Update #6PM: Qualcomm reached back to us to confirm that the devices in question are internal reference designs.
We received your inquiry. At CES we unveiled our Snapdragon 835 processor and in our booth we had Snapdragon 835 reference design devices to showcase different features of the processor. These were internal reference designs that we demo every year with our latest SOC), not an OEM device, any suggestion otherwise is incorrect.
Update, 12:50PM: Total Tech took down the YouTube video and Instagram posts showing images from WinFuture. He also updated the description of the remaining two videos to say “For those asking, Leaks are as good as the info you are provided! This staff member clearly stated it was reference hardware manufactured for Qualcomm by Nokia.” Take it as you will.
Original post, 10AM: A new rumor has been making the rounds over the last days. Supposedly, Qualcomm openly showcased Nokia’s upcoming flagship Android phone at CES, allowing anyone to see it, if only you knew where to look for it. This “Nokia 8” phone would be powered by the new Snapdragon 835, and the rumor claims, it would feature an excellent OIS system and other top features.
The rumor was picked up by high-profile websites, including Forbes and BGR, as well as hundreds of smaller outlets. As much as we can tell, all the reports are based on the claims made by Total Tech Media, a YouTube channel that used to be called TK Tech News.
If you’ve been following mobile tech news over the past few years, the name TK Tech News might raise a few red flags. The person behind the name was exposed as a fraudster; Evan Blass accused him of swindling him out of his crowdfunded money; and many of his “leaks” turned out to be low-effort fakes. TK Tech News rebranded to Total Tech Media at some point and laid low for a while. Now he is back with this Nokia story.
If the source of the Nokia 8 report doesn’t put you off, consider that there is actually zero evidence that the devices shown in the Total Tech videos are actually Nokia phones. Total Tech claims they feature Nokia branding, but that’s not visible in any of the videos.
Total Tech’s strongest argument that the phone is a Nokia is the general shape of the camera, which slightly resembles the design of some old Windows Phone Nokia phones like the 1020. This argument is flimsy, at best.
Several of the photos that Total Tech presented to support his claims are actually stolen from German tech site WinFuture.de. You can see them here. WinFuture’s Roland Quandt, whom you might know from his solid leaks track record, actually called out Tech Media for his deception.
Here’s the WinFuture video (in German) showing the Qualcomm reference design:
Meanwhile, Total Tech/TK claims he got the pictures from “a manufacturer in Russia.”
So, if the phone in the videos is not the Nokia 8, what is it? It’s just a reference device, a custom device that Qualcomm built to showcase a specific feature – in this case, Snapdragon 835’s imaging capabilities. Roland Quandt, who actually handled the device at CES, confirmed it on Twitter.
This is just the ref design QC was showing off, not a Nokia phone. Nothing “secret” about it. Whoever believes this attention whore BS… https://t.co/7sIzO8j9tK
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) January 12, 2017
We’ll go ahead and call the Nokia 8 story for what it is: a fake.