If you’ve always been a fan of Nokia but not of Windows Phone, chances are you’ve been clamoring for the Finnish hardware manufacturer to release a smartphone based off of Android like the rest of the industry has taken to doing. Imagine – a Nokia phone with the beautiful, high quality hardware of a Lumia phone, but with the powerful and customizable Android operating system running things under the hood – the holy grail of Nokia phones. While there have been rumors pointing towards such a mystical device, dubbed the Nokia Normandy, for quite some time now, it seemed that the incoming Microsoft acquisition of Nokia’s smartphone division would shutter any plans of such a device actually being released. Or so we thought.
Not so fast, according to a report made by the Wall Street Journal today. If they’re to be believed, Nokia will indeed be officially announcing their long rumored Android phone – Normandy – at Mobile World Congress later this month. The device, which is said to be a low-to-mid range smartphone, would not directly compete with Nokia’s Lumia lineup of devices despite sharing a similar design language. Instead, the Normandy is expected to be a low margin, highly affordable option for the growing low end market. The device’s rumored specifications include a ~4″ display, a measly 512 MB of RAM, and just 4GB of internal storage.
The device is expected to launch with the name “Nokia X” (Normandy being just an internal codename and never actually considered for marketing) and will come with a forked version of Android 4.x. The operating system is said to share many design concepts from Windows Phone in an effort to standardize the Lumia lineup. In fact, the Nokia X’s version of Android is said to be so wildly different from Google’s own that the company has opted to forgo getting it certified by Google – meaning that the Nokia X won’t come with access to Google services, including Google Play, Google Maps, and Chrome, out of the box. That means that Nokia is effectively taking the Amazon Kindle Fire route and will be offering a complete suite of replacement applications and services completely unrelated to Google’s established Android ecosystem.
Nokia’s Mobile World Congress press event is slated for February 24th, and odds are pretty good at this point that we’ll be hearing a lot more about the long awaited Nokia X then – so stay tuned for more.