There have been rumors for a while but now it is official. Nokia has launched the Nokia X-series of Android phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. However, the new models look a little different to what some users, especially in the mobile photography community, had hoped for or expected.
The X devices are not Lumia 1020's or 1520's running the full Android operating system, but rather mid- to low range devices, mainly aimed at emerging markets running a "forked" Android system. The most interesting out of the new devices is the Nokia XL that comes with a 5-inch 800x480 screen, 768MB of RAM, up to 32GB of storage and a microSD slot. It's powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon, and has a 5MP autofocus rear and 2MP front camera. Two additional models, the Nokia X and X+, both come with 4-inch screens and 3MP cameras and the same processor.
The operating system is built on AOSP (Android Open Source Project) but does not use any of Google's popular services. Instead Nokia X-users will find Nokia's HERE Maps, Outlook.com, Microsