It’s now been one day since the official unveiling of the Nokia X lineup at MWC in Barcelona. And while most of the details were already known far in advance, there were a few surprises the day of. For starters, we received not one, but three Android-powered Nokia devices. We also learned a bit more Nokia’s custom UI, including the Fastlane notification center and more specifics about various device specifications. But for the most part, the Nokia X family is almost exactly what we thought it would be—a low end device with a matching low end price tag. So now that we know all about the Nokia X and what it has to offer, let’s take a look at who the device is meant for, and whether it makes for a compelling purchase.
The Nokia X family is the company’s first foray into the Android platform. But rather than being Google’s Android that we know and love in the Nexus device lineup, or even the “Android” that we tolerate after being marred with various layers of OEM skins, the Nokia X family features something so far removed from Android that it only lives up to its name at its very core. Running atop Android 4.1.2, the heavily skinned device does offer Android application compatibility, but you’d be hard pressed to notice any traditionally Android UI paradigms or features. Instead, the end product is much more akin to Amazon’s Kindle Fire line, albeit with slightly more freedom by virtue of side-loading.
As a direct consequence of the heavy modifications and skinning, there is no “Google” to be found on the device. You don’t have access to Google Services like Maps and Hangouts, and you certainly don’t have access to the Google Play Store and its vast wealth of applications. Instead, you are given access to the Nokia Store for your application needs, as well as third party app stores, which can be installed via side-load. And what about Google Services? They’ve all been replaced with Nokia and Microsoft counterparts. But Microsoft’s offerings are probably decent as well, right? The answer is of little to no consequence because if you were after Microsoft services and were bound to the Microsoft ecosystem, you’d own a Windows Phone rather than a low-end Android phone that has some peripheral ties to Microsoft.
But at least it’s cheap. Ranging from €89 ($122) for the Nokia X to €109 ($150) for the Nokia XL, the Nokia X family is certainly friendly on the wallet. But let’s not forget about other budget options such as the highly regarded Moto G—a phone that features much higher end specifications and an interface that actually looks like Android for just $30 more than the XL.
Perhaps we’re being a tad bit harsh. I’m sure there’s somebody out there who is a die hard Microsoft services fanboy, who wants a device with access to the wealth of Android applications, and who happens to live on a shoestring budget. For this person, the Nokia X family is perfect. But for the rest of you, do yourself a favor and save up your pennies by eating Cup Noodles for a month, and get yourself a Moto G. Want another tidbit of advice? The “beef” flavor with “real beef” chunks (perhaps more accurately: cardboard-flavored cardboard) is particularly tasty. Oh, and don’t trust “Shrimp.”
February 24, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
After countless headlines through more rumors than the latest fruit-phone, the Android-powered Nokia X is finally a reality—though it may not exactly be everything that you hoped for in a marriage between Nokia and Android. The device claims to offer the best of both worlds by giving access to the world of Android apps while also providing the “signature Nokia experience” through branded first party apps. But is the Nokia X itself truly anything to be excited about? READ ON »
February 18, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Ah, the fabled Nokia X. What started life in the rumor mill as the unlikely Nokia “Normandy” has now become a device with more leaked renders, snapshots, benchmarks, and specs than the next minor revision to Apple’s lowly iPh*ne.
All of the hype and rumors are to be expected. Despite the device’s theorized low-end aspirations as an Asha replacement, it will still be the first Nokia-powered Android device. And if Nokia’s superb build quality isn’t enough to excite you on its own, especially given the disposable state of modern consumer electronics, I don’t know what is. We are now a mere 5 days away from Nokia’s announcement in MWC next Monday. And while nothing is set in stone, the leaks keep on coming.
Are you excited at the prospect of a Nokia-built Android device? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check back here on Monday for our coverage of the inevitable. Want to get in on the hype? You needn’t go any further than Nokia’s own site to prepare for next Monday’s announcement. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out all of our past coverage of the rumored device.
February 11, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
The Nokia Normandy has been the subject of so much hype, speculation, and controversy over the past few months that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s actually a shipping product—or at the very least, something that has been officially announced, or even just confirmed by the manufacturer. Nevertheless, leaks and rumors continue pouring in about the device, it’s potential specifications, what it will look like, and its user interface.
Now, we have one additional tidbit to add to the Nokia Normandy rumor mill, and this time it comes from the Wall Street Journal in an article detailing the Finnish company’s preparations to launch their first Android-powered smartphone (currently thought to be called the Nokia X) later this month at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.
Just like what we’ve seen in previous leaks, the rumored device will likely feature a forked version of the Android OS, similar to what Amazon has done with its Kindle tablets. And as we’ve seen in previous leaks, the UI is thought to merge many Windows Phone-style UI elements into the Android OS. Furthermore, it’s also expected that Nokia will integrate various Microsoft services into the device. Unfortunately for those hoping for a flagship-level device, the rumored specifications lead us to believe that Nokia is aiming straight at the budget market with this alleged device.
What do you make of the Nokia X / Normandy and all of the hype surrounding the alleged device? Are you excited at the prospect of a potential Nokia-built Android device, or are its low-end specifications simply too much of a turnoff? Or do you believe that all of these rumors are just flat-out wrong? Sound off in the comments below!
January 28, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Ever since we first caught wind of the potential existence of an Android-powered Nokia smartphones twenty days ago, rumors have been flying around left and right. The device, which was thought to be named “Normandy,” is the embodiment of what many would consider the ideal device: the Android operating system running on Nokia’s critically acclaimed (and durable) hardware.
