After much heavy rumor, Nokia has just announced that it’s launching its first Android handsets: the X, X+ and XL.
All the phones are built on the open source Android OS forked especially for Nokia. The X and X+ feature a 4-inch screen, while the XL packs a 5-inch IPS display. The X+ is differentiated from the X by extra memory and expandable storage, though it’s not clear quite what that means in terms of specs.
During the Mobile World Congress presentation, Steve Elop explained that users will “benefit from the Android apps and ecosystem, but we have differentiated.” Essentially that means that there will plenty of Microsoft and Nokia apps included from the get go. Skype, for instance, will be preinstalled, and offer users 1 month of free calls to landlines and mobiles, and Nokia’s navigation apps will feature, too.
More importantly, the phones take people to Microsoft’s cloud, not Google’s. Indeed, it seems Nokia is distancing itself from Google as much as possible with these Android devices, and Elop went as far as saying that the “Nokia X together with Lumia represents a deliberate strategy to leverage Microsoft services.” There will, though, be plenty—”hundreds of thousands at launch,” apparently—of conventional Android apps available through a Nokia-specific app store.
Price, you ask? Well, Steve Elop was keen to point out that the X range is designed to be more affordable than the Lumia range, both now and in the the future. The phone will be “broadly available globally”, starting in growth markets, and they’ll cost $125 for the X, $135 for the X+, and $150 for the XL