Nokia’s Android Custom User Interface: First Look

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Thanks to a post on Weibo, we have our first live photos of the Nokia 6 (see specifications here), Nokia’s first Android OS smartphone. Thanks to that same post, we have our first look at Nokia’s Android custom user interface as implemented on the Nokia 6.

What we have here looks like a skinned version of Android 7 Nougat, and there is no reason not to believe that this is what all Nokia smartphones running Android OS will use going forward. The user interface is distinct with its use of blue colour and circular icons.

Nokia's Android custom user interface on Nokia 6

Symbian Touch on Nokia’s Android custom user interface?

Maybe I am just being nostalgic, but the circular icons remind me of Symbian Belle. Surely the similarities are there. Symbian Belle was more colourful, though, in contrast to the monochromatic nature of Nokia’s Android user interface.

I think that the visual appeal to the old Symbian fans of Nokia is a good move, skin-deep as that appeal may be. Or perhaps it isn’t just skin deep. Perhaps the entire UI has been designed to also mimic that old soldier OS? I have no idea, but we shall find out soon enough. Here is a closer look at the home screen:

Nokia's Android custom user interface

Custom Camera UI

We do know, from HMD Global’s press release, that it has an exclusive camera UI. Of course, it has to. It would be extremely disappointing for a Nokia smartphone to run the default Android camera user interface. It is one of the lamest around. Every brand worth its salt customizes Android’s camera app or totally replaces it.

What’s It Called?

We do not know anything else about how it works yet. We do not even know what Nokia will call it. Nokia UI? Maybe. I can’t think of anything else now. No, no, no: do not say “Symbian UI”. Please. That just sounds wrong. Symbian may have once ruled the smartphone world, but that age is totally in the past.

The Nokia 6 is generating huge buzz, and understandably so. What Nokia fans are itching to see unveiled though is the flagship device. However it goes, we will soon have detailed information about this custom user interface that Nokia has slapped on Android OS. Here is hoping that it isn’t stuffed full of bloatware.

Update: It turns out that HMD Global did not adopt a custom user interface for Nokia Android phones. Instead, the phones run stock or pure Android OS, and only has a custom launcher on the Home screen.

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