After a spate of rumours, the first Nokia smartphone powered by Android is now official. HMD Global Oy (HMD), the licensee of the Nokia brand for mobile phones and tablets, announced the launch of Nokia 6 smartphone on 8 January.

The phone features a 5.5in full HD screen protected with Corning's 2.5D Gorilla Glass. It is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 430 processor, and bundles X6 LTE modem designed for longer battery life and graphics performance.

The phone has 4GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage and runs the latest version of Android Nougat, which packs all the new features and goodies. In addition to that, the phone delivers a 6dB louder sound than the conventional amp.

There is a 16 megapixel camera with phase detection auto focus at the back and an 8 megapixel front-facing camera.

HMD currently does not have a global rollout plan. The phone will be available for consumers in China only in early 2017 exclusively through JD.com at a suggested retail price of 1699 CNY ($245 or £200). With Nokia 6 the first step into the Android smartphone market, HMD promises to bring more devices this year.

In 2016, China had more than 552 million smartphone users, which is expected to surpass 593 million by 2017. HMD believes China is a key market, where consumers value premium design and quality.

"The decision by HMD to launch its first Android smartphone in China is a reflection of the desire to meet the real world needs of consumers in different markets around the world," HMD said in a release note.

Nestor Xu, vice president Greater China, HMD Global, said in a statement: "China is the largest and most competitive smartphone market in the world. It is no coincidence that we have chosen to bring our first Android device to China with a long-term partner. JD.com is known for its upwardly mobile customer base and it has for many years believed in the Nokia brand and sold millions of our products to Chinese customers."