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Turn your Nokia X into a real Android (video)

By Joe Levi May 7, 2014, 7:16 am
root the Nokia X

The Nokia X is a great little device, although it’s a bit under-powered compared to what we’ve become accustomed to recently. It also has a very interesting launcher, and by “interesting” we mean “weird”.

What would happen if we could put a Google experience onto the Nokia X? Today we’re going to do just that!

To get started you’ll need to root your little Nokia which brings with it a certain amount of risk. If you’re the type who is down with that, go ahead and proceed. If you’re one of those who values things like a “warranty”, perhaps this is all just academic and something you might want to skip.


Disclaimers aside, if you’re willing to assume the risk, there are a few things you need to know before you get started.

First of all, there are several techniques that allege you can achieve exactly what we got here without root. If any of those work for you, we’d love to hear about it! We couldn’t get any of them to work.

Next, there are a few different methods which promise to root your device. Depending on what version of Nokia software you’re running on your device, you’ll need to use any one of several matching methods. We’d just updated our device, so after trying and failing at several rooting methods we finally found one that worked, and based on what we read it should work for the older revision, too. Here’s what you’ll need.

Root the Nokia X

  1. Download and extract the Nokia X Toolkit (the Nokia X USB drivers are included)
  2. Download the Google Now Launcher and copy it to your Downloads folder
  3. Download the GAPPS package for the Nokia X and copy it to your Downloads folder
  4. Run the Nokia X Toolkit and select “u” to install the Nokia USB drivers
  5. Go to the Settings on your Nokia X, navigate to Developer options, turn them on, and choose OK
  6. Enable USB debugging and choose OK
  7. Go back to the Security settings, check Unknown sources, and choose OK
  8. Plug your Nokia X into your computer and wait while the drivers are loaded for the first time
  9. Select option 10 in the Nokia X Toolkit and follow the on-screen instructions

At this point you’ll be booted into ClockworkMod Recovery (though it won’t be flashed over the top of the Nokia X recovery). Follow the on-screen instructions to flash the appropriate .APKs, rebooting when prompted. Once all that’s done, choose option 7 to reboot into CWM recovery again and flash the GAPPS package from the Downloads folder, then reboot.

Now you’ll be in a sort of limbo state — partially Nokia, partially Android. Things will be “odd”. Open the Google Play Store and get all the updates that are available. Once that’s complete, fire up Hangouts and you’ll probably be prompted to update or install Google Play Services, make sure you do!

Once all of that is complete, open up Astro (which should have come preinstalled on your Nokia X) and navigate to your Downloads folder. From there install the Google Now Launcher, accepting any prompts along the way. Press your back button until you’re asked which app you want to complete the action. Select the Google Now Launcher and you’re all set!

From that point on, you’ll be living life in a much more familiar environment. Sure, some things are still going to be Nokia-esque, but not much more so that running any other OEM ROM like Sense or TouchWiz.

Question of the day

That leads us to our question of the day.

  • Is this something that you’d do with your Nokia X?
  • Or, if you previously passed on the Nokia X, does this change your mind?

Head down to the comments and let us know!




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