We have written umpteen blogs in the past that Nokia should embrace Android platform atlease in few of its Lumia devices, but it was not to be. When Nokia is on the verge of merging with Microsoft, they have come out with three budget devices in X range which runs the Android apps. Out of three devices showcased in the recently concluded MWC – Nokia X,X+, and XL, Nokia India has launched today entry-level Nokia X at MRP of Rs. 8,599. The remaining two models will debut in India within 60 days.
The Nokia X range of smartphones are not full-fledged Android smartphones as in Nokia X series of smartphones, you do not have the liberty to access Google’s customised services, its Play Store and apps such as Gmail and Maps.
The Nokia X smartphones are based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and run on the new Nokia X software platform, which is based on Google’s Android. This means that these devices are not pure Android phones but instead run a forked variant of Android. These phones can run the Android apps, which will be curated by Nokia, and are powered by Microsoft and Nokia services. In Nokia X series of smartphones, the customers can use Android apps alongwith Asha and Lumia range of Windows phones features for the unique experience. However, the main drawback of Nokia X smartphones is that the users will not have access to the Google Play Store for downloading the apps. The users will be required to download the apps from the Nokia Store.
Nokia X is a Dual-SIM smartphone with 4-inch 480×800 scratch-proof display, and is powered by 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. This smartphone comes with 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage, which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. This phone is fuelled by a 1500mAh battery. Nokia X is equipped with a 3-megapixel rear camera, but there is no front camera.
From the hardware point of view, this smartphone is sturdy, as was demonstrated during the presentation. It was not only dropped on the dais but was also banged repeatedly against the podium to demonstrate its solid build quality. Even, when we were getting the images of this smartphone after the presentation, the phone fell from my hand and dropped on the podium, but there were not even a single scratch on the cover. Just imagine, had it been any other Chinese phone, the situation would have been embarassing for me.
Nokia has entered into Android domain although not in full flow. Android is the most-sought after OS for smartphones in the world.Is this not late entry? According to Nokia, there is still scope for them in this segment and that is the reason that they have come out with budget smartphones for getting some leverage in the emerging markets. As per the famous saying, it is better late than never. But will the late entry in Android world with restrictions really help Nokia where many Chinese companies and of late branded companies like Sony.Motorola and LG are coming out with budget Android smartphones with aggressive prices. These companies have also realised that in markets like India, good and budget smartphones have greater audience compared to premium devices in the range of Rs. 30,000 upwards. This is the reason that Moto G priced at Rs. 12,349 is selling like hot cakes in India.
Only the coming days will tell, how customers react to Nokia X smartphones, which may prompt Nokia to come out in future full-fledged Android smartphones provided its new management of Microsoft agree with this thinking.