Nokia X – An Android Phone from Nokia

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The Finnish giant has been trying hard to make its presence felt again in the market. They came up with Windows Phone 8 devices in almost all price brackets to compete against the popular android devices. Some devices were doing decent but obviously that wasn’t good enough for them. They needed to stack up numbers to ensure that the current giants don’t beat them up.

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Few months back, it was rumoured that Nokia is working on an Android device. Everyone was happy, well almost. It was supposed to be a powerful device. Not that Nokia ever said anything but it was just assumed and accepted that it would be. More details surfaced later and came in as a disappointment. It was just a low end device powered by a dual core processor. Rest of the hardware wasn’t very impressive either. This device officially came out a while back and here we give you a taste of the new Nokia.

Design

Not many people might love the built and design of this device but then one look at the price tag and it is all justified. It is a pretty basic smartphone and for that, it is probably better than average. It measures 115.5 x 63 x 10.4 mm and would fit in your hand without any trouble. The device has a polycarbonate body and like many Lumia devices, it is also available in multiple colours. The device resembles a lot with the Lumia 520, mostly because of simple rectangular design and similar dimensions.

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There is not much to on the device body. Apart from the headphone jack and micro USB port, there is just the camera. The camera on this device hasn’t got any flash. A small Nokia logo sits in the middle of back panel when held in landscape. On the front, there is just one capacitive key unlike three on most devices.

Display

The device has a 4 inch display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It is an IPS LCD panel with a pixel density of 233 pixels per inch. For the class of devices this one lies in, this is a pretty good display. The contrast is pretty good and the colours are replicated well. You won’t have much trouble reading text on this display under sunlight as the brightness levels are decent. The reflective nature of display might be intrusive at certain angles though. The interface is colourful and the display handles them very well.

Software/ Interface

This device runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean but the software is not even remotely stock. They have made a lot of changes to the operating system and we love them. They have blended android operating system with the windows phone style very well. It is essentially a new launcher that has been designed very well.

There are major alterations to the interface. The widgets are made to look like live tiles that you find on windows phone. There is no dedicated apps key and you can simply choose the application to launch from a long list. To arrange the apps, you can simply drag and drop them to add them to folders. To go good with the theme, you can change the colour of some apps. Though this option isn’t available for all the apps which is a bit weird.

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The notifications are displayed on the lock screen as well. Gone is the typical notification bar and instead you get the Nokia fast lane which is a long page that you access by swiping left or right on the screen. The pull down bar has limited use here. You will use it to change the settings on this device. They have taken care to remove everything from Google and make it all about Microsoft. You don’t need to add a Google account. Instead you sign in using your Microsoft account and the apps are available through Microsoft’s own app store.

Hardware

The device is powered by a dual core processor as we already said. It runs on the QUALCOMM MSM8225 Snapdragon S4 Play chipset which has the Adreno 203 GPU. The hardware is dated and no matter what they do with the software, they aren’t able to mask the fact. While the CPU can handle most of your everyday apps, they take a while to launch. The GPU is pathetic at handling 3D and that would show as soon it has to render 3D. The performance of this device is further limited by the small amount of RAM. It has got just 512 MB of RAM which would cause the device to slow down and stutter after a while of usage.

Connectivity

On connectivity front, you get the usual mainstream options. It has got HSDPA support with download speeds up to 7.2 Mbps. It gets Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP support and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. There is just 4 GB of storage available on board though that shouldn’t trouble you much as you can add a micro SD card of up to 32 GB. All this hardware is powered by a 1500 mAh battery. You can remove the back to access the user replaceable battery.

Camera

The device has got a 3 megapixel camera without any flash. There is no secondary camera. It is a very basic camera and it would be really tough a job to get even a decent shot. You get some tweaks with the camera though. You can alter the exposure and white balance to suit the conditions.

Verdict

While the Nokia X has been long awaited, it didn’t turn out to be something dazzling. Nokia has worked hard on the software and it is impressive but cutting out Google entirely has caused some troubles. Even if you install some apps from there package files, they might require a Google account. But these are minor issues and can be ignored. As a package, the device gives you mixed feelings. It is hard to recommend this device but the software is pretty good. Only if it had more RAM and better GPU for the same price.

+Kerry Tiwana is a full time tech savvy blogger, author and founder of TechMafia, you can follow him on Facebook.

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