Sunday, Nov 23, 2014
Nokia’s version of Android is different. Nokia’s version of Android is different.
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Posted: April 6, 2014 1:30 am

Price: Rs 8,449

What has the world come to? I switch on a new Nokia phone and the first thing I see is the BlackBerry Messenger. Yes, a Nokia phone running a version of Google’s operating system which some people in Finland thought was not worth a second glance. The Nokia X is the first of the Nokia phones to feature a modified operating system based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). But let us get one thing clear, this is not an Android phone. Here is why:

The design is not Android

The Nokia X looks and feels like a slightly large Asha 501. It has a thinner bezel and hence more real estate. It is also a bit heavier. It comes from the same design family as the rest of the Nokia phones these days and, hence, has a bright colour body. The rear flap also tries to protect the camera bump. But the big difference in comparison to Android phones is that there is just one back button under the screen, like in the Asha series. And this is not exactly a Home button. This has a considerable impact on the way you use this phone.

The OS is not Android

This phone OS does not look like any Android phone you have ever seen. Nokia has tried to bring in the Lumia design language into the phone and you have a tile-based interface that is many notches below what you find on the Lumia 525. So this Android phone actually looks more like a Windows phone. You can add apps to the homescreen and make some basic tweaks to the entire look and feel.

But it is not a bad interface. Nokia is using Fastlane from the Asha series to give a completely non-Android user experience on the phone. Everything you need is one swipe away and the phone is very fast when you swipe through the apps. One swipe left from an app and you are on the homescreen, a swipe to the right and you are in the Fastlane showing all the recent apps, including the one you switched from. It needs some getting used to, but it is effective. However, we noticed that with some apps, it was very hard to exit. We guess these are the made-for-Android apps.

There is no Google Play store

The best thing about Android, or iOS, is the access it gives to millions of apps. But there is no Google Play store on the Nokia X. There is a store that lets you download apps without even logging in. The store has lots of popular apps, though some of the bigwigs like Instagram are missing.

The last qualifier has been added because you might find apps that do what you are looking for. For instance, I could not find the official YouTube app, but there are a bunch of others continued…

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