Nokia to Reveal Android Powered “Normandy” at MWC in Barcelona

| February 10, 2014 | 92 Replies

Nokia_Normandy_colours_leak-580-90

Nokia’s Android powered “Normandy” device has been leaked for quite some time now; we know that it will be an entry level device, available in multiple colors and set to take on the lower end Androids. And now we have a reveal date thanks to the Wall Street Journal, who have been informed that the Android powered device will be unveiled at MWC ’14 in Barcelona.

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The Normandy, follows closely in the Lumia and Asha design language, but we have yet to hear a solid confirmation on what it will be officially called (rumors point to Nokia X); the exact price also remains a mystery, but expect it to be Sub $100.

What do you guys think, anyone excited for MWC and what’s to come?

WSJ

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Category: Android, Lumia, Nokia

About the Author ()

Hey, my name's Ali- Currently a fifth (and final) year Dental Student from Chicago; studying in Jordan. I love all sorts of gadgets almost as much as I love my cookies! Be sure to follow my Twitter handle @AliQudsi and Subcribe to my Youtube for the latest videos - no pressure. Thanks.
  • chris_wayne

    They better sell it with facebook, snapchat, whatsapp and others preinstalled.

    • Nokia rox

      Dude this phone gonna have play store. Don’t worry.

  • Low ends kingdom, higher end cheep

    ussalaam WalAikum brother ali

    yeah, i want to see nokian Android… And yes 1520 mini, a lentro camera phone… In-shaah-ALLAH….

    (and yes may be 64bit windows phone also )

    • Low ends kingdom, higher end cheep

      cause if Nokia will also give 64 bit architecture cpu’s smartphone before samsung, it’s will destroy the Android’s domination psychologically cause in core Android is designed for only 32 bit …

      Apple also played the game

  • Simo

    Give us a 1520 mini, please :)

    • dss

      the Verizon version is relatively mini

      • Simo

        True, but it’s also ugly and not GSM. It has that mandatory boxy Verizon design. Hopefully the international/AT&T version will look just like the 1520. Part of the appeal for me is how beautiful the 1520’s hardware is.

  • keist

    This is not the Nokia Android that people want to see but a Lumia 1520 running Android not an Android Nokia Asha.

  • dss

    So Microsoft will own an android fork once the deal closes at the end of March or whatever.. without even having to do any of the work. Good deal..

    This is probably going to be a part of the Asha family.. MS could use it for the low end stuff where the RT/WP combo (threshold) would probably struggle with low end specs.

    • Noki

      Microsoft shiping the linux kernel :D hahahahahhahahahahahahaha HAHHAHAHAHAHAH made my month…….
      And then you win :D

      • Random Random

        Well.

        You think that the Linux kernel has some special value.

        It has value, but is that special value?

        The operating systems containing the Linux kernel may have special value, but the kernel itself has become a commodity.

        It really changes nothing if Microsoft ships a product like that.

        But hey, that’s very hard to understand for the tech geeks.

        • zlutor

          RR, it will be a symbolic thing if becomes true…

          Wow, M$ will sell Linux powered consumer thing – what comes next? Maybe RR will fall into love with Symbian/MeeGo? ;-)

          • Random Random

            Symbolism is nice.

            It makes people to buy products. It feeds fanboys.

            On the other hand people who love machines, they are somehow weird.

            People are supposed to love people.

            Not machines.

            • Janne

              Not too many moons ago, these same people were saying Elop and/or Microsoft would never ship Android. There was a conspiracy, or somesuch.

              Now they consider it possible. Imagine that. Maybe there is still hope in the world?

              In reality, it was and is possible – always. It is also possible it won’t be released, but I guess it seems more likely now that it will.

              Reality is shades of grey. People with black and white world view have difficulties grasping that.

              • Random Random

                Yes.

                The same people saying how Microsoft would never do that are now saying how Microsoft will lose face if they ship it.

                They are already handing out explanations before anything has even happened.

                That’s how tech geeks usually work.

                • Janne

                  They can hardly wait.

                  Calling Microsoft out on this will be better than sex for them.

