Nokia to launch low-cost device running Android with Google Play not included


According to a WSJ report, Nokia is set to launch their first ever Android smart phone targeted at the low-cost segment. Codenamed as Nokia Normandy, the new entry-level device is seen as a suitable replacement of its current Symbian based Nokia Asha. It is expected to debut this month at the upcoming MWC 2014 alongside its upcoming high end product.

If you’re thinking this will be a full fledged Android device, don’t get your hopes high as it is reported to be heavily skinned and comes without the official Google Play Store. Nokia is probably trying to keep the user experience as close as possible to its Lumia products and it is likely that they will have their own Google Play equivalent with Nokia’s preselected library of apps. This is similar with Amazon’s Android powered Kindles which relies on their Amazon appstore for apps and content.

In terms of specs, the device is rumoured to be running on a dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor with 512MB of RAM and comes with a modest 4″ display pushing WVGA resolution of 800×480. On-board, it is said to come with 4GB of storage and dual-SIM capabilities.

At the moment, the cheapest Nokia Windows Phone is its Lumia 525 that’s priced at RM499. This replaces its former Lumia 520 which attributed to 25% of total Windows Phone sold worldwide. We are curious to see if Nokia’s late entry into the entry level Android segment would give much of an impact, considering this is a very price sensitive market dominated by the likes of Samsung and other Chinese smart phone players. Somehow we can’t help but feel that Nokia’s approach of having a separate interface and a proprietary appstore is simply adding to the Android fragmentation issues.

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