If only: Nokia Android phone reportedly tested before Microsoft buyout

Nokia Android phone
What could have been

Prospects of a Nokia Android phone are no more now that Microsoft has scooped up Nokia's handset division for $7.2 billion (about £4.5b, AU$7.8b).

However, there was a time that the Windows Phone partner was actively working on an Android Lumia smartphone, according to The New York Times.

According to the report, the long-desired combination of Nokia's hardware with Google's operating system was being handled by a team within the company that had Android running on a Lumia handset.

Worst of all for those who have had this "if only" fantasy, it wouldn't have been all that hard for the company to start using Google's interface and apps on Nokia's phone.

Porting Android to the Nokia Lumia was not a "Herculean" task, according to the paper's sources.

Nokia's Android escape pod

Nokia's test run of Android on a Lumia smartphone happened before negotiations began with Microsoft, reports the Times, citing two anonymous sources.

It was seen as a "plan B," as Nokia's original partnership with Microsoft allowed the Finnish company to exit at the end of 2014.

While Microsoft was said to be aware of the Nokia Android project, it wasn't part of the discussions between the two companies, noted another confidential source.

Now Nokia can't make the switch from Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 platform still in its infancy to Google's much more popular Android operating system.

That's good for Microsoft because Nokia accounts for 80% of Windows Phone sales, far surpassing other WP8 handset makers like HTC and Samsung.

Nokia fans who prefer Android, however, are left wondering how the company's stellar hardware would have performed in conjunction with the world's No. 1 mobile operating system.

Matt Swider