I've lost my interest in the Nokia Normandy

Published: January 16, 2014

With the Lumia series, Nokia managed to do what many thought impossible: Put Nokia back in the limelight. I don't think the company ever got to the "BlackBerry" level, but there was certainly a time where most people thought the Finnish-based operation was over and done with. But then the company put all their eggs in the Windows Phone-labeled basket, and managed to take that mobile operating system by storm.

Indeed, the Lumia series is the only one that really matters when it comes to Microsoft's platform. Sure, both HTC and Samsung have made great devices for the OS, and there are other companies that have made their mark one way or another since its debut, but the stand-out is the Lumia brand. Nokia's dominance gave the mobile OS a fighting chance, too. It propelled Windows Phone forward, thanks to the worthwhile hardware it was presented on.

Ever since Nokia's push back into the limelight, there's been a question on the minds of Android fans around the world: What would a Nokia Android phone look like? Specifically, what if we saw a handset like the Lumia 920 -- or, even better, the Lumia 1020, running the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, instead of Windows Phone?

I know a lot of people have told me in the past they would have picked up the Lumia 1020 in a heartbeat had it been running Android instead. Of course, that was back when Windows Phone didn't have apps like Vine or Instagram, so that was an easy position to understand. Even if the app situation has changed (a bit) for Windows Phone, I still think that mentality has stuck around. Being completely honest, I'd love to see an Android-based Lumia 1020.

Specifically, I'd love to combine the Moto X and Lumia 1020. But, that's a pipe dream.

In any event, rumors and speculation didn't help the whole Android and Nokia story, either. We've been hearing for a little while that Nokia has considered Android more than once, and even more recently that they had even begun manufacturing devices with the mobile OS installed, rather than Windows Phone. A few reports suggested Android was a "back-up plan," just in case Windows Phone didn't work out the way they had intended.

But, nothing official. Nothing to really clamp your teeth on, and sink into. And then, boom. The Normandy breaks rank, and we start to see the Android-powered handset in leaked images. We get to see teases of the custom UI, and we get to see the ridiculous amounts of colors the physical design would boast, if the device ever saw the light of day.

We've even managed to see the device out there in the wild, both in a protective case and without. And that's pretty much when I fell off the Normandy bandwagon. Even if the device we've seen isn't the final product, which is certainly possible, just one look at that thing made me lose all interest in what the Normandy could be.

First, the Normandy isn't meant to be a high-end device, and it's certainly not meant to be on the same level as, say, the Lumia 1020 or even 920. It's more like a Lumia 520, based on what we've heard about the device so far. A low-end handset meant for specific markets. I could see why that would immediately get a lot of people disinterested in the device.

For me, though? I just don't think it looks that good, or even all that interesting. The proprietary software on the handset just screams "anti-Android," even more so than anything you'd find on a Samsung- or HTC-branded handset. A cross between Windows Phone and Asha just . . . Nope, it doesn't catch my interest at all.

It is super colorful, though. So there's that.

There's still some doubt whether or not the Normandy ever sees the light of day in any official capacity, or even sees a launch in any market on the globe. I'm sure the device would grab some attention at a launch, but otherwise I think it'd fade out of view pretty quickly, too.

What do you think of the Normandy? Do you like the look of it? Would you have preferred a device similar to the Lumia 920 or 1020, rather than what we're seeing in these leaks? Let me know if you would have ever considered buying an Android phone manufactured by Nokia.

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