First HMD Non-Nokia Smartphones Are Designed For Easy Repairs, List At $149

hero HMD Vibe Video
HMD Global has finally gone solo in the smartphone business by introducing its new HMD Pulse and Vibe smartphone lineup. At present the Pulse series is exclusive to Europe, but HMD promises that its phones will be easy to repair and have low prices to boot. In fact, the Vibe that we'll get Stateside will come in at an ultra-cheap $150. Take that Motorola!

We won't blame you if "HMD" doesn't ring a bell. However, since 2017 the company has been selling phones under its Nokia license. When it bought the Nokia name from Microsoft in 2016, one of the first orders of business was to create Nokia phones with acceptable specs for little money. However, that idea never really took off, proving that having "Nokia" stamped on the cover just doesn't cut it like it used to in its heyday. 

A couple of months ago, HMD declared that it was sunsetting the Nokia name (unless the licensing is renewed) and will be going in on its own. At first glance, the first set of all-HMD phones seem like Nokias of recent years, but the company thinks the brand new Pulse and Vibe have what it takes to put the company on the map. 

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HMD Pulse and Vibe

For example. the US-bound Vibe will go for $150, putting it in squarely in Motorola G Play and TCL 50 XL territory. It will sport a mid-range Snapdragon 680 SoC (with a Adreno 610 GPU good for AAA gaming at low settings), 6GB RAM, 6.56-inch 90Hz 480-nits panel, 4,000 mAh battery and a dedicated 3.5mm audio port. This device will likely be 4G only since the 680 doesn't support 5G bands, but still, for the price this makes a great first or burner phone.

Further up the totem pole, the Europe-only models—the HMD Pulse, Pulse+, and Pulse Pro—will be powered by a Unisoc T606 processor with varying charging speeds, camera packages, and RAM and storage options depending on the variant. All three will also sport a healthy 5,000 mAh battery and what looks like the same 6.65-inch 90Hz display in the Vibe. 

What's really cool though is that HMD has collaborated with iFixit to sell replacement or self-repair kits (and guides) for these phones. If you need to swap out the battery or repair a broken display or USB port, now you can. All said, the Pulse phone and its repairable feature looks fishily like a rebranded Nokia G22 that turned heads back at the MWC 2023 that even sported the same processor and display.

The Vibe is expected to go on sale here in the U.S. in May for $150.
Tags:  Nokia, smartphone, HMD