Nokia officially announces family of Nokia X Android smartphones [Update]

Nokia's plans for its first Android-based smartphone have been the talk of the Internet for several months but today the company finally confirmed plans to release such a device, the Nokia X, during its press conference today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. In fact it will launch three devices; the Nokia X, the Nokia X + and the Nokia XL

All three devices devices will run on a version of Android that will be highly modified by Nokia, and will connect to a number of online services from Microsoft, rather than from Google. Those services will include Skype and OneDrive. The phone will allow users to connect not just to an app store run by Nokia but third party app storefronts such as Yandex. Side loading apps via MicroSD cards and the phone's file manager will also be available.

Nokia's own services such as HERE Maps and Music Mix will be included in the Nokixa X products. The phones will be incorporating what Nokia calls FastLane.  It will give users a notification bar when activated that will show recent calls, texts and apps.

People who buy any member of the Nokia X family will get 1 month of free Skype calls to both mobile phones and landlines and 10GB of free OneDrive space.

As the previous leaked screenshots have shown, the UI for the Nokia X devices will be similar in looks to Microsoft's Modern user interface used for Windows Phone and Windows 8. While the Nokia X and the Nokia X + will both have 4-inch displays, the Nokia XL will have a larger 5-inch screen. The Nokia X + will have some extra memory and storage via a microSD card compared to the Nokia X smartphone.

The Nokia X will go on sale this week for the price of 89 euros. The Nokia X + and the Nokia XL will go on sale sometime in the second quarter, with the Nokia X + selling for 99 euros and the Nokia XL selling for 109 euros.

Update: Nokia's blog has posted up some more information about the Nokia X family. All three smartphones will have Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8225 dual-core processor running at 1GHz. The Nokia X will have 512MB of RAM while the Nokia X + and NokiaXL will each have 768MB of RAM.

The Nokia X apparently has no on-board storage but does support a microSD card up to 32GB. Both the Nokia X+ and Nokia XL will include a 4GB microSD card. The Nokia X and X+ will have a 3 megapixel rear camera while the XL will have a 5 megapixel rear camera with autofocus and flash.

While the Nokia X will go on sale immediately in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America, there is no word on when it will be launched in North America.

Source: Nokia | Image via Nokia

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It's trying too hard to be Windows Phone I wouldn't touch it with a 40ft bargepole. If I wanted the WP look and feel I'd buy a Lumia. I get why they are doing it, to stand out in the ocean of Android handsets but it's just trying way too hard to be WP. Sorry Nokia, stay WP exclusive and stick to making those rocking Lumias (this is high praise from an Android fan)

So saving us from google alleged privacy intrusion to MS monopoly and all !!!!! about its policies.

I 'd prefer a free O.S not exactly r tied to Google, MS, Amazon, Nook,...or whatever.
User should be free to back the company/service of his choosing

Yeah, good luck with that. Even if you get such an OS in this day and age some company or other whose apps and/or services you use has your details and data. No-one will use a bare-bones OS without anything else on it unless you're using a basic or feature phone.

Lord Method Man said,
You only make these comments in articles relating to Android and/or Google, so stop pretending to be an arbiter of tolerance or civility.

I make comments in a lot of other threads, so whatever. And even if I did only make comments in Android/Google related posts...its what is posted. I dont put out the sheer hatred that many here do towards a company/platform.

So again, whatever.

EDIT: And I made similar comments about Windows. But apparently you know best since you have been keeping track of all my posts...huh?

Edited by techbeck, Feb 24 2014, 3:18pm :

No Google Play store
No Google services
Live Tile inspired skin
Microsoft services baked in

Yo bro, why even bother releasing Android phones if you're gonna take out all the benefits of running Android? It's basically a Windows Phone with a few more menu options. This seems like the exact sort of decision making that lead to Nokia losing their hardware division to Microsoft.

First of all, they didn't lose it, they sold it. Big difference.

And second, of course they're going to integrate Microsoft's services instead of Google's - they already work with Microsoft and their services for the Lumia, so it's a much more logical step rather than working with Google, which Microsoft wouldn't allow anyway because of the acquisition.

