It seems that there is some hope for those who are waiting for a Nokia PureView phone that allows you to install and run your favorite Android apps. With the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona around the corner the rumor mill is running hot and the Wall Street Journal has already reported that Nokia will launch a new model, expected to be named Nokia X, that will be running Android at the show. According to the rumors, Nokia will use a "forked" version of Google's Mobile OS that integrates existing Microsoft and Nokia services, such as SkyDrive and Here Maps. Google Play won't come pre-installed and instead there will be a new dedicated App Store. This sounds very similar to what Amazon is doing with its line of Kindle Fire devices.
Since we started looking at mobile devices at DPReview we have tested the camera capabilities of a number of Nokia smartphones and have almost always been impressed with their image quality. Launched in 2012, with its 1.2-inch 41MP sensor the Nokia 808 arguably still offers the best camera we have seen on a phone. Unfortunately the device launched running the outdated Symbian operating system and the 808 never stood a chance in the marketplace, despite the outstanding image quality of its camera.
In 2013 Nokia combined the 808's innovative PureView imaging concept with a modern OS, Windows Phone, on the Lumia 1020 and 1520. In our reviews we found the image quality of the new devices could not quite keep up with the 808 but still left most of the Android and iOS competition in the dust.
However, the Nokia smartphones' good image quality is marred by a lack of imaging apps. The popular Instagram app was only recently launched for Windows Phone and is still officially in beta status. The quickly growing Instagram rival EyeEm stopped supporting its Windows Phone version altogether and in terms of editing and capture apps the situation is not much better. There are simply more options on other platforms. With this in mind it's not a surprise that one comment we get pretty frequently is "I would buy this phone if it were running Android."
The bad news is, if the rumors are true, with just 4GB of storage, 512MB of RAM and a 3MP camera, the Nokia X will be firmly planted in the low-cost category. So, it seems that, at least for now, mobile photographers waiting for an Android-powered PureView phone will have to be patient a little longer. But if the Nokia X proves to be a success, we might be editing high-resolution PureView images in Snapseed or Pixlr sooner than we think. Let us know your opinion in the comments. Would you be more likely to consider a Nokia smartphone if it were running Android instead of Windows Phone?