Nokia returns to Europe: why this new mobile phone was not manufactured in China

The Nokia XR21

HMD Global, the company that owns the legendary Nokia brand, has presented its first mobile phone manufactured in Europe.


Gone are the times when Nokia was the absolute reference in mobile phones; Since the arrival of the first iPhone and Android smartphones, it has done a lot of damage. The sale to Microsoft was the last attempt to keep the flame of the Finnish brand alive. But the bet on Windows Phone did not give the expected results, and Nokia ended up divided and sold piecemeal.

It’s a shame, because Nokia was more than just another rival in the market: it was a European company, which, along with others like Ericcson, offered an alternative to American brands with unique designs and technologies.

Today’s Nokia has little to do with all this. The brand is owned by HMD Global, which has used it on all types of mobile phones, most of them cheap and aimed at emerging markets; To achieve those prices, HMD manufactures its phones in China and Taiwan, like most manufacturers.

The Nokia XR21 changes that policy, being the first mobile of the new era of Nokia that has been made in Europe, specifically, in factories in Hungary. And what is interesting are the reasons why HMD Global has made this decision. It is not that mobile phones made in Europe are better or worse than those made in China; At this point, the prejudice that Chinese products still have should be left behind, especially when high-end devices like the iPhone come from there.

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No, the real reason why Nokia has returned to Europe is because a security issue; It is exactly the same reason why the company migrated all its servers and data centers to Europe, so that user data was stored following the privacy rules of the European Union. That was not a casual move, but rather due to the revelation that Nokia mobile phones sent certain information to Chinese servers.

Since that scandal, HMD Global has tried to clean up its image and that of Nokia, recovering its association with Europe; first with data migration, and now with the launch of this new mobile. According to the company, There is demand for mobile phones manufactured in Europe and they are only responding to this, in addition to investing more in security features and customized software. It is no coincidence that the XR21 was first released for business users, who have higher security requirements.

On its own, the Nokia XR21 does not differ much from other models of the brand. Its most striking feature is that it is a ‘rugged’ mobile phone, capable of withstanding greater abuse, with IP69K certification for water and dust resistance, and MIL-STD-810H durability certification. The screen is 6.4 inches, with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Inside, a Snapdragon 695 processor accompanied by 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. The battery is 4,800 mAh and supports 33 W fast charging. As for photography, it will not be its strong point, with a 64 Mpx main sensor accompanied by an 8 Mpx wide angle.

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The Nokia XR21 will be available in for 650 euros. To celebrate what HMD Global calls “the first smartphone made in Europe,” the company will offer a limited edition of 50 units with a special design on the back and a certificate of authenticity, for 699 euros. In addition to the enterprise version, a standard version for mainstream consumers is also expected to arrive in the near future.