This is finally an alternative Android experience that doesn't revolve around Google, and some users will definitely find their place in these products. Also, the fact that these phones have the features of the old Asha series while "combining" the old Asha and new Lumia UI features looks exactly like what Nokia wanted when they sought to replace Asha.

I say, good for them!

Gornot said,
Also, the fact that these phones have the features of the old Asha series while "combining" the old Asha and new Lumia UI features looks exactly like what Nokia wanted when they sought to replace Asha.
Nice theory, so why is Nokia still releasing new Asha devices (they just announced two)?

Figure 8 Dash said,

Yo bro, why even bother releasing Android phones if you're gonna take out all the benefits of running Android?

because one of the benefits of running Android is the ability to take out all the benefits of Android.

Microsoft makes Billions of dollars a year on Android sales because of license fee's that Google has to pay to them. So it's not like MS is not going to profit from this.

As a strategy this could be disruptive to Google... perhaps even encouraging other companies (particularly Samsung) to go with their own version of Android and own all the profits.

There are a few things that stand out here: Nokia now has it's own app store (control of £££), has a heavily customised UI (product differentiation), is not reliant on any Google services.
I would be watching them very carefully as a phone OEM and asking if this is something feasible for my company (small fry like Sony probably not, Sumsung maybe).

Until Samsung can replace all of Google's services that people clamor for what you suggest isn't viable. Samsung, Amazon and others have no doubt been having such dreams of independence for a long time but it's easier said than done.

I think what Nokia is proving here is that anyone can replace all of the Google services, quite probably for free since I don't believe MS charge anything for certification etc.

Everyone knows you can replace the services, there's nothing new Nokia's proved here since Samsung and Amazon have done it to varying levels of success already. Point is, what do users want? Many of Google's services don't have viable or equally useful competitors.

Considering the rise of AOSP devices (25% of the 75-80% of Android devices out there),there could be a good reason for Microsoft to support this... Splinter Android, but don't let Google near it. It blunts the growth of Android-proper a little bit, and a lot if it takes off.

Could be a clever chess move by MSFT against Google.

This isn't a decision by Microsoft, Microsoft is less than thrilled about these phones but can't do anything to stop it.

If production has already started it would be hard to just kill it, that would mean a complete write off of all stock. Something they might not want to do.

ZipZapRap said,
Considering the rise of AOSP devices (25% of the 75-80% of Android devices out there),there could be a good reason for Microsoft to support this... Splinter Android, but don't let Google near it. It blunts the growth of Android-proper a little bit, and a lot if it takes off.

Could be a clever chess move by MSFT against Google.

yandex (russian equivalent of google) has released their own competitors to google's proprietary apps and api's and will let manufacturers use them for free. If microsoft/nokia does this then i can see a lot of phones shipping without google apps as manufacturers would be saving $5-10 per phone.

I'm sceptical because although it's a Nokia, it's also up against some tough competition, in that Chinese phone (I forget the name) that's due to be launched, and the Moto G, are already available with some impressive specs and features..

Adamodeus said,
Hey, 768MB of RAM - that's like the old Galaxy S II that I used to own 2 years ago...

Yes but I imagine your S2 cost more than 89 Euros sim free...

My current 2 year old + Galaxy Nexus is a better spec, however for the price that cost I could purchase 4 of the phones above, easily.

Even if they still make it to the market, you would have to be mad to buy one. Microsoft will not spend a single cent on updating these phones except for the odd security update now and then

XerXis said,
Even if they still make it to the market, you would have to be mad to buy one. Microsoft will not spend a single cent on updating these phones except for the odd security update now and then

This. What I see is a "###### MS" move by Nokia.

FarCry3r said,

This. What I see is a "###### MS" move by Nokia.

Oh very intentionally. There has been the anti-MS group in Nokia, especially the developers that feel the partnership killed their OS, which was already dead.

This project was to replace the low end Asha devices originally, but with Microsoft taking over the mobile division, they pushed to get these out before the takeover, hoping that Microsoft would have obligation to sell them as a big F U.

This is also why they adhered to the Nokia/Microsoft agreements and the devices use and promote Skype/OneDrive/etc - so that Microsoft couldn't have stopped their production prior to take over.

An Android fan would be insane to buy these and WP fans aren't going to touch them either.

