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Monday, February 24, 2014

Nokia Goes Android




Today at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona , the impossible happened. Nokia unveiled not one but three Android powered smartphones. Yes Android. The Nokia X, X+ and XL were officially showed to the world.

So how much do we really know about the Android OS. Most of us actually think that Android is a Google developed mobile operating system. But for those who don't know, Android is an open source software. The most popular version is polished by Google and sold to device manufactures with Google services such as Maps and play Store. So this makes it very clear, Nokia has not gone to bed with Google, it's still faithful to Microsoft. 

The new devices actually run a Nokia custom version of Android 4.1. The user interface (UI) is a cross between Windows Phone and Asha OS. To the untrained eye, the new devices will actually look like low end Lumias, ie 520 and 625. They do not have access to Google services but can run 80% of Android apps. I guess the other 20% are Google specific apps like  YouTube. Advanced users will however be able to side load most of the apps in the 20% category.



The Nokia X is the babiest of the three, followed by the slightly more powerful X+ and finally to the huge 5 inch XL. All models are available in black, blue, green, red, white and yellow. 

Nokia X and Nokia X+ Specs
  • 115.5 x 63 x 10.4 mm
  • 128.7 g
  • 4-inch WVGA IPS LCD display (800 x 480), 233 ppi
  • Capacitive two-point touch
  • Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor
  • Micro SIM, Dual SIM support
  • USB 2.0 / Micro USB-B
  • 3.5 mm audio connector
  • Bluetooth 3.0 + HS
  • Wi-Fi WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • WCDMA: 900 MHz, 2100 MHz
  • GSM: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1900 MHz
  • 1500 mAh battery
  • Dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 512 MB RAM / Nokia X
  • 768 MB RAM / Nokia X+
  • 4GB of memory
  • MicroSD card support (up to 32GB cards supported)
  • 3MP rear camera, no front-facing camera

Nokia XL Specs
  • 141.1 x 77.7 x 10.9 mm
  • 190 g
  • 5-inch WVGA IPS LCD (800 x 480), 187 ppi
  • Capacitive multipoint-touch
  • Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor
  • Micro SIM, Dual SIM support
  • USB 2.0 / Micro USB-B
  • 3.5 mm audio connector
  • Bluetooth 3.0 + HS
  • Wi-Fi WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • WCDMA: 900 MHz, 2100 MHz
  • GSM: 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1900 MHz
  • 2000 mAh battery
  • Dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 768 MB RAM
  • 4GB of memory
  • MicroSD card support (up to 32GB cards supported)
  • 5MP rear camera with flash, 2MP front-facing camera

So the question is why would Nokia release two devises that are going to compete  directly with the low end Lumia 520. And why would you the customer buy this phone instead of a regular Android smartphone. Nokia says that the X line up is meant to transition buyers from Android to Windows Phone. That's why the UI was made to look like Windows Phone. And as for buying a regular Android smartphone, Nokia is banking on its brand which still stands strong in developing countries. 




This is a smart move by Nokia because it doesn't have to play by Google's rules and it may be an eye opener to other Android OEMs that they don't really need Google to have Android. What do you guys think?