A new set of unofficial pics showcasing the way Nokia intends to blend Android and Windows Phone on the upcoming Normandy handheld has surfaced online, along with possible hints as to the timing of the release.
Once again, the user interface on this purported first ever Nokia device running Android looks an awful lot like Windows Phone, complete with familiar tiles (for a few thousand people or so), and none of Google’s sleekness, simplicity and usability.
Basically, what we’re dealing with here is the heaviest forked Android version ever, likely in an attempt to gradually lure users away from Google’s OS and go for WP in the end instead. Will it work? Before anything, Nokia has to actually launch the Normandy, which no one’s really certain is bound to happen.
Sure, all these leaks prove the Finns are or have been working hard (hardly working?) on something to strengthen the OEM’s position in the low-end, low-cost mobile market while also show its flexibility and will to change according to users’ needs and desires. Yet if Microsoft is to wrap up the Nokia buyout in time, their number one burning desire is almost certainly to block the release.
Unless they’ve already done that, using their present strong influence on Nokia’s execs. Either way, we’re likely to find out in about two months. Rumor has it February 25 and March 25 are the dates eyed for Normandy’s formal unveiling, and if March passes without so much as an official teaser, the little guy’s fate is sealed.
Expected to run Android 4.4 Jelly Bean out the box, the Normandy shall sport a sub-par 4-inch FWVGA screen, mediocre dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB built-in storage, 5 MP rear-facing camera and microSD card slot.
Hoping for full Google Play support seems futile at this point, as Nokia will either offer access to a third-party app store (cough, Amazon, cough), or build its own marketplace from scratch. So you see, nipping the Normandy in the bud may not be such a bad idea after all.