Nokia X Android

Nokia’s foray into the Android market is headed by the Nokia X that was launched last week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. With a price tag of ₹ 8,599 (about $140,) the phone is aimed at the largest and most profitable segment as an affordable, feature-rich, mid-range phone. Here are our first impressions of the phone that Nokia hopes will herald a profitable entry into Asia’s burgeoning Android-dominated market.

Nokia X

First Glance & Construction

At first glance, the Nokia X appears to be a clone of the company’s moderately successful Lumia 520, a Windows-based candy bar phone. Nokia’s global reputation for creating durable phones and smartphones will only be enhanced by the Nokia X’s sturdy construction. In addition to a clean, brilliantly coloured back panel, the phone’s dimensions make it slightly wider and shorter than the Lumia 520—a smart and safe move that gives it a balanced aesthetic appeal. The only notable difference is the absence of scratch-proof glass, a standard feature on most other Smartphones. It certainly makes up for it with dual SIM compatibility and a 32 GB microSD card slot—two of the most loved and used features in the Asian market.

Operating System

The Nokia X runs on a customized Android OS that is currently a 1.0 release as part of Google’s Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The OS currently prevents a user from accessing the Google Play store—this includes Google Maps and other patented apps. This limitation is one of the phone’s most significant drawbacks in a market where Android phones with Google Play capabilities are available for around ₹ 7000 ($114). If there is an Android heaven, it is to be found in India. Google’s leading mobile OS dominates the global smartphone market, outpacing the iPhone by a good 66% in terms of market share.  Nokia has attempted to offset this with their own Here Maps app and compatibility with Microsoft’s Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.  The Fast Lane interface—a success from Nokia’s Asha series makes a comeback as well. The OS looks functions and feels like more like a modified Windows OS than an Android phone.

Camera and Display

For its price tag, the Nokia X sports a 4-inch, 480 x 800-pixel IPS LCD display that’s comparable to most other competing phones in its segment. However, the 3-megapixel camera is a disappointment with no autofocus, geo tagging or HD recording capabilities.

Hardware and Talk time

The Nokia X runs on a 1000 MHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, identical to the Lumia 520 with 4GB of on-board storage with Bluetooth 3.0. The 13 hours of 2G talk time and 400 hours of standby time, the phone does appreciably well, another positive that subcontinent consumers have come to expect of Nokia. The phone is capable of handling all its inbuilt apps with ease and did not suffer any crashes.

Summary

Overall, Nokia’s first step into the world of Android phones has produced a reasonably high-performance device that has no significant problems except for the use of a customized OS that may come back to haunt the Finnish company in terms of sales. However, custom apps and Microsoft integration may keep the device in the market for some time to come. With adequate hardware and superlative construction, the Nokia X is a competitive purchase. Whether a budget-conscious customer will choose the company’s newest offering over the tried and tested Lumia series remains to be seen.