As many of you probably already know, Nokia has been not-so-secretly working on an Android phone. The Nokia Normandy, also known as the Nokia X (according to Evleaks) is Nokia’s attempt to enter the entry-level smartphone segment with a product that isn’t based on Windows Phone or Asha platform. The truth is that nobody is really interested in Asha and it would be interesting to see if Nokia (soon to be Microsoft implements Android as their ‘lesser OS’ for entry-level phones).
Most recently, the phone has leaked in Vietnam via a vietnamese retailer and the specs have been essentially leaked. We don’t know how legitimate those specs are, but most retailers don’t fake specs of upcoming products. Especially when those products mysteriously disappear after they hit the web. The current specs are Snapdragon 200 as well as a 4" (480 x 854 Pixel) display along with dual SIM capability and Android 4.4 kit kat. It will have a 5 MP camera and be capable of 720P video as well. It will feature 4 GB of storage capacity and an optional 32 GB memory card. Many people have pointed out how similar this phone is to the Nokia Lumia 520, Nokia’s best selling phone in the world.
What is interesting about the Nokia Android phone is the fact that it will feature a custom UI, rather than stock Android and will be running this unique overlay that will likely look and feel like a middle ground between Android and Windows Phone. Nokia clearly wants to control the experience beyond having just stock Android, especially if they want to get people to go through their own app marketplace and to use their own maps, music and other proprietary applications and services.
In addition to that, we’ve already seen some benchmarks including one from Rightware’s Browsermark, which is usually one of the first benchmarks to leak when a new device is on its way. Looking at the performance of the RM-980 (as it appears on the benchmarks), you can see that it performs somewhere between an older Android flagship phone, the HTC One X and a newer HTC phone the Incredible S. This level of performance seems fairly decent when you consider that the device is going to be targeted at a mass market and will likely sell for under $299 off contract.
The device itself is reported to come in up to 6 different colors and it will be interesting to see how Nokia and soon to be Microsoft will market and brand such a device. And furthermore, how well it will do against the Nokia Lumia 520. In my honest opinion, if Nokia had released the Lumia 1020, which we reviewed, with Android they probably would have smoked all of their competition last year and forced a re-shuffling of the entire smartphone industry. People simply aren’t sold on Windows Phone yet and because of that its seen by many to be a dealbreaker on the Lumia 1020. I don’t think Nokia could make the camera sensors for the 1020 fast enough if they went Android, to be honest.