Nokia X

When you do a thing poorly, nobody benefits

I've had a few days to digest the Nokia X product line announcement from early Monday morning. I've tossed things around in my head, trying to get a handle on what Nokia was trying to accomplish with the new products, what it means for both the Windows Phone and Android ecosystems. I've seen the horrible reaction from potential users on various social networks, and I've read some compelling arguments that suggest it will be a good thing overall from our own Dan and Chris.

But I'm still not convinced.

I don't see anything here but a play from Microsoft and Nokia to stop users from using Google's services. And it's wrapped up in what appears to be pretty poor packaging. I've decided that my mind is made up, and it's time to let it flow from brain to fingers to keyboard.

Why the Nokia X line is bad for Android fans

AC app on the Nokia X

Simply put, The Nokia X and its Kin (see what I did there?) are laggy by design. You have an old version of Android (Android 4.1) that's three full cycles behind, built with very little hardware optimization, and tossed on low end hardware. It's almost as if someone wants to make Android look laggy and poor ...

It's almost as if someone wants to make Android look laggy and poor.

By all accounts the phones performance is dismal at best once you try to actually do something with it. Sure, most Android apps — ones that do not need Google's services, which we'll get to later — can be sideloaded on the Nokia X, but you probably won't like the experience very much. Having a native Vine app means little when the device is so poorly designed that it can barely run it. As Android fans, we know this. We've seen it with all the piss-poor low-end phones that Samsung and Motorola used to crank out several years ago. I'll say it. They sucked. Just like the Nokia X will suck.

Another big problem for Android fans is they way Nokia chose to eschew all of Google's services. Instead, they push you to Microsoft services, which makes sense because Nokia is Microsoft for all intents and purposes. But your Gmail, your Google Maps, your Google Search, and your Google News — they are going to suck, too. You'll be using whatever Nokia included as a web browser if you want to use any of those services. And as an Android fan, you likely use them all. A lot. It's that, or a combination of Nokia HERE and Microsoft Bing services.

Someone, somewhere, will likely hack all the Google services back into the Nokia X, but that won't fix the poor performance. Make no mistake —if you're an Android fan and are looking for a budget phone, buy the Moto G and don't even look twice at this abonimation.

Why the Nokia X is bad for Windows Phone

Jo Harlow and the Nokia X

This one is easy. The Nokia X will take away sales from the great budget Lumias, and the fact that it runs Android apps is what will help it happen. Users looking for a cheap handset will pick the one that runs Plants vs. Zombies 2 (albeit poorly) and ignore Microsoft's "better" models. If you want people to join the Windows ecosystem, plying them with Android apps isn't the way to do it.

Users looking for a cheap handset will pick the one that runs Plants vs. Zombies 2.

When it's time to upgrade, users will have a choice to go to Android and run all the apps they are familiar with — and enjoy how much better they run on other models — or to move to a Windows phone that is likely missing most of those apps. Outlook and Bing are available for every Android phone, so saying users will switch to Windows isn't a given. I can go Android, and have everything I already have and more, or I can switch to Windows and lose part of it. I know what I would do, and I'll bet it's what most people will do.

Unless Microsoft is planning on a method for users to run native Android apps, which is a complete and utter admission of your platform's failure, the Nokia X will hurt Windows Phone sales.

Why the Nokia X is bad for Nokia

Nokia N9

Nokia made, and still makes, some incredible phones. Sure, they have their little quirks, but ask around the Internet and most people will tell you that, operating system aside. Nokia phones are beautiful, durable, and generally freaking awesome. They still make the best Windows phones, and Android users have wanted a premium Nokia model for years.

Instead, we got the Nokia X.

Does Nokia want its Android legacy to be this shiny pile of lag and fail? Of course not. But chances are it will be. That's not fair to the engineers, the fans of the brand, or the company itself. But does anyone really think Microsoft will let Nokia build a phone that rivals the latest and greatest from LG or Samsung? Of course they wont, because that won't drive Windows phone sales. As a business, they have to do what is best for their own sales.

Does Nokia want its Android legacy to be this shiny pile of lag and fail?

Nokia, as a brand, deserves better than the Nokia X. Whatever business voodoo that went on to give the green light to this project will end up hurting them in the long run, and both Android fans and Windows fans won't soon forget. We're fickle and hold a grudge forever.

Why the Nokia X is bad for Microsoft

Mocrosoft Nokia Developer Day

On the surface, the Nokia X looks like it will bring more users to Microsoft services. Not paying customers, because the target audience isn't folks with that kind of disposable income, but users nonetheless. There's money in numbers when you put ads in your services — which Microsoft does, too.

But the key, I think, is putting happy users in touch with your services. A horrible experience with Bing on a phone that runs the application poorly only serves to tarnish the brand. The 1974 Pinto didn't create a single Ford fan, even though more than a few people bought one. The Nokia X is that 1974 Pinto.

The Nokia X is the 1974 Ford Pinto

Microsoft's apps for Android are nicely done. When you run one of them on your Galaxy phone, or your HTC One, you'll appreciate the time and thought that went into their design and development. This is where Microsoft needs to focus if they want more users — especially paying users. Wow me with what you can do and what you have to offer, and I'll look twice. Don't try and tempt me with Plants vs. Zombies and Amazon app stores when you already have a series of devices that are cheap, and do a better job running your services.

Don't get #Scroggled by the Nokia X.

 
There are 155 comments

FutureKix says:

Good points, but I think that's a little harsh... it's kinda cool. Kinda. Maybe.

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MERCDROID says:

There's nothing cool about it. It's just a cheap handset, which, from the sound of it, is very poorly executed.

If there is a cool thing about it, it's the low price and nothing else.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

1746bklynave says:

Elop had to be the worst CEO during his tenure. After all the noise fans of WP makes about WP and Nokia. The IDC who tracks shipments, still says they have less 4% worldwide market share.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

Yeah, and to think, Nokia used to dominate the phone market.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

They reigned prior to the smartphone age today.
On topic - the Nokia x is just a terrible take on Android. They're still trying to advertise Microsoft over Android.
Posted via Android Central App

I don't think that's the problem. That's like saying other manufacturers advertise Google over android. Android (the system) can be separated from the services. The problem for the Nokia X would be the (supposed, needs a review) poor performance and lack of synergy and strategic value compared with their other phones.

