25-02-2014 Marks the beginning of a new range of Nokia Smartphones a.k.a. the Nokia X series with currently 3 devices announced at the MWC Barcelona event namely the X , X + & XL. What’s so special about these devices? They look like any Lumia with signature uni-body design, vibrant colors, modern tile interface coupled with Nokia’s fast lane UI but guess what it runs Android!
Don’t begin to scratch your head just yet! The Nokia X is Android AOSP based but as a user, one would never feel it much like an ATM machine runs Windows xp but with a restricted UI that cannot be identified by the user at all (much like Windows for embedded systems) and there is a strong reason for it too.
“We are introducing the next Billion people to Microsoft” – Stephen Elop
To explain it the first point to be noted is that despite being an Android phone the device won’t allow access to Google’s Play store however you can download Android apps from the Nokia store and other third party Android app stores. As a developer an existing android app can be ported for the Nokia store too but what does it mean to the user and how does it make sense to launch an Android phone without play store?
The answer is simple. Nokia wants you to use OneDrive, Skype, Outlook, OneNote etc instead of Google Drive, Hangouts, Gmail, Keep respectively breaking the traditional rules of Android. Thus even if you buy the Nokia’s Android phone you are only getting acquainted to not only Microsoft’s services but also to Lumia’s rather Windows Phone’s modern metro UI. With signature Nokia services like Here maps, Mix radio and allot more ( that you even get on Lumia devices) the enriched user experience is carefully and cleverly crafted to make you a Windows phone fan secretly and add you as a Microsoft Customer instead of Google’s.
“The Nokia X family phones are and will continue to remain the most affordable smartphones and the Lumia devices will continue to be our main focus and most innovative devices” – Exclaimed the Nokia’s CEO which makes the intentions of the joint Nokia-Microsoft effort clear that use Google’s Android against Google itself! I still wonder how did Google allow its native Android nexus UI to be converted into literally a modern UI since recently Samsung was warned not to experiment too much with their Touchwiz UI and drop the magazine UI made of cards which seemed to be inspired from tile UI of Windows phone !
The reaction of customers and Google would be interesting as Microsoft will sit back and enjoy added customers and also prepare for the Unveiling of Windows Phone 8.1 and a series of next Windows phone flagship devices which is expected to be unleashed at Build conference in not so distant future.
Hope this explains the Nokia X experiment. Do let us know what are your thoughts about it in the comments below !