Nokia Normandy Android smartphone

Despite being focused on Windows Phone 8 handsets, Nokia is rumoured to be working on an Android smartphone. (See also: Why Nokia definitely isn't launching an Android phone.)

Nokia is in the process of being bought by Microsoft but could it really be about to launch a Google Android product. Well that's the news coming from The Verge which cites multiple sources familiar with Nokia's plans. See also: The 6 best budget smartphones.

The smartphone is codenamed 'Normandy' and is known internally by a number of other names. It is a low-end, presumably budget, handset which will use a special 'forked' version of Android, similar to how Amazon's Kindle Fire range of tablets runs an almost unrecognisable Android interface.

The image above, leaked by evleaks in November, is tipped to be the Normandy smartphone since the Nokia Lumia-style device has no touch sensitive buttons below the screen for navigation - typically the middle one being the Windows logo.

"It’s now unclear whether Nokia will release the handset before the Microsoft deal is finalized, or whether Microsoft will continue with the plans for the device." said The Verge.

Sources suggest the Normandy is scheduled for a 2014 release date with one describing the project as "full steam ahead". It was also revealed that the Normandy smartphone will be an alternative to the Asha series. Since it runs on Android, users will have a much better selection of apps to download - such as Skype - compared to Nokia's Series 40 operating system.

It's unclear whether Nokia will release the Normandy Android smartphone before the Microsoft acquisition is complete. It seems unlikely that Microsoft would be happy to continue with it over its own Windows Phone 8 OS.

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