Nokia to unveil low-cost Android phone

Nokia is best known for their attractive line of Windows Phone devices, the Lumia series. All the while, nearly every other smartphone-maker in the market is partaking in the tremendous success that is Android. Many have been wondering when Nokia would try out the Android side of the things. When Microsoft bought Nokia in September, 2013 it sure seemed like the purchase would solidify the company’s Windows Phone record. If rumors are to be believed however, that may not be the case.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Nokia is set to launch a low-cost smartphone running Google Inc’s Android OS. Leaks have pointed to the existence of a new device dubbed the ‘Normandy’ or ‘Nokia X Phone’. Reports state that the Nokia Android device will include a high-end external body chassis like the Lumia series, along with several other features the Finnish company is known for.

Mock-ups depict a Lumia styled Android handset that features a candybar style design with vivid color schemes. If we didn’t know any better we would say the concepts even borrowed from the ‘Metro’ style that Nokia’s Windows Phone devices are known for. Of course they are just a concept design, which means the real handset could end up looking absolutely nothing like them.

The Nokia X Phone is said to include dual-SIM functionality, which will allow many different carriers to support the handset resulting in coverage all over the world. Despite Nokia’s propensity for high-resolution point-and-shoot camera sensors the X Phone is said to include a measly 5 megapixel camera. The handset will be powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor that is backed by 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. As a bonus, the X Phone is supposedly going to include a microSD slot for external storage upgrades – a desirable feature that is commonly left out these days.

Exploring those specs further, it’s clear that the Normandy is not going to be a top-of-the-line device. The processor and lack of extra RAM alone is going to turn off many power-hungry techies – unless the handset features a very attractive design. That being said, smartphones have come a long way and they are no longer just for the tech-minded. Nokia may very well be testing out their first Android handset with an average consumer audience, before launching more advanced models.

One question lingers however. Why would Microsoft owned Nokia do this? To put it bluntly, the Windows Phone still has a long way to go before it can be considered mainstream globally in terms of popularity. In fact, most of Nokia’s newer Windows Phones devices aren’t being sold outside of the US currently, with the exception of a very limited availability in Europe.

By launching an entry-level Android handset they should be able to garner a bit of success in emerging markets all across the globe. In addition, they will be competing directly with Samsung’s lower-end Android devices rightfully dubbed the ‘mini’ models of their Galaxy series. In other words, this will put Nokia back on the map.

As for Microsoft, this is great news. It allows Nokia to create a completely new line of products and change up strategies without compromising the Windows Phone OS.

Will the new device be a hit among consumers? We’ll find out soon enough, because Nokia’s Mobile World Congress event will be taking place on February 24th. It’s likely that they will be unveiling the ‘Normandy’ or ‘Nokia X Phone’ in full.