Nokia Surprises with Trio of Android Xs

February 24th, 2014 by Mark J

There has been plenty of rumour and evidence lately pointing to the launch of a Nokia handset running Android, and as expected that device has been unveiled this week. However less expectedly it’s one of a trio of smartphones running Android called the X, X+ and XL. Rather than being a hasty attempt to rush out devices running Google’s OS the triple X lineup looks to be a carefully planned move to provide a gateway to Nokia’s better spec’d Windows Phones.

As the names imply there’s a basic X, a slightly better X and an extra-large X. This is appropriate for a just right device that offers a compromise between Android and Windows Phone.

The Nokia X comes with a 4” display, dual-core 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage built-in with a microSD slot for expansion. On the back there’s a 3mp camera and the battery is said to last for 10.5 hours of 3G talk time. Next in line is the X+ which is pretty much the same except that it has more memory and storage.

For phablet fans there’s the Nokia XL that offers more or less the same specs as the other two except it has a 5” display, 5mp rear-facing camera and a 2mp front-facing camera for video calling.

As far as looks go there’s clearly a lot of Lumia genes in these devices, which is no bad thing, and each will be available in a choice of bright green, bright red, cyan, yellow, black, and white. Just like the rumours predicted the version of Android that each handset runs is a heavily customised version with a UI clearly inspired by Windows Phone’s tiled look.

Nokia has opted to use the Android Open Source Project however to avoid having to jump through Google’s usual hoops that phonemakers go through so users can access services like Google Play and Google Maps. Although this will mean a lack of some functionality for Google purists the devices come loaded with Nokia’s own alternatives.

While some are seeing the handset as an admission by Nokia that it made a mistake not opting for Android in the first place the idea of them being a gateway to its Windows Phones is definitely more than marketing spin. Because of the patents that Microsoft owns it’s already making more money off of Android than it does off Windows Phone, so it doesn’t seem likely it’s going to take offence at Nokia’s latest move. Especially if it promises to drive more people to its own platform.

Anyone interested in picking one of these up won’t have to wait long with a European release for the X promised immediately. The device is going to cost a very affordable €89, about £74. At the moment the X+ and XL are pencilled in for a Q2 release costing €99 (£82) and €109  (£90).

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