“Why you going the Windows Phone route? Please make an Android phone. Please” cried several Nokia fanboys from the rooftops when Nokia entered an exclusive partnership with Microsoft to run Windows Phone on its high end devices about two years or so ago. At every suggestion to make an Android phone, all the Nokia executives scoffed at the suggestion and outlined how Windows Phone was the thing to do.
These two years seem like a big fad now given the events of the past month where Nokia announced the Nokia X, their first, albeit a badly done Android phone. The whole show reminds me of a rebel college going kid who sits for an exam and performs poorly only to show his parents that he was right when he said that he is not cut for the exam and subsequent life of that exam, just to bring them on board with his choice which is totally different to theirs. (image: technewscentral)
The Nokia X is perhaps the most UnAndroid like android device out there if we can say. A major reason for the device’s existence seems to be to show people how bad android can be at low end and hence open the doors to the budget Windows Phone devices which no doubt provide a smoother and sleeker experience. However, putting the device in focus and treating it as a standalone launch, this is why we feel the phone is not the Android and Nokia marriage we wanted.
We have had several OEMs skin their Android devices. From Samsung’s Touchwiz to HTC’s Sense, pretty much every major manufacturer has had some modification in the UI of vanilla android. However, looking at the UI of Nokia X, there is not an element of android there. The home screen is a mashup of the Asha UI (fastlane) and Windows Phone like tile elements would absolutely confuse somebody who has known android the way it really is. In a way, unless you are pressed and told the device runs android, you would say that it is an entirely new OS on the device which smells of stuff that Nokia has had on their previous devices. (image: buzzle)
Lack of Google Services:
It is common knowledge that you can hack your way around android and run anything. Pretty much every Google service has been ported to the Nokia X including the Google Play Store which is absent. Nokia has replaced pretty much every Google service on the device with an equivalent Microsoft service. Though several alternate app stores such as Nokia’s proprietary one that come on the device by default or Amazon exist, with decent collection of apps, but they would never be able to surpass the quality and quantity of Google Play. Plenty of people take to Android only to immerse themselves in the services of Google and ensure multi-device sync. This would put an ordinary consumer in tailspin, because if he only wanted the Microsoft solutions, he would have taken to Windows Phone long ago and not looked at a forked android device like the Nokia X. For anyone who has used android, Google Play has become synonymous with hub of apps and it’s lack would certainly leave users lost and confused. (image: digitaltrends)
That specs don’t inspire confidence of longevity:
Nokia X has very mediocre specs when it comes to hardware. Yes, we know that hardware and specs do not equate to the performance always, but by all accounts the device is not the most snappy and does not give the experience that a native Android device with decent specs would. But my argument is not even performance because that is subjective and up to debate since we have not really had a retail unit, but for the specs. That 512 MB of RAM could be an Achilles heel for plenty of modern apps and games that require at least 1 GB on board. Remember the outrage when temple run would not run on some of the WP8 devices with 512 MB RAM? Will the very same people be willing to be a lot more forgiving just because this is an Android powered Nokia device? I doubt. (image: Nokia Conversations)
Why suddenly are we not bothered about updates?
All of a sudden, nobody seems to be bothered about the fact that the Nokia X only runs Android 4.1 at the heart of the device. This means no Google Now or some of the recent features like latest OpenGL 3.0. Given how heavily Android is forked on the device, don’t be surprised if there are no android updates either because sure Microsoft would not support the idea of a competitor OS on their device once the Nokia-MS deal goes through officially. To think that an Android 4.1 run device would garner the sort of attention that Nokia X has accumulated is unheard of in the times where all of us are asking our respective OEMs for a taste of KitKat. (image: BGR)
To put everything into perspective, just think this. Had any ordinary OEM launched an Android device that looked nothing an Android device would, without any Google Services and with almost an year or so old Android version with no guarantees of updates, with hardware that would be crippled running most new Android apps, how many of you would have even bothered reading about the device forget even planning to buy one? Yes the price is attractive, but why not just save a little more and buy a real Android device as compared to picking something that looks attractive, but you know will frustrate you no end and likely to leave you filing for divorce very soon.