Nokia had been producing hugely innovative smartphones long before Apple even dreamed of the iPhone and Android didn't even exist (presume that is what you are referring to with 'smartphone age today'). Nokia's downfall was that they were too slow in effectively adapting their smartphones to the touchscreen UI needed to compete with the mass appeal of the iPhone. By the time they cracked it, the world had moved on....

npco543 says:

I'll agree that there's nothing particularly cool about the phone, but I think the criticism is unfounded.

First, this is *exactly* what happens with open source software - anyone is free to take or, modify it and repurpose it to their own ends. You can't praise a piece of software for being open source and then criticize people for doing what they want with it. (not saying you're doing this, but Jerry seems to be).

Second, a quick search on Amazon finds any number of other companies already making cheap, poorly performing devices running Android, many of which don't include the Play services. Cheap phones, cheap tablets, cheap TV sticks, etc. The only difference here is that Microsoft/Nokia is the manufacturer. Specific criticism here seems to reveal bias more than anything else, especially since the Nokia X phones are undoubtedly head and shoulders above the quality of the other crap Android I mentioned, which are far more often absolute garbage.

Third, these are intended for emerging markets where people simply can't afford the kinds of phones we can. Arguments of performance and quality are misplaced right from the start, since what WE would consider unacceptable is based on our rather envious financial abilities.

Fourth, as it being bad for Microsoft and Nokia - the merger isn't complete yet, so Nokia can still do whatever they want. They're probably bleeding money, so ANYTHING to help gain a foothold in an emerging market is good. They can sell these things, with a WP like UI, and then when people go to upgrade, they might be inclined to stick with the brand and they'll get a WP based phone but with a familiar UI. So I don't see how this is bad for Nokia. And once the merger is complete, the same will apply to Microsoft - sell people on a brand (Nokia) and keep them with an improved device with their own OS.

There's PLENTY that Google could improve about Android - easier updates, stop the continual drastic direction changes, be it apps (currents/newsstand/etc), style (green is in, until it's not, then blue is in, until it's not, now white is in), enabling users to specifically install apps to an SD card in one version, endorsing the elimination of SD cards all together in the next, etc. I love Android, but it DOES exhibit some of the random shifting sands development directions as desktop Linux. Complaining about Nokia using Android to make a cheap line of phones for emerging markets seems to be focusing on something comparatively unimportant.

MERCDROID says:

Wow, I appreciate the well thought out reply!

I completely agree with everything you said.

As for Jerry's article, it is an opinion that could hold some merit to it, I believe.

For the price, though, it's not a bad device. And, for people that do buy cheap Android devices, they may come to appreciate the change that Microsoft's services provide, while still maintaining compatibility with apps that don't require Google's APIs.

As for Google, I do agree that Android could use some more tweaking. While I do really like the latest iterations of Android, there is some functionality (voice recognition, etc) that could be added or improved on.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

npco543 says:

On Jerry's article, I'm not necessarily saying all his points are invalid, only that taking issue with the Nokia phones specifically seems a little biased. Really, what's the difference here than what Amazon did with their Kindles? They took Android, put their own UI on it, sold cut-rate devices based on it, and built out their own ecosystem.

Honestly, for an Open Source OS, I think ANY use is beneficial. The more people using it, the more development attention it'll attract. It's not like someone will choose to develop for these Nokia phones and NOT put their app in the play store as well.

And I agree that these phones, for the price, are probably pretty nice devices. I don't think anyone's really played with them enough to definitively cast judgement about their performance, and from some of the Android gadgets I have bought (TV sticks and the like, just to hack around on), I have no doubt the quality is in another league entirely. I've already had to resolder antennas and USB ports on my TV sticks! Not that I really mind, but it just highlights that far lower quality stuff running Android is already widely being sold, so that argument is somewhat undermined.

And please, no one take any of this as knocking Google or Android, nor sticking up for Microsoft. I love Android, and I appreciate Windows for the work is allows me to do. I don't have any religious-like commitments to, or against, any company or their products. If it works for it's intended purpose, that's all that matters.

brendilon says:

The difference between this and a Kindle Fire is that the Fire was a great device, the first of its kind at that price point. It still is a pretty darn good device.
The Nokia X is an awful device. It makes HP's tablet offerings look good. If this was launched by some no name company, EVERYONE would be laughing at it. It only gets defended because it's Nokia. Aside from the name, it's a piece of junk.

Posted via Android Central App

TenshiNo says:

Your comments are fair. I think Jerry's perception of the issue being that most of those "cheap" phones and devices that are already floating around are made by companies that no body has ever heard of, whereas the simple fact this thing has the Nokia logo on it is going to give it extra "weight" in the market.

MERCDROID says:

+1 And, Nokia had the chance to really nail this device out of the park. When I see devices like the Moto G and Lumia 520, I come to the realization that cheap handsets don't have to feel or perform cheap.

drokssilva says:

They should have and could have stuck to windows phone.

-------------------------------------------------------
Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

They obviously don't *want* it to be a good phone. Cheap enough for people to buy instead of a Moto G (though it's not *good* enough for that), but that's it. It's supposed to channel them into eventual Lumia buyers once they can scale Lumia low enough and get enough apps. But it won't work if it's awful, and by all accounts it pretty much is. Oh, and some users are going to buy it and say "where's my Google"? Just like the users that bought the original linux netbooks said "where are my Windows apps". Bait and switch is never a good approach to your customers. Face it - the only appeal of Windows phone today is its smooth interface. And this thing has an anything but smooth interface. It's not about the tiles, stupid - it's about how they work (or in this case, don't work).

A pity, really. Becuase Nokia could've made a kick-ass *real* android phone. And happy Android customers might've just trusted them that "if you like that, you'll *really* like our Lumias". At least that would've been an honest approach.

