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Nokia at MWC tidbits: Android One exclusively going forward, always-on ‘Ok Google’ support, Android P upgrade, Pro camera app

Nokia has definitely been an underdog for years, but last year the company made its debut in the Android market with impressive results. Now, as we enter 2018, the company is back with four new Android smartphones that have some excellent ties back to Google. As with any phone, there are probably a few details you missed in the initial announcements, so let’s take a closer look…

Every Nokia phone from now on is part of Android One

Android One is a pretty awesome program, offering phones that get update support from Google and Pixel-like builds of the OS. We’ve seen a handful of these devices over the past couple of years, and now Nokia is going in head first with the program. Three out of yesterday’s four smartphone announcements were all powered by Android One.

That is impressive in itself, but what’s even better is that Nokia is committing to deliver each and every one of its future devices with Android One as well. Nokia is already fast with updates and runs nearly-stock software, but regardless, this is awesome news. As Android Police points out, though, there will be one exception, and that’s Android Go devices like the Nokia 1.

Nokia is going to be updating to Android P, obviously

On stage at Nokia’s event, a Google representative confirmed that, as a part of Android P, all of Nokia’s releases this week would be updated to Android P. While there’s no timing guaranteed with that, it’s great to get a guarantee even if we mostly knew it was coming, backed by the Android One program these phones are a part of.

The $85 Nokia 1 will support “Xpress-on” covers

The Nokia 1 is a very cheap phone, but Nokia is giving users the ability to customize it how they want. As The Verge shows, the Nokia will be compatible with Nokia’s Xpress-On removable covers to add colors to the affordable phone. It’s unclear when these will be available or how much they’ll cost, but it’s great to see Nokia offering flexibility to its customers even at this price. There will be a “wide range” of colors available.

Nokia promised monthly security updates a year ago, and it delivered

A year ago at its first MWC with Android phones, Nokia made a promise to support monthly security updates on its entire lineup, as well as major updates in a timely fashion. Now, with the debut of its latest phones, the company can say it managed to keep up with that. Monthly updates went out quickly, sometimes even beating the Pixel, and the company’s big releases had Oreo months ahead of competitors.

Nokia’s newest phones support always-on “Ok Google” hotwords

Another tidbit we found about Nokia’s new device is that they’ll be supporting always-listening hotwords for the Google Assistant, just like Google’s Pixel devices. This functionality is available to every OEM, but not all take full advantage of it. However, Nokia’s new phones will support both the “OK Google” and “Hey Google” hotwords if you enable and train them to do so.

There’s a pro camera mode just like Nokia’s Windows Phones

Finally, Nokia is bringing back a fan favorite from its days on Windows Phone. The “Pro Camera” mode is coming to these phones with the same interface as we saw on those older devices. This includes the abiltiy to adjust focus, ISO, and shutter speed, among other settings. Nokia says that all of its devices with Zeiss optics will support this mode, as Android Police reports.

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