Nokia X (Normandy) preview

Updated 18/02/14: a Nokia X promo photo has leaked ahead of Mobile World Congress 2014

Nokia’s device division might have been snapped up by Microsoft, but that hasn’t stopped a flood of leaks surrounding the Finnish giant’s first Android phone from making the rounds.

Below is everything we know so far about the mysterious Nokia ‘Normandy’. We'll update this story as more details emerge, so stay tuned.

UPDATE 24/01/14: @evleaks has suggested that the Nokia Normandy's official name is the Nokia X. Rolls of the tongue a bit nicer, don't you think? Let's just hope the Moto X doesn't get jealous...

Lumia DNA

Nokia X (Normandy) - Lumia DNA 2Nokia X (Normandy) - Lumia DNA 3

Famed Twitter leaker @evleaks showed off our first glimpse of the X last November, and it looks almost identical to the brightly coloured polycarbonate Lumia’s we’ve come to know and love. 

More leaked shots of the X have since appeared online, including one of the device in a case and another one showing off its red rear. The latter picture shows off a flash while the initial @evleaks leak does not.The flashless picture could however be an early render.

Either way, we expect to see a device with a solid build and a premium feel, though we’re not too sure about the mysterious capacitive back button which is the only visible mark on the front, bar the Nokia logo.

Whether interacting with the back button in different ways will result in different functions is unclear at this stage. Perhaps the lower bezel supports gesture controls in a similar way to the BlackBerry Z10?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

READ MORE: BlackBerry Z10 review

(Un)spectacular

According to a leaked Normandy AnTuTu benchmark screenshot, the Nokia X (or A110 as it’s referred to) isn’t going to increase the heart rate of die-hard spec fiends. 

A 5MP camera and Snapdragon processor are the only specs we’re able to make out, but an anonymous source told The Verge that the X would have a 4-inch display, Qualcomm S4 processor, 3MP camera, 4GB of storage, and 512MB of RAM, along with a microSD slot.

We're definitely looking at a low-end device then, but Nokia's own services like Here maps will reportedly be bundled into the OS too.

Speaking of which...

More after the break...

It’s Android Jim, but not as we know it

That’s right folks. Android. On a Nokia. Android 4.4.1 KitKat to be precise. At least that’s what it says on the benchmark screenshot.

Nokia X (Normandy)

One glance at the leaked home screen of the X above though and you’ll be hard pressed to see any similarity between the bright fluorescent icons on the X’s display and Google’s mobile OS. It's all very Windows Phone-like, isn't it?

Look closer though and you'll see little clues like the BBM icon. The Normandy definitely isn't running iOS or BlackBerry 10, and the only other mobile OS that runs BBM is Android.

The notification menu is also reminiscent of Android's very own offering, with expandable notifications clearly present. The X is therefore running Android, but it’s a very heavily skinned version.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing (we don’t hate the Kindle Fire HDX’s skinned version of Android after all), but we hope the Normandy doesn’t inherit the HDX’s closed Amazon app store, which lacks the Google Play store's entire app catalogue.

UPDATE 28/01/14: It looks like we spoke too soon. According to @evleaks, Nokia has gone the Amazon route by incorporating its own Nokia App store into the X, as opposed to the entire collection of apps and games offered by Google Play.

Presumably that's so it can push its own services like Nokia Music, but there is a silver lining.

Vietnamese retailer TheGioididong has an interesting listing for the Normandy that claims it'll support Google services (Google Play, Google Search, Google Now, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar), which is unusual for non-standard Android UI phones. 

@evleaks also believes that third party apps can also be side-loaded onto the device, though that's a method that casual Android users are unlikely to adopt.

Release date?

Steady on there. At this stage we’re not even sure if the X is anything more than an internal Nokia geek’s side project, and there’s no solid evidence to suggest that it will ever see the light of day.

Having said that, Mobile World Congress is right around the corner. Could Nokia surprise us all in Barcelona? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Update 18/02/14: @evleaks has posted a promo shot of the Nokia X, confirming its name once again. It looks like Nokia is gearing up for a MWC launch after all...

READ MORE: Mobile World Congress 2014 – the biggest MWC news so far

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Nokia X (Normandy)

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