x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Nokia X Review

Nokia X 4.5

Posted: , by



Nokia X Review
Nokia X Review
Nokia X Review
Nokia X Review
Nokia X Review
Nokia X Review

One of the forefathers of the modern phone industry, Nokia is revered by many to this day for the level of build quality of its devices, and yet that didn't help the company when it was caught off guard by the stratospheric surge in demand for smartphones. Many thought that the Finnish company made all the wrong decisions, especially when it decided to go for an infant of an operating system in Windows Phone. The thought of what Nokia could have been like if it instead at least had hedged its bets, and adopted Android as well, is still stuck at the back of the heads of many industry watchers, not to mention fans.

We won't be having a miraculous remake of history today – it's too late for that – but we all finally have the opportunity to see what Nokia hardware powered by Android feels like. With its X-line, Nokia surprised many by finally seeing fit to experiment with Android, though hardheaded as the company is, this is still a fork of the platform. The 4-inch, dual SIM entry-level Nokia X that we'll be looking at today, then, comes with all the signature Nokia services like its app store and HERE Maps, but none from Google. There's no Play Store, no Google Maps, and many, many more. And while there's a degree of inter-compatibility (ergo, normal Android apps will usually run just fine on the Nokia X's software), it's still a halfhearted stab at the world's most popular mobile OS. Is that necessarily a bad thing? We were very intent on finding out and share our impressions with you, so keep on reading.

In the box:

  • A power plug with a permanently-attached microUSB cable
  • Headphones


The Nokia X borrows inspiration heavily from the Lumia 525 and Asha 503 – the X is a typical rectangular slab with sharper-than-average corners and excellent build quality

Whether it's because it is a near-flawless look-alike to the latest Asha 503, or because the Asha, in turn, draws inspiration from Nokia's Lumia 520/525, we felt like we knew the Nokia X from the get-go. The X inherited the singular capacitive 'back' button from the the Asha line, and the rectangular frame with its moderately sharp edges. The removable rear shell is made of solid matte plastic, same as the buttons on the right side of the X. Both the volume rocker and the power key provide profound feedback, and there's a nice amount of travel to them.

Handling the Nokia X is easy – the small device is perfect for one-handed use – but we couldn't shake off the feeling that we're using a toy phone. And it's not just the jubilant palette of color options – it's also the profoundly plastic, but very solid exterior that made us feel like we're operating a reinforced, child-proof piece of hardware. On the bright side, while there's no arguing this looks and feels like an entry-level device, the overall build quality is impressive.

Nokia X
4.55 x 2.48 x 0.41 inches
115.5 x 63 x 10.4 mm
4.54 oz (129 g)

Nokia X

Motorola Moto G
5.11 x 2.59 x 0.46 inches
129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)

Motorola Moto G

Sony Xperia E1
4.65 x 2.46 x 0.47 inches
118 x 62.4 x 12 mm
4.23 oz (120 g)

Sony Xperia E1

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
4.77 x 2.47 x 0.39 inches
121.2 x 62.7 x 10 mm
4.22 oz (120 g)

Samsung Galaxy Ace 3

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Reflective, dim, and completely off when it comes to proper color reproduction

When looking at the 4-inch 480x800 pixel resolution IPS display on the Nokia X, the results speak for themselves, and align very well with our initial impressions. For starters, this isn't the sharpest panel out there, though at 233ppi, we didn't find much reason for complaint.

But it's in color reproduction that the panel totally disappoints – it's got a very cold color temperature of 9320K, resulting in a noticeably bluish fringe throughout. This problem is especially noticeable when the display has to render differing shades of gray. But that's not all – specific colors, like magenta and cyan, are seriously messed up. Greens and reds are also problematic.

Worse yet, the display isn't very bright, managing 359 nits at its very best. This, combined with the highly reflective glass on top of the display, amounts to a frustrating outdoors viewing experience. It's also relatively bright even at the lowest setting, meaning that usage in complete darkness may tire out your eyes quickly.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Nokia X 359
Motorola Moto G 429
Sony Xperia E1 367
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 399
View all

  • Options

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:15 7

1. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

This phone is a middle finger from Nokia to Android and to itself... Making a test device and see if there will be market for them, I'll give you that Nokia. But putting a crappy camera like that, you are just ruining your image as the camera king of the smartphone world

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 08:19

20. sgodsell (Posts: 4769; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Why Nokia would use a Cortex-A5 CPU for their first run with an Android type phone is beyond me. In fact every WP from them has always has a much higher class CPU. The other thing is who cares what Ghz or the number of cores are in this CPU, or the fact that it came from Qualcomm. Its still a Cortex-A5 class CPU. The bottom of the barrel. Don't get me started on the 512Mb of ram this thing has, or the 4Gb of storage, or the camera at 3mp with no flash, an what a front facing camera (lack there of). This thing should have never made it to the drawing board. Let alone calling itself an Android phone with no normal Google apps and services. Things that most normal people associate when actually using an Android phone.
I wouldn't want to get the Nokia X wet. The moto g is a much better buy, and you are getting a much better phone compared to the Nokia X.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 15:25

49. domfonusr (Posts: 519; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)

I am not surprised at all. I said from the beginning that this could only ever be an Asha replacement... all these Android fans day-dreaming of a Nokia Android flagship - it just was never going to be that way, ever. At best, Nokia X will become the new Asha. At worst, it just won't take off, and Asha devices will remain for a little while longer. Nokia really does need a replacement for Series 40 that they can actually call a "smartphone" OS without lying.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:18 12

2. sipha (Posts: 438; Member since: 12 May 2012)

4.5/10 is well deserved for this!! But that its rated above the Jolla smartphone disturbs me..

