Nokia unveils three Android powered phones: Nokia X, Nokia X+, and Nokia XL with Microsoft Services

13In an interesting twist on the rumors, Nokia officially unveiled a trio of phones running the Android operating system.

nokia xThe Nokia X and X+ feature four inch screens, while the XL has a 5″ display, all with a WVGA resolution. On board we’ll likely see dual-core Qualcomm processors, 512MB of RAM, and 5MP cameras. While the underlying core is AOSP, they’ll be heavily skinned with Nokia’s Fastlane UI found on their Asha devices. They’ll also heavily feature Nokia and Microsoft services like OneDrive, Skype, Here Maps, and Nokia Mix Radio. 

nokia x fastlane Aimed at entry and developing markets, the Nokia X will be available intermediately, starting at 89€ (around $120US). The X+ will add more internal storage and a MicroSD slot for 99€, and will be available in the second quarter of this year.  The Nokia XL will follow the X+ later in the year at an expected price around 109€.

nokia xl android plants vs zombiesNow these phones will likely not support Google Play, and I suspect the relationship will be more like Amazon and the Kindle. Developers will have to submit their apps to Nokia’s own standalone app store, but they wont have to rebuild apps from scratch so long as they’re compatible with low power Android hardware. It’s a curious thought that if these handsets find any market traction, Nokia’s app store could fill faster than Microsoft’s.

It’s also funny to think that Microsoft+Nokia might be able to succeed in producing popular low cost Android offerings which aren’t painful to use. The Moto G started a broader conversation in high quality phones for developing markets, and Nokia looks ready to continue that conversation. I wonder if there will be any demand for those Nokia services on traditional Android hardware, say Nokia Mix Radio for instance. I’m sure someone at XDA will grab the APK’s for us…

nokia 220 internet enabled phone for 29 euroThe exciting race this year is in low cost offerings. Nokia is taking a gamble by forking their OS, but they now offer several tiers of phones for a variety of different markets. This “X” line up slots in between Lumias and Asha devices.

Also announced was a new 29€ internet enabled phone called the 220 featuring a month of battery life, and a new touchscreen Asha 230 for 45€.