Quasar says:

I agree with the article. If these phones function poorly, it will feel like Nokia is trying to shame Android to Android fans. To regular customers who don't know or care about what OS they are using, it will just be a bad Nokia phone and make them less likely to trust buying another one in the future, Windows or not. The Windows Phone fans will ignore it and get what they really want. People who would buy this can save up a bit more and get a much better Moto G. I know there are other crappier Android phones but the companies that make them are trying to profit on the lowest common denominator and don't care about brand recognition or loyalty. Is Nokia a lowest common denominator company now? If they're going to make low cost Android phones, do it right and give customers a product worth paying for. Don't do it to try and trick people into switching platforms. That will just create resentment and tarnish the companies' names. Amazon has done a good job with their own version of Android in the Kindle line because they are doing it to enhance their brand and services. Nokia seems to care little about the product itself but more about one upping the competition with silly games and as little effort as possible.

TonyHove says:

This guy said it all! I think you hit the nail on the head. One must take into account the context which these Nokia x phones will be selling.

Posted via Android Central App from my Sony Z1

Art Tuazon says:

Very well said. "Specific criticism here seems to be reveal Bias..." Such a crappy article, you should learn the word "Competition," not just clinging to your foolish beliefs.

movielover76 says:

I have to agree, everything about this phone says garbage.
It's a bad android handset, bad for nokia and bad for microsoft.
this won't drive users to windows phones, it will turn them off nokia and microsoft and went they see other android phones running apps much better it will just drive them to bigger and better android phones

alexlam24 says:

Nexus 5, Moto X+G are still the best smart phones(price vs. feature) out there.

Posted via Android Central App

iqbalsn says:

Pretty sure thats all the point that Nokia and MSFT are trying to prove, that android is slow and laggy than the Lumia WP counterpart on the low end.

If it sells good, good for nokia. If it doesnt, well it only meant to prove a point.

Win-win?

Posted via Android Central App - Xperia Z Ultra

Companies generally are not willing to release a product with the Nokia X's level of fanfare with the intention of seeing it bomb. That doesn't make any financial sense, especially if there's potential to do harm to the brand. People who pick up a Nokia X and complain about the terrible lag will likely blame the phone and not specifically the OS. That doesn't help Nokia at all. No, this was just a poor move on Microkia's part, and that's a shame.

iqbalsn says:

Well it was kinda hard to find any logic for it. I mean, look at the WP styled homescreen there. That looks like a joke. Nokia makes some beautiful app in WP, they cant be this bad.

Or maybe this is just purely Kin 2.0

Posted via Xperia Z Ultra

tigeryee says:

The launcher is no big deal. We can always download or sideload another 1, I do admit Nokia made an ugly 1

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TenshiNo says:

It's important to remember that while *we* know we can install a different launcher, most of your mainstream Android users aren't even aware of that. I talk to people all the time who are shocked when I try to explain to them that they can replace the launcher on their phone just by downloading a different one from Google Play. I've had some argue with me that they don't want to "root their phone". You have to remember that most of us on here, the people that follow tech news regularly, are a bit more "savvy" than your typical user.

TheMimic12 says:

I had some faith restored today about that. I have a friend who has an s3, and he is not tech savvy at all, but I noticed that he was using another launcher, and he said that he liked it because of the organization. Oddly enough, he uses Facebook home
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Hargoth says:

IBM did this twice, back in the day. The IBM PC Jr proved beyond a shadow of a doubt to consumers that there was no market for a 'Home Computer' when a regular PC costs the same. Within a year of the introduction of the PC Jr, all 'Home Computers' were gone.

The second one was the IBM RT, which proved RISC is better than CISC and rang the death bell for several CPUs that could have been great.

This sort of win win for major companies is quite common. They are set to prove a market that they own or want. If it succeeds, then great. If it fails really badly, then the consumer will go elsewhere, and likely to a product that targets the failed item made by the same manufacturer.

Laura Knotek says:

I don't see that happening. It's usually the exact opposite experience. If Product A from a company is bad, most people I know (and myself) will tell everyone how terrible the product and the manufacturer are, and never buy another product from that company. We won't get more expensive Product B from the same company.

KKILLION79 says:

It's like they want to create a crappy phone on purpose to say "hey Android sucks, so come over here and get a Windows phone."

MERCDROID says:

If that was Nokia's intent, I wouldn't be surprised, lol.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

bleached says:

There is a big Nokia emblem right on the phone. Do they really think consumers are not going to blame them for making a crappy experience? Knowing Microsoft though, I wouldn't doubt that is their plan.
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djstarion says:

Microsoft may not even release WP devices under the Nokia brand, they might only say Lumia.

still1 says:

That could also go the other way, consumers think that Nokia sucks and buy other OEM devices

Otto Gunter says:

Android mainly sucks because of all the Google crap you're forced to use, so the Nokia X will actually be a breath of fresh air for someone who doesn't want Google tracking them. If they do buy a Windows phone, it won't be because they're being Scroogled, it'll be because they can afford a better phone now.

ACADM says:

U Mad!

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Aclee says:

Let's hope Microsoft do us all a favor and scrap Nokia X once the deal is complete...

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hmmm says:

Seems like they had all this research and development into Android so they couldn't just not release it but MS wouldn't let them release it in their original vision which I am guessing meant better hardware and google support.

I have to say with the likes of the Moto G and the even cheaper ASUS Zenfone line i dont see any reason for anyone to buy one of thes. If you want the windows and MS experience... buy a windows phone like Nokia Lumia 521 for under $100 thats going to do what you want with much better performance

bleached says:

This is nearly half the price of the Moto G or Lumia 520. The Lumia is cheaper is the US because it is somewhat subsidize here. Other countries do not have that luxury.

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anthonok says:

Let's not forget that single button. A back button WTF!?!

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hmmm says:

Lol, is that really a back button? I wonder how you go to your homescreens quickly. I figured it was just their stupid home button design.

robnhl says:

The button is to keep this family consistent with their Asha line. Take a look at the Asha 501. I'm sure this is a play to eventually replace Asha with the X line. The code name was Normandy. This is likely just the start of their plans for these devices.

