NOKIA has officially announced a new range of smartphones using a customized version of Google’s Android operating system and targeting the “next billion” mobile users.
The three handsets will use the Android Open Source Project as the base for their operating system, meaning that the phones will not have access to core Google services such as the Play store for apps and Google Maps.
The phones will instead use apps from Nokia's own app store, although the Finnish company says porting software to the customized OS will take just a few hours.
The Nokia X will be released in emerging markets immediately with the X+ and XL to follow in the second quarter of the year. There's been no news regarding when the phones might hit UK and US markets.
Nokia will be placing Microsoft’s suite of cloud services at the heart of all three devices, with the handsets offering the following services for free:
- Nokias’ HERE maps with “true offline maps and integrated turn-by-turn navigation”
- Nokia MixRadio for ad-free music streaming and downloadable playlists. Users can spend $4 a month for unlimited downloads and improved audio quality.
- 10GB free online storage in the cloud from OneDrive
- One month access to Skype’s Unlimited World Subscription for free international calls to landlines in more than 60 countries and mobile phones in 8.
- Out-the-box apps include Facebook, Skype, Twitter, Vine and games including Tetris and Fruit Ninja.
Costing €89 (£73), the X is the most basic of the three devices. It features a four-inch IPS LCD screen with a 800 x 480 display, 512 MB of RAM, a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor and 4GB of internal storage expandable up to 32GB with a microSD memory card. It weighs 128g and measures 115.5 x 63x 10.4mm. It offers up to 10 hours talk time on 3G and 22 days standby time.
The X+ will cost €99 (£81) and comes with two spec boosts compared to the X: an additional 256MB of RAM and a 4GB microSD card already installed, bringing the total memory up to 8GB. The weight, dimensions, talk time and standby time are identical to that of the Nokia X.
The XL will sell for €109 (£90) and, as the name suggests, will feature a larger, 5-inch screen. As with the X+ the XL has 768MB of RAM but also features improved photography capability, offering a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The XL weighs 190g and has dimensions of 141.3 x 77.7 x 10.8 mm. Talk time on 3G is up to 13 hours and standby time is up to 26 days.