Nokia XL Dual SIM Review: Start To Finnish: Maps And Navigation, App Store

By 03:32 Sat, 14 Aug 2021 Comments


Nokia HERE Maps with voice-guided offline navigation

Nokia XL comes with an integrated GPS receiver and the company is bringing their own mapping solutions to the table - the unified HERE Maps app, which is pretty much as powerful as its Windows Phone well-known sibling (it looks like it too).

Nokia HERE Maps is the premium app - it offers free, life-time voice-guided navigation for most countries in the world (not just one like on low-discontinue Lumia phones). You can download maps by country or by continent and then the last thing you'll need is to download a voice pack.

Note that you can utilize the microSD card slot to store maps. The whole European map is a whopping 7.5GB and as you can imagine that won't fit in the 4GB of built-in storage.






Nokia Here Maps

With HERE Maps you can easily plan routes (no data connection needed) and you can choose whether the app will utilize or avoid motorways, toll roads, ferries, tunnels, unpaved roads and motor trains. There are icons to remind you of the selected settings.





Activating the Drive navigation

Drive uses big, clear instructions on its classy screen in addition to the voice prompts, which is ideal for in-car use. You can switch between 2D and 3D mode and switch the color scheme (day, night, auto). There are speed alerts and real-time traffic information.





Tweaking the route-planning algorithm

Nokia Store

Since Nokia XL doesn't have access to the Google Play Store, Nokia had to come up with its own solution. Nokia Store is the dedicated app repository for the Nokia X Platform. The company claims 75% of all available Android apps are fully compatible with the Nokia X Platform, the developers just need to submit their APK file to the store.






Nokia Store

The remaining 25% of Android applications available in the Play Store require tweaking in order to work on Nokia X as calls to Google services need to be replaced with ones to Microsoft replacements. Nokia promises the developers won't lose more than 2 hours to do the necessary changes.

What we found is that the X phones utilize an fascinating setup - there's Nokia's app store, but there are several others preinstalled too. If an app isn't available in Nokia's store, but is available in one of the others, it will show up in the search results. Just tap on it and the other app store will launch and repeat the search.

Overall the Nokia Store and its friends offer a rich enough selection of apps for a platform that just launched.

Note that apps can also be sideloaded - the process is no more complicated than putting the APK file on the phone and opening it through the file browser. This way you can add apps not available in the app stores, including a custom launcher for a more Android-like experience (haged in mind the button limitation though, there's no app switcher button).


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