Nokia’s version of Android leaked, doesn’t look anything like Android

The past week or so has seen a handful of interesting leaks. Primarily from Samsung and Nokia devices. Everyone wants to know if Nokia will eventually release an Android device. And – although it was just swallowed up by Microsoft – the rumors aren’t going away. A device codenamed ‘Normandy’ has been doing the rounds, running a skinned version of Android that looks a lot more like Windows Phone than traditional Android UI. Perhaps that’s a good thing.

The problem many OEMs seem to have is that they create a skin that just looks like a slight variation on something that already exists. There’s very little thinking outside the box. It’s perhaps one of the reasons the Galaxy brand is so popular. People like it, and don’t want iPhone, what reason do they have to switch to anything else?

So, when Nokia comes along, it’s allegedly thinking along the same lines as Metro UI in Windows Phone. Instead of having floating icons above a wallpaper, it has a black screen with tiles. Just like WP. Perhaps an indication that it’s not as confident about the future of Windows Phone and needs to branch out, but realizes that doing what everyone else is doing isn’t going to cut it.

For me – if it’s real – it’s a winner. It has the unique design of Windows Phone, but the much stronger ecosystem of Google. Let’s face it, Google’s Play Store has much more to offer than Windows Phone’s app store.

What do you think? Would you like to see something like this make its way to Tmo stores?

Via: @evleaks

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  • Matt Groff

    I’d pick this up in a second.

  • jlaigo2

    Hmmm…. The tiles is what I did not like about the windows phone.

  • Whiskers

    They should call it WinDroid .
    It looks like a cross between WP and Android .

    • Whiskers

      Nokia WinDroid

  • Makoute

    Looks like Nokia, was just trolling!

  • sahib102 .

    and here we go again :/ and I hope you guys know that its a forked version of android like the type the kindle has

  • impasse

    the problem is really that as soon as you go to an app, it’s going to knock you out of the skinned experience, unless there’s some heavy modification to make them not look like standard android apps. (obviously full-screen games, etc. excepted)

  • Stefan Naumowicz

    Easy to use, intuitive layout coupled with android functionality? This would be great for my grandparents and others who aren’t so tech savvy

  • First, there is no way I would buy an Android device without Google services. It would be a hard sell to anyone if the services weren’t on it. Second, if this is real, it looks more like a way to get Android users to try the Windows experience with the hope it will convert them to future Windows Phone purchases. I’m not falling for it.

    • BlackJu

      This is likely the Asha replacement. People that use feature phones aren’t heavily invested in anything. It’s not a way to trick people into using Windows phone. It’s to convert feature phone users into Windows Phone users.

    • AndroidProfit

      Double face palm!!!

  • mingkee

    No Google Play, no deal.
    I have been buying hundreds dollars of stuff from Google Play/Market and I don’t want the applications wasted.

  • dontsh00tmesanta

    Nokia do yourself a favor and buy webos and use that

    • superg05

      nokia no longer has a phone manufacturing plant it is now owned by Microsoft when the deal closes

      • dontsh00tmesanta

        means this once awesome phone maker now is stuck on windows phone

  • Paul

    It’s not really Android. This is what Amazon did for the Kindle series; they tweaked it up and made it their own.

  • D Velasquez

    i don’t understand the overrated statement “if x app is not there im not switching or even trying y system” , i own a Lumia 920 and an Xperia Z and both are great devices, there is a big difference when using the devices as most people are used to icons instead of tiles , i find the Lumia 920 a winner on usability, instead of relying on third party apps like Facebook it comes with a Facebook integration already where the Xperia wins with massive play store but who uses that many apps anyways? i don’t do online streaming services like pandora or spotify because to me is unnecessary however the same apps are already showing up on WP marketplace or will be available soon like Instagram (which i don’t use either) , is easy to say “man WP sucks” when you may have an iPhone or Android device and never even bother to try WP, is a solid platform but constantly bashed by the media, i bet you 97% of tech sites only review the hardware and the oh so called “missing apps” , “oh x app is not available, y app is not available , z app is not available” . i have heavily used both Android and Windows Phone(7) since their early stages and i can say both platform offer solid solutions, too bad apple and android have a better marketing team than Microsoft otherwise WP could be a different story. yes is true the app eco system is also important for the system to survive and i agree on that, what i don’t agree is bashing a platform without even using it, i bet many of you don’t even know what MOAP-L or MOAP-S is and both are still solid platforms used in Japan for feature phones, for many years the standard on Japanese phones!

