When the Nokia X smartphones were unwrapped at recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft disclosed that the handsets are specifically designed to run its services such as Skype and Outlook and of course not the offerings of its rival Google.

While Microsoft has all the right to say that the X can only handle its own products and services only, the rest of the world of course find the setup counterproductive. Android hackers tried to find a way to make the handset more useful.

One Spanish developer, @KashaMalaga on Twitter, who attended the MWC in Barcelona got hold of a Nokia X and revealed over the weekend on XDA developers forum that he was able to hack the device in five easy steps. After his non-complicated process, one will be able to launch the Google Play Store where apps such as Gmail and Hangouts can be downloaded.


You might be wondering how Nokia reacted, not bad at all (at first, and you’ll know why). The Nokia Developer Team actually tweeted @KashaMalaga and told the latter that it was pleased with what it sees and really like what the developer did. Later on, Nokia removed the tweet and revealed that it does not change its position that the new handset is specially designed for Microsoft services. It also revealed that a junior staff member posted the earlier message.

A spokesperson of the handset manufacturer said in a statement that consumers will benefit from the standard configuration of the device and that the company will work with developers that can introduce enhancements and applications through that approach.

The Nokia X makes use of a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip that clocks 1GHz coupled with Adreno 203 GPU. It comes with 4GB internal storage and 512 MB RAM. It sports a 4-inch WVGA IPS display and a small 1500 mAh battery. The camera is also low-end with a 3MP sensor and video recording capability limited to FWVGA. The specs speak for itself, the Nokia X is a budget phone meant for the emerging markets.

It will come out of the box running on Android 4.1.2 layered with the Nokia user interface to make it look like other Windows Phone. You can say its OS is pretty ancient by Android’s standard, especially when we already have the Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

Android apps are expected to run on the device, but developers must first submit them to the Nokia X store. That sounds too much trouble. So with the hacked Nokia X, it will not be for long before Android fans and purists try to replace the handset’s operating system. However, Nokia’s rejection of the idea clearly suggests that it will implement everything it can to lock down its handsets to avoid being used for services of its competitions.