Battery Life, Final Thoughts

The Nokia X comes packing a 1,500 mAh, 5.55 Wh removable battery, usually adequate for day-to-day usage of the Nokia X. Due to the generation-old SoC and general low level of performance, the SoC will often have to work quite hard to complete tasks, consuming more power than if it was using a newer, faster chip.

Unlike some low-end handsets with imposibly long battery life, the Nokia X will need a charge every night so you don’t run out of juice the following day. Most days I ended with ~20-30% of the battery’s charge remaining. Obviously using the camera for longer periods, or making lengthy phone calls, will reduce this estimate.

When gaming, you’ll be lucky to get three hours out of the Nokia X, as the 45nm SoC chews through 5.55 Wh pretty quickly. However the performance from the Nokia X isn’t great, so I doubt you’ll be wanting to game for very long.

The results from my usual video playback battery life test are quite interesting. On every other phone tested, the SoC was equipped with a dedicated video decoding/encoding block that’s capable of 720p decoding. Apparently the Nokia X’s MSM8225 doesn’t have that luxury, so for my playback test it had to decode on the CPU, significantly reducing battery life.

Still, the above test is a good depiction of how long the X lasts while decoding HD content. Below I’ve also included charge times for the device from a flat battery. I saw no difference in charging time switching from a 10W to a 7.5W charger, indicating the extra power input makes no difference as the power management chip throttles the higher amperage.

Browsing time on Wi-Fi was also quite poor, as you can see from results below.

Final Thoughts

The Nokia X is, quite frankly, the worst smartphone I’ve ever reviewed.

There are literally no redeeming qualities to Nokia’s first attempt at producing an Android handset, especially at its ludicrous price point that makes it more expensive to purchase than the year-old – and significantly better – Nokia Lumia 520.

The performance of the Nokia X is horrendous. The device is laggy from the moment you turn it on, often to the point where a lack of responsiveness becomes frustrating. It’s also the first device I’ve reviewed to crash while performing an in-browser benchmark, as the SoC simply choked to death.

Equally terrible is the camera: a 3 megapixel fixed-focus shooter is unacceptable for this class of device in 2014. Almost every photo I took with the Nokia X was bad, price point notwithstanding.

Fastlane may be an interesting addition to Android, but the lack of apps in the Nokia App store, poor optimization and missing Google integration makes Nokia’s choice of forking Android a mistake. Honestly, Windows Phone is much better suited to an entry-level product like this, as it would deliver a smoother and more consistent experience.

Other aspects of the Nokia X, including the design, battery life and display, are nothing to write home about in a market crowded with entry-level options.

Arguably the worst aspect of the Nokia X is the price. For around $130 there are many better options. The Lumia 520, which I’ve mentioned countless times, is not only cheaper than the $130 Nokia X, but it’s a far better product from the very same company.

If you’re looking for something Android-powered I’d steer towards the $130 Motorola Moto E, or the Asus Zenfone 4 that’s available for under $100.

At time of posting this review, there's a rumor that Microsoft is set to launch the "Nokia X2" as soon as this week. This would be a direct successor to the Nokia X reviewed here a mere 4 months after launch. Needless to be said, proceed with caution.


Pros: Fastlane is interesting.

Cons: Outdated hardware leads to atrocious performance. Fixed-focus camera is terrible. Forking Android was a huge mistake. No reason to buy over competing products.