                  No matter that it was Nokia that actually made the product, not Microsoft.

                  They’ll ignore that and party like its 1969.

                  • arts

                    +1. welcome to the lunatic party baby.

                • jiipee

                  Well, if I recall correctly, you have several times stated that Nokia would never have gone Android since they were too arrogant. One could use the same adjective with MS.

                  • Random Random

                    Well.

                    Nokia was too arrogant for that back in 2010 or 2011.

                    It would have been admitting how they have failed against Android and iOS while not even having a chance to become a big player once again.

                    With Microsoft they were able to pretend they were a major player.

                    That’s how arrogant Nokia was.

                    Now Microsoft hardly does something like that for arrogance. They do it if it makes sense. Or don’t do it.

                    Nokia truly was much more arrogant than Microsoft and Apple combined.

              • Juventino

                Elop is no longer relevant in Nokia,he is no longer the man calling the shots, so it is fair to assume that Nokia Android phone is being launched without his say so.

                • Janne

                  Elop is only the head of the division (probably) launching said phone. He isn’t relevant?

                  Did Nokia develop this Android secretly all the time Elop was CEO? :)

                  Come on.

                  • Juventino

                    I said launched.

                    Elop in charge…no chance

            • ummNo

              I hope that you are not trying to say that you are not a fanboy. Such bs would go on scale way over 9000!

              • Random Random

                Well.

                I’ll educate you.

                I don’t buy products because it uses Linux and I don’t rule out buying products if they don’t have Linux.

                I buy products based on how good they are.

                Yes?

                • GordonH

                  Oh my… I want to type my reply so soo sooo much to RR today. But the rumor itself is hurting him enough already.

                  ps. MS might be using Linux or considering using Linux whoooaoooahwaoo

                  • Janne

                    MS might be using Linux or considering using Linux whoooaoooahwaoo

                    You can feel it.

                    Can’t you.

                    Isn’t it orgasmic? :)

                    Microsoft buying a company making Linux devices. The party in the pants!

                    • noki

                      you seem annoyed by it?
                      Join the fun!
                      Seriously, I thought you would be happy about it, well I am :D, its like that xmas gift I never expected in a 1.000.000 years.

                      How it came to be is of little importance, its there and its so much FUN to look at :D

                    • Janne

                      How it came to be is of little importance, its there and its so much FUN to look at :D

                      Sounds masturbatory.

                    • Noki

                      @janne did I hit a nerve? relax cmon

                    • Janne

                      Noki:

                      No no, I’m just enjoying the perverse pleasure of watching you enjoy the spin on this. :) It is so predictable.

                • Roman

                  The amount of money you earn commenting here might not be enough to buy anything, let alone anything good. You have to try harder.

                • milojko

                  lol and then you buy an iPhone :D

                  • Random Random

                    Well.

                    I have bought it because iPhone is a great product. Of course it’s not the best for everyone, but for me it’s better than anything Nokia has ever shipped.

                    I buy quality. Not something just because it’s called Nokia. Some people seem to have been doing that and buying almost anything Nokia has bothered to ship.

  • jiipee

    Good news. Probably the successor to my wife’s N9.

  • Mariano

    This announcement will be historical

    • Janne

      Yes, because one more Android in a sea of Androids is historical.

      No thanks, I’ll prefer my Jolla. At least it is an island in that sea.

      • tom

        One more Android in the sea of Androids is not historical,no way.

        What is historical is MS shipping Linux kernel after all the bad mouthing and proxy war(with all MS funded proxy war SCO tried) it tried to Kill Linux. Will it be good or bad PR I don’t know. It will be a huge PR win or disaster.

        I really wish MS built a better product instead of wasting time and money fighting Linux that scales like Linux, from home router and smart watch to super computers. You know, compete in Market place fairly.

        More interesting question is “Why is Nokia doing it now”? Seriously, I still don’t see MS wanting it. Is Nokia scared that MS may pay $750 million break up fee and get away from the deal. Are they trying to simply make sure that MS can’t walk away from the deal without killing it’s mobile dreams?

