Tuesday, 25 February 2014

In Picture: Nokia Showcased X, X+ & XL Android Smartphone In MWC 2014

Nokia has finally made many a dream come true with the announcement of its first ever Android-based phone at the MWC in Barcelona. But unlike what we expected, Nokia arrived on the scene with three new Android-based phones. The company actually has three, as they have officially announced the Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL

The phones under the Nokia X family are not pure Android phones; these phones instead run a forked variant of Android, similar to the way Amazon does for its Kindle Fire lineup. Nokia has taken the open-source elements of Android and has pulled in other elements of Asha and Windows Phone to offer users a different experience.

Nokia X which is an entry-level handset built to last. It looks quite nice for where it’ll be positioned, though it isn’t quite as impressive under the hood. In the area of specs, we’re looking at a 4-inch 800 x 480 IPS display, 512MB of RAM and a 3 megapixel camera, for starters. It’ll also offer Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 1GHz dual-core processor, though we’re not sure which exact model it’s sporting just yet. 

The camera on the Nokia X won’t be winning any awards. The Finnish company has decided to go with a 3-megapixel primary shooter, and there’s no front-facing camera. That’s a bit of a disappointment for the selfie-obssessed and Skype users. Both phones get a 1500 mAh battery, rated for around 13 hours of talk time on 2G and 17 days standby time. Nokia storms onto the Android scene with their bright and playful suite of designs. The Nokia X will launch in Yellow, Black, White, Red, Blue and Green.

The Nokia X+ is pretty much the same device as the Nokia X, though RAM gets bumped up to 768MB and Nokia’s sticking a 4GB MicroSD card inside. It’s literally the same phone otherwise, with it launching in the same exact color options as the Nokia X and being exact same size. In terms of connectivity, the X and X+ have dual SIM slots, 3G cellular data, Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0.

This is where things significantly change, as the Nokia XL will sport a larger 5-inch display. Unfortunately it retains the same 800 x 480 as the other two guys. It also gets a bump in the camera department with a 5 megapixel sensor as opposed to the 3 megapixel shooters on the rear of its smaller sisters. This one also adds a 2 megapixel front-facing camera for those all-important selfies and video calls.

The XL also has just 768MB of RAM and comes equipped with a 4GB microSD card, though, and should be running the same 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 chipset found in all the aforementioned devices. The Nokia XL will also come in a colorful range of colors, though they are a bit different from the smaller X devices. The tones are a bit more muted than the others, and the red option is swapped out for orange.

The downside here is that Nokia X users can't have access to the Google Play Store for apps. However, the phone will run Android apps, but Nokia will curate a list of such apps. A recommended source for the apps is the Nokia store, says the company. In other words, the new platform, Nokia X, is based on the Android Open Source project (AOSP).

These phones feature a brand new, tile-based home screen. The new OS also reintroduces a redesigned version of its Fastlane notifications centre - a second Home screen if you like - from the latest Asha devices.

A big focus will be on Nokia’s own services, with the Finnish company boasting Here Maps for turn-buy-turn navigation and directions, Nokia MixRadio for free music streaming, and Microsoft’s Skype with a free month’s worth of international calls. Other apps being pre-installed are Plants vs Zombies 2, Viber, BBM and more. Want more than that? You’ll have to settle for what’s in Nokia’s app store, load up another third-party app store or sideload your own APKS — there’s no Google Play Store to be found here, folks.

Nokia has not announced India-specific availability or price, but says the Nokia X will start retailing for 89 euros (approx Rs 7,600), the X+ for 99 euros (approx Rs 8,400) and will hit stores in Q2 this year. Both phones have appeared on the Nokia India website with a coming soon tag. 

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