Nokia’s Circular eco-subscription wrestles with the smartphone waste problem

Saving the planet, one phone at a time.

Nokia’s Circular eco-subscription wrestles with the smartphone waste problem
HMD Global Circular logo
Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

HMD Global announced three new smartphones and a tablet at IFA 2022: the Nokia X30 5G, Nokia G60 5G, G31, and T21 tablet. The four products span a variety of price points from the mid-tier to the ultra-budget-friendly. All fine handsets but the more interesting development was the debut of HMD’s eco-subscription model called Circular. We sat down with HMD Global Head of Product Proposition, Adam Ferguson, to learn more about it.

At its basic level, Circular leases you a smartphone for a monthly fee, costing between £10 and £25 (~$12-$29) depending on the model. Furthermore, HMD takes responsibility for the phone once you’re done with it, either cycling it back through the program, donating it to charity, or completely recycling it. The kicker is that you earn “Seeds of Tomorrow” to spend on good causes, such as planting trees or providing mobile connectivity to places in need. The rewards increase the longer that you keep the handset. It’s a novel new way to pay for a phone, especially if these causes speak to your personal concerns.