We all might have been always wondering why Nokia hasn’t taken up Android and took Windows phone OS instead. But when the news came that Nokia is really making an Android device, we were all so excited and really waiting for it to launch and see where it stands and what it has to beat the rivals because Nokia exactly know what you need in a phone and they were on the top for a while. But after the launch, the Android devices quite stirred some confusion; yes they are based on Android but not what the other Android devices run. Since Android is open source, Nokia has strangely gone for its own implementation. Today we have the Nokia X, which is lower end device with a mere 512MB RAM. Let us see what this device is actually about and where it stands in the segment.
Design & Display:
The phone looks strange in its own way. It looks like a combination of Asha series and Lumia series devices. Most of the body is made of plastic and the matte surface on the back gives a good grip and feel when held in hand. The phone comes in various color options like Lumia devices. The device is not so thinner coming around 10.4mm but lighter at 128gms. The build quality is very rigid and the device is easier to handle due to compact size. The phone sports a 4 inch IPS LCD display with 480x800 resolution and 233ppi. Viewing angles are wider and colors look vibrant enough for a phone in this segment. But the screen is a bit reflective and brightness levels too aren’t high, so you would have a tough time reading it in sunlight.
As stated earlier, this is not the exact Android you’re looking for. The OS is based on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Nokia’s own implementation and tweaks on it. It is termed as Nokia X Platform 1.0 UI and users can now upgrade to 188.8.131.52. The launcher is a bit different and somewhat similar to Windows phone OS and we have resizable tiles here but they are not live tiles. Widgets are also available which can be placed on the homescreen. There is also a notification panel with few toggles. Similarly like the design, most of the UI too is somewhat like a combination of Windows phone OS and Asha series phone’s UI. Overall the UI feels smoother but now and then we see some lag – this might be due to the lower RAM, but however for a little RAM, this Android OS runs smoother on the UI.
Camera & Audio:
The phone is equipped with a 3.15 MP camera at the back. There is no secondary camera at the front and no LED flash too. Added to this, sadly the camera lacks auto focus. The camera interface too seems like a mix up of Asha series’ and windows phone OS’s interface. There are a bunch of options to control various settings for the camera. Since it is just 3.15MP we shouldn’t expect any good quality in the images. Image quality is just okay and we see some of the details are lost in the images captured. Noise is also present but colors look decent enough. Video quality too isn’t anything to boast of and quality is average. The loudspeaker produces decent audio output and loudness levels are just enough.
Connectivity & Additional Features:
This phone comes in dual sim version; supports two micro sim cards. Network reception is excellent and we did not face any issues with it. Call quality too is very good and both the parties are able to hear a very clear and loud output. The phone also supports Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 3.0, 3G, FM Radio and A-GPS. Internal memory is limited to only 4GB but the device also supports microSD cards upto 32GB. Since this is not exactly the present Android we have in our mobiles, you cannot have Google play services but apps can be installed from Nokia store. So most of the important and badly needed apps are present in the store, but if you were expecting something like Google play apps, you’d be disappointed.
Performance & Battery:
The phone runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 play chipset with a dual core 1GHz processor, a mere 512MB RAM and Adreno 203 GPU. Already you don’t get Google play’s apps and you can install only the ones which are compatible from other stores. The device overall runs reasonably smooth due to Nokia’s well optimised OS. But anyway you will still observe some lag now and then. The phone is able to score around 7k in Antutu benchmark and around 2.8k in Quadrant. Considering the price tag, the results seem okay but sometimes hiccups are still present. The battery is of 1500mAh only, which should last half day easily under moderate usage. But even if it is a budget device, we do expect a good battery life still.
Decent build and design
Good image quality for a 3MP cam
Whole new Android experience which is smoother too
Not the Android we were expecting – no Google play
No front cam
No LED flash, no auto focus
Battery life could have been better
So far, there is one word we feel about Nokia X- strange. Ofcourse though we shouldn’t expect much from a device in this price segment, there are minimum expectations that are to be fulfilled like a good battery life. Since you don’t have access to Google play, you will have to search for other stores where you can find some compatible apps for this phone, but anyway most of the much needed apps are still present and you can download others from Nokia store. The major plus point of the device is the unique experience it gives, we are treated with a whole new and different Android experience. If you want to try something new, this would be a good starter, but the other devices in the lineup like Nokia XL, X+ might feel a better option if you can stretch your budget. However, how far this OS survives and how many developers are willing to optimise their apps for this OS is nearly unpredictable.
Nokia X Rivals:
Asus Zenfone 4
Motorola Moto E
Xiaomi Redmi 1S
Micromax Unite A092
Samsung Galaxy Star 2
Karbonn Titanium S1 Plus
Nokia Asha 503