I don’t know how readers will take this post, but I urge everybody to not to buy Nokia X series devices i.e. the Nokia X, X+ X2 and the XL. If your only reason to buy an X series device is because it a Nokia, then you should ignore this post and continue with your purchase.
Update: As the latest update from Stephen Elop made it official that the Nokia X series will be discontinued and no new devices will be announced, I am not recommending any of the Nokia X devices.
Reasons why I am not recommending a Nokia X, X+, XL & X2
There are a couple of reasons which made me to advice against buying a Nokia X series smartphone and I will just pin them down here for you to analyze.
- Uncertain Future: The future of Android (AOSP) powered Nokia X is clearly uncertain and I’m sure nobody wants to buy a device which is soon discontinued and manufacturer denies to provide any further support for the same. Microsoft recently took over Nokia’s devices and services division and will start influencing the type of devices they produce in the future. So as a buyer we must wait to see if Microsoft is still interested in taking the X series further.
Another point to note here is that Nokia is carrying with it a short history of trying and giving up. Series 40 based Asha 3xx devices were launched and were quickly replaced by the Asha 5xx series. 5xx is most probably replaced with the X platform now as we have not seen any new products launching under the 5xx series for a while already.
Update – As expected, it is official that the Nokia X series will be discontinued.
- Neither Android, nor Windows Phone– The Nokia X series run a forked version of Android. That’s not an issue, but unfortunately Nokia (or Microsoft) skinned the UI to make it look like Windows Phone. The issue here is that it mixes the elements of all the 3 different platforms (Android, Windows Phone and Asha) in such a way that the end-user experience is not proper or satisfactory. Nokia X platform hence lacks many features that one may expect from Android such as Proper Multitasking and Customization.
- No support for WhatsApp – You’d be wondering why I am putting a simple social app as a reason here, but it really matters. Today, WhatsApp has become a part of people’s life. This blog and many others are receiving a huge number of visits for the keyword “WhatsApp for Nokia X (X+ and XL)“. This simply implies that the users want WhatsApp on their phones and unfortunately it does not work on any of the Nokia X Devices. Surely there are workarounds, but we never know how long they will work. Its been a good time since the X series launched and if anybody had the intention to fix this, it would’ve been fixed by now.
- Misses the Required Navigation Keys – All of the Nokia X series devices come equipped with only one button at the front and that’s the back button. On the other hand, true Android devices come equipped with the 3 standard navigation keys. The single navigation key on the X series creates issues while switching between apps and/or closing them, hence a hindrance to multitasking.
- Present Devices are not Receiving the BIG update – Microsoft recently announced the successor to the Nokia X i.e. the Nokia X2. X2 will come pre-installed with Version 2 of the Nokia Software Platform. It brings good UI changes and some much-needed improvements. All cool, but the new update is not for the present set of devices. It will only be available in the X2 and any new X series devices they may release. Ignore the others, but Nokia XL recently started selling and it is just not fair to not update it.
Nokia assures some important updates for the present devices, but the history speaks something else. So I am not going to trust them over this.
- No Google Play Apps and Services – As the X family run on AOSP, they don’t come with the Google Play store and Google Play services. This creates two issues for the users. First that the Nokia Store does not come equipped with enough apps and secondly a good number of apps are not compatible with the X devices because of API differences and billing issues.
- Bugs – There are a variety of bugs in the Nokia X Platform which haven’t been taken care of. You can visit Nokia Support Discussions if you want to check them out. From Battery status not updating to the double tap not working as advertised, there is something wrong in every area. I just feel that Nokia would’ve achieved better customer satisfaction by installing the vanilla Android OS instead of what they did there.
- There are better options! – If the previous points didn’t make sense for you, this one still will! There are better options available in the market and there is simply no point diving into the uncertain world of Nokia X Platform. Android devices such as Motorola Moto E and Moto G are perfect alternatives to the Nokia X and XL. Not to mention the devices from Samsung and other OEMs that target the same price bracket.
Also, real Windows Phone devices such as the Lumia 525, Lumia 630 are a way better option than the current Nokia X series.
Do leave your opinion and views in the comments section below. I am open to suggestions and will update the post if there’s something important to add.