After dozens of leaks, if there was anything left to happen about Nokia’s first Android powered device, Nokia X, it was the launch. And even that just happened. At the Mobile World Congress 2014 here at Barcelona, the Finnish giant has finally unveiled its first ever take on Android: Nokia X, and surprised the world with the two more Android phones: Nokia X+ and Nokia XL.
Nokia X, which has been rumored for months, while it doesn’t sport the best of specifications you can otherwise find in the market for lesser bucks, is more about changing standards and shifting dynamics than just shelling out yet another Android phone. As Former CEO of Nokia, Stephen Elop pointed out, Microsoft wants to allure more users to its platform, people, who were using Google services otherwise.
“The Nokia X takes people to Microsoft’s cloud, not Google’s cloud, which means Microsoft will be able to reach people it has never talked to, all around the world,”
As previously noted, the device’s technical details won’t leave your jaw-dropped. Running on a rather old Android 4.1.2, the device is powered by a Dual-core 1 GHz type, Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 processor While a typical Android device boasts of both AOSP, the open source project from Google, and GS, the numerous Google Services, X has weeded out all Google footprints from the device. What is left now is a pure Android device cross ticking all the Google services it brings along. Microsoft has made clear that everything will be looping through its servers rather than Google’s.
Sporting a mere 480×800 4-inch IPS LCD display, the device looks pretty much like Lumia 520. With a considerably low 512MB RAM, it offers just 4GB of internal storage, which you can expand up to 32GB via a microSD card.
The second Android-powered phone to be announced today is Nokia X+. Running on JellyBean, it too sports a 4-inch screen and is powered by the same processor. Unlike Nokia X, Nokia X+ comes with 768 MB of RAM.
This, and the other two Android phones including XL (more on that below) boast the Glance feature that we have previously seen on several Lumia devices and LG’s G2. This feature will let you check the time and other app updates without having to wake up the device.
On the connectivity front, the devices support 3G, but don’t fancy LTE. The 3 MP camera also leaves a lot to be desired. Considering the market Nokia will be targeting with this phone, the dual-Sim it equips will surely come in handy.
The highest-spec Nokia XL will feature a 5in display, a 5MP rear-facing camera with Flash support and a front-facing 2MP camera. Among the other phones that were announced today, this one is the most expensive and features the best specifications. The phone sports 768MB of RAM.
Elop said that on these devices one will be able to sideload Android apps from the SD-cards, using Nokia’s FileManager. But he also pointed out that Google Store, as we previously mentioned won’t be available for Nokia powered Android phones. Instead, Nokia has introduced “Nokia Store”, where you already have OneDrive, Outlook, Plants vs Zombies, Vibe, HERE Maps and many other applications available. In fact, you get unlimited video calls over Skype for 30 days if you snag a Nokia X.
Another interesting thing that Elop announced today at the event was, that there are certain Google applications that use certain APIs, such apps can be installed on any of the X devices. Nokia says, technically you will be able to install most of the APKs you can grab from the official websites of services, and it should work on it. Nokia representatives while taking questions from reporters mentioned that this Android unity will help Microsoft to get app developers code apps for Windows Phone as well.
Microsoft bought Nokia’s devices and services last year, and the deal is to be finalized in a few weeks. While some rumors suggest that Nokia will continue manufacturing Android-powered devices as a side project, there were speculations that this could be a smart replacement for Nokia’s entry level smartphone Asha. Today, Elop discarded all such rumors, as he proudly introduced Asha 230 to the Asha family.
Android powered Nokia phones seem like Windows Phone devices in disguise. The default User Interface has been revamped and carpeted with Windows Phone-Esque Tiles. Plus, the lack of google services, swapped with Microsoft and Nokia’s alternatives doesn’t really seem like a bad idea after all.
Price and availability
All the phones announced today – Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL will come in a variety of colors, and while Nokia X will start shipping today itself, the other two phones will only start shipping in 2nd Quarter of 2014. Nokia X costs €89, and the Nokia X+ will ask you for €99, the Nokia XL, which is the expensive of them all will be sold for €109.