    • BlackJu

      I agree. And to be fair, Instagram is there. They just waited so long that 6tag become a much better alternative.

    • Tips_:(

      Man WP Sucks, It has no Official YouTube app _:(

    • sahib102 .

      people hate because there are options besides an iPhone and android when those are the same people that advocate for more options :/

  • BlackJu

    Ugh. This is not a skin. This is a forked version of Android that will not have deep integration of Google services, so let’s get that out of the way. In the mindset of MS, Windows Phone must succeed and this is not plan B. This is a convenient way of bringing the feature phone division up to modern times and hopefully brand loyalty and UI recognition will result in WP conversion in emerging markets. I seriously doubt this will even make it to the states, so I am curious how this makes it into T-mo news. I don’t think JL has any interest in Nokia, WP, or feature phones. If anything, he has a chub for Google. While I’m on the subject, he could really upstage ATT by offering an un-neutered 1520 (with Qi and 32 GB in tow). But I know he won’t.

  • just me

    Bah. I want a another budget Nokia Lumia phone like the 521, but with LTE. Pair the solid OS experience for my phone calls, messaging, and tethering with LTE to feed to my Nexus 7 2013 for my apps and gaming, and I’m a very happy camper

    • BlackJu

      Well, there is the budget phablet 1320, which has Tmo compatible LTE bands. But, alas, it looks like it is destined for Latin America only. And it’s going to run about $300. No word on whether the 525 will make it to our shores, but that won’t get you anywhere if you want LTE. Not many budget phones with LTE regardless of OS. Their little batteries would take a hit if they existed anyway.

      • just me

        Thanks for the reply. I’m holding out hope that there will be one announced in the next few months. I got on JUMP a little late, so have to wait til March for an upgrade anyway. Right now I’m on a LG Optimus F3…. Unfortunately, Android has never been very solid on the lower end phones, and this one is no exception. The WiFi hotspot keeps crashing, even after a master reset with no apps except Chrome installed. The LTE won’t stay enabled. Even Google voice search doesn’t work. I’ll exchange it sometime soon(installed foxfi as a workaround for now), but this experience just solidifies my opinion that for budget smart phones, Windows Phone is the only way to go.

        • Brent

          I have the Samsung Galaxy Light right now, coming from a Nokia Lumia 810. If you want an inexpensive phone with LTE, it is a great choice. I got mine for $150 shipped from an HSN deal. It has a quad core processor, expandable memory and has a NFC chip with Isis mobile payments capability. Only real downside is the screen resolution, but what do you want for the price? The screen looks better then the Lumia 521, which is absolutely terrible.

    • sahib102 .

      ^this or a variant of the 810 with lte and with 16Gb of storage …that would be amazing

  • FILA

    NOKIA has everything it needs already to make a high end android device and beat sammy out the water. How many of us android fanboys would love to see a Nokia android!!! Like a HTC Nexus again!

  • Sherman Davis

    Everything else is garbage! I’m sticking with my iphone. Thanks Apple for making a flawless device that does exactly what I want it to do every time.

    • sahib102 .

      and thanks for Microsoft for making windows phone that brings something new to the table :D. im just playing with you but by bashing the other 3 phone OS isn’t proving your point :/


      Thanks for showing your ignorance. Flawless? They all have their ups and downs. None of them are flawless.

