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Would Nokia + Android Be the Ultimate Dream Team?

Steven Blum
8

What if Nokia and Android mated? What would their love child look like? Would you fall instantly in love with it? At least one writer at the Verge would. Take it away, Vlad Savov: 

I can't stop thinking about this. A question that's grown trite over the past 18 months keeps haunting me in the wake of the Lumia 920 announcement: what if Nokia had chosen Android instead of Windows Phone?

Haunting. He is literally being haunted by the image of a phone, guys. THIS IS SERIOUS.

It's because all of the other phones out there are unsightly monsters:

The RAZR Maxx has a vast battery, but is otherwise a Kevlar-coated train crash, the HTC One X is pretty, but ruined by a dorky UI skin, and the iPhone 4S does most things well, but is too small and fragile. Where lies perfection?

Polarizing desciptors? Check! Sure, there's some truth here, but who knows what "dorky UI skin" Nokia would slap on an Android phone. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S3 is kind of a thing. Why no mention of it?

The best industrial design among phones is a more subjective matter, but I continue to be enamored with the "pillow-shaped" ergonomics and unibody styling of the Nokia N9, whose lineage is abundantly evident in the Lumia 920.

Yes, because it's so snuggly swoft you can actually sleep on it!

Now that Nokia has upgraded the innards of its flagship — combining the splendid Snapdragon S4 with LTE, a fancy Synaptics touchscreen, wireless charging, and the controversial new PureView camera — there's basically no hardware complaint to level at the company.

Okay, I agree that the N9 is a gorgeous phone, and the Lumia 920 looks pretty great as well. But that beauty is only skin deep. The Snapdragon S4 processor isn't the fastest out there, and the wireless charging unit isn't that impressive. Only the resolution blows away the competition (1280x768p is currently the best in industry).  

The phone is beautiful, I give you that. But let's not get carried away: these internals are not so impressive. Would I buy a Nokia phone if it ran Android? Absolutely. But Nokia would have to upgrade their processor and improve upon Android's OS, like Samsung has done with the Galaxy S3. What do you think?

(Top photo: AndroidCommunity.com)

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Comments

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  • Eric McBride Sep 10, 2012 Link

    In a word? No.

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  • Dvoraak Sep 10, 2012 Link

    Back in the day Nokia knew how to optimize a phone's UI better than anyone. They were simple and paid attention to detail like few others. I'm not interested in a Windows Nokia because I don't think they get much control over the UI. If they ran Android...... and offered a 5.5" screen ;) I'd try 'em for sure.

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  • Sean Foster Sep 10, 2012 Link

    Nokia built their name when they innovated with design and controlled / built the UI. They did it really well and the UI just worked without being in the way. They deserved their position.

    Fast forward to now. The possibility for design in smartphones has narrowed to small variations on the candy bar and Google control the OS/UI for Android. Yes several manufacturers put their own skin on, but this is a mine field that is easy to get wrong. You have to offer something that attempts to add features and value to Android without getting in the way. They would be in danger of coming a distant third or fourth behind Samsung and HTC. Bad news for a struggling company.

    I'd be interested to see what they would for an Android skin, but I doubt that they could come up with a game changer.

    Their is a reason that they hitched their wagon to another company in danger of becoming an also ran in mobile computing. A position that means that they don't have any direct competition in windows phones.

    I've had Nokia's and really liked them. I'm not sure that the Android community is missing out, sadly.

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  • Patrick R. Sep 10, 2012 Link

    I think the possibility of customizing android is broader than what we have seen or realize. And these are the only UI varians that I am aware of, consider the following:

    First, there are the traditional launchers, Trebuchet, Nova, Apex, Go Launcher etc. That are basically skins on top of Android, with some customization options (number of rows and columns and infinite home screens etc.)

    Second, traditional OEM Skin - TW, Sense, Blur etc. that adds some functionality with the skin.

    Third, the other non-trad skins such as MIUI which adds functionality and easy theming to the droid experience. Or the Amazon skin or fork - where you'd like to slash your wrist and poke your eyes rather than use it on a daily basis.

    So Android may not be as limiting on the UI options as we might think. Maybe, it may be these OEMs that provide us with the user experience that fails to push the envolope of Android UI wise. So yes, I'd be interested at what Nokia may bring to the table. But maybe not if their phones are spec'd the way their Lumia line is... this however would depend on how their version of android runs on it.

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  • James Robinson Sep 11, 2012 Link

    My girlfriend works for Nokia and this is something we talk about rather frequently. the idea of them trying to make a comeback by making a deal with Microsoft just seems insane to me. they do make nice looking phones but I do agree they would need to upgrade some of their hardware to have a phone on the same level as an S3. I just wish they would do it!! stop making OK mid level phones and make something that will compete with the other high end phones on the market..

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  • Mag J Sep 11, 2012 Link

    IMO if there is one company that is screwing with Nokia then it is Microsoft. Nokia has a very huge fan base in India. Samsung ultimately took most of the mid range users(less care about OS updates) from Nokia because Nokia-Microsoft were producing high end devices or over priced devices. Even this minute if Nokia plan to release Android and if the mobile cost around (220-250 USD) then it will be the blockbuster mobile in India.

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  • Steven Blum Sep 11, 2012 Link

    Thanks everyone for the feedback...it's very interesting to hear your thoughts about Nokia and Android. I agree with everyone (except for Eric) that if Nokia tried a bit, they could probably release an awesome Android device, but their lack of experience would definitely show. Still, it's an interesting thought experiment.

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  • Patrick R. Sep 11, 2012 Link

    I agree Mag. There is a lot of money to be made from the mid and lower end markets. Nokia used to specialize in this back in the 6150 and 5110 days. Great interface, cheap price and a phone you could drop from the 2nd floor and still work (I just realized that drop tests were invented when the iPhone 4 came out - I wonder why?) Ericsson used to focus on the high and overpriced segment of the market and look how it turned out for them. From Ericsson to Sony Ericsson to just Sony.

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