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:37 6

6. Chris.P (Posts: 567; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

It's a completely different price class, though.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:57 6

12. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

For the same price I have my Moto G. Which is amazing for the price.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 08:15 3

19. aayupanday (Posts: 580; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)

Indeed. The Moto G is Best in the World at that price

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 10:21 2

35. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

+1million for Moto G. Excellent phone even without considering price. It has never let me down the whole month. Great user experience. But regardless of the score this POS is going to sell millions thanks to die hard nokia fanboys.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 10:22 2

36. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

P.S Not to be confused POS=NOKIA X lol ;-)

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:18 7

3. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

Find no reason to chose this phone over Moto G. If storage is very-very important to you (although Moto G offers 65GB cloud storage with G Drive):

Moto G has water resistant coating
Front cam
Main cam with flash
Significantly better display
Tremendously better app store
1 GB ram (Nokia with only 512 ram, wth?!)
Android 4.4 vs Nokia built on 4.2 (Also better support)

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 08:08 1

15. true1984 (Posts: 830; Member since: 23 May 2012)

i thought the x was built on 4.0?

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 08:25 1

21. sgodsell (Posts: 4769; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

The Nokia X is built on Android 4.1 jellybean.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 08:28 1

25. sgodsell (Posts: 4769; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

You are also missing the moto g can take slow motion videos, and if you want add more storage on the moto g, you can just go buy a USB otg cable for around $2-$5. Then you can use regular USB flash drives on the moto g. There is even more elegant ways to add more storage to Android like the Sandisk Connect, which was reviewed on phonearena.com

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:22 5

4. drazwy (Posts: 234; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)

What is that? A phone for ants?

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:39 2

8. amasog (Posts: 427; Member since: 22 Aug 2013)

have u seen an ant with phone? hahhahahahaha!

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 08:30 3

26. sgodsell (Posts: 4769; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

This one will be. Because the only one that will be playing with it, is the ants at the landfill dump site.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:28 11

5. Killua (Posts: 270; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)

4.5 is pretty generous for this crap. The UI is ugly, the spec is so so. Zenfone4 is way better than this crap. Kinda pity those who bought it. Well, not my problem though, they can waste their money on whatever they want.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:38 4

7. omaar97 (Posts: 14; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)

4.5, as expected from this crap

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:43 2

9. redmd (Posts: 1357; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

Nokia what are you thinking?

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:48 5

10. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

Crap = charming rich affordable phone.
Fix it for everyone.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:52 3

11. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)

Moto G and Lumia 520/525=charming affordable rich phone
This is like Galaxy Trend, cheap and average at best, but mostly crap. Actually Trend beats this some ways, especially with MUCH MUCH better app store and Google apps. Maybe even camera.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 07:59 2

13. Planterz (Posts: 2110; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

What's the point of this phone? A Lumia 520/521 would be better than this hunk of junk (and cheaper), and I'd never recommend a 520/521 to anyone that wasn't an enemy that I didn't want to suffer through the agony of using a mediocre Windows phone. WP's app selection might suck, but it's better than what this phone offers.

If you want something cheap to hack and tinker with, pick up a used Galaxy Nexus or S2 for cheap, or spend a bit more for a Moto G. Hell, almost any 2 year old used or NOS phone would cost as much, yet be far better.

If the reason to purchase this is because it supports dual sim, then this isn't my area of knowledge, but I'm sure there are better options than this (like the Sony E1).

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 08:15 1

18. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

People should overlook this phone and consider the Lumia 525, which is overall a much better phone than this. If this phone would have ran WP, it would be fast and smooth, but it runs Android so...

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 08:32 3

27. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)

Sorry, this phone is crap, thanks to Nokia and M$. Android has nothing to do with it.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 13:03

42. corporateJP (Posts: 2458; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)

"Sorry, this phone is crap, thanks to Nokia and M$"

No, thanks to Elop and Microsoft.

If Nokia was left independent, I guarantee you would have got a full Android experience on a 1020-like device.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 08:48

28. sgodsell (Posts: 4769; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

NokiaFTW now you are clearly showing the world you technical knowledge, or lack thereof. The Nokia X is using a Cortex-A5 CPU which is the bottom of the barrel, as far as ARM CPU's are concerned in todays world. Every WP uses a higher Cortex-A9 or above CPU. In fact WP never supported anything lower then a Qualcomm Cortex-A9 CPU.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 15:43 1

50. domfonusr (Posts: 519; Member since: 17 Jan 2014)

And that is the point of this phone... it is too cheap to run Windows Phone. Android was the only smartphone OS option left that could be wrangled into something this underpowered. Now, that ought not to be a bad reflection on Android - Android is wonderfully scalable, made to suit a wide range of hardware, from the best of flagships to the cheapest of working garbage. In order to make this an Asha replacement, it had to come in at the cheapest end of the spectrum, and I'm still not convinced that it will work out for Nokia/Microsoft the way they wanted it to. It is still too expensive to be a better value than either a Moto G or a Sony Xperia E1, and still comes in at the high end of the cost curve when compared to an Asha device. For something that was supposed to be this 'cheap', it actually isn't inexpensive enough. The price needed to be sub-$100.

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 10:28 1

37. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Lololol temple run needs 1gb ram ouch

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 08:25 2

23. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Maybe Nokia is trying to say "look how terrible Android phones are! Buy WP!"

posted on 17 Apr 2014, 09:01 1

29. sgodsell (Posts: 4769; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

You mean Microsoft since Nokia is owned by Microsoft.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Nokia X

Nokia X

OS: Android
view full specs
Display4.0 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (233 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera3 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, Dual-core, 1000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A5 processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.55 x 2.48 x 0.41 inches
(115.5 x 63 x 10.4 mm)
4.54 oz  (129 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 13.3 hours talk time

Latest stories