What I learnt in Dubai: General Q&A with Juho

madbilly Super User
edited January 2019 in Phones

Hi everyone,

As you may know, I was one of the lucky people to win a trip to Dubai to attend the launch of the Nokia 8.1. A large group of us (about 20 in total, from the forum and other social media channels, including @SeqTre, @nitheesh, @sajwaz, @singhnsk, @wilson shrestha, @juho lemmetyinen, @nokianchetan and @morozshaun) traveled to Dubai to meet several of the HMD team, including @juho, @edo and @PRIYANSHU. There were many many other members of the HMD team there, but unfortunately I didn't catch all of their names or forum ids. It was a pleasure to meet you all and all the fellow Nokia community. Please, if any other winners know the forum ids of all the HMD staff and other the other community members we met please please tag them in this topic, I'd like to be able to put a username to a face!

Before the event we were by Juho Sarvikas to an exclusive preview and hands-on of the new Nokia 8.1. It was a great location - on a balcony overlooking a lake, but unfortunately the only photos I took were with a demo unit, so I don't have any to show you! If anyone else has any then please share :)

After the preview we sat with Juho for an introduction and informal question and answer session. I can't speak for everyone but I really appreciated this, it was great to get an insight into many of the decisions which HMD have to make when decided what features and specification to give to a product.

Here's my summary of what I remember from the Q&A. I will write a separate post on everything I learnt about the camera, because there's a lot to write and not enough space here. I will also post separately about software. I hope that others will correct me if I got something wrong and add anything which I missed (there was a lot discussed!). My summary is not in any particular order, just the order I remembered!

Screen:body ratio, bezels and "the notch"!

  • There are a few contraints when trying to achieve a full display on the front of a phone
  • First, for the bottom part of a display
    • Normally the display driver hardware needs to be located here
    • In higher budget phones this can be curled around towards the back of the phone which allows the display to get closer to the bottom edge of the phone
    • Radio reception is a strong constraint as the antenna needs space to be able to perform well
    • Finally, loudspeakers and the microphone need to be located here
  • The top part of the display, "the notch"
    • Similarly, other hardware needs to be at the top part of a device, e.g. front camera, light sensor, ear speaker
    • Basically, it's a compromise to achieve a high ratio of screen:body
    • BUT it won't be around forever - manufacturers are experimenting with various techniques and methods

Why is the new phone called 8.1 name?

  • Juho already explained this publicly, so not surprises here:
  • It's a change in naming, they are stopping the + names, it's confusing
  • So the 8.1 is a successor to the 7+

Retro phones:

  • The new 8110
  • The original 8110 had an enormous battery pack available as an accessory
  • HMD did design a chunky extended life battery pack! But sadly for all you 8110 owners, they didn't release it. Maybe you can find some prototypes in some backstreet shops in Shenzhen...!

In a discussion about the build quality of older Nokia phones, I mentioned the game where people would put their phones flat on a table with vibrate activated and then call them and see which phone pushed the other off the table! We called this game "phone sumo"!

  • Juho loved the game so much HMD may bring this back as a feature or Play store app! (this was a joke, I'm sure, so please don't flood the forum with "when will Nokia 1/2/3/etc get sumo game on pie, please please plase I ned it!" :p

Bringing back the Nokia brand:

  • Juho's main concerns with new Nokias were design aesthetics, features and innovation
  • All very intimidating because they know people expect the best from Nokia (it's true we do!)
  • Pure, Secure and Up To Date was the first part in helping them focus on the more important things which people associate with Nokia

The full range, why HMD has released so many models:

  • Because Nokia has always been and will always be for everyone
  • (In my opinion, this is why Nokia is not Apple and should never try to be)
  • Nokia 1 will always be a part of the lineup

The flagship question!

  • A very difficult market segment because
  • The consumer doesn't care about cost - they just want the best
  • At present only two brands really have the sales channels and public mind share to do this
  • HMD want to do it, but can only do it with the right phone
  • The right phone must have a USP which the others don't have
  • It's not sufficient just to take off-the-shelf components, put them together and create a "generic" flagship spec phone
  • It must demonstrate innovation and excellence
  • The HMD company is only two years old compared to the others so has had little time to build up the expertise and capability to make a flagship with a USP, not just a "generic" spec flagship

The Sirocco, wasn't this a flagship?:

  • The 8 Sirocco was made for a few reasons
  • Design - to show what cutting edge design HMD is capable of (I agree, it's a beautiful phone)
  • Manufacturing excellence - the stainless steel chassis is a great manufacturing achievement but was never something they could produce in large volumes so had to be coupled to a high specification, low volume market segment
  • So in summary, it was a flagship without being a "full" flagship, perhaps a bit niche, something to show what HMD and FIH could do and to provide a halo product to the new range of Nokia smartphone


  • Over 40 percent of buyers in India are online
So, apart from camera and software that's all I can remember from the Q&A, over to you! :)


  • @madbilly thanks for taking your time to explain all the important topics discussed during the meeting with Juho. This gives answer to most of the questions that the user base asks Nokia from time and again. And, of course they will be able to understand the vision and thought process of Juho and the whole Nokia Team and where they are heading. So, I suggest all the Nokia users and fans who are interested to learn and get more answers on why Nokia does a certain thing to read all the above beautiful explanation from @madbilly even if its a little bit long. 😃
  • wyk
    wyk ✭✭✭✭
    So the possibility of penta camera phone cannot be blown out. 
  • madbilly
    madbilly Super User
    @wyk not at all, and I'll share a bit more about this when I find time to write the topic on what I learnt about cameras ;)
  • SeqTre
    SeqTre ✭✭
    edited December 2018
    @madbilly I remember you had a great discussion with the Ziess guy. Do share about it whenever you find time ;)
  • madbilly
    madbilly Super User
    @SeqTre I plan to, I just time to write it all ;)
  • petrus
    petrus ✭✭✭✭
    @madbillyThank you for this beautiful theme.  :)
  • What about BOOTLOADER Unlock???

  • madbilly
    madbilly Super User

    Hi @user123 we did ask about this but @juho said that not many consumers are actually interested in this and in terms of resource required to do it right it was not practicable for HMD to commit those resources to keep a small number of people happy (I'm paraphrasing, that is not a quote).

    But, it doesn't mean that HMD won't do it someday, but very unlikely for existing phones.

    Cheers 🙂