TenshiNo says:

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what this is.

tigeryee says:

That's weird I didn't know that's what that button does

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NickA says:

You can't support openness, then slam MS/Nokia for taking advantage of it. If Google won't play nice with Windows Phone, then why not? Amazon did it. Although their implementation is better than what Nokia will offer.

Sure you can. Not liking something that someone's done is not the same as saying they shouldn't be allowed to do it.

DS1331 says:

Uh yes you can, especially if they are selling it for a profit

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HeyImAlexD says:

Agreed.

Posted through my Nexus 7!

jimrebello says:

Of course you can. An OEM shouldn't use any code open or otherwise if they can't implement it properly. Google doesn't "play nice" with windows phone because almost no one uses it so there is little incentive for them to expend any resources supporting a tiny user base.

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radgatt says:

Didn't we have an article here a couple of days ago saying that it was a good thing that Microsoft was doing this?

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Not by me.

... Wait you guys aren't all the SAME PERSON!?!?!

ಠ益ಠ

+1

Posted via Android Central App on Nexus 4

MERCDROID says:

You've officially conquered the Matrix, lol.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

TenshiNo says:

lol.

TenshiNo says:

lol

jonathan3579 says:

I'm inclined to agree with Jerry. I can't find a good thing about this crap...which it is.

Jax184 says:

The idea of it is a good thing, the execution is complete different, and terrible.

ryan5609 says:

Biggest fail of MWC. You dont build a phone just to watch it fail. It's not like people will say "hey look at this cheap POS Nokia android phone, it is so slow, haha, it must be Android that's the problem, windows phone is so much better" Nokia did everything they could to try and make Android look like Windows phone. It is almost like you are using a bad Nova launcher theme. Whats is the point? Why not just make a cheap windows phone. For such a prominent phone manufacturer to not have access to any Google services such as Google play is just ridiculous. It is also ugly and severely under powered. This phone makes me angry for some reason.

hmmm says:

If anything they would probably switch to Apple...

jimrebello says:

The market they are targeting with this thing couldn't afford yo switch to apple. This thing although garbage, is probably something like 1/6 the price of even an iPhone 4s when unsubsidized.

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luimende says:

Okay now write the complete opposite of this, it can be done.

Posted via Android Central App

Jibily says:

I'm actually considering switching over to Android from WP because of this. Not to the Lumia X. To something not Nokia. Because I feel betrayed. It seems like Microsoft and Nokia aren't really dedicated to Windows Phone now. If Microsoft and Nokia are so ready to test the waters, why should I wait and see if they jump ship entirely? I might as well get out now.

This phone seems like Microsoft and Nokia admitting they aren't going to push developers to bring more apps to WP. I was fine using 3rd party alternatives and snatching up the big apps whenever they got the long awaited WP launch, but this seems pointless now.

oddom says:

You should consider the moto x :3

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goinovr says:

Agree completely. I think them dumping a very low end phone is a bad way to go out. I picked up the Icon to check out and it is a very nice device. It's a shame someone pushed the X through the project approval process.

Likely a device that was un-designed by managers.

The original design was likely far better than this. Then management happened.

Designers and developers have to deal with this crap all the time.

jgraves1107 says:

Basically MS knows there is money on the android side and they want in. I bought a windows phone and in a month I have a note 3. Why? Because I'm sick of apple and wp just got smacked by its own creator.

Posted via Android Central App

Microsoft are ALREADY making money from Android. They get a fee for every ... single ... Android device sold.

Michael Kerr says:

I was going to make a few different references to low cost good Android phones like the moto g vs crappy cheap ones but my opinion on the Nokia X is Meh. I know my Nexus 5 is pretty fast and other Android phones that I buy in the future will have to be better that before I will buy them.

As for the Lumia phones, why buy a Nokia X when you can get a Lumia 520 for under $100 (about $80 through Amazon delivered to Australia) if that sort of thing floats your boat.

I'll be sticking to my Nexus 5, although I may take a peak at the new HTC One when it is released or if we get the follow up to the moto x Down Under.

Posted via my Nokia 6110

Paola1993 says:

I agree. And it's a damn looking bad phone.

Posted via Android Central App

havesomejoe says:

Apple needs to take a stab at it. IPhone w/ KitKat and a 4.7 inch screen.

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oddom says:

I agree...I mean we have wp skins already for android, so if people wanna see what its like we can do that. It just seems odd to make a terrible version of a decent OS in wp. I do like fast lane though...that seems cool.

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The Nokia X isn't meant to impress us, it is meant for developing markets along with the Nokia feature phones, like the newly announced Nokia 220, and the Asha line. You know the people who have never had a smart phone, let alone one the flagship phones we take for granted. Nokia are targeting the next billion phone owners and exposing them to Nokia's and Microsoft's services. How is this bad for anyone? In an way? Whatsoever?

Remember how we all reacted when we first saw the original iPhone. Phones like the Nokia X can do that again for people new to the technology. It doesn't have to be a GS5, One, Nexus 5, 920, Z10 of 5S. None of these would sell to anybody except the most wealthy abs elite in the X's target markets.

Bravo Nokia, I can only hope the rest of the industry follows suit.

So people in developing markets deserve laggy, schizophrenic crap? Good one.

No. They deserve something the average person can afford. Nexus 5, Moto X, Moto G and Lumia 520 are to expensive.

3rdpig says:

"Only the wealthy can afford poor quality". That's an old saying with a lot of truth behind it.

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The Lumia 520 is $55. 

Etios says:

This is what happens when people from USA write articles and opinions about products aimed at emerging markets. Lumia 520 costs $55 only in USA as it is locked to ATT etc. In emerging markets like India phones are sold unlocked at full prices and Lumia 520, Lumia 525 and MOTO G cost $150, $180, and $220 respectively.

So, your price comparisons doesn't work as all these Nokia X phones will be competing in $80-$120 price range during launch and will fall down to $50-$100 after 6 months. It would be better if you too hire some writers from developing markets like wpcentral, so that you can gain some real insight into those markets.

No, that's unlocked GSM.

Etios says:

This is your reply to my comment?? My point still stands, you cannot compare USA pricing with rest of the world pricing, if you would have paid attention to my emerging markets analysis you will get the strategy behind Nokia X products but as you have already made up your mind sitting there in USA and posted a big article too, i dont think i can expect rational thought process on this topic.

ajaykc says:

@Etios,

I totally understand what you are saying about emerging markets. Bloggers from US are half retard, they can't see anything beyond US. They are so used to subsidized pricing of phones that they don't get the idea of low cost phones. They can't understand a phone without LTE, they can't understand a phone without front facing camera. They have no idea about billions of people who barely earn $1-5 a day and will never buy either Lumia 920/Samsung G S5/iPhone 5S/C. Those people still need phones to communicate with their friends and family. US bloggers think everything is a bad idea if its not designed to please them. These bloggers had written off Lumia 520 due to lack of flash and ffc but that's the only phone which saved WP in 2013.

I agree the UI of Nokia X seems like some kid designed it and it was done (maybe) to please Microsoft. If Microsoft is so keen to make X resemble with WP UI they why not completely copy the start screen idea and make it look little elegant?
I don't think Nokia X is more terrible than Nokia asha phone which will be replaced by Nokia X if it sells well. People like Jerry seem to forget that Microsoft will have to support 32,000 employees from next month and bunch of them designed feature phones and Asha phones. Who is going to feed them? If Asha is having hard time competing with low cost android then what is Microsoft's solution to Asha brand? Just fire those employees whom you just brought to your house?
Microsoft is having a big headache, high end WP8s are not selling as much as they would like, and low end WP8 is not a going to support those employees. Feature phones will stay there for quite some time until we educate the whole population in this world. Asha is another issue and one of biggest probably. Better Microsoft not loose these Asha users or Microsoft will be forced to do what google has done.

Only half retard?

 

nfbsk says:

If you want to compare prices, then compare unlocked vs unlocked, or prepaid vs prepaid and so on.

ajaykc says:

NO, Lumia 520 is not $55 anywhere in the world except US. It is still around $175 and that is also after discount. What was your opinion about Lumia 520 when it was released?

Michael Kerr says:

The Lumia 520 is $60 on Amazon. The cheapest Nokia X is €89/$122 excluding any taxes & subsidies. So how's the Nokia X cheaper when its double the price of the cheapest Windows Phone?

Posted via my Nokia 6110

What? The Moto G is only cost $30 dollars more than the Nokia X ($150 vs. $130 respectively). If someone is already looking for an introductory phone on that price range, I don't think asking $30 more for a vastly superior product is unreasonable. Heck, it the US, if you buy a Verizon Moto G, it's only $99, which would actually make it cheaper than the Nokia.

mazzmoney95 says:

Paragraph 1, compleeing
Why Nokia X is bad for Nokia paragraph 1, there is a period after aside. Think those are typos

Anyway, you make some great points in here. I don't know what Nokia was thinking with making these phones. Now, if they weren't laggy as hell, maybe they would have something here.

jgraves1107 says:

Face it. We all hated android at some point and now it's kicking MS in the teeth. WP is good, but not when the touch panel is locked out of the OS. The Nokia x is nothing more than MS attempting to buy android users. No one wants YouTube in the mobile browser, nor Facebook app that fails to even give you a quarter of the posts. I really wanna shove my lumina 920 up bill gates you know what! It was free at that. Verizon let me get the Galaxy Note 3 on contract after a month of dealing with the phone just not working properly. I still have it! They didn't even want it back! That right there should tell you what Verizon thinks. Not even worth taking it back. It's like office 365, junk. Samsung has done an amazing job of fixing android to the point I don't need root. The simple fact is MS is bleeding out and they are trying to copy who ever they can.

Posted via Android Central App

You should share this article with your pal Dan Rubino at WPC

bplewis24 says:

100% agree, wholeheartedly, full-stop.

fremen567 says:

Good article, even though I cannot agree with some of the stuff you said. You talk about how slow and lagish UX is without even playing with the phone it self or acctual production model. Do you even play with low to mid range android devices that are being released around the world, not only US. More than half of them are pain to use. Hell, half of the stuff Samsung makes in their Galaxy line up is probably worst than this Nokia when it comes to everyday UX performance. I work in the mobile shop and have a chance to see a lot of these phones in action. One example, Huawei g510 (2013) costs more than Nokia XL and thats one of the worst android phones I had a chance to use. How the hell Google approves such phones is beyond me. I am not Nokia fan just giving my opinion. I think x series will sell well, and in the end that's the whole point.

Posted via Android Central App

TomW093 says:

I genuinely don't understand why Nokia did this. The only thing I can think of is the licensing fees from WP was too expensive to make it work at that price point. Other than that, if it's going to act like Windows, use the same services as Windows, and try to attract the same customers as Windows, why not just use Windows?
---------
I found the answer while typing this, but I'll leave my earlier thoughts up above. The answer is WP won't support dual-sim untl later this spring.

frageelay says:

I totally agree with Jerry. I really like Nokia and was bummed when the rumors revealed a low budget phone. Then when I saw the X family I was blown away by how ridiculous these phones are.

Laura Knotek says:

Excellent review. I agree with you that this device isn't good for Android, Windows Phone, or consumers. There are much better entry-level Android devices and Windows Phones. This junk isn't the answer to any need in developing markets or anywhere else.

hadwilmon says:

People are much smarter than Nokia is giving them credit for. They will ultimately choose a phone that really does things well. It will be quickly apparent this isn't it.

HeyImAlexD says:

All that's going to happen is this:

People will see how laggy this device is, find another, better Android phone (Moto G for example), and be turned off by Nokia phones (especially if this is their first experience with them). If anything, it may make the consumer think Windows Phone is weaker than Android because it runs flat tiles great, but struggles with Android.

Overall, this phone is not a good idea.

Posted through my Nexus 7!

socialmuse says:

I had a Windows 8X. Won it through a contest. It was boring. Very limited app selection. I gave it to my son who only had it about 6 months before begging for another Android phone. Windows is drunk and probably doing all this to divert our eyes from the 3 women that are locked in its basement.

Free the women sex slaves!!!

kennonk says:

Although your points are fair, to say it is "bad for everyone" is kind of dramatic. If Nokia wants to turn our crap handsets it's really only bad for them. I see one of two senarios playing out here. I think this will drive Microsoft to even further optimize their ecosystem for Android users which will only be a good thing. And/Or they will completely fail at selling Android based devices just like they are Windows Phone devices and their charge into irrelevence will be completed. Either way this is not really "bad for everyone" worse case this is only bad for Nokia/M$.

Let us also remember where Samsung started out in their foray into the Android world. For the first year or two all I read were comments about users blackballing Samsung for their under powered/performing handsets and their refusal to put out software updates. And today Samsung dominates the Android phone market. So many of those original Samsung haters are now devoted fanboys. So I for one welcome Nokia into the Android space. The more the merrier.

doz says:

When you can pick up the Nokia 521/520 for $60 or whatever, there's just no point to this.

Purple Zebra says:

To me the whole thing seems like game of bluff and brinkmanship between Nokia and Microsoft. Nokia threatened to start making android phones to light a fire under Microsoft. Microsoft knew Nokia didn't have the resources to properly pursue Android, so called their bluff.

Eventually it got to the point where both sides were like "[are we/they] actually going to release this?" Neither side wanted it to get this far, but neither wanted to back down.

Essentially they played a game of chicken and crashed into each other. The resulting wreckage is the Nokia X.

Posted via Android Central App

ajaykc says:

This is one of the best comments I read here.

MERCDROID says:

+1

John Nemesh says:

Jerry, there IS some good that will come of this...refer to section 3 of the Apache 2.0 license that covers Android AOSP. If Nokia (and Microsoft after the acquisition) sell this phone, they lose all ability to sue or extort money from other Android manufacturers!

worwig says:

I'll have you know that I LIKED my Pinto.

MERCDROID says:

But, you didn't LOVE it, lol

Seeing this phone makes me sad for technology as a whole.

fjleon says:

there is a serious mistake about this article. the nokia x isn't bad for everyone. It's especially good for Apple!
these phones shouldn't exist.

EddiePanetti says:

D.O.A

Posted via Android Central App

BB_Bmore says:

Make android look like crap so you buy windows phone. Evil genius

Mike

MrJazz says:

Well thought out, well written!
You go, dog...

jwyche007 says:

JERRY SMASH!!!!!

Posted via Android Central App

dems86 says:

Your are doing the Ford Pinto a disservice by comparing it to the Nokia X

CBanda77 says:

Nokia jumping in the pool with their hands tied and pissing in it.

Whyzor says:

The point about being bad for Android is the least damaging and is still in the end a phone that brings/keeps people in the Android ecosystem. And if there's a silver lining, it is competing apps for Google Services, which are generally good, but lack a lot of features found in other apps.

jerrykur says:

Absolutely correct. Great observations. And I love the Kin reference. Somewhere at Nokia is going to be warehouse full of unsold X's that will eventually end up buried in the frozen tundra.

Satya should be telling Elop to kill this thing now unless he wants to be VP in charge of janitorial services.

Craig Trunzo says:

I agree with you 100%. I was so excited when I heard that Nokia would be producing Android phones. I was thrilled that another player would come into the game and maybe shake things up.

Nope.

This is NOT how you introduce your first "Android" devices if you want to make any money at all and be around for more than this 1 product line.

takpro says:

Yes, I see what you all mean. Like the Tata Nano in India... who could possibly want a $2000 automobile. Or the Wolksvagon another cheapass vehicle no radio, no air conditioning, you have to roll down the windows by hand; who would want that. Don't they know people want V-8s. And how laughable were all those cheap Japanese cars like Toyota and Datsun. Don't they know here in Umerika we drive Pontiacs and Plymouths.

What do we care if parents in some other third world, emerging market, developing area wish they could afford a phone so that they know where kids, parents and other family are and are safe? If it lags, it will ruin it for all of us. What do they need cameras for they all sleep in the same room. They can look over and see what they look like. Who would want to watch cute cat videos if had to buffer occasionally. Android is sacred. We can't just let anyone have that; what if the icons aren't flat. They might not get the updates as soon. Oh sure, they could still make calls check on everyone, take pictures, but they wouldn't have the latest and greatest; we all lose. Let them eat cake.

mirad77 says:

I want whatever you are on!

ACADM says:

Not sure if troll.

Posted via Android Central App

thebizz says:

I believe Nokia could have done a much better job with this phone even at the price point they were aiming for. Nokia makes great devices but I really don't see this helping then the lumia 520 is a better device.

Everyone is forgetting, this is the reason Microsoft bought Nokia, the exclusive agreement was ending and Nokia was about to move into Android, for all we know part of the deal was to kill the high end Android phone and keep WP with top billing. The X range is an abortion, it will not last too long once the MS/Nokia deal is finalised.

Posted via Android Central App

tigeryee says:

Smart and talented people work at Nokia. Why waste their talent by dumbing down what they could have done?

Posted via Android Central App

I think this is a very smart article and anybody doing a good research can get to this conclusion. But there are consumers who are going to buy this phone simple for not doing the necessary research before buying an smartphone. Would be great if your article could be printed and pasted to every nokia x!

Yeah and no ones gonna buy it so don't worry about it

Nexogen

jdbii says:

I thought the Nokia X is a feature phone. What difference does it make whether it's android or windows? Feature phones are inherently limited and shouldn't be compared to smart phones. The Lumia 520 might not be ideal in developing markets or regions where the internet, wifi, and wireless infrastructure is relatively nascent. The Nokia X is probably sturdier, better battery life, easier to use, and not reliant on online services. If its a good phone and people like it their next phone will be a Nokia. If its crappy customer will look elsewhere and Nokia just shot itself in the foot.

bobaka says:

continuing evidence of mass delusion as corporate culture at microsoft

techydavid says:

I can tell you exactly why the Nokia x exists. It's one big advertisement.
Nokia thinks if they make a cruddy enough Android, people won't like Android and come to Windows phone instead.
Excellent ad, with just one problem:
People are going to think all Nokia phones are like this.

From mah shiny new Nexus 5

JobiWan144 says:

#Scroggled? I think you meant Scroogled, Jerry.

I haven't read the pro-Nokia X articles yet, but I think I'm inclined to think the way you do. If you want people to use your products, you need to make using them a good experience.

Edit: After reading Dan's and Chris's articles, it's a gateway to the Lumia phones? OK, I can accept that motivation. However, if the user experience is as bad as you (Jerry) say it is, then Nokia won't succeed. It would be like a gateway drug that makes you feel lousy, not good. I can easily see users saying, "This phone sucks, so I'm not buying a Nokia phone again." If they talk to someone who has a Moto G or any other low-cost Android phone that provides a good experience (or a non-Nokia sales rep), they'll realize that not all Android phones are that bad, just the Nokia Android phones. Or, maybe they'll get fed up with smartphones in general or technology in general and stop using it, which is bad for everyone.

TheMimic12 says:

I think that Nokia would just be better off investing more info the Asha product line. It's straddling the line between feature phone and smartphone, and if they did more with that, a better product would result.

Posted via Android Central App

Cubfan says:

If the phone stinks, it won't sell. Not sure why anyone is in a lather about this turd.

aviseqdas says:

Lets save some bandwidth and our time by even bothering about what Nokia is doing. Do we even need to care what Nokia and Blackberry is doing with their stupid useless phones. I take windows 7/8 on a pc anyday but MS is a far way when it comes to phones and tablets. Pick up a windows tablet and see that when you are in a text field the keyboard does not come up you have to click the keyboard icon to bring the on screen keyboard and then when you are typing it covers the field and hides what you are typing. How can you go wrong with such a basic feature. Also the windows app store is abysmal does not have a chromecast app, the netflix app does not support chromecast or miracast, I cant mention 100 of other apps that I use on my Android Phone and IOS tablet.

Android and IOS are way to go, Nokia and Blackberry are dead. :)

teomor says:

As an Android fan, I wouldn't even think to use non-Google Android, especially made by Microsoft.

mirad77 says:

Nokia said " Making Android phone is like peeing on one's self". Wow.

Bacchus1976 says:

I think I agree with everything you said, but assuming what you said about poor performance is true, then Android is not a appropriate OS for a truly low-end device, period. The Moto G is not low-end. Frankly, the Lumia 520 is not low end either.

I think it makes far more sense for MS/Nokia to go after developing countries with a WP8 based handset than ASOP, but maybe it's not technologically feasible. Perhaps the Nokia X is just ahead of it's time with no smartphone OS truly ready for low end hardware yet.

gzzzz says:

Nokia is retarded. They should've either sold a high end Android device (with Google play) several years ago or they should sell a sub-$100 windows phone in place of NokiaX if they really wanted to push Microsoft services. Low end android phone with Microsoft services makes no sense. Might as well use WP8 on these.

Posted from the Future via Android Central App

cr_buck says:

Coming from a confessed Lumia owner, I think this is bad for all parties involved. Don't worry, I like Android too. :-D Some people will believe it was underhanded play by Microsoft to cheapen Android and those who hate Microsoft will hate them more. I doubt Microsoft had that kind of pull and it was more about Nokia didn't want to lose their MS yearly stipend but wanted to play in other waters.

My issue is Nokia will spend money on supporting another platform when it is low on funds. How can Asha, X, and Lumia all be support when you are low on funds? It just seems awkward. It could help to perpetuate the "lagdroid" tag some people love to use when a reputable company such as Nokia seemly can't make Android work. That's like putting a Honda Civic engine in a pickup and then complaining the pickup sucks because it is so underpowered. It wasn't designed for that in the first place. Here is Google reaching out to Samsung to try to unify Android and here comes Nokia seemly trying to mess it up.

Maybe if it had KitKat it would be more viable but It just seems confusing. I enjoy KitKit on my Nexus 7 FHD and how it actually for me made Android finally feel smooth. That said, if someone is able to get stock Android KitKat on these devices it might be a fun cheap Android phone that would be better than a lot of low end Android handsets for gadget junkies.

Otherwise, it just seems to muddy the waters of cell phone OSes and ecosystems. I just don't see it lasting.

HeyImAlexD says:

I knew this would be a less than stellar idea because Elop was behind it.

Posted through my Nexus 7!

ulnek says:

wonder who thought it would be a good idea to name it nokia x after moto x came out? hoping for people to make a mistake?

LiveFaith says:

The Genius of Nokia.

These things may all be true (and probably are) but I don't think any of them were really considered. I think the Nokia X is just a boardroom pawn that exists solely to force Microsoft to buy Nokia.

One big feature of today's computing landscape is that the software makers got so good at taking all of the profits in a market that almost all of the world's PC/phone/tablet hardware makers are massively unprofitable. So unprofitable pre-Google Motorola said they would sue all the other Android hardware makers if Google didn't buy them, and Motorola cashed out. Nokia got turned into a Dell-like Microsoft OEM, so they started a line of Android phones to force Microsoft to buy them, and they cashed out.

When you look back at Microsoft's history in the PC industry, they took almost all of the profits from non-Apple PC sales, and their hardware makers took almost all of the risk and did all of the building and shipping, but got almost nothing in return. If HP took the money it is going to invest in building PC's this year and instead put them into Treasury Bonds, HP would get triple the profit out of that money. It is a terrible business. The hardware and software need to be united so that the entire hardware/software device can be profitable and there is a reason to build the hardware at all.

So with the Nokia X, Nokia said to Microsoft: “put up or shut up.” If you want us to be essentially a part of Microsoft by only making Windows phones, then you have to share the risk with us and share the profits with us by making us actually part of Microsoft.

Being bought by Microsoft was Nokia's only hope of returning to profitability. Not making Android phones. Even if they made really, really good Android phones, they would still have no hope of returning to profitability, because Android phones sell below cost, with the exception of Samsung who has such massive scale and who kickstarted their smartphone business by stealing Apple's iPhone designs. An honest handset maker has yet to make money from Android.

I don't think the Nokia X was ever meant to be a great phone, or a great Android phone, or even be on the market long. I think it is Nokia playing chicken with Microsoft and Nokia won. They got rid of their massively unprofitable handset business, and they kept their profitable businesses and a bunch of money. I think that is why they put Elop into the CEO role in the first place. If he makes Nokia profitable, then great. If he doesn't, then there is an escape hatch of selling to Microsoft.

masterpfa says:

This is definitely a "SPOILER" by Nokia, grab sales from emerging markets and then 'Fork' the Android experience for them. Only problem Nokia is it will be Your name on the product and it will be the experience of Your phone that could actually turn people away from anything to do with Nokia period, including W8. Go figure???

Qbancelli says:

I agree.

plunder says:

When Elop stood up a Barcelona a few years back and said "this has become a battle of Ecosystems" I think he was right. It is the services and facilities we use (with the advertising candy fed into them) which matters to Google - and Microsoft. These two companies do not play well together, because their objectives are converging.

The key benefit of Google Mail, Maps, Now etc is lost in these Nokia phones. I would never look at one, but I'm not the target.

Great article Jerry - How come you get the best out of Barcelona by staying at home?

Here's my take, Google spends most of the money to develop Android, so you pinch their intellectual property, block their revenue and charge Android OEMs, licence fees for your IP, legal, but totally immoral. Some might say criminally insane, robber barons.

Ben Hanson says:

Don't want to sound too blunt, but this is just all wrong! Nokia make, and always have made high end and low end phones. Every low end phone in the world lags, the Asha devices lag, guess what, they sold millions of millions. Android even lags on a Nexus 5 fgs, so its hardly surprising it would lag on this, but nowhere near as much as you're making it out. The entire UI, including the fastlane, is made to even look like the Asha line of devices, this device is nothing to do with Windows Phone or Google, its an Asha phone with Android underpinnings. By removing Googles services by default (noting that no one but the odd 3% root), which is a good thing, makes this just that, a low cost phone with Internet and the odd games. You're making high end claims for a low end device come on.

jimrebello says:

Nokia executive - "we should build an android phone"

Executive's underling - "good idea. We will get some interns right on that."

Posted via Android Central App

World is not enough!

keith2k1 says:

Nokia, when you released the E62, you were my favorite maker of phones...hell I even had a 2600 as a backup but now that you've been in bed with Microsoft, I wash my hands of you. I don't care how many megapixels you have.

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Eldgrim says:

AT LONG LAST

That's what a lot of longtime Nokia fans, including myself are thinking.
The last Nokias I bought and truly loved were the N8 and 808 phones

(do own Nokias 900, N9, Lumia 800, Lumia 1020as well)

I was quick to jump at the Lumia 800, to test out the new Windows Phone OS.
Back then I was seriously disappointed. Not due to userfriendliness (and some great features of WP), but due to all the things WP7.5 didn't do, that Symbian DID.
I couldn't use my music as ringtones/alarms/sms alerts), I couldn't browse my phone's content from Windows (the real computer OS) .....Symbian, Android and the likes could be browsed by Windows Explorer while WP could not?!
I didn't get a music equalizer, I lost my FM transmitter, I couldn't send or receive music or pictures over Bluetooth, I couldn''t connect memorysticks or harddrives (like I could with N8), I didn't have Micro HDMI, nor could I tidy up the program/applications list with folders. (on a one year old WP Lumia it got long)

Suffice to say, the switch to Android was lots simpler for Symbian users (and I found that out only after getting a WP powered device) than switching to Windows Phone.

All this being said, with WP 8 , Windows Phone has gotten a LOT better, many of the issues I mentioned are "fixed", features added, I can transmit picturers and MP3s , I can once again use my phone as a spare USB stick ,if I so desire.

The Nokia X series will tempt a quite a few Nokia fans, including myself (even though I've been using a Sony Xperia for my daily fix of the Android drug)

I'm definatly excited about this new series of Nokia phones I -do- intend to import a Nokia XL (if they don't come for sale here) and I SINCERELY hope that the Nokia X series outsell a lot of the WP devices ,forcing them to make more Android phones => CONSUMER POWER!!

Ninad Ganore says:

PLEASE DON'T HATE ON NOKIA + WINDOWS PHONE + MICROSOFT ALL OF THEM ARE GOOD COMPANIES ,,,,,, you could have written the article like a good person not like an android freak , everyone knows that 40% of android phones are garbage and this nokia x is definitely above them and better than them !
it's ok to be angry but direct it in a good way , seems like you have never used any NOKIA Product .
BTW no one can beat their quality, most of the times that is enough to call a device good , but some people don't understand it ..........(the side effect of giving more importance to operating system than the physics of the devices)

Yes Jerry thats so true! 512MB-768MB is a bad Joke!

stng936 says:

One can get a much better spec phone with that price. One that comes to mind is Xiaomi Hongmi....beats this X model hands down!

I think you guys are not getting a point of fact, they are trying to make a cross platform. This is just an initiative process from Microsoft/Nokia but still the developers from all over the world have started considering the all new NOKIA X a better smart phone when compared with its price rangers "Samsung galaxy duos" or other manufacturers product. This may not be a better phone but still it has got some best features which makes it sound-full in the market.The Outlook or other Frame Work dependent Microsoft services can be run in the X-1 platform which is an added advantage / instead of always depending on Google services. I would be supporting for x-1 platform as the world has already sunk into the Android shit, which is boredom try out something new you will find it refreshing.
Jeezz.

SharatK says:

Stupid reasons..nokia xl is a turn off just because of the poor NON-HD screen..talking about android versions and all and complaining that it has android 4.1..well NOKIA finally made an ANDROID phone...it may not run all the android apps but still we can at least sideload android app..dont forget NOKIA makes one of the most durable phones..I still have a NOKIA Lumia 710 which till now never faced any sort of issue..
The only problem with NOKIA is they miss a feature which makes the phone completely useless when compared to other phones. Like lumia 710 does not have a front facing cam..and nokia XL does not have hd screen..that is just disappointing..nokia should really think before making a phone..otherwise price is decent and the phone is not that bad..theres no other phone which offers a snapdragon processor at this price..