Four months ago Nokia introduced its first phones to run Google’s Android operating system. Now Nokia is updating the Nokia X line of low-cost Android phones with the Nokia X2, a 4.3 inch phone that will launch in July for about 99 Euros, or about $135 US.
What’s a bit surprising is that not only is Nokia continuing to support Android phones, but it’s releasing new ones even after the company’s sale to Microsoft was finalized in April.
The Nokia X2 is a dual SIM phone that continues Nokia’s push to use Android only for its entry-level phones. It’s not like there aren’t entry-level devices running Microsoft’s Windows Phone software… but at 99 Euros, the Nokia X2 makes the Lumia 630 look almost expensive.
Nokia also dresses up Android to make it look like Windows Phone. Not only does the Nokia X2 have a home screen featuring Windows Phone-like tiles and come preloaded with HERE maps, Skype, and other Microsoft and Nokia software, but there’s an apps list view that looks a lot like the one from Windows Phone.
The Nokia X2 features a 4.3 inch, 800 4480 pixel display, a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, a microSD card slot, 1800mAh battery, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and support for GSM and WCDMA networks. It has a 5MP rear camera with LED flash and a front-facing VGA camera.
Update: Nokia is also now using Opera as the default web browser on its Nokia X phones… which I guess makes sense since Google doesn’t put much effort into its aging Android browser now that Chrome is the default browser for Google-certified Android phones… and since there’s no Internet Explorer browser for Android.
Update 2: Existing Nokia X owners shouldn’t expect to get all the new software features available for the Nokia X2. The company says that because of hardware issues, Nokia X software platform 2.0 won’t run on the Nokia X, Nokia X+ or Nokia XL, but there will be performance improvements for those devices in the coming months.
So can anyone explain what’s going to happen to Nokia after the sale to Microsoft? I thought that Microsoft was buying the whole company, but the more I read about it, it looks like they are only buying the mobile manufacturing arm of Nokia. I know Nokia signed a non-compete clause forbidding it from manufacturing any Nokia-branded phones until 31 December 2015. So does this mean Nokia will resume making phones after the non-compete clause is over?
Don’t people just tune out those tiles anyway?
There is nothing surprising about this release. Microsoft is competing not just for phone sales, but for use of its services such as Skype, Bing, Xbox, Office, HERE (Nokia), Outlook/Hotmail, and OneDrive. You need people to use your services and then the barriers to getting them to use your phone is very small.
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