Microsoft announced yesterday they were ripping down the hardware restrictions on WP, so these lower end devices have no reason to not use WP8.1, as the hardware certification process has been removed with even wider driver support for additional Android catered chipsets, and even supporting lower memory and lower resolutions. Which leaves WP having an even lower hardware entry point than Android Kitkat.

Makes me laugh showing all the apps that are now open for use because of the change in OS. Really, WP is a good OS but the lack of mainstream apps really hurts the platform.
Nokia might have actually done something good here as Android isn't as easy to use as WP or iOS. I look forward to seeing YouTube videos of the OS. Looking at you MKBHD!

the better twin said,
Waste of time and effort imo. Now they have 3 competing systems. Silly.

I think this is the final nail in Symbian. No new Asha devices after this I bet, these can replace Asha going forward.

George P said,
No new Asha devices after this I bet, these can replace Asha going forward.
You'd have lost that bet. They announced the Asha 220 and 230. This is making less sense as time goes on. What's Microsoft going to do with both Android and non-Android Asha phones?

Studio384 said,
Except that this isn't Android...
I'm sorry, so what is it? I know I don't know much about it, but it's android at it's core, and the article mentions it's a modified version of android...?

Studio384 said,
Except that this isn't Android...

The article said
All three devices devices will run on a version of Android that will be highly modified by Nokia

So it is Android

Studio384 said,
Except that this isn't Android...

it is a forked android like kindle fire tablets. It can run many android apps, some require google's propitiatory apis though so those will have to be modified to run on nokia's apis. It IS android!

Impressive price points! It's a shame they can't do the same for Windows Phone to boost marketshare a bit. The entry level is around €155 for the 520 over here.

Edited by Steven P., Feb 24 2014, 8:03am :

Maybe this is suggesting it's the WP licensing that's keeping the price at that point? It would be the only logical reason for Nokia to fork android and make it look so similar to WP (compared to just putting on vanilla android), and from what I have seen there isn't a lot of difference in the hardware

DomZ said,
Maybe this is suggesting it's the WP licensing that's keeping the price at that point? It would be the only logical reason for Nokia to fork android and make it look so similar to WP (compared to just putting on vanilla android), and from what I have seen there isn't a lot of difference in the hardware

We don't know what the pricing is but honestly if full Windows + Office can cost a PC OEM $50 tops then WP should be pretty cheap, $15 max I say, and Nokia has a better deal then other OEMs from what we know. I bet they're paying $5 per device give or take.

This forking of Android, IMO is to ditch Symbian for good, the Asha line uses S60 which is old and limited and probably a mess to keep supporting/improving on. I think if they can take this Android fork, jam all the MS services in it instead of Google and match the top end Asha line price wise then they can finally start to ditch S60, cutting costs.

At some point everyone will have some type of smartphone, feature phones will probably still be around but very very few, so Asha isn't here for the long run.

Steven P. said,
Well if they can slash Windows 8.1 licensing 70% for oems, I wonder what they can do for wp8.1?

It sounds to me from yesterdays little event that they're doing a lot, without getting into specifics. Licensing the OS is just one upfront cost, you can slash that or give it for free but OEMs still have other costs (same with Android development) in the form of hardware support and drivers etc. It sounded like they've made it easier for OEMs to get WP on devices, with better tools, drivers and direct support, dropping the OS fee lower is just the icing on the cake really.

BTW Nokia DID have WP news as well, BBM is coming to WP they said.

Steven P. said,
Impressive price points! It's a shame they can't do the same for Windows Phone to boost marketshare a bit. The entry level is around €155 for the 520 over here.
Here you can get a Lumia 520 for as much as €80...

DomZ said,
Maybe this is suggesting it's the WP licensing that's keeping the price at that point? It would be the only logical reason for Nokia to fork android and make it look so similar to WP (compared to just putting on vanilla android), and from what I have seen there isn't a lot of difference in the hardware

Except no...

Most MFRs like HTC pay more to sell an Android device than they do to sell a WP device, per unit. The problem is meeting Microsoft hardware certification, which if anyone was paying attention to the news today, is being lifted so WP can be installed on more generic Android built devices.

Nokia's reason behind this was originally to replace their OS on the low end Asha devices.

With Microsoft expanding out support for this class of hardware, I don't see these selling.

