We’ve had the opportunity to try out the Nokia X, their entry-level or budget cellphone that oddly enough, runs on Android. You read it right Android, but before you think that Nokia is finally beginning to throw in the towel on Windows Phone, it is worth noting that the Android phones were conceived before Nokia’s transfer to Microsoft and that they’re pretty much committed to the Windows Phone platform. I sort of think that this is more of a marketing experiment from their end.
The X is the budget phone of their Android lineup, which includes the X+ and the XL. It is similar to the Lumia 520 in terms of appearance, and the X has a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 4GB of internal storage and 512MB of RAM. It has a microSD slot inside to expand storage up to 32GB. There’s a 3MP camera at the back, and unfortunately none at the front. It’s available for Php 5,990 at your suking cellphone store.
At 110g, the Nokia X feels quite heavy but solid. It has a matte back that rounds at the edges to allow for a better hold, but I do find it a bit slippery to hold. To open the internals is like a Tupperware experience, you hold on the top edges as you press on the other end to pop the front part from the colored case. Inside, you have access to the 1500mAh battery, two micro sim-card slots and the microSD card slot in between. It comes with a microUSB charger and a headset that matches the case. You find the headphone jack at the top of the unit, the USB jack at the bottom, volume and power buttons at the sides and the camera and speaker grille at the back. Being the budget phone, there is no camera at the front, but there is an ambient light sensor.
The headset matches the colour of the case, and just has a button to start and end calls. It is decent enough to use for listening to music. You can control playback from the lock screen and it displays the album art full-screen, which is a nice touch.
Even though they say that this runs Android, it’s very much different. For one, it has a heavily modified interface that somewhat resembles Windows Phone, using “tiles” in the main screen, where you access everything. It has only one capacitive “œback” button; tapping on it takes you up one level from any application while a long press takes you straight to the home screen. The interface is easy enough to “œget”, as it still largely takes from the default Android interface in terms of functionality.
It has an app store, but if you’ve already had a previous Android phone and were expecting to re-download your apps, you can’t. The Store goes to Nokia’s own Android App Store. This does not have Google Play as well as the rest of the Google apps. There are also several other app stores that you can download apps from in case that you can’t find the app you want from Nokia’s store.
In the first few days, using the different functions of the phone, such as texting, making calls and using the apps seem pretty acceptable as this is a dual-core phone, but I noticed that as the days wore on the performance suffers. Swiping and scrolling gets really janky at times, you’ll notice this when you unlock the phone when it has a lot of notifications on it.
The Nokia X has a 3MP camera with picture, video and panoramic modes. Taking pictures with the 3MP camera is OK. It takes decent enough shots in daylight but suffers in low-light situations as expected of a 3MP phone camera.
Nokia X Sample Photos
Nokia X Antutu Benchmark
As indicative of the price, the Nokia X is better suited as an entry-level phone that you can gift to your loved-one. If you’re already invested in the Android ecosystem, I would look elsewhere. That being said, I would still say that the Nokia X performs a little better than other phones in it’s price range. The build quality is pretty good, and I dare say that I like the colors.