Nokia releases Nokia X Android range

24 Feb 2014

With the arrival of the Mobile World Congress, Nokia has announced its new X phone, the first Nokia phone to include the Android operating system.

Despite the company waiting to officially be taken over by Microsoft, the Finnish mobile manufacturers are not resting on their laurels in the meantime and will hope their Nokia X phone will make a significant gain in the budget smartphone market.

In its detailed release on each product, Nokia states that the X model will have a starting price of a very reasonable €89 which unsurprisingly features some low-level spec but with some software sweeteners thrown in.

The phone is small as smartphones go with a 4in screen with a 800x480p resolution but it does only weigh in at just 128g.

It features a relatively basic 3 megapixel camera with a fixed focus and no flash capability, something which some may feel takes away from the camera’s overall usability.

Android in name only

The heart of this phone however, lies in its unique take on the Android OS which is described as a “forked version” which uses the basic Android software but is significantly tweaked to feature some of Nokia’s own software and apps and has created an interface that largely resembles its Windows phone OS that has been seen on all its previous smartphone models.

So much so in fact, that it is an Android OS in name only as owners of the X will not be allowed to access all the basic Android features like the Google Play store, Google Chrome and Google Maps but instead features its own Nokia store which it aims to create an app centre equalling the established Android one.

To encourage you to sign up however, Nokia are giving customers one month’s free calls to landlines and mobiles over Skype as well as trying to promote it own mapping software, HERE Maps which lets users download their maps before setting off.

The later X+ and XL models are expected to be launched later in the year with prices expected to start from €99 and €129 respectively.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic