An unexpected appearance from a company closely linked to the Microsoft Windows Phone platform, Nokia X series phones with Android was launched and is proposed as a superior alternative to the Asha phone range, rated for exterior design but criticized for limited software functionality.
Presented by the actual Stephen Elop, the former Microsoft CEO who is now in charge of Nokia, the Nokia X proposes a recipe with Android without the Google ingredient. So instead of Google Android, we get the Nokia X software platform, a hybrid operating system which includes an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Core, developed under the Android Open Source project. usual collection of Google applications and services has been replaced by Nokia approved alternative, and the Android interface was substituted by a colored tiles one. This mean we will not find Gmail, Maps, Calendar, Google now and other Google applications installed. Also access to the Play Store shop is not possible. We will instead be able to access Nokia Store, with access to a selection of games and applications for Android widespread. Off the record, people can install Android apps from external sources, using a process known as Android sideloading.
Construction, design and ergonomics
Aimed for the entry-level smartphone market, the Nokia X does not deliver great pretensions regarding design or hardware performance. The phone is presented in a solid casing, made of plastic, however trivial, without high expectations in regard to its finishing. Despite its rugged shape, the first impression is that of a neat product, reminiscent of the Nokia Asha series.
Under the mineral glass shield, we see a 4 inch IPS screen, bright with a surprisingly good image quality. Like Nokia Asha phones, we find a single button below the screen, used for the Back function, which may cause some inconvenience if we choose to use other Android apps installed outside the Nokia Store.
On the down side we observe the micro USB connector, and on the upper side, the headset one. In the left side, as usual we find the Lock button and a flap to adjust the volume.
The shell shaped cap that dresses the side parts of the phone lashes over its body, but can be easily removed by pressing any of the prominent corners. Covering the entire phone, except the screen, the cover made from a single piece of plastic can be easily replaced in case of damage, or maybe if you want to try on another color.
Under the lid we got a 1500mAh removable battery, two SIM card slots ( yeah, that’s right, its a DUAL SIM smartphone ) and a micro SD card, accessible only after prior battery removal.
Screen, hardware specifications and autonomy
With a 4″ diagonal and a 480 X 800 pixel resolution, the screen offers more clarity than those supplied with Asha phones, but not particularly impressive if we compare to other entry-level Android smartphones. But the brightness and contrast are satisfactory, and the different colored tiles interface played on a black background looks almost as good regardless of the angle from which we look at the screen.
Considering the budget which was allocated, the S4 Snapdragon chipset hardware platform (1GHz dual core CPU ) seems an excusable choice, especially since we are dealing with a strongly modified version of Android, optimized for efficiency. Its RAM memory consists of 512MB. Out of the remaining 4GB of internal memory we get about 1GB free space for installing applications and another 1GB for using as storage space. Fortunately the microSD slot allows you to add up to 32GB more space for hosting music collections and pictures.
From the short facilities list, the front camera and the NFC module are missing. Otherwise, the phone supports 3G and WiFi N for internet access, Bluetooth module, A-GPS receiver and a camera without great expectations.
Nokia X – Technical Details
- Display: 4.0 “IPS LCD, 480 x 800 pixel capacitive
- OS: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean + interface Nokia X platform 1.0
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Play (MSM8225)
- Processor: ARM Cortex-A5 dual-core 1 GHz
- Graphics Processor: Adreno 203
- RAM: 512 MB
- Memory: 4 GB (1.07 GB available for applications 1.07 GB for user)
- Card: microSD, up to 32 GB
- Data: HSDPA 7.2Mbps
- WiFi: 802.11 b / g / n
- Bluetooth: 3.0
- USB: microUSB 2.0
- Camera: 3.15 MP fixed focus
- Shooting video: 480p
- Front camera: no
- Battery: 1500 mAh
- Size: 115.5 x 63 x 10.4 mm
- Weight: 129 g
- Other: Wi-Fi Hotspot, Dual SIM, A-GPS
Unfortunately the Nokia X does not include the power -save function , so the battery depends solely on good management practices, so the user must manually adjust screen brightness and disable the data connection when you want to conserve battery. Otherwise , the phone will only display a warning when the battery reserve drops below 15%, but without doing anything to maximize the remaining capacity . More serious is that the reserve battery is displayed correctly every time, sometimes displaying your slow discharge to about 40 % capacity , after which drops steeply to the remaining reserves off the phone .
Used for telephone calls, Nokia X showed good GSM signal stability . The microphone quality is reasonable and poses no problems to use in areas with much noise. Although powerful, the wireless kit is not really of the best quality, the voice sounding slightly muffled in conversation with your partner .
As dual SIM functionality , the Nokia X allows us to choose the card that we want to call and informs from which network a call is received . Unfortunately like many cheap dual SIM phones , Nokia X can’t take multiple phone calls simultaneously if they come from different networks . So if someone tries to contact us while we are already talking on the phone , the call will not be taken over the phone appearing as unavailable in the other network.
The external speaker is very loud and clear , that we can take calls smoothly when on speaker mode . If you are interested in using Nokia HERE maps check here.
Solid built, with a good screen quality and interesting software package, Nokia X can be easily confused with smartphones in the upper range of prices. Fastlane interface, intuitive and easy to learn, turns to be perfect for beginners, the applications included are also generous, given the asking price.
Unfortunately Nokia X is disadvantaged by the mediocre performance camera and a battery that hardly copes with an intensive regimen.