        • Janne

          It is quite possible Microsoft would not have shipped an Android phone themselves. They just bought a business that has a roadmap for low-end that possibly relies on Android. Microsoft themselves have said that low-end will last ten years, tops. It is a plan to transition the Nokia customer base and sell them some Microsoft services in the meanwhile. Time will tell if it works or not.

          Nokia probably did Android for two reasons: to keep the options open for high-end (hey, Houston, there was a plan B) and to find an ecosystem for low-end – what we are likely seeing now is the embodiment of the latter, the former went out with the bathwater of the D&S sale.

          Certainly the spinmeisters and people with anti-Microsoft agendas all over will make great hay of it. Much bigger than it actually is.

          It will be orgasmic for them. Can you see how they rejoice. They can hardly wait to be able to ridicule Microsoft for a move they said Microsoft would never do.

          Their Christmas might still get cancelled of course, but it seems unlikelier now.

          • tom

            I am having hard time thinking MS would ship Android, after suing all Android manufacturers. Also the trademark “Android” is owned by Google, So Nokia/MS won’t be able to call it Android. It will also send a clear signal that WP isn’t working and clearly a failure.

            However the deal isn’t done yet, even though it most likely will, unless MS backtracks.

            My question is “why now?”. I understand your thought of “ecosystem for low end”. In my opinion bad PR will outweigh the benefit MS will get from it. I do not see MS want it in any form, then why Nokia?

            • Janne

              I don’t follow your logic there, other than them of course not calling it Android. Calling it, say, Asha software platform 2.0 sounds far more likely.

              Also, Microsoft wouldn’t be the one releasing this device, in all likelihood it would still be announced before the sale is finalized.

              The media would certainly make some PR impact out of it, but in reality releasing a very low-priced, low-end Android fork is merely testament to the fact that WP isn’t catering to that very low-end market. Always, even under Elop, Nokia maintained very distinct separation between the low-end and their Lumia strategy.

              Lumia wasn’t going to be in the $50 unsubsidized segment anytime soon. Asha, be it Smarterphone, Android, Series 40, on the other hand can and needs to be exactly there

              So, this is part of Nokia’s low-end roadmap, and since Microsoft bought that unit in its entirety – low-end included – for the short-term the logical thing for them would be to continue on that roadmap.

              Just as they will continue pumping out Series 40 devices for some years. This isn’t any different, other than in the mind of some drooling online fanatics who are already wetting their pants at the idea of getting to exploit this. :)

              • capedonut

                The interesting thing is of couse at what what price point they will sell this device. Probably not much cheaper than the 520.

                • capedonut

                  of course, the next gen wp’s will soon be out and by then it will probably make sense

              • jiipee

                Using open Android could well be in Micrsoft’s interest too. They need to offer their services on Android in any case. Why not offer them on top of own Android products.

                • Janne

                  Fair point.

      • Shaun

        It’ll be interesting to see if this is a pure AOSP off the shelf Android handset. If it is then there’ll be a Sailfish port in days after it’s available.

  • stylinred

    a sub-$100 droid makes me sad but hopeful that maybe we’ll see a high end nokia droid in the future
    but will that even happen with msft at the helm now? unlikely

    • Janne

      I find a high-end Android from either Nokia or Microsoft unlikely. This seems like an Asha plan.

      An Asha Android is part of the low-end Asha platform plan, the part where Nokia once tried shoehorning Meltemi and Qt onto, but finally felt they couldn’t make that ecosystem work. The Smarterphone inspired Asha platform was a step forward, but still not the end all be all.

      With Android for low-end, the ecosystem is not such a big question and it can probably answer their other needs for low-end devices – although with forking there are certain issues of course.

      I’m with Jiipee in thinking that going Android back in 2011 could have made sense for Nokia from the low-end perspective. The Asha/Lumia split made it harder fighting for the extreme low-end, because its ecosystem became separated.

      Of course, galvanizing Google’s monopoly by joining Android in 2011 would not have been good for those who think monopolies and duopolies are bad for you.

