It’s been a long time coming. Countless rumors of a mysterious device lurking in development within Nokia under the codename “Normandy” (previously “Project N”, “Asha on Linux project”) have surfaced over the past several months. We’ve seen leak after leak suggesting that Nokia, finalizing a deal to sell its Devices and Sales division to Microsoft, won’t give up on producing it’s own mobile devices just yet. In the past few days we’ve also seen the company giving teasers on its social media sites, including a series of YouTube videos. Finally, it’s been made official that Nokia has been up to no good with the unveiling not just one new phone, but a new line of Android devices: the Nokia X, X+ and XL.
As we suspected, these devices are entry-level smartphones; they won’t impress anyone with their spec sheet, but given that Nokia is simply testing the waters with their first non-Windows Phone smartphone, we can forgive them. The Nokia X and X+ phones look very much like the Asha phones of late, sporting polycarbonate unibody frames with a single back button on the bottom bezel. The XL takes on physical design cues from the Lumia line. There are three buttons on the left for the volume rocker and power/lock.
The tile-based format of the OS is obviously influenced from Windows Phone, but includes swiping elements from the Asha line (via the N9’s MeeGo) which gives access to a modified version of the Fastlane notification center; a sort of second homescreen, if you will. Elop has stated that adopting Android will give the advantage of the ecosystem, but with a “differentiated experience” that Nokia is known for. As part of that ecosystem, Microsoft and Nokia will include their own apps and services such as HERE maps, Nokia Mix Radio, Skype, Outlook, and more. Through this, Microsoft is now given the chance to reach a large number of users that it has previously been unable to reach.
The Specs for the Nokia X are as follows (X+ marked with *):
- 4″ WVGA (850×480) display
- 1GHz Dual-Core Snapdradon Processor
- 4GB of internal storage (4GB microSD card included*)
- 512MB/768MB* RAM
- 3MP rear camera (sans front-facing)
- FWVGA (864×480) Video Recording
- 1500mAh battery
- Nokia X software platform (modified Android)
The Nokia XL comes with the following specs:
- 5″ WVGA ISP LCD display
- 4GB microSD card included
- Bluetooth 3.0 + HS
- 2000mAh battery
- 5MP Camera + 2MP HD front facing
- LED flash
Running a modified version of Android means you you can’t access apps through the GooglePlay store, but Nokia promises a “high-quality” curated experience with Nokia’s own store, and the ability to access other stores too including Yandex. You also get apps like BBM, Vine, Plants vs. Zombies 2, and more.
The Nokia X will be available to buy immediately in Asia Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle-East and Africa for about €89euros. Available colors include green, black, white, yellow, cyan and red (the XL replaces red with a bright orange option). The Nokia X+ and XL are expected to be available from Q2 2014. All the devices are dual-SIM.
So what do you think? Are you interested in buying one of Nokia’s very first Android phones?
Source: Nokia Conversations
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