Report: Nokia to release its first Android phone this month

Nokia is getting ready to take the wraps off of its first Android-powered(s goog) smartphone, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Finnish device maker is set to introduce the heavily rumored “Normandy” handset at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The timing of this announcement is interesting, as Microsoft’s(s msft) acquisition of Nokia’s device business is expected to close this quarter. That would make it seem like it’s high time for a big Windows Phone announcement, but according to the Verge, Nokia is likely to spend more time discussing its Android smartphone at its MWC press conference.

Neither report offers up any new details about the purported handset. The WSJ reaffirms that, while the device will be powered by Android, it will be running a modified version that doesn’t come with the Google Play app store. Instead, the UI will look similar to Windows Phone and come preloaded with a mix of apps from Microsoft and Nokia. This is similar to what Amazon(s amzn) does with its Kindle Fire tablets.

This approach could provide Nokia with a replacement for its low-cost Asha phone line, and provide users with an entry-level device that makes them more likely to upgrade to Windows Phone in the future.