Mobile World Congress 2018

To be honest, I left some things out:

  • Nokia 8 Sirocco has the glass body in stainless steel frame that is supposed to be a major selling point. However Tomi did not forecast anything like that (and it’s not “beyond everybody” as iPhone X does that too).
  • We could count it as 24 mpix if we sum up the two cameras but I don’t think that’s proper way to do it. And even if it was it would not be “beyond everybody” since then Huawei P20 Pro – as said already – would have 68 mpix triple camera (and in any case dual cameras are so mainstream that even iPhone has them).
  • Tomi DID list wireless charging as a way to “go beyond everybody”, but in 2018 I don’t think you’re “beyond everybody” having wireless charging (and once again the iPhone has that too).

Hit or miss? I’ll let the readers decide. But while you do your judgement, please remember this:

  • It didn’t matter a bit that Lumia 610 and 710 had a removable battery – when Lumia 800 and 900 (high-end models) did not have removable battery, it was stupid Elop that removed those. The “real Nokia” would have never done something as silly as that.
  • It didn’t matter that Lumia 620 and 820 had both removable battery and MicroSD card. Lumia 920 did not have them so it was stupid Elop that removed those, Nokia would never do that.
  • FM-Radio. Tomi spent way too many lines to point out how Lumias don’t have FM radio. (That is in Tomi-verse. In the REAL universe where we all live in – all Lumias had it.) Once again Nokia would never leave FM radio out, especially not from a flagship!
  • And last but not least – camera. Tomi has been clear about this that you can’t downgrade the camera megapixels. That would be once again the stupid Elop thing (he also said the similar thing with Samsung Galaxy going from 16 mpix to 12 mpix). So if your past best camera was 41 megapixels, then your flagship should have… 41 megapixels. Not 40, not 32, definitely not 20: “The topmost Lumia900 that was announced at CES has its camera downgraded from the N8. It doesn’t have 12mp. It has 8mp.” [4]

These were not just some small “nice to have” features, these were the things that – if missing – were disappointing and infuriating loyal Nokia customers.

That being said, here are some captions where Tomi explains what the Nokia/HMD flagship should be, is expected to be, Nokia KNOWS has to be and eventually will be:

Lets say by the end of 2017 Nokia should have at least 5 Android models, maybe something like 8; and including one clear flagship with Pureview camera, Xenon flash etc.

–Tomi Ahonen, May 20, 2016 [5]

So expect Nokia to hold onto microSD card slots, removable/replacable batteries, NFC, Bluetooth etc connectivity, industry-standard micro-USB charging ports (something iPhone doesn’t do), industry standard stereo HiFi earphone plugs (Apple rumored to end it and new model not to have it) and of course the ‘normal’ Nokia features overload such as FM Radio. Nokia KNOWS that for many in Africa, their family’s first FM radio ever in their household is the one that came on a Nokia phone a couple of years ago and now all in the family will want FM radio also on their phones

I think a Pureview based flagship will be out in the first year – and shown at the Mobile World Congress.

It will be a flagship phone in the 700-800 dollar price range

If the first flagship (generic Android with Pureview and large, possibly phablet screen) costs say 600 dollars

–Tomi Ahonen, May 21, 2016 [5]
(He really couldn’t make up his mind about the price, handing out a $200 price range and still got it wrong.)

I’m pretty confident the first Return-Nokia (what should we call it, Retro-Nokia?) flagship will do a proper Pureview sensor. Likely the 41mp but they might up it just a bit, to get the press out of it, to say 50mp.

–Tomi Ahonen, May 27, 2016 [6]

So there you have it: Tomi knows Nokia very deeply and he has told us in the past that Nokia would never make a phone that lacks the features so loved by loyal Nokia users, only Elop would be that dumb.
Nokia would never downgrade features, only Elop would be that dumb. (The previous Nokia 8 had two 13 mpix cameras mounted at the back. Nokia 8 Sirocco dual camera uses 12 mpix sensor. Just saying.)
Only Elop would be that dumb.
Only Elop.
And Nokia/HMD, apparently.


[1] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2017/08/q2-smartphone-market-top-10-numbers.html

[2] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2018/02/smartphone-stats-full-year-2017-top-10-os-installed-base-and-everything-else-you-ever-wanted.html

[3] https://twitter.com/tomiahonen/status/943624187675136001 (screen capture)

[4] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/01/the-real-top-14-reasons-why-nokia-lumia-and-windows-phone-will-fail-not-just-in-usa-but-across-plane.html

[5] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2016/05/so-the-nokia-brand-returns-with-a-vengeance/comments/page/2/#comments

[6] http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2016/05/so-the-nokia-brand-returns-with-a-vengeance/comments/page/6/#comments