Last month, Microsoft launched Nokia X+ and Nokia XL, the two remaining handsets from the Nokia X lineup that was announced at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year.
Compared to Nokia X, X+ and XL sport more RAM, better camera and larger screen, but, despite what Microsoft tells you, any of the device from Nokia X family isn’t worth buying. And here’s why.
Why did Nokia make Android phones anyway?
Before we get into the whys, let’s first try to understand why a company that was Anti-Android for years changed its stance so suddenly.
About 5 years ago, Nokia had the opportunity to venture into Android, a new and not so full-fledged operating system then, but the company chose to go with Windows Phone (then called Windows Mobile).
In a recent interview to Recode, Stephen Elop revealed why Nokia preferred Windows Phone over Android. Elop pointed out that in the Android ecosystem, if you look closely, there is just one big player (Samsung) which is making all the money. Nokia didn’t want to do something that everyone else was doing.
Nokia has low budget Nokia feature phones, then there are entry level Windows Phones. With Nokia X family, the company wants to bridge the gap between two — expanding its portfolio of devices and offer devices at an affordable price.
Now, why you shouldn’t buy Nokia X devices?
With the Nokia X lineup, the company is targeting a specific set of people who are looking for an affordable, internet capable smartphone.
One of the few reasons why you shouldn’t get the device circles around the software that these devices run. The X family is running Android, but it is not the typical Android OS that you find on other phones.
Android is an open source platform, that any user/company can edit/make use of the way they desire. Nokia X devices are utilizing the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) but without the Google Mobile Services, which is an integral part of it. What you get instead is the counterpart of those services from Nokia and Microsoft, which isn’t a bad thing per se, but not necessarily
Most of us rely on Google services for our daily activities. If you are a Google user, you would find this platform crippled. There is no Google app on the Nokia X devices. Now, to make things even worse, not having Google Mobile Services will prevent you from accessing other several thousands of apps that rely on Google APIs.
As with Windows Phone, the X lineup too doesn’t have as many apps. While you can sideload apps on your phone (Manually installing using APK files), grabbing the installation file is a jarring task, and you aren’t going to find the APK of a majority of services. Tip: sideloading Gmail, YouTube, or any other Google apps won’t work.
What about the updates?
The other thing is upgradability. While other Android phones and Windows Phones are destined to grab updates from Google/Microsoft and their respective manufacturers, in 3 months since its existence, neither of the X family has got any OS update. Also, it is quite easy to force updates on your Android phones, but despite the fact that X lineup run Android, you can’t upgrade your phone manually.
With the X family, Nokia wanted to enter the Rs 5,000 – Rs 8,000 segment. However, the pricing of the devices hasn’t been done accordingly. While Nokia X costs Rs 8,599, X+ was priced at Rs 8,399, and Nokia XL costs a crazy Rs 11,489.
The X devices are in a weird spot. Neither are they true Android phones, nor the Windows Phone. The UI doesn’t look great, while the build quality is quite solid (hey! It’s NOKIA!), specification isn’t great. At the price the device is available in the Indian market, there are just too many better alternatives with better resolution, display, more RAM and more– Moto E, Nokia Lumia 520, Nokia Lumia 525, Moto G -to name a few.
With the X lineup, Nokia wants to lure in some of the Android lovers, and promote some of its and Microsoft’s services — that’s really great for the company, but you don’t necessarily have to become the part of this experiment.