Try as the old giant might, Microsoft hasn’t done too well for itself in the mobile space recently. Although once the kings of the industry with Windows Mobile, its successor Windows Phone was never able to enjoy the same popularity. Much of this is undoubtedly due to a paucity of third party applications for the platform.
Not too long ago, Microsoft-owned Nokia decided to try a new approach in order to be a bit more competitive in this app-driven market. With that, they released the Android-powered Nokia X and Nokia X2 models. While not “Google Android,” these emerging market devices allowed users to sideload standard Android apps, as well as connect to Nokia’s (and Opera’s) Android app store. This allowed users looking for a Nokia device to enjoy a much wider app catalog than what is available on Windows Phone.
Now, this is likely to be coming to a close, as Microsoft refocuses its portfolio to better position Lumia in the affordable smartphone segment. This will be done by repurposing upcoming Nokia X devices as Windows Phone-powered Lumia smartphones.
As stated by Executive VP of Microsoft Devices and Services Stephen Elop :
We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia. In addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.
At this point, it is unclear what “select future Nokia X designs” means exactly. Technically, there could be more Android-powered Nokia X devices in the future. But due to the product line’s precarious position in the first place, we wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t the case and the X2 is the last Android-powered device we see from Nokia.
What are your thoughts on this move? Were you a Nokia X/X2 fan looking forward to seeing what future Nokia X iterations would bring, or did the product line fail to catch your eye because of its budget segment specifications? Let us know in the comments below.
Despite the overabundance of rumors and leaks leading up to the eventual release of the first generation Nokia X, the thought of an Android-powered Nokia device was certainly a shock to many. And even though the Nokia X was created without any sort of flagship aspirations in mind, it has still amassed quite a loyal following and its fair share of aftermarket development work thanks in part to Nokia’s positive attitude towards development.
Now, Nokia hopes to build upon the success of the X with another budget-friendly, Android-powered device, the Nokia X2. The X2 builds upon the legacy of its predecessor by providing upgrades in nearly all device specifications. While the screen resolution remains unchanged at 800×480, the X2′s screen now features Nokia’s ClearBlack display technology. The processing power has been upgraded thanks to a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 200 (dual-core Cortex A7), up from its predecessor’s 1.0 GHz Snapdragon S4 Play (dual-core Cortex A5). In addition to raw processing power, RAM has been increased from 512/768 MB to a full gig, and the device’s software has been upgraded from “Nokia X Software Platform 1.0″ to “Nokia X Software Platform 2.0.” But of course, we all know that the device runs Android OS at its deeply hidden core–even if the only mention of Android in official Microsoft marketing material is that the X and X2 can “run your favorite Android apps.”
Nokia X2 Launch Video:
Nokia has also shared a hands-on video of the X2, showcasing its UI features:
Are you looking forward to calling the X2 your own? If so, are you planning on using Nokia’s default user interface, or will you swap it out for a more Android-like experience? Or do you think Microsoft and Nokia have no place in the diverse and already crowded Android ecosystem? Share your thoughts in the comments below and head over to the Nokia X2 forum to get started!
April 14, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
You can now easily switch between Dalvik and ART if you’re experiencing ART-related bootloops! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement that the Xperia Z2 X-Reality Image Enhancer has been ported to all Xperia Devices and the story about what to do now that you have a Samsung Galaxy S5! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the exciting news coming out like the Nokia X camera being ported to Android 4.1+ devices and the announcement that Chainfire has re-released CF.lumen. Pull up a chair and check out this and other XDA Developer TV videos.
While the Nokia X isn’t exactly the lust-inducing, flagship-caliber device that we were all hoping for from the Finnish OEM’s entrance into the Android world, the device and its software are still rather intriguing.
In addition to making the Nokia X more functional by shoehorning external development onto the device, we’ve also seen porting efforts to bring some of the Nokia X’s software to other devices. This began with porting the Nokia Store to other devices, and we later saw the Nokia X ROM running on the HTC HD2… well, sort of. Now thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Member xperiaz2, you can enjoy the Nokia X’s camera software on nearly any device running Jelly Bean or later.
As you can see in the screenshots to your right, the Nokia X camera software has some pretty nifty settings. These include ISO sensitivity control, the ability to display a live intensity histogram, configurable noise detection, redeye reduction, anti-banding, and more. All’s not perfect with the camera app, however, as the resultant pictures are stored with very high compression. Additionally, the port seems to have mixed results when running on other devices. For example, some have stated that while the actual camera functionality works fine, it causes a Gallery force close after recording a video.
