Nokia X hands-on (MWC 2014)
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At MWC 2014 Nokia finally gave the world what many folks having been asking for, Nokia handsets that run on the power of Android. Unfortunately, none of three Nokia Android devices are exactly what we think of when it comes to a typical Android device, due to a very customized Android-based UI and the lack of Google apps.
Although we will be taking a look at the Nokia XL a bit later today, let’s first dive in and take a look at the Nokia X. While there is also an X+ model, the only real difference is that it bumps the RAM from 512MB to 768MB.
The build quality here is very reminiscent of devices like the Nokia 928, bringing us a blocky design that sits nicely in the hand. All around the design is very simplistic and not overly flashy, despite the fact the handset rocks bright colors such as yellow and green.
On the right you’ll find a power button and the volume rockers, and on the front is a single capacitive key.
Hardware and Performance
The Nokia X is no powerhouse by any means, featuring a 1Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU and just 512MB of RAM. There’s also a 4-inch display with an 800 x 480 resolution, a 3MP camera and dual-SIM support.
The specs probably won’t impress anyone, but they should be more than enough to provide a decent smartphone experience. When flipping through the UI, navigation seems smooth enough and the interface itself is very simplistic and well-organized.
As previously mentioned, the Nokia X has a look that is very different from stock Android or even manufacturer customized UIs like Touchwiz and Sense. The whole design mimics Windows Phone 8, giving us a “Metro” tiled look.
Whether you like the Nokia X UI or not is probably a matter of personal taste, though at the heart of the Nokia X lies Android, and that means it is more than possible to sideload just about any Android app and the handset should even work with third-party stores like the Amazon AppStore. There are even ways to change up the UI using 3rd party launchers like Nova Launcher.
Unfortunately, there are no Google Play services present such as Music, Gmail and the Play store. Instead, you get Nokia HERE maps and several Microsoft-centric apps.
It’s nice to see Nokia finally at least exploring Android as an alternative to Windows Phone, even if it seems way too late in the game to make any difference. The Nokia X probably won’t appeal to most Android fans due to the lack of Google services and the customized WP-like UI, but it could be perfect for first-time smartphone users or those just looking to pick one up for tinkering with.
The Nokia X is expected to arrive at a sub-$200 price point and will be launched worldwide, though at least for the moment, there is no planned release for North America. What do you think of Nokia’s first attempt at an Android smartphone, like it or not?