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Nokia has officially launched its new range of Android powered smartphones – the Nokia X, the Nokia X+ and Nokia XL. Rumors about new Android powered Nokia devices started last year but the idea seemed so strange that it was initially dismissed. Nokia is in the process of being bought by Microsoft, which has its own rival mobile operating system – Windows Phone, but the deal isn’t yet complete so for Nokia it is business as usual and that means Android!
There are three devices in the Nokia X family: the Nokia X, the Nokia X+ and the Nokia XL. The X and X+ both have four inch, 800 x 480 screens and 3MP camera. The XL has a 5 inch display, a 5MP rear facing camera and a 2MP a front facing camera. One of the differences between the X and X+ is that the latter has more memory (768 MB of RAM compared to 512MB). All three phones are dual SIM and use 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core processors.
The devices use a customized version of Android similar in many ways to the customized version of Android found in Amazon’s Kindle Fire range of tablets. Although it is a customized version of Android, Nokia are keen to underline that there is a high level of Android app compatibility. There are no Google services present and apps are downloaded via Nokia’s app store. Google’s popular apps like Maps and Gmail are replaced with Nokia or Microsoft equivalents like Nokia Here Maps, Nokia MixRadio, Skype, OneDrive, Outlook.com and so on.
Although the Nokia X phones don’t feature the Google Play Store, Nokia’s Stephen Elop was keen to point out that alternative app stores like GetJar can also be used, plus it is possible to sideload apps via the SD card.
Nokia is a leader in feature phones and sells 1 million Nokia 105 feature phones per week. It also has its Asha family and its range of Windows Phone powered devices, known as Lumia. The Nokia X, the Nokia X+ and the Nokia XL are designed to fill the gap between the Asha and Lumia ranges. Elop said on stage that prices of the Lumia phones will continue to fall and that the Nokia X phones will always cost less.
To not upset Microsoft Elop repeatedly said that the Windows Phone powered Lumia smartphones are still the main focus for Nokia.
One of the key things about the new Nokia X family is its pricing and availability. The Nokia X will cost just 89 Euros (that is around $120) and will be available immediately. The Nokia X+ will cost just 99 Euros (around $139) and will be out early in Q2 (meaning around April) and the Nokia XL will cost just 109 Euros (around $149) and will also be out during Q2. Elop said that the phones will be available around the world starting with “growth markets.”
Nokia made several other announcements during its MWC press event including the Nokia 220, an internet ready feature phone which costs just 29 Euros (around $39); the Nokia Asha 230 (at 45 Euros) with a touch screen; and the availability of BBM on Nokia Lumia phones.
We will have more on the new Nokia X family including Nokia’s app store soon, so stay tuned.