The rumors got off to a healthy start with some leaked screenshots and renders showcasing a Qualcomm Snapdragon-based (unknown variant) device, with what appeared to be a 4″ screen running at WVGA resolution. The rumors also pointed to a 5 MP camera and a dual SIM slot. Not too long after, we saw alleged shots of the device powered on and booted up, showcasing its unique and highly customized Android UI. Around that time, we also saw a few color options appear in another leaked render. Then a couple days later, we saw another leaked shot of the physical device, as well as new leaked screenshots of the highly customized user interface, complete with two separate user interface modes. Now thanks to leaker extraordinaire @evleaks, we have a few additional details to add to the rumor mill.
For starters, according to @evleaks, the device in question will be called the Nokia X. This replaces the “Normandy” moniker we’ve seen thus far, as well as the A110 codename we saw in the first screenshots. And according to the leak, we also have a good idea about the device’s hardware specs:
Nokia X: 2 x 1GHz Snapdragon, 4″ WVGA, 512MB / 4GB / microSD, 5MP, 1500MAh, Nokia Store + 3rd party, dual-SIM, 6 colors.
Those with a keen eye will be quick to note that these latest rumored specs match up perfectly with the previously rumored details we shared about the A110, as this leak also points to a 4″ WVGA screen, a Snapdragon processor, dual-SIM slots, multiple casing colors, and a 5 MP camera. Judging by the limited storage, RAM, and battery capacity, we can assume this device will be aimed at the budget-friendly market currently being dominated by the likes of the fantastic Moto G. And the rumored Nokia Store lends even more credence to the idea that this device (if it ever comes to exist) will be based on a forked and heavily modified version of Android, which is perhaps only “Android” at its very core.
What are your thoughts on a potential Nokia-built Android device? Now that more rumors are flying around, do you think this could actually be in the works, or do you think that all of the hardware development and leaks we’ve seen surrounding the Normandy/Nokia X/A110 were just safety measures in case the Microsoft acquisition fell through? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
January 16, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Ever since we caught our first glimpses of the alleged Android-powered Nokia Normandy, leaks have been popping up left and right. While some are quick to label a Nokia-built Android device as the Holy Grail of smartphones, others aren’t too impressed with the interface shots seen to date. Now, thanks to Twitter leakers @evleaks and @vizileaks, we have a very clear shot of the alleged device’s outer casing, as well as new leaked screenshots that appear to indicate two general ways in which the Normandy’s UI can be navigated. READ ON »
January 14, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Believe what you will about the alleged Android-powered Nokia Normandy, but the device is making quite a splash, and we’re not even sure it’s real yet. Regardless, we keep seeing the device peek its head out from the shadows with increasing frequency.
We first saw some leaked renders and screenshots of the device about a week ago. These shots seemed to indicate an incredibly highly skinned build of Android 4.4.1 running the on the device, which appeared to be codenamed the Nokia A110. Then yesterday, we saw more leaked images, and this time they came from a physical device. Of note, one of the leaked images showed the device-in-question running a highly skinned version of Android that featured similar UI patterns as the previous leak.
Now, we have one more image to add to the rumor mill fire, and it comes in the form of a leaked press render, which can be seen to your right. Once again, the alleged Normandy device features the same UI stylings as seen in the previous shots. This includes visible support for dual SIM (dual signal indicators) and a partially Metro-inspired launcher.
What are your thoughts on the Normandy? With all of these leaked shots flying around, as well as the overall similarity they all seem to share despite their vastly different sources, one can’t help but speculate. If this is indeed real, is a Nokia-built Android device your Holy Grail of smartphones, or is its UI too far removed from stock Android for you to even consider the device? Share your opinion in the comments below!
January 13, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
You may remember that just five days ago, we shared some relatively convincing rendered images and a few screenshots of the alleged Android-powered Nokia “Normandy.” Now, there is some new fuel to add to the rumor mill fire, as two new leaked pictures have appeared, only this time, they’re not renders!
This device, which seems to be branded as the Nokia A110 if the previously leaked screenshots are to be believed, is running a highly customized version of Android 4.4.1 atop Linux Kernel 3.4.0. However, as XDA Senior Member rahil3108 was quick to point out in the article comments, there is already an Android-powered device labeled A110: the Micromax A110. And sure enough, it runs at the same 854×480 resolution as was seen in the screenshots.
Now, however, we have two alleged photographs of the elusive Nokia Normandy, including one image featuring a UI very similar to the previously leaked renders. Given that Microsoft is in the process of acquiring Nokia’s device and services business, it’s relatively unlikely that the Normandy will ever see the light of day. But with all the leaked renders, screenshots, and today’s images capturing the device in the flesh; it’s not hard to believe that the device is (or was) being actively worked on.
What are your thoughts on the Normandy? Do you think this was some kind of “Plan B” in the event of problems with the Microsoft Acquisition, or do you think this device is just some Shenzhen knockoff? Let us know in the comments below!
January 8, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
For many, an Android-powered Nokia device would be the Holy Grail of smartphones. Imagine combining the fantastic industrial design and durability of Nokia devices with the power and versatility of Android. Sounds too good to be true, right? Not so fast.
So what do we know about this super secret Android-powered Nokia device? Quite a bit—if the rumors are to be believed, that is. READ ON »