Nokia's Android phone UI comes in to the light, too bad you can't buy it

 

It has become clear that Nokia was, at least at an early stage, exploring the idea of shipping a device with Android installed. Rumor has it that these prototype devices are what spooked Microsoft and caused them to buy Nokia’s smartphone unit.

Over the past few weeks, we have been getting a look at the hardware and software that could have been, if Nokia eventually shipped a phone running the Google based OS. Thanks to the flow of leaks from @evleaks, it looks like we have even more screenshots to gain a better understanding of the intentions Nokia had with Android.

The device certainly has a Nokia look and feel to it and it seems clear that the company was going to add their own touch to the device and not simply ship a stock version of Android. This isn’t a major surprise as Nokia has been doing as much customization as possible (shipping several exclusive apps) with its Windows Phones to help separate them from the pack.

It looks like the phone has a dual SIM setup which likely means the Android device was set for the Asian or African markets where dual-SIM phones are more popular. But, seeing as Microsoft know likely owns this phone (once the deal is officially closed), we would bet that it will likely never see retail shelves.

You can see inspiration from Windows Phone too on the lock screen and dare we say even a dash of N9 flavor as well. Of course, this is not a complete walkthrough of the OS but does give us a small glimpse of where Nokia was headed with Android.

Source: @evleaks

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The single "Back" button is Asha, and have a look at the row of icons at the top, they are identical to the icons in the Asha 500....

screen shots comment:

1) bastardized windows lock screen with notifications plastered on top. Looks terrible but the idea is simple: MSFT lock screen app support in WP is artificially limited by MSFT and time to evolve that since obviously nokia feels it has a place and android has proven it.

2) wp dialer UI while on call is superior in every way. sorry. even the stock android one beats this strange design.

3) good to see Skype is as annoying as ever even on this.

1. Nope. The lockscreen and swipeable notifications comes from Meego Harmattan (Nokia N9).
2. Screenshot number two is Viber - not the dialer.
3. Yep, all thanks to Microsoft.

soory but everything in those screenshots resemble Windows Phone too much especially the lockscreen, this could actually just be a different version of windows phone with new enhancments by nokia on the lockscreen

If priced and marketed correctly this could easily be a huge hit. Maybe even Nokia's best selling phone in recent memory.

Unlikely. At least Windows Phone has differentiation from the flood of other generic devices out there for people bored of the completely static unchanging competitors. Yet Another Android Device wouldn't have made a dent in Android.

Image 1 shows the lock screen, images 2 and 3 show third-party apps.

Response? "OMG this is teh best UI evar I want it on all my fones and in my socks!!1"

and every android fanboy will claim its the best UI ever and will say they would buy it and will say "yup nokia looks better with android with that one screen"

I see really no one claiming anything of the sort. One person said it was the best Andorid UI, but that is it. Far from it being every person who likes Android. But really cannot take any of that to heart since very little to go off of.

Just people commenting they like it. And really, anyone commenting for or against it really has nothing but one screenshot (lock screen) to go off of.

And many Windows fans do not like Metro the way it is now, love the concepts/rumored changes MS is doing. So wont just be android users who do not like the the current Metro interface who will like and comment on changes to it.

Edited by techbeck, Jan 8 2014, 5:19pm :

key word ...fan boy I wasn't directing it at a particular person. I understand there is people that like a certain UI. like me I like the metro UI and how windows phone 8 looks and you, that likes how android looks and works but will I claim its the best or will you claim its the best .........no. its just to the hard core android fans that swear by android

I understand what you meant. I just dont see every Android fanboy saying they like this. I only seen one person who says this was the best Android UI but I cant comment if he is a fanboy or not. But like with anything out there, some will like it...some wont. Fanboy or not.

What exactly is so great about this? It looks like it is a fairly generic android skin. Only 1 image is of the actual skin the other 2 are viber and Skype. the other images with the blurry icons look like a fairly standard android setup. This is like the opposite of droolworthy. If this is what people were saying was going to save Nokia then the world just became a little bit grayer.

the home button does not show on Lock screen. they other too are apps running, you have to move the phone or touch screen for the android main buttons to show!

panacea said,
the home button does not show on Lock screen. they other too are apps running, you have to move the phone or touch screen for the android main buttons to show!

Right but why have only a back button on the hardware. I would think you'd want a home button too.

Interesting that it is reported to be running KitKat. So either Nokia got a copy of the OS early, or they have been working on it recently.

The android compatible hardware and drivers would be the more important bits - there would have plenty of custom ROMs or alternative launchers to facilitate hiding the stock UI

From the screenshots provided, looks like a good device and I am betting Nokia would of made a bundle if this was released.

TCLN Ryster said,
You can tell all that from a lock screen? I'm in awe.

You do realize it shows hardware as well. Nokia makes good hardware and has for a while. And the lock screen doesnt look to bad.

Left to their own devices and this is what they do? A Windows Phone inspired UI with better lock screen notifications? Well heck, Nokia could have done that already but decided to focus on glance screen instead. It's no wonder that between Symbian, MeeGo and Maemo that Nokia had no idea where it wanted to go.

Meh, too cluttered! I much prefer the Modern UI style of Windows Phone. This is like Modern UI mixed with Android, you can't really match these two.

To much clutter? Really? And where is the modern influence in the screenshots? And yes, that is a serious question. I have used WP every now and thens but it isnt something I look at everyday.

Edited by techbeck, Jan 8 2014, 4:32pm :

Jarrichvdv said,
Meh, too cluttered! I much prefer the Modern UI style of Windows Phone. This is like Modern UI mixed with Android, you can't really match these two.

wtf? there is only one screenshot! and its the lock screen!
other other ones are apps running (skype and viber)

panacea said,

wtf? there is only one screenshot! and its the lock screen!
other other ones are apps running (skype and viber)


Compared to their WP counterparts, these feel cluttered to me

Jarrichvdv said,

Compared to their WP counterparts, these feel cluttered to me

The only screenshot of the OS was the first one, lock screen. And there are many that will call the screen full of tiles on WP, clutter. But to each their own. Use what suits you best.

Like my WP Lumia because it's fairly unique in the ecosystem, was an easy pick. With Android, meh it's one of a gazillion, probably wouldn't have bought it when there's lots of others to choose from.

Just upgraded to a Lumia 1520, waiting for it to be delivered in the mail. No way am I going back to iOS or Android. Simply NO WAY. Call me a fanboy or whatever, I have tried all 3 OS within the last 2 years and I have never felt so strongly in favor of any 1 as I have with WP. Maybe it's the underdog status or whatever. But Windows Phone cuts that fine balance between iOS' closed wall approach and Android's free-for-all ideology. Once it hits critical mass, which will be sometime in 2014, it will be unstoppable as the UX still feels fresh even after 2 years on the market. Can't say the same for iOS or Android which still look the same, and, in the case of Android on a Galaxy Note 2, buggy and slow as hell.

Jarrichvdv said,

Agreed, this is just Modern UI, beautifully raped by Android.

Nothing new for different companies to take ideas/inspiration from others.

Edited by techbeck, Jan 8 2014, 4:49pm :

greenwizard88 said,
I would have bought that. That's nicer than WP.

I think it's absolutely atrocious. My eyes hurt just looking at this.

notchinese said,

Right...because you can tell that from 3 limited screenshots.

and one of them being Skype...so 2 limited screenshots.

greenwizard88 said,
I would have bought that. That's nicer than WP.

let's face it, if you claim that from 3 screen shots, one of which is an app, then you'd say that if they had given you a shell prompt.

While it's a great looking skin, why do companies feel like they need to skin android in the first place? Do they feel that the Average user is to stupid for the default UI?

There are soooo many Android phones out there that nothing allows them to separate themselves from the rest. Which one would you choose among two flagship Android phones with the exact same high end specs? Probably the one whose UI looks better.

That argument makes no sense. Which Windows PC would you choose? Dell, HP, Toshiba? The one that has the best modified Windows version? Oh wait..that's right...MS is smart enough to keep dumb OEMs from mucking it up.

Phone's should do the same. Differentiate on hardware. Screen size, SD Card slot (or not), Battery size, style of the phone...etc.

warwagon said,
While it's a great looking skin, why do companies feel like they need to skin android in the first place? Do they feel that the Average user is to stupid for the default UI?

They do it to add their own flare to the product to attract customers and make their product stand out from the rest.

warwagon said,
While it's a great looking skin, why do companies feel like they need to skin android in the first place? Do they feel that the Average user is to stupid for the default UI?
Keep in mind that we are not talking about Android here, but Android-like.

warwagon said,
While it's a great looking skin, why do companies feel like they need to skin android in the first place? Do they feel that the Average user is to stupid for the default UI?

it is android's strength and curse. google will never fix this problem. it will be a mess forever unless they take the UI inside their closed source parts of android, a move that will surely annoy OEMs and push them towards true open source software like Ubuntu mobile. Android's openness is only a partial, and mostly just hot air from google.

warwagon said,
While it's a great looking skin, why do companies feel like they need to skin android in the first place? Do they feel that the Average user is to stupid for the default UI?
They obviously do it to make more money. Why just differentiate on hardware alone. Both Samsung and HTC have made a go of it. It helped with HTC and Samsung has certainly see return.

warwagon said,
While it's a great looking skin, why do companies feel like they need to skin android in the first place? Do they feel that the Average user is to stupid for the default UI?

It's got nothing to do with thinking the users are stupid. Believe it or not, not everyone wants a phone that looks and feels almost identical to every other phone they've owned. Some may find AOSP Android to be exciting. I'm not one of them. I find it dull and boring now and I'm sure I'm not alone.

myxomatosis said,
Sexy! I would happily buy an Android Nokia phone. They would probably sell like hotcakes

Indeed the hardware has always been quality on Nokia's, it took Apple until the iPhone 4 to actually have a better camera than the then ancient N95.

I had the 3210, Ngage QD, 6630 and finally the N95. I almost got the N900 however ended up getting a HTC Desire and have been enjoying Android ever since.

Not that it will ever happen now but if Nokia released an Android phone i would probably end up getting it.

myxomatosis said,
Sexy! I would happily buy an Android Nokia phone. They would probably sell like hotcakes

give it a rest. not going to happen.

myxomatosis said,

Nokia's lost then. Too bad. Great hardware, not very popular software.

Gotta love the baseless doomsayers lol

Maybe you've not been keeping up on current events, but Nokia has nothing to do with phones any more (well technically they do, for the next month or so), so they're hardly lost. Also perhaps you missed the news that Windows Phone and therefore the phone company soon to be formerly known as Nokia, is the fastest growing smartphone platform worldwide?

Additionally, it's rapidly gaining on iOS in Europe, and perhaps worldwide. Greater than 10% sales for Windows Phone on average, and around 16% for iOS if I remember correctly.

mnl1121 said,
You can tell from 3 screens? 2 really, one is Skype.

People will use these two screens as further proof as to why Nokia could have "saved" themselves with Android.

yeah, the lock screen is the only one that shows android lock screen with nokia mods.

the other screens are just apps, skype and viber and those images show nothing.

eddman said,

Maybe just 1. Isn't the middle one viber?

Yes, ok... But in that 1 screen we see the BEST. Android skin. EVER! =)

I really like Nokia hardware. If they released an Android phone I would consider it. I bet they would support it better than Samsung does theres =).

the purple one is viber, i hate viber and i hate the purple viber uses, same reason i dont use facebook (besides the ads) - the blue is so awful.. and you cant change it

FalseAgent said,
sweet jesus. Best. Android skin. Ever.

pffff how is this better than the stock google UI? because nothing about that UI makes me think so.

the better twin said,

People will use these two screens as further proof as to why Nokia could have "saved" themselves with Android.

Yeah, because those two screens tell you how fluid, stable the OS is. It also tells you everything else you need to know about this phone...whateva

Also "further proof" would imply that they was some sort of initial proof to begin with.