Technology

BEIJING – The first Nokia-branded android smartphone is to be released exclusively in China.

The device will be marketed in partnership with the local internet retail giant JD.com, the BBC reported.

The team behind the Nokia 6 phone said it believed the handset’s “premium design” would appeal to the local market.

Nokia no longer manufactures phones that carry its name but has instead licensed its brand to another Finnish company, HMD Global.

Until now, the only phones that had been released under the deal had been more basic “feature phone” models.

Nokia once dominated the mobile phone market but struggled after the launch of the iPhone a decade ago, and the subsequent release of Google’s Android operating system.

HMD Global had previously indicated it would release several Nokia-branded Android phones in 2017.

“The decision by HMD to launch its first Android smartphone in China is a reflection of the desire to meet the real world needs of consumers in different markets around the world,” the firm said in a statement.

“With over 552 million smartphone users in China in 2016, a figure that is predicted to grow to more than 593 million users by 2017, it is a strategically important market where premium design and quality is highly valued by consumers.”

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The Nokia 6 phone runs Android 7.0 – the latest version, also known as Nougat – and features:

A 5.5in 1080p “full high definition” screen

A 16 megapixel rear camera, 8MP front camera

Four gigabyte of RAM memory and 64GB of storage

Wrapped in 2.5D Gorilla Glass.

Laminated with polarizer layer to enable sunlight readability

X6 LTE modem designed for excellent battery life and superior graphics performance

Two amplifiers supported by Dolby Atmos audio processing, which HMD says creates audio that “seems to flow all around users”

The Nokia smartphone is priced at 1,699 yuan ($245; £200).