Yesterday, Nokia launched its first Android smartphone in India dubbed the Nokia X. The launch of the phone is being described by Nokia as a means to provide Android apps to users who want to purchase a smartphone between $100 and $190. Nokia claims the combination of Android apps, Nokia design and the Microsoft/Nokia cloud ecosystem will be a good option for people who are not satisfied with basic Android smartphones costing the same or Nokia’s lesser capable Asha line. The problem here is that Nokia already has devices in this price band that provide arguably better experiences to consumers. A prime example of this schizophrenic problem in the Nokia Lumia 520, which now retails for lesser than the Nokia X. This situation is bound to confuse consumers.
On paper, the Lumia 520 and Nokia X are largely the same smartphone. The basic nuts and bolts are the same, only for the fact that the Nokia X has a lower resolution 3-megapixel camera, while the Nokia Lumia 520 has a 5-megapixel camera.
The problem is that with such specs – a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU, 512MB of RAM and a 4-inch WVGA display, Windows Phone by default is bound to provide a better experience because its a more frugal operating system.
However, things become more complicated as Android has a much larger repository of apps. Even the limited vision of Android on the Nokia X, which works on the heels of Nokia’s and Microsoft’s cloud is more comprehensive than Windows Phone.
Then there is the case of the user interface, which looks distinctly similar to Windows Phone on the Nokia X.
If one buys a Nokia X and tastes the forbidden fruit – Android apps, then it’s only natural for the user to ask for more on his next phone. Nokia hopes that to be a Lumia smartphone, but it’s unlikely a Lumia will ever have as many apps as Android.
On the other hand the underwhelming specs of the Nokia X and the custom UI are sure to create a situation where it will not be able to match Windows Phone in terms of usability.
If a person happens to upgrade from a low-cost Windows Phone device to the Nokia X for Android apps he/she will lose out on the user experience.
At Rs 7,675, the Lumia 520 is not only hardware wise a better phone than the Nokia X, but also offers a more consistent software experience and is also approximately a grand cheaper.
Indeed Nokia has created a situation where it will confuse its customers. Especially people who are contemplating between the Lumia 520 and the Nokia X. And this problem will be further amplified in the months to come when people try to upgrade from the Nokia X to a higher end Lumia.