February 27, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
The Nokia X is certainly a polarizing device. For ever fan of the device family’s affordable price tag and trademark Nokia build quality, there’s inevitably someone else to blast the company’s entrance into the Android world for not packing a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and WUXGA screen.
While the Nokia X is probably not the right phone for the majority of smartphone buyers, there are certainly a few things that the Finnish company got right in terms of product design and placement. To talk about these things, Nokia VP of Mobile Phone Marketing Jussi Nevanlinna fielded several user-generated questions ranging from why now is the right time for an Android-based Nokia (emerging markets) to target markets (“pretty much everywhere except North America, Korea and Japan”) to potential self-cannibalism between the X and the Lumia lines.
While these answers may not be enough to sway you into purchasing a member of the Nokia X family, it is interesting to learn a bit more about the thought process that went into creating the Nokia X and its sibling devices. Hit up the source link below to read the full interview.
February 26, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
What? Could that image to your right be real? Is that something that actually resembles Android running on the Android-powered Nokia X? OK, fine—there’s still a layer of Nokia customization thanks to that status bar, but this is what the Nokia X looks like running a much more traditional launcher.
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.