As far as budget smartphones are concerned, the Nokia X is as good as they come. While I have come to terms with using it as my daily driver, I often find myself switching occasionally to my Android tablet, just to get my fix of Google services. Yes it  may be based on Android but the Nokia X is not a complete Android phone. If you’re like me, knee deep in the Android ecosystem, and you currently own (or are planning to buy) a Nokia X, you’d be glad to know you can finally turn things around. Thanks to this cool dude over at XDA Developers. He has developed a Custom Vanilla Android ROM. complete with Qualcomm hardware-specific optimizations. And apparently, it is already quite stable.

It was only a matter of time. When the Nokia X first came out, techies already found a way to root the device

and install Google Apps. Now it’s possible to wipe the stock Nokia X OS clean and flash Vanilla Android unto it. It means your Nokia can finally become a true Android phone.

There’s a minor issue though. The Nokia X has only one button which you use both for multitasking and going to the previous activity. This doesn’t fit well with stock android, where you need at least 2 buttons (physical or virtual) to navigate around the UI. But it looks like the developer has it covered, as he included a version with software navigation bar. All the instructions for flashing the custom ROM unto your device can be found right here. (Warning: not for the fainthearted).

I will most likely be trying it out myself. I have only one issue: While the absence of Google services like Gmail, Google Contacts sync, Google Drive and the Play store on the Nokia X is somewhat unbearable the ability to add Google services is enough motivation to switch to the custom ROM, I actually love the Nokia X User Interface. I wish I didn’t have to give that away.

Muyiwa Matuluko Author

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