If you want a taste of the Nokia X camera experience on your own device, head over to the ported app thread and give this a go.
Update: It seems as if XDA Senior Member opssemnik has ported an even more functional version of the Nokia X camera to all 4.1+ devices. This version fixes many of the force closes that were encountered in the version above.
April 8, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
The Nokia X is the first Android-powered device family from the legendary Finnish manufacturer. It’s become quite the commercial success due to being a relatively cheap device with pretty decent hardware specification. And after it was rooted and received ports of TWRP and ClockworkMod recoveries, it was only a matter of time before custom ROMs would show up.
XDA Senior Member dhacker29, who ported AOSP to Moto G, now brought a working Code Aurora-based build of AOSP Jellybean 4.1.2 to the Nokia X. The list of working features is quite long, including network connectivity, camera, FM radio, and even multi SIM support. The build is described as stable and is a good alternative to heavily modified Android skin developed by Nokia.
Since the Nokia X has only a hardware back key, navigation is not easy. However, dhacker29 made a second build with software navigation bar, which makes using a phone comfortable. Best of all, having this working device tree will enable other developers to port some of your favorite custom ROMs to the device.
If you own a Nokia X or if you are planning to get one, you can read more about the build, find the source code, and get started by visiting the development thread.
April 4, 2014 By: Samantha
It seems many folks simply do not know what to do with the Nokia X. Although it’s unbelievably inexpensive, one may find it hard to rationalize choosing this highly modified device over the also wallet-friendly and highly regarded Moto G, particularly for aftermarket development. This however, doesn’t change the fact that the Nokia X has already been rooted and loaded with Google Apps, testament to the determination of XDA members.
With this said, the Nokia X has recently received unofficial ports of TeamWin’s TWRP and Koush’s CWM courtesy of XDA Senior Member dhacker29. The TWRP recovery is the latest version, and is fully operational with no bugs except for a graphical glitch when you first enter the recovery. The CWM recovery, however, is still in its beta phase. It has various bugs yet to be ironed out, such as a minute-long loop that sometimes occurs upon boot. Both ports of TWRP and CWM are built from CyanogenMod 10 and Nokia X kernel sources, and their sources can be found at dhacker29’s github if you’re interested in tinkering with them.
With both TWRP and CWM recoveries running on the Nokia X, we hope to see more development for the device in future. Dhacker29 certainly has an idea already, stating that once CWM is fully working on the Nokia X, he may start working on getting CyanogenMod working on the device.
March 21, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
XDA is home to all sorts of devices and all sorts of users. There are obviously those who aren’t content with anything other than the latest flagship Galaxies, Ones, or Nexus devices. However, there are also those for whom these phones are simply inaccessible—either due to financial constraints or geographic availability. In these markets, you have phones like the Cherry Mobile Flare S100.
While the Flare doesn’t offer showstopper specifications, it has amassed a decent following in various regions due to its relatively good performance and great price. You know what other phone aimed at similar markets and offers a fairly unique experience? The Nokia X. So naturally, it would make sense to try and combine the two, right? That’s exactly what XDA Senior Member Fallen_Knight has done by porting the Nokia X ROM over to the Flare.
The ported ROM currently has quite a bit working. In fact, in its third build, basically everything works except for the FM radio and mobile hotspot security. But just like the authentic Nokia X, this ROM does not include things like Google services or the Play Store. However, this can be easily rectified through root-level modifications.
If you’ve got a Flare and wish to give it a bit of Nokia X love, head over to the original thread to get started.
OK. Part of why you undoubtedly had to do a double take when reading that last statement is that most of the development efforts on the Nokia X thus far have involved removing Nokia’s strange UI from the device and turning the Nokia X into a more traditional Android smartphone. But just like what they say about questionable content on the Internet, if you can imagine any kind of strange hybrid ROM, chances are that someone’s already created it.
This strange amalgamation comes courtesy of XDA Senior Member aazzam16661 with help from Senior Member gilbert32. Now before you start getting too excited (or traumatized), this port can’t do much more than boot at this point. Essentially nothing works other than graphics and sound—but perhaps that’s a good thing for HD2 owners everywhere. That said, it’s still interesting to say the least to see such a port on the HD2, essentially proving that the HD2 will live on for forever—at least in comparison to other mobile devices.
You can check out more screenshots by visiting gilbert32′s post. Just don’t ask the dev for a flashable ZIP because it won’t come anytime soon. And be careful what you wish for, as you may find yourself with a Nokia-laden HD2 at some point.
