Rumours that former mobile-industry leader Nokia is returning to the smartphone arena have grown over the last few months, culminating in benchmark results pointing to an Android-powered device known only as the Nokia D1C.

While a recent benchmark report hinted that the Finnish company's next project could in fact be a tablet, a set of renders spotted on the Chinese social networking website Weibo suggests the D1C may be a smartphone after all – but not one with the flagship specs you might expect for Nokia's big comeback phone.

Although the reported Android 7.0 Nougat OS will offer a radical change from Nokia's previous Lumia-branded smartphones, it would appear from the images (available here via AndroidPure) that the company is sticking closely to a familiar design language.

Aside from its curved, almost iPhone-like sides, the Nokia D1C pictured in the renders bears more than a passing resemblance to the now Windows-owned Lumia catalogue.

There isn't too much to chew on based on these unconfirmed renders, although it would seem that only the Gold variant (White and Black are the two other options shown) carries a physical home button rumoured to double up as a fingerprint sensor.

A basic camera module (reportedly 13 megapixels) is shown on the rear with an LED flash sitting below, with a possible 8 megapixel selfie cam on the front.

As always, renders are not always 100% accurate, but suggest how the final product may look. Nokia is expected to reveal the D1C early next year – possibly at Mobile World Congress 2017 – so until then it is worth taking any leaks with a grain of salt.

What we can gleam from a recent AnTuTu test, however, is that the Nokia D1C is likely to be a mid-range device powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 430 chip and paired with an Adreno 505 GPU and 3GB RAM. A 1080p Full HD display is also expected.