HMD Global earlier this year started the trend of launching its 'X' series smartphones with a "Plus" suffix in the global markets. The company brought the Nokia 6.1 Plus as the international model of the Nokia X6. Similar was the case with the Nokia X5 that of late debuted as the Nokia 5.1 Plus. However, the Finnish giant is now reportedly in plans to launch the Nokia X7 globally as the Nokia 8.1 instead of the highly presumable Nokia 7.1 Plus. The new model has already been spotted in a Geekbench listing with the presence of Android 9.0 Pie.
Russian tipster who uses Twitter handle 'Nokia anew' to reveal unannounced developments reports that while the Nokia X7 was initially supposed to arrive as the Nokia 7.1 Plus, HMD Global's Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas had changed his mind and decided to bring the new smartphone to global markets as the Nokia 8.1. The new model is expected to launch sometime next year, but not before the Mobile World Congress (MWC).
However, a Nokia 8.1 handset has surfaced on the Geekbench website with Android 9.0 Pie. The Geekbench listing also shows a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 and 4GB of RAM. These are matching the official specifications of the Nokia X7 that was launched in China last week. Nevertheless, other hardware components, including the display panel and battery, of the unannounced model are yet to be revealed.
The listed specifications of the alleged Nokia 8.1 aren't in line with the premium Nokia 8 that was powered by a Snapdragon 835. This suggests that instead of launching the new model as the successor to its previous flagship, HMD Global could transform its Nokia 8 family into an upper mid-range smartphone series to take on the Samsung's Galaxy A-series models and Xiaomi's Mi-series handsets. This makes sense as the company is also in the rumours for developing the Nokia 9 PureView as its next flagship model with a penta-lens camera setup.
Alongside revealing the hardware identical to the Nokia X7, the Geekbench listing shows Android Pie's presence. This is quite presumable on the new model since HMD Global uses Google's Android One programme to deliver faster version updates and stock experience on its smartphones. Lately, Nokia 7.1 was also spotted with Android Pie, though the handset is formally running Android 8.1 Oreo.
The handset that has been benchmarked as the Nokia 8.1 has received a single-core score of 1,841 and a multi-core score of 5,807 on Geekbench. The listing shows October 19 as the upload date for the benchmark results. This is notably days after the official launch of the Nokia X7.
That being said, the launch of the Nokia 8.1 isn't expected to until MWC 2019 that will take place in February.