March 3, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat source code for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4 been released! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the T-Mobile LG G2′s KitKat update is available as well and Android 4.4 has been leaked for the AT&T LG Optimus G Pro! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about adding 4k and 120 FPS abilities to the Stock LG Camera. Finally, Nokia treats developers well and the Nokia X has been rooted and loaded with Google Apps, the Play Store and Google Now! Pull up a chair and check out this and other XDA Developer TV videos.
During the course of our 11 year history, we at XDA have seen OEMs display many different attitudes towards developers here at XDA, as well as the aftermarket development community as a whole. Perhaps the source of this ambivalence is twofold. On the plus side, aftermarket developers are able to add value to existing products by providing end users with additional features and higher levels of performance. But this blessing can also be a curse, as these software-enabled upgrades could potentially make users more content with their current hardware and unwilling to upgrade to the next generation of products.
Thankfully, there are certain OEMs who get things right. In recent memory, Motorola has become quite developer-friendly, and other OEMs such as Oppo and Sony have a vast track record of treating the community right. Now, you can add Nokia to the fold.
You may remember that just yesterday, we covered a quick guide by XDA Senior Member Kashamalaga that gave Nokia X users the ability to connect to the Google Play Store and load up various Google Apps including the Google Now Launcher. Initially, I was a bit hesitant to post the story, as additional publicity could evoke wrath from an angry hand of Nokia. Thankfully, I was proven wrong, as the Nokia Developer Team expressed support for Kashamalaga’s achievement in a Tweet:
Nokia Developer Team @nokiadeveloper Feb 28
@KashaMalaga This is awesome! Very excited to see progress is being made – we actually really like @xdadevelopers
Well, Nokia, thanks for showing the other OEMs how it’s done. Now please just give us a flagship-level Android-powered device, and I’ll gladly ditch my Nexus 5.
February 28, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Just a few days ago, we showed you a quick glimpse of what “real” Android looks like on the Nokia X. Unfortunately, this was only a standard replacement launcher, leaving many of us salivating at the prospect of having a Nokia X with full access to Google Apps and Services. Now thanks to a guide by XDA Senior Member Kashamalaga, that time has come.
Kashamalaga’s guide is quite simple. First, you acquire root access using the Galdalf Exploit in Framaroot. From there, you install a root-capable file manager. Then, you copy a Nokia X-specific Gapps package by Kashamalaga to your /system/app folder, and give it the appropriate permissions. After a reboot and a few more application installs, you are then able to access the Google Play Store, various Google Apps, and the Google Experience Launcher.
If you’re a Nokia X owner looking to make the most of your device, head over to the guide thread to learn more.
[Many thanks to XDA Forum Member kautionwirez for the tip!]
February 28, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Just yesterday, we announced the creation of forums for the Sony Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet. Now, we’ve created quite a few new forums for other devices announced earlier this week at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
First up, we have the highly anticipated Nokia X. While the Finnish OEM’s first entry into the Android world isn’t exactly for everyone, there are quite a few things the budget-friendly X gets right.
Nokia wasn’t the only company to make waves at MWC. HTC announced the mid-range Desire 816, which finally lives up to its name for the first time in the product line’s history. LG was busy as well, announcing both the flagship G Pro 2 phablet and the diminutive G2 Mini. Finally, we also added a forum for the mid-range Sony Xperia M2, which can be seen as a direct competitor to the Desire 816.
Do any of these newly announced devices have what it takes to make you part with your hard-earned cash? Let us know in the comments below!
The Nokia X family’s fate is not yet set in stone. The first Android-powered device from the legendary OEM might prove to be a great success or even greater failure, as our Editor-in-Chief Will mentioned in his analysis. One thing is certain though: Some Nokia applications are highly anticipated, with Nokia Maps being right at the very top of the list. While Here Maps hasn’t yet been ported to other devices, one Nokia X app has made its way to other devices.
The first application ported from the Nokia X was the Nokia Store, which is a replacement of Google Play Store seen on the vast majority of Android devices. The application was ported by XDA Senior Member opssemnik, who did the dirty work, and now Nokia’s app can work without any build.prop modifications. Some applications still can’t be installed due to some permissions and API problems, but this is to be expected because of Nokia’s framework and API changes on the X family.
Hopefully, the Nokia Store is only the first application ported from the X. And maybe in time, we will see Nokia Maps and other Finnish goodies on Samsung, LG, Sony, and HTC devices. In the mean time, you can go to the application thread to get your hands on Nokia Store. From there, simply install the Nokia Store like any other app.