HMD Global says Nokia phone beta labs will serve as a platform to roll out beta versions of Android. The platform is starting with Nokia 8 but it plans to add Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 at a later stage.
The Nokia 8 will be the first smartphone in HMD Global’s 2017 lineup to receive the Android 8.0 Oreo update. The Finnish startup has already begun testing the Oreo update for the Nokia 8, and it is expected to be publicly available before the end of this year.
Now, before the general rollout, HMD Global is introducing beta labs for Nokia phones, where Nokia 8 owners can sign in to test the beta version of Android 8.0 Oreo. Joining Nokia Labs Beta is free and the only condition is that you must use a Nokia 8. Beta Labs will allow Nokia 8 users to test the Oreo build before it is ready for a simple rollout. As we look at beta builds, it must be borne in mind that the software experience may not be completely stable and user feedback may occasionally be used to squash bugs before a wide roll out.
HMD Global, however, is not the first Android OEM to adopt this method to test the beta build among users before the general rollout. Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus also runs a similar beta testing channel where it has already pushed Oreo updates for OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. Motorola is also known to follow a similar procedure called Sock Testing where a handful of users can test the beta firmware and report bugs before final availability.
– Juho Carbicas (arsarvikas) October 25, 2017
A. Tweet, Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 will be added to the beta labs of Nokia phones at a later stage, ”added Juho Cervicas, Chief Product Officer, HMD Global. The company is testing the beta software phase with Nokia 8 before adding other smartphones to the list.
HMD is differentiating its Nokia-branded smartphones from other Android smartphones in terms of global design and stock Android experience. The company is ahead of its counterparts in bringing the latest security patches and has now started updating Android 7.1.2 to Nokia 6 with the October security patches. Eventually, it will be revealed which smartphone maker offered the software update early on and HMD Global is trying to stay ahead.