Thursday, June 13, 2024
Smart Phones

The ultra-affordable HMD Vibe is now available in the US from the ‘makers of Nokia phones’


Were you sad to see Nokia die a second (or is it third?) death earlier this year, when HMD Global signaled pretty clearly it had no further intentions of ever releasing another smartphone under the iconic brand that once dominated the mobile industry?

If it makes you feel any better, HMD is still very much committed to the global smartphone market, attempting to do its own thing with its first-ever self-labeled Android handsets. The Nokia brand licensee internationally unveiled the Pulse family around a month ago, and at some point since then, the HMD Vibe was evidently discreetly introduced in the US.
While we missed that regional announcement, we’re here today to tell you that the budget-friendly Android 14 phone is now up for grabs stateside exclusively from HMD’s website. Priced at a very reasonable $149.99 in a single 128GB storage variant, the Vibe cohabits with such devices as the Nokia G100, C300, and XR21 on said website while obviously competing against the likes of Motorola’s Moto G Play (2024) and Moto G 5G (2023).

Contrary to what you may have expected after last month’s HMD Pulse series launch, the Vibe is not 100 percent identical with any member of that global trio. While the non-Plus and non-Pro Pulse, for instance, packs a Unisoc T606 processor and 5,000mAh battery, the HMD Vibe comes with a presumably more powerful Snapdragon 680 chipset and significantly smaller 4,000mAh cell under the hood.

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Despite its not-very-impressive size, the 4,000mAh battery is said to be capable enough to keep the lights on for two whole days between (10W) charges. That can only be done with a very frugal screen, and indeed, you’re looking at a modest HD affair here with a diagonal of 6.56 inches.

Most of the other specifications are similarly unremarkable, even for a $150 price point, including a 13 + 2MP dual rear-facing camera system, 5MP selfie snapper, IP52 water and dust resistance, a single speaker, and on the bright side, both a headphone jack and microSD card slot.

That leaves the HMD Vibe with 128 gigs of internal storage space and a 6GB RAM count as its key selling points, especially compared to the aforementioned Moto G Play (2024), which only offers 64GB storage and 4GB RAM at an identical $149.99 price point.
Unfortunately for HMD, Motorola also frequently sells the Moto G 5G (2023) for 150 bucks instead of its $250 list price with 128GB storage, 4GB RAM, a hefty 5,000mAh battery, a silky smooth 120Hz HD+ display, and, well, 5G connectivity. That’s a mighty impressive value proposition that the 4G LTE-only HMD Vibe can’t really match right now.



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