      • Sherman Davis

        Everyone knows the iphone 5s is the best phone out there and will only get better with the iphone 6. Just ask the CEO of tmobile which phone he prefers. I would have to say that 90% of all celebrities have the iphone. It’s the Ferrari of phones. All other phones are just Toyotas and Hondas of cell phones. Like the analogy? Haha

        • Steve Schneider

          Look everyone, this is a classic sign of conformity. Someone here who enjoys being told what to like, because other materialistic people like it! The irony here is that people who aren’t conformists like to have a choice. They like to control their own lives.

          I have a few questions for you. if ios is truly flawless why can’t it: Multitask instead of save-state? Use app API’s to share with any app? Install multiple keyboards? Set defaults? Add customization options(excluding wallpapers)? Allow you access to it’s file system? Allow third-part app installs?

          The answer to all of these questions: Because they insist you use the OS like they want you to use it. They want you to share with only services they want you to share with. They want you to use their special keyboard and apps primarily.

          It’s ironic, back when apple was a good company they used a slogan called “Think Different” the company was all against conformity… Then we look at people like you and see how much the company has changed. The only people who truly back apple are people who are too stupid to think for themselves.

          Think different. Not Apple.

        • Sherman Davis

          All the things you mentioned are things I could care less about. This whole notion of customization and changing wallpapers, etc. is a joke and I could care less. It’s all a gimmick for the consumer to say they can do this but how practical is it to change wallpaper colors. I remember people saying that the iPhone doesn’t have an SD slot. Who cares! It’s called icloud, dropbox, Google drive, etc. I really can’t think of anything useful that the iPhone doesn’t have. It really does everything I want it to do. Also, my company only allows iPhones to access the computer server. I wonder why?

        • Steve Schneider

          Exactly my point it’s what the user cares about. IOS is not the Ferrari of phones it’s the prius of phones. A prius is the hipster car with no customization and limited features that every conformist wants because it’s sooo trendy. You go buy a bran new Ferrari you’ll be there a month deciding on what features and customizations you want. I bet the next iPhone will have a turn table

        • Evan Lam

          So an SD slot is useless? What about when your 32 gigs of onboard storage runs out? Sure you can stream music but what if you want to add more apps or even take more pictures. WIth an SD card, you can add space for pictures, and on some phones, you can even move apps onto the SD card. As far as the wallpaper, every smartphone (I believe most dumb phones too) can do this, including the iPhone. You may consider it a “gimmick” but most people change their wallpapers and it has become (as if it wasn’t already a long time ago) a standard feature. Oh, and from your analogy up top, at least Toyotas and Hondas are reliable ;) !

        • Wayne Peterkin

          According to your iDiot analogy that makes Ferrari the best or only super/exotic car. Bughatti and Zonda don’t even register, huh?

    • Evan Lam

      I understand that this is a relatively old issue, but what about the antenna issue that many people had on the iPhone 4? Also, what about the purple haze issue on the iPhone 5 camera? I wouldn’t consider the iPhone flawless.

  • Smartphoneguy

    hmmm get me a 41megapixel camera, with andriod apps, and a smooth crash free windows 8 like experience and im all in.

    • sahib102 .

      sounds like a nexus device without the camera ;)

  • trackREVIVER

    If Nokia starts making android phones, it will save the company. NO way it can survive on just the Windows platform, which being an android user I really like.

    Just got my girl a iPhone 5s on Tmobile, and I’m looking forward to changing to the next samsung, sony, or nokia android phone!

    Tegra k1 or qualcomm 805? hmm

  • iansltx

    If Nokia will build an Android phone with a 928 or 1020 style camera that’s available off-contract, I’m buying one. I have the 520 and it’s a cool little phone…and cheap because WinPhone takes fewer resources than Android all else equal…but I like my Android flexibility, and features like Android Beam and Google Wallet (yes, I’m one of the three people who have used both).

    …and, yes, I’m neck-deep in Google’s ecosystem and don’t want to convert to the…Windows Live…er……er…Microsoft squite of services.

  • themishmosh

    Not going to happen now that Nokia is part of Microsoft. Would Microsoft develop games for the Playstation? Never.

  • Interesting..can’t wait to hold one of these once it’s out in the market.

  • cw

    Android is still garbage!