When plans emerged that Microsoft would essentially be taking over Nokia’s area of Windows Phone, nobody really knew what to make of it. It was clear that Nokia and Microsoft would stay as separate companies – nobody was merging with anybody, technically – but nobody really knew what this move meant for Windows Phone or Nokia. Would the Lumia name thrive under Microsoft’s control? Would Nokia dip out from smartphones forever? What's going on here?!
Over the next several months, Microsoft would continue to release Lumia devices, albeit none of them were “flagship” status. On the Windows Phone and Microsoft front, we probably won’t see anything major until the Windows 10 release.
On the flip side, we now have a little more insight on what to expect from Nokia. We were recently introduced to the Nokia N1 tablet, Nokia’s first foray on Android (aside from the Nokia X and X2 smartphones, which I won’t count) during MWC 2015. It’s been a couple of months since, and it’s finally official: Yep, Nokia wants to tackle Android. Estimated time fame is somewhere in 2016.
Since we’re talking a year (more or less) into the future here, there’s a lot of room for imaginations to run wild. While specs might be hard to determine at this point, the only thing that I think anybody should weigh in on would be design elements, especially considering design and build are two of Nokia’s strong points.
Ideally, I would love to see something similar to the Lumia design because it was unique to the smartphone industry. Maybe the Lumias weren’t made with the most premium of materials, but they, in typical Nokia fashion, were tanky as ever. Strength and stability in a smartphone are rare qualities these days, and Nokia was very good at bringing that to the table. Since Microsoft is using a lot of those patents, though, I imagine that we won’t see anything quite like the Lumia. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to make an exact copy of the design anyway. Still, I hope to see familiar Nokia design elements in their future smartphones.
Second, I hope that Nokia would make the conscious decision to include as little bloatware as possible. Having too much bloatware or a laggy UI would be devastating for Nokia to truly win the hearts of Android users. However, if the N1 tablet is any indication of what we could see from future Nokia smartphones, then the odds are looking pretty good that Nokia will do just fine here.
Finally, I hope that Nokia manages to keep using great cameras in their smartphones. The Carl Zeiss partnership that Nokia used in their Lumia line was top-notch and frequently praised for its ability to produce high-quality images for smartphones. Even if they can’t use Carl Zeiss, a good camera is an important part of a great smartphone. We can see how a less-than-ideal camera can affect overall user satisfaction (read: HTC One M9).
I think Nokia will have a relatively easy time switching to Android. The Finnish company did some great things for Windows Phone, and although Android is a much more saturated OS at this point, Nokia already has brand recognition across multiple generations. I know I’m excited to see what kind of changes Nokia brings when they make their re-entrance to the smartphone market.