I already gave my first impressions of the Nokia X from when I first handled it. After spending a few more days with it, here are my impressions of its performance, the software and collection of apps.
For a device in its price range and 512 RAM rating, performance is really good on the Nokia X. Navigation is somewhat snappy and most apps (especially games) run smoothly. While there might be noticeable lag in relaunching apps it is not unbearable, especially if you’re coming from Asha or any other feature phone range. It appears that the Nokia X Software Platform keeps apps frozen in the background even after you exit them. This is inconsistent with Android multitasking way, where apps are closed almost immediately to save resources. On the Nokia X, you can have up to 2 games and 3 other apps running simultaneously and none of them has to reload when you switch. Impressive. The exception is the browser, which tends to reload once in a while. Nevertheless, Nokia seems to have done a great job of keeping things running smoothly even with all the apps running simultaneously. I can only imagine how wonderfully the software will run on high-end hardware.
The Nokia X runs on Nokia X Software Platform which borrows heavily from Nokia Asha and Lumia. If you know your way around the Nokia Asha User Interface, you’re already halfway to knowing your way around the Nokia X. The exceptions: there is copy-and-paste (of course), you can hide lockscreen notifications by swiping left, you can only swipe to Fastlane from the homescreen (not from anywhere like on Asha) and notifications don’t show in the status bar, only in Fastlane, which is a bit annoying, as you have to navigate out of apps all the time to access notifications. I find it quicker to lock the screen and access my notifications from the lockscreen.
The homescreen is tile-based like on the Lumia platform. The tiles are not live though, so don’t expect to see them animated. In fact, 3rd party app tiles don’t even show you notifications. But as a plus, you can change individual tile colours. All your apps are listed on a single infinite scrolling screen, which can make finding apps a chore. Thankfully, you’re allowed to create folder groups, which reduces how much you need to scroll. You really aren’t expected to spend much time on the homescreen anyway.I find that I use the Fastlane more to access my apps. You just have to be willing to approach the Nokia X with a mindset different from standard Android.
The Nokia X comes preinstalled with Twitter, BBM, Skype, Facebook, Opera Mini (Nokia X specific version), Astro File Manager, WeChat, Line and loads of free games (some are demos). Surprise – no WhatsApp. Standard proprietary apps include FM Radio, Gallery, Camera, Email and Browser. There’s also a default music player but oddly enough, there’s no default video player. The absence of default Google apps is very apparent but there are alternatives. Google Play Store is replaced by Nokia Store and Here Maps replaces Google Maps.
Android apps availability
You can download more apps from the Nokia Store, though you might not find everything you’re looking for. For example, I found Swiftkey, a paid keyboard replacement which happens to be free for the Nokia X, but I couldn’t find WhatsApp. Instead, I was presented with a list of 3rd party app stores from which I can find any apps missing on the Nokia Store. I proceeded to install 1Mobile Market where I found WhatsApp (older version), MX Player – my video player of choice – and a host of other favourites. So what I do now is check the Nokia store first, just in case there’s a Nokia X optimized version, and if I don’t find it, I go straight to 1Mobile Market. Of course, you can also install apps via apk downloads, if you so wish to.
I’m currently putting the Nokia X through my rigorous battery life tests. I will post the results tomorrow. After that will come my full review. If there’s anything you’d like me to cover in my full review, do not hesitate to inform me.