I also doubt Microsoft will continue selling them in a few weeks. This was the anti-Microsoft Nokia OS team that felt MS killed their OS giving MS their finger on the way out.

Just how long before the merger's complete? Really seems to be dragging now. If I was in the market for a low-end phone I wouldn't touch these till their future is made clear.

This is a step up from their ASHA range, so in essence once they move everything towards that there will still be just two ecosystems - and with this one they can let Google do a lot of the work for them for free.

THE_OBSERVER said,
How about updates?

This is running on android 4.1.2 btw, if this could get an update to android 4.4 then the performance would be much nicer for these low spec phones. I'm not confident there will be an update though once microsoft has completed the purchase of nokia in a few weeks.

So how does this work with Microsoft buying Nokia's handset business?

Nokia will make these Android phones... but Microsoft will be making Nokia/Lumia Windows Phones?

Michael Scrip said,
So how does this work with Microsoft buying Nokia's handset business?

Nokia will make these Android phones... but Microsoft will be making Nokia/Lumia Windows Phones?

I don't think so as the whole device division of Nokia is being sold...

Matthew_Thepc said,
I assume Microsoft will make the Android phones as well, AFAIK Nokia won't be making any phones after the acquisition.

So... what will be left of Nokia?

Microsoft is buying all of the devices division. Nokia retains services like mapping, and of course networks. Nokia can't make smartphones for a long time under the deal, ensuring they can't start a new devices division after Microsoft buys their old one.

Brody McKee said,
Microsoft is buying all of the devices division. Nokia retains services like mapping, and of course networks. Nokia can't make smartphones for a long time under the deal, ensuring they can't start a new devices division after Microsoft buys their old one.

Ah ok. Nokia will still have services.

Michael Scrip said,
So how does this work with Microsoft buying Nokia's handset business?

Nokia will make these Android phones... but Microsoft will be making Nokia/Lumia Windows Phones?

Microsoft don't care, what they care about is whether you're using their services - that is the long and short of it.

Brody McKee said,
Microsoft is buying all of the devices division. Nokia retains services like mapping, and of course networks. Nokia can't make smartphones for a long time under the deal, ensuring they can't start a new devices division after Microsoft buys their old one.

Long time=2016

Fritzly said,
Long time=2016

Assuming they even want to re-enter. Given that they've turned around their infrastructure business it is more profitable to focus on infrastructure for carriers than dealing with the fickle nature of the consumer market.

They're not horrible, but by today's standards the specs are fairly low-end, too. I'm sure it'll just be a matter of time before somebody at XDA figures out how to get the Play Store on there, though, and hypothetically you should be able to sideload the 1Mobile and Amazon stores.

LOL @ the "ZING" guys.
Watch this phone have zero official support once the acquisition by MS is complete.
Might be a nice XDA developers supported phone though.

Releasing this just before the acquisition completion is nothing more than a message from Nokia that they always wanted to make Android phones but somehow couldn't.

Xahid said,
Finally !
Nokia came to their senses
Those smartphones aren't running Android, nor will they be capable of running a lot of Android apps, since a lot of them require the Google Play Service: a bunch of Android APIs that are closed source.

Actually many apps don't rely on GMS or their APIs and the ones that do can be quite easily "fixed". However, Google is looking to change this as fast as possible. Probably the biggest thing that relied on is in-app purchasing but that's not exactly expected on these low-end devices IMO.

Thief000 said,

Releasing this just before the acquisition completion is nothing more than a message from Nokia that they always wanted to make Android phones but somehow couldn't.

yeah right, because you think Stephen Elop didn't allow this project?

Nokia always said it wanted to replace the Symbian OS from its low end Asha phones with a Linux based OS. They said they would use Windows Phone for mid/high range devices. And that's exactly what they're finally doing.

they're not switching to android. They are just using android as the base OS which was supposed to be Linux from the beginning anyway.

chances are that Microsoft will not kill these phones, because it will help them destroy google's strategy by selling a lot of android phones running Microsoft services to people who would have bought android phones running google services anyway.

+1. The idea of google is to use its services(Chrome,O.S, android) to draw ads.If OEMs and Nokia draw the services, google will be helpless.THis is exactly what MS is doing