We had heard rumors of a secret Nokia Android device for a long time. But when the Nokia X series was officially announced, we were pleasantly surprised and quite excited at the prospect of an Android phone with Nokia’s DNA in it. The 4 inch X is the first of the series to hit the market. Sporting an ultra-low price tag of around $100, this Nokia Android device has the potential to disrupt the lower end of the Android market. But does it succeed in doing so? Let’s find out in our Nokia X review.
One of the most important aspects of a Nokia smartphone is the way it looks. Nokia have created an identity for themselves with bright and colorful smartphones, and fortunately the Nokia X seems to have gotten the same treatment. The smartphone itself is quite chunky, but we think it looks all the better for it. The matte black version is especially nice to look at. The feel of the phone in the hand is also very good, with the thickness adding a touch of substance to the smartphone. We certainly think that this little Nokia Android device looks far better than anything offered in the lower bracket of the Android market.
With that low price tag, you’d expect Nokia to cut a few corners, and cut corners they have. That’s because the Nokia X has a very feeble dual-core Cortex A5 processor coupled with just 512 megabytes of RAM. There’s only 4 gigbytes of internal storage as well. While this was acceptable 3 years ago, today this means that you’re in for a very bad user experience. More on that later.
The Nokia X sports a 3 megapixel rear camera and absolutely no front-facing camera at all (sorry selfie fans). While the Lumia series is known for its top notch photo skills, the X takes a back seat when it comes to photo-taking abilities. For starters, the camera is a fixed-focus unit, so closeup shots are out of question. And unfortunately, the rear camera is no good at photos either. You could share the photos taken by it on Facebook, but go any further and you’re in for some very noisy images.
Nokia have garnished given Android their own treatment for the X series, but we think they might’ve gone too far with it. While we appreciate the way they’ve tried to make Android look as Windows Phone as possible, they’ve taken away all the Android charm from the phone. And get this: you cannot access any Google services from this phone. That means no GMail, heck you cannot even access the Play Store. And this is an Android phone! As for what they have achieved, is an incredibly stuttery UI where even Facebook takes ages to open up.
The Nokia X is equipped with a 1500mAh battery that does average on battery life tests. The X can browse the internet for around 5 hours before it gives up completely, while you can get 11 hours of talk time from it.
We had high hopes from Nokia’s first Android smartphone. We expected a colorful exterior to be coupled with smooth as silk software with some added Nokia software goodness. What we got instead was a very pretty smartphone that suffers majorly because of its feeble hardware and not-so-perfect software. If Nokia wants to be taken seriously in the Android market, they’re going to have to do better than this.