New HMD Pulse range offers affordability, style, and self-repairs

HMD Pulse launch Australia
Image: HMD.

Stepping out from the shadow of the Nokia brand, HMD has launched its Pulse phones in Australia, all costing less than $300.

After a recent rebrand, HMD (short for Human Mobile Devices) announced it would make phones under its own name. In recent years, it has been the company responsible for the Nokia brand, the latter of which will continue alongside the HMD phones.

Affordability, repairability, and style are the main themes driving the HMD Pulse range, comprised of three handsets: the Pulse, Pulse+, and Pulse Pro. Like the Nokia G22 and G24 phones, the Pulse range enables self-repairs through a partnership with iFixit.

Instead of throwing a phone away or paying more for third-party repairs, you can do it yourself with an official repair kit. Any screen, charging port or battery replacements can be done from home, letting you use the phone for longer, which is more sustainable in the long run.

Aiming for style and substance

All three phones come with a 6.56-inch 90Hz display with a 1612 x 720 resolution. They also share the same Unisoc T606 chip, a 5,000mAh battery capacity, and IP52 dust and water resistance. Internally, most of the differences between models are subtle.

For example, the Pulse Pro has 6GB of memory and supports 20W charging, while the other two have 4GB and support 10W charging. At the base level, the Pulse only has 64GB of internal storage versus the others’ 128GB. But at least you can expand this easily via the MicroSD slot.

HMD Pulse Pro Glacier Green colour
Image: HMD.

Photography represents the main point of difference between each phone. The HMD Pulse Pro has a 50MP main camera supported by a 2MP depth sensor, along with a 50MP selfie lens. It’s the only model to include selfie gestures, activating the camera with a hand wave or a thumbs up, and the AI Super Portrait Mode, which is said to help produce clear snaps even in dark conditions.

The Pulse+ also gets the 50MP main camera, but not the depth sensor, and an 8MP selfie lens. Meanwhile, the entry-level Pulse gets a 13MP rear camera along with the same front camera as the Plus model. These phones get fewer post-processing features, like the AI Super Portrait Mode exclusive to the Pro.

Impressively, the entire HMD Pulse range supports two years of operating system upgrades after Android 14. Plenty of sub-$300 phones only include one major OS upgrade, and the extended support fits with HMD’s vision of using phones for longer.

HMD Pulse range release date and price in Australia

All three phones are out now in Australia at the following prices:

  • HMD Pulse: $229 (JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks and Big W)
  • HMD Pulse+: $259 (JB Hi-Fi and Officeworks)
    • Coming to Telstra and Vodafone soon
  • HMD Pulse Pro: $299 (JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks and Big W)

They’re all sleek-looking devices, especially given the affordable price tag. Particularly fetching is the Pulse Pro’s Glacier Green finish, in addition to Twilight Purple and Black Ocean.

Both the Pulse and Pulse+ also get some nice colours. The Pulse gets Dreamy Pink, Atmos Blue, and Meteor Black, while the Plus gets Glacier Green, Apricot Crush, and Midnight Blue.

There’s a lot of competition in the entry-level phone market, with HMD set to compete alongside the likes of Motorola and Oppo.

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