It looks like the unthinkable will happen. Nokia, wearing a Windows Phone ring and about to be wedded to Microsoft, is preparing to launch the Android-powered Nokia X smartphone at Mobile World Congress. Rumors have spread about the phone, previously known as the Normandy, for months. However, the chance of it actually being released always seemed slim, given Nokia’s marital status.
Now, thanks to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, it seems we have confirmation the Nokia X is to be introduced during MWC at the end of the month. Apparently, the project was in progress prior to Microsoft’s proposal, but the affair hasn’t been stamped out since Nokia accepted. It’s suggested the Nokia X will take over from Nokia’s budget Asha line, leaving the Windows Phone-powered Lumia devices to compete with high-end hardware from other manufacturers.
Backing up previous rumors, the report also claims the Android operating system installed on the Nokia X won’t provide access to Google Play, or include basic Google apps. Instead, an unnamed Nokia app store will provide the fun, while Microsoft-centric apps such as Bing and MixRadio, plus Here Maps, will be installed as standard. If that sounds familiar, Amazon uses a similar tactic with its Kindle Fire range of tablets.
Leaked images have shown Android will be heavily skinned, giving it a Windows Phone-style look. So, although the Nokia X is all set to be a Nokia-built Android phone, it won’t be the one we’ve often dreamed about. That doesn’t stop it from potentially being a most intriguing device, though.
Nokia has scheduled an MWC 2014 press event for February 24, at 8:30am local time. The Nokia X, should it make an official debut, will potentially be joined by several new Lumia devices. These could include the Lumia 1820, a big 5.2-inch smartphone with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution display, and a pair of Lumia 1520 variants.