Nokia X

Nokia has finally launched the long-rumored Nokia X running Android, and it's well worth going over Nokia's first Android phones. The first phone is the Nokia X, which is an MSM8225-platform device, with a dual core 1 GHz Cortex A5 inside and Adreno 203 GPU. There's 4GB of internal storage and 512 MB of RAM. The display is a WVGA IPS panel at 4" in size, and there's a 1500 mAh, 3.7V battery inside of the phone. The camera is a 3MP, fixed focus unit with a 1/5" sensor size and F/2.8 aperture, and video recording is limited to FWVGA. Needless to say, this is a budget device, and at 89 EUR or so, it could be an interesting device.

On the software side, the Nokia X runs Android 4.1.2 with Nokia's skin on top that makes it look like Windows Phone.

Nokia X+

The Nokia X+ is effectively identical to the Nokia X, the sole difference that I have seen is that the X+ has 768MB of RAM, and will go on sale for 99 EUR.

Nokia XL

The Nokia XL is slightly different from either the X or the X+. Battery capacity goes up to 2000 mAh, the camera is upgraded to a 5MP module with 1/4" sensor and adjustable (auto) focus. The display is also made to 5", but it remains the same WVGA resolution with IPS display technology. It will cost 109 EUR.

All of these phones also have Dual SIM capabilities, and will have Nokia's suite of applications at launch.

Nokia X Development

In the Nokia Developer Keynote today, the platform for Nokia X was explained at a high level in order to answer a number of questions that were asked since the recent announcement.  Simply put, the extra Nokia layer over the base modifiable Android system should not interfere with Android mobile development.  App developers will have to submit their apps to the Nokia X store, but Nokia expects 99% of all apps to work straight away.  A system is set up such that any developer APK can be checked online in a few minutes – upload and get an answer if it will work.  Nokia Store validation will take a little longer when the app is submitted (Lunagames stated that Highway Hei$t took a day). Also of note was the discussion regarding strategy.

 Due to Nokia X positioning itself in emerging markets as a user’s first/second smartphone, and in regions where users might not have access to credit cards, the focus is on carrier billing.  Nokia are providing a module for APK development to help enable this.

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  • psychobriggsy - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    Dual-core Cortex A5 ... sheesh, that's pretty low end. These are for the developing market, right?
  • Laxaa - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    Yes. For low-cost countries, like India, China, parts of eastern Europe. Etc.
  • winterspan - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    In my mind, low end would be cortex A7 or A9. Cortex-A5 was probably developed more for tiny low power embedded devices like smartwatches, etc. It has just 75% of the performance of a Cortex-A8 per clock.
    Although two cores should help, I'm worried that the modern versions of Android will be far too resource hungry to do very well on this device. With optimization it's possible, everyone should remember the iPhone 3GS had a (single core) 600mhz Cortex-A8
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    I guess this makes sense for countries where the user is going to pirate the APK... But still I'm astounded Microsoft didn't stomp this down.
  • Klimax - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    UI familiarity...
  • MRMsys - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    If you're wondering why Microsoft allowed this to continue, it's quite simple: the user experience on these devices is terrible, as it is on all low-end Android devices. This is compounded by the use of a build from nearly two years ago (by the time these are launched). Since Nokia invested in the development of these devices, Microsoft does care about making a return on that given that they now own the company. The threat from these phones to low-end Windows Phones is approximately zero, in fact they are already available for less and with better specs (and run far smoother on equivalent specs as it is). See Nokia 520, recent announcements at MWC, etc.
  • bhima - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    I disagree that these phones aren't a threat to Windows Phones. They LOOK like a Windows phone to your average user. Since most users won't know the difference, many will equate this franken-version of Android with the genuine Windows OS... not Android. That shit experience on the X, X+ and XL will directly effect the public perception of Windows phone. Microsoft should kill this thing tout suite.
  • ethanolson - Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - link

    Microsoft is also weighing options for developing the ability to run APKs on the Windows Phone platform. This may be watched carefully to see if the interface plus Android apps seem to play well together.

    Anyway, Microsoft has a bunch of apps they've written for the Android platform, including Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers. There's money to be made here, folks.
  • qyqgpower - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - link

    For about 79EUR without any contract, someone at China could get Redmi (Xiaomi's low cost version)which spec is like quad-core A7, 1GB RAM, 4.7inch@720p IPS Screen, 8MP Backlit Camera. What's the point of these Nokia Xs?
  • MRMsys - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - link

    That is also a very good point. I think it boils down to: these phones, at these prices, would have worked in 2012. In 2014? Um no.

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