Nokia X Hands-on: An Android Phone with the Heart of a Lumia

This player is used on Facebook and anytime it's embedded outside of our sites.

Nokia is making huge waves today with the announcement of its first ever Android-powered smartphone lineup dubbed the X series. Comprised of the Nokia X, X+ and XL, Nokia, which was purchased by Microsoft five months ago, is positioning the X family between its entry-level Asha and high-end Windows Phone-based Lumia lines.

According to CEO Stephen Elop, the Android-powered Nokia X series will serve as a gateway to getting users interested in the company’s Windows Phones devices by giving them access to Android apps, while introducing them to Microsoft and Nokia’s services. We went hands-on with the Nokia X and XL to see how well the company’s experiment works.

MORE: Top 10 Smartphones

dsc01426 602x400

Put any of the X series smartphones next to one of Nokia’s Lumia handsets and you’ll be hard pressed to find any difference between the two. That’s because the Nokia X series gets the same colorful, polycarbonate shell as the Lumia line. In fact, even long-time Lumia users may be fooled when they first lay eyes on the Nokia X’ Android interface, as it apes the look of Windows Live Tile UI. 

Unfortunately, unlike Live Tiles, the X series interface doesn’t offer live app updates from its home screen, though a Nokia representative hinted that such a feature could be coming in the future.

Even moving between the XL’s home screen and your most recently used app looks and feels like it does when using a Windows phone device. Unlike the vast majority of Android-powered handsets, the Nokia X series phones don’t include the classic Android back, home and recent apps buttons. Instead, Nokia’s smartphones get a single back button.

dsc01424 675403

In terms of specs, the Nokia X phones don’t differ too much from each other. The Nokia X and X+ both sport 4-inch, 800 x 480-pixel displays and are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors. The Nokia X, however, gets 512MB of RAM, while the X+ gets 768MB. Both handsets feature similar 3-megapixel rear cameras. 

MORE: Top 25 Windows Phone Apps

The Nokia XL offers the same Snapdragon processor and 768MB of RAM as the Nokia X+, though it gets a larger 5-inch, 800 x 480 resolution display. The XL also gets a higher resolution 5-megapixel camera.

During our brief time with the XL, we found performance to be a mixed bag. Switching between apps and the home screen was quick and fluid, but opening certain apps and restarting the phone seemed to take forever. That said, these phones aren’t built to be world-beaters, so a little lag is to be expected. 

Overall, the Nokia X line appears to offer a serviceable hybrid Android/ Live Tile experience wrapped in a handsome design. Whether Nokia’s gambit to use Android-based handsets as a lure for Windows Phone will pay off remains to be seen.

 

AUTHOR BIO
Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Daniel P. Howley on
Twitter Google+
LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE