Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nokia X Review

Nokia is hands down the best phone manufacturer in terms of hardware. Even Siri has admitted that the best phone is Nokia's Lumia! The windows operating system inherent in Nokia smartphones is excellent but what it lacks is the thousands of apps available on iOS and android. By combining android apps with an interface similar to Windows, Nokia X is the solution to what is keeping Nokia back from gaining a larger market share in smartphones.



Have you heard about that Brazilian policeman whose phone saved him from a bullet? Yeah, that was a Nokia. The company has a legacy for building durable and sturdy phones and the same applies here. The back case is made of a kind of tough plastic and you have a choice of six bright colours to choose from. The interchangeable case is great for keeping the phone looking fresh and new as it covers the entire phone and its buttons, excluding the screen. The case is so tightly attached, that we found it difficult to open and insert the SIM card.

On the right side, there are hard volume keys and a power/lock button. At the bottom of the front there is only one soft back key. The device is quick to charge, taking less than 2 hours to fully charge through the micro-USB port. A headset is included within the box which can be plugged into the 3.5 mm audio connector.

Nokia Store on Nokia X
The Nokia X does allow the installation of android apps but you can not download via the goldmine of android apps, Google Play, without "rooting" your phone which in turn voids the warranty. People have complained about the lack of Google apps but you honestly don't feel the absence. The Nokia Store is pre-installed hosting a variety of apps but missing many notable ones including Whatsapp. To download these apps (without rooting) you can download third party app stores. 1Mobile Market is a good choice and has exactly the same interface as the Play store but it does not automatically update apps. I used a combination of 1Mobile and the Amazon Appstore.


Considering its low RAM, I was not expecting it to be amazingly fast but its performance exceeded expectations. It performs well and doesn't lag with heavy use. Games run well and the phone is quick in opening apps. Surprisingly, there is no task manager and neither is there a direct multi-tasking button. You can download task managers to track and kill open apps but it is disappointing to not see one by default. Instead there is a fastlane which serves the dual purpose of displaying notifications and recent apps, and can be quickly accessed by swiping to the left of the menu. Dual SIMs are supported which is quite handy in a country like Pakistan where SIM cards are cheap and you can get a broader network coverage and reap the best of packages from two networks simultaneously, although it can affect battery life.

Nokia X Fatslane

Picture captured by Nokia X in direct sunlight
A 3.15 megapixel (with no flash) can be found at the back with a range of features, like
  • Auto and Manual White Balance settings
  • Active toolbar
  • Still Image Editor
  • Face recognition
  • Auto Exposure
  • Center weighted auto exposure
There is no front camera but you can still make video calls through Skype. 


The default keyboard is wonderful and very nice to people with big thumbs. It has word recognition, next word prediction, swype and includes upto 30 languages including Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Italian and more.

You can download other keyboards from an app store, but I did not find it necessary.


For the cheap price of Rs.13,000 you can not get a better deal. It has an excellent body, processor, interface and audio quality. I would definitely recommend this to first-time smartphone users who do not have past experience and specific app requirements. If you can shell out an extra Rs. 4,600 then get the Nokia XL which features a 5 MP camera and a larger screen. Or wait for the release of the Nokia X2 which seems to be an upgrade on the Nokia X. However, current users are upset about Whatsapp not functioning properly and considering that it is a staple for all those living in South Asia, Nokia must resolve this issue quickly.

Note: At the time of writing Whatsapp is no longer running smoothly on the Nokia X; the app asks for an update (which is not available) and will not open. You can receive messages and with some skill navigate to its home screen from where you can send a message. When contacted, Whatsapp has said that due to hardware limitations the device is no longer supported. 
On twitter @NokiaPakistan had this to say: 

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