What Nokia has brought to the table here is a phone that has fantastic design, great build quality and materials that belie its budget price. There are phones costing five times as much that feel half as good.

The price of the Nokia X is around £80 SIM-free in the UK, which isn't really as low as it probably should be. If the Nokia X can be bought for anywhere close to £50 on Pay As You Go, then it will be a good bargain and can be recommended.

Nokia makes a much better smartphone in the guise of the Lumia 520, if your budget can stretch that far, so while the Nokia X has a place in the market its pricing is crucial.

Nokia X review

We liked

The Nokia X looks like a much more expensive phone, especially in one of the brighter colour choices.

Fastlane is a useful and intuitive addition to the software that helps you find your way around, especially if this is your first smartphone. Dual SIM and very strong reception leads to a good basic phone experience.

Glance Screen puts the time and some notification information on your screen without it being fully powered on, a premium feature on a budget smartphone.

We disliked

The screen does not go bright enough and with only two touch points, it can be tricky to see and use.

The standard home screen is slow and clunky to manipulate. Alternative home screen launchers offer a much better experience and Nokia should have done better.

Battery life can be very weak when using the phone, it drains alarmingly quickly when browsing and using apps in general. The keyboard on the Nokia X is slow and hard to type on.

Nokia X review

Final verdict

To put it simply, the Nokia X is very far from the best smartphone out there. It runs on an outdated version of Android with a slow and clunky, albeit quite attractive Nokia made interface on top. The camera is extremely basic and its battery endurance leaves a little to be desired.

The future remains very uncertain for the Nokia X as Microsoft has already pulled the plug on the venture. This leaves me wondering, will the X ever get updated to a newer version of Android as its base? That would definitely help smooth out some of the performance issues but now looks less likely.

Even with these doubts, at the right price, the Nokia X is a decent smartphone and can be recommended. I can't help but feel that had Nokia put Google Android instead of its own flavour on the X then it would be an even better phone.

First reviewed: April 2014