      • Pathetic

        shut the f up. speak, suppose, but you’re always wrong, this is pathetic from microsoft, it’s like pepsi began selling coke. do not be a f a*sh*le.

        • Janne

          Yes. When you run out of arguments, retort to “shut the f up”.

          Classy.

      • arts

        I doubt they actually give a f*ck about preventing duopolies.

        The way i see it, the loons here are concerned with:

        creating or mainting a european OS no matter the cost, proving they are right, or anti MS mentality.

        This place has long lost all the NOKIA fans or even remotely care about NOKIA.

        • Janne

          Sure, an in that anti-MS(monopoly)/pro-Euro mentality they are actually promoting an American OS which holds a monopoly of the mobile market (Android).

          If that isn’t the saddest irony in the tech world, I don’t know what is.

          Reality is, at this time Microsoft on mobile is more European and far less monopolistic than Android is. That is just the reality.

          • noki

            yeah Microsoft are the new good guys, you keep on telling us no mater that,… what ever Microsoft does points the other way :D

            Good work.

            • Random Random

              Well.

              At least Microsoft seems to be more honest than Nokia used to be.

              Also, less arrogant.

              Yes?

              • noki

                sure, what ever rocks your boat.

            • Janne

              noki:

              yeah Microsoft are the new good guys, you keep on telling us no mater that,… what ever Microsoft does points the other way

              Where on Earth did I say that. Such a strawman.

              But Android is an American global monopoly and it seems strange to me that anti-monopoly, anti-American people here seem to be rooting for Android

              At least Microsoft on mobile is anti-monopoly (they can’t get to that but their success can break Android’s monopoly) and after the D&S sale completes Microsoft has a sizeable European product development part.

              What is so hard to see about that point? Your bias is blinding you. Nobody is calling Microsoft the good guys, just because there are these days worse guys in town (and there are, the new evil empires are different ones).

              • Noki

                “Where on Earth did I say that.”???????
                what the hell!!!!!!
                you keep on repeating something like that at every turn, are you serious?

                Do you want me to post the countless quotes from you saying something like that, or that that they are not evil as they were or that Google/Samsung/apple is far worse or??? that they learned from their pasts mistakes????

                The thing here is that I don’t hide my bias, do the same will you?

                • Janne

                  I am a Nokia fan, so that is my bias. I have no Microsoft bias. I have absolutely no interest in Microsoft and most of my life I’ve used computing products by other companies.

                  I am stating a fact as I see it: Microsoft is no longer the evil empire, there are now new evil empires, even worse ones as the old was. I have explained why I think that many times.

                  Few examples: Microsoft didn’t invent walled gardens. Or invading your privacy. It was the new masters that did.

          • DeepSpceBar

            lmao…. not even close at all….. you still don’t see why they killed symbian…. USA global control….. eh so blind still

            • Janne

              Which part of my message is not true?

              Android is a monopoly (or part of an American duopoly). True.

              Android is American. True.

              Microsoft on mobile is not a monopoly. True.

              After the D&S buy, Microsoft on mobile has tens of thousands of product development employees in Europe. True.

              I’m not saying Microsoft owning Nokia’s D&S is better for Europe than an European OS. Obviously I’d be rooting for Maemo on mobile since 2005. We know OPK failed there.

              I’m saying Microsoft owning Nokia’s D&S and succeeding with it is better for Europeans and anti-monopoly than Android’s global monopoly is.

              Fair enough?

              • Random Random

                One more proof of why selling the D&S comes from BB telling us how MeeGo would have been a failure for Nokia.

                BB launched the new platform just only 15 months after Nokia had launched N9. Also, N9 was launched with less features than BB had in that product of theirs. For example the Android compatibility that’s needed for any reasonable amount of applications for the platform.

                Maybe Nokia could have added it, but considering how fast they usually worked, it would have probably taken until the end of 2012 to ship that kind of feature.

                That would have made them to have a comparable product with BB only few months before them. It’s really hard to believe they could have succeeded any better than BB.

                Why would they? Cameras didn’t help in the past so why would they have helped with MeeGo?

  • Pingback: Nokia Normandy being shown off at Mobile World Congress | WMPoweruser()

  • D Harries

    There is a market for Android IF someone can iron out all the inefficiencies. Low end Android is a poor experience, unless someone else can make it much better.

  • spacemodel

    This will be another DOA phone that Nokia will bring to the market, a low end phone nobody, except a couple of geeks, will be interested in.

    As far as I know it’s certain that this phone will have no entrance to Google’s Play Store, will not have Google’s strong selling points like Maps, Search, Gmail or YouTube on board and still this phone must compete against low end Droid’s?

    This phone will be introduced at MWC during the comedy hour, everybody will have a good laugh, with Nokia performing as the leading clown of the mobile industry, a role which Nokia played so well after the arrival of the errand boy from Microsoft.

    • Janne

      Did people laugh when Amazon launched their forked Android?

      This will, in all likelihood, be an Asha device and perhaps they will call if the Asha software platform 2.0. Tech media may make big hay about its underpinnings, but on the market it will probably be positioned as a regular member of the Asha family – 2014 version of the 311/501/503 type of device.

      Nothing funny about that. Nokia still sells millions of those and this is aimed at keeping that segment more competitive longer. We’ll see how long that lasts under Microsoft – they’ve said they expect to curtail the low-end division within a decade, I’d expect that to be somewhat sooner of course.

      Mostly these low-end devices don’t sell to geeks at all. You should know that. I’m sure a Nokia Asha Android low-end device might interest some geeks more than a current Asha 503 would, but in reality most buyers would be regular Asha buyers who buy low-end devices with a Nokia badge on them. They don’t know it has Android, they’ll just care if the salesperson says they can have Instagram on it for example.

      • http://www.forfictionmobile.com/ zlutor

        ‘ they will call if the Asha software platform 2.0. Tech media may make big hay about its underpinnings, but on the market it will probably be positioned as a regular member of the Asha family – 2014 version of the 311/501/503 type of device.”

        Most probably…

        Interesting question whether it supports J2ME or not – for ‘backward compatibility’ reason. On the other hand screen resolution is different form all Asha devices thus apps with fixed graphical layout – e.g. games – raises interesting questions.

        I think they should have to provide some kind of backward compatibility for preserving developers in the transition period…

        • Janne

          Since when has Nokia provided backwards compatibility? :)

          • zlutor

            That is also true… ;-)

            The other thing they join all trends quite late – except the ones they make…

  • ms.nokia

    is this what Nokia used to scare Microsoft into buying its phone business,
    get rid of d&s then concentrate on wearables, its the only reason i can think of,

    otherwise its madness for Nokia to release android now after holding out for so long.

    • arts

      why not? There will be a point in the future when smartphone adaption will reach its saturation point and what that happens trying to grab market share from the big boys would probably yield diminishing returns while costing alot more in the process.

    • Janne

      I see Normandy mostly as Nokia’s replacement for Meltemi. They realized there just wasn’t an ecosystem for that, so they continued with Java and Series 40 and Java an Smarterphone, but eventually they’d have to bring an ecosystem to the low-end and Android compatibility would be a solution.

      A weakness of the Lumia strategy was that it was never going to scale (in time anyway) to the $50 segment. So, Nokia needed something else.

      Indeed, the low-end is certainly the greatest “pro” for an Android strategy for Nokia. I agree with Jiipee on that.

      • Janne

        As for why this late? It is Nokia.

        Nokia, since 2003 or so has entertained probably around 12 different operating systems forks. Cancelling most before the first or after the first or second devices.

        There just wasn’t any real leadership there. Not even under Elop, apparently.

        • Roman

          “Not even after the saintly Elop” Here I’d like to add that Elop was the best CEO ever although not even he could stem the monstrous mushruming of OS’s at the treachrous Nokia. Don’t we all just love him?

          • Janne

            You think Elop is saintly?

            Interesting.

            Well, people can have their religions.

  • ammad

    i’m confused…

    With the Lumia 520/525 doing so well at at sub-$100 price point,

    WHY involve Android?!!

    Surely they should push WP ?!

    I DONT GET IT !

    • Janne

      This is in all likelihood aimed at keeping the very low-end of the pricepoints competitive for longer. Way lower prices than Lumia 520 prices.

      Remember Nokia was planning to use Meltemi/Qt as the next generation of their low-end, but there just wasn’t an ecosystem left for that, but the idea of eventually replacing Series 40 was there already then. Series 40 is aging and Nokia needed something new as Android was getting down there.

      So, Nokia went first with Smarterphone and Java, and then continued to work on Android for the low-end successor. Apparently they’ve been working on this for longer than we expected. Android would help them bring wider app-compatibility to the low-end and not have to nourish an ecosystem there so much, since Android would bring most of it (of course they’d need their own store etc. for a fork).

      It is a separate development from their Lumia ambitions. These are devices for the very low-end, a segment Lumia isn’t targetting because there are certain minimum limits on what kind of hardware and experience Lumia should offer. Listening to Nokia leadership in 2011-2013, it was clear always they had a segment below Lumia they were still keen on developing for no-GPU etc. type of devices. This is just a progression of that.

      Of course Nokia’s Android fork probably was a plan B for them too. People said Nokia didn’t have a plan B, but I always said that wasn’t true. Android was likely a plan B, but selling D&S to Microsoft was to the BoD a better plan B.

      • Roman

        Ah so the heavy and bloated Android can scale down in HW more than the lean and efficient WP? Interesting.

        Also the forked Android has much more eco-system ready on its release than what Qt might have provided in the longer term? Interesting.

        • zlutor

          WP requires DX9 compatible GPU not being available in that price segment.

          OpeninGl compatible ones are…

        • Janne

          WP has specific GPU requirements, as zlutor points out. Ashas don’t even have GPUs.

          We all know cheap Androids are made below the minimum level selected for WP, e.g. resolution and performance-wise.

          That’s also why many low-end Androids are pretty crappy.

  • http://www.rickeyworld.info Rickey

    Phone with a single centre key is an ASHA phone not android uhh!!

    • Janne

      Sure, it is an Asha phone. The idea will probably be to look like a 2014 successor to the 311/501/503 type of devices. However, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t run forked Android.

    • Shaun

      If they use edge swipes to get back to the home screen and multitasking view then the only android button you need is the back button to navigate through the back stack inside the app itself.

      They’ve essentially merged Asha/n9 swipe ui with Android’s ui.

  • Janne

    The design and some of the specs make this look like a successor to the 501, not so much the 503.

    • zlutor

      Isn’t it better than N9 hw wise (except camera)? ;-)

      • Shaun

        512MB and Android instead of 1GB and proper Linux is going to kill any performance advantage the more modern CPU might have.

  • zlutor

    I guess they made the UI with Qt – I just wondering how long it took to mimic live tiles? Weeks or a month or two? ;-)

    • noki

      Days probably, it’s trivial, its just a list view with a rectangle delegate that as some push interaction..(any one can implement that in a mater of hours)

      • zlutor

        Yes…

        Adding some nice animations would be also piece of cake.

        Not to mention the big inventions related to medium and even large tiles, eh? ;-)

        Qt based solution would give freely resizable, still glued tiles out of the box…

        • Noki

          Flow {
          id: windowsBoringTiles
          anchors.fill: parent
          anchors.margins: 4
          spacing: 10
          Repeater {…….}
          move: Transition {
          NumberAnimation {
          properties: “x,y”
          ease: “easeOutBounce”
          }
          }
          }

  • Marko

    Microsoft is already earning five times more with Android than WP:
    http://www.androidauthority.com/microsoft-1-6bn-licenses-from-android-344218/

    There is still more money to be made if there will be a version of Android that has many Google services replaced by Nokia’s and MS’s own ones

  • http://www.androidflavor.com Andrew

    I’ve always liked the build of the Nokia windows phone but I’m not a fan of Microsoft o/s. New tech is like a drug, I just got the xperia z ultra unlocked a few months ago and I’m looking for something new again. Maybe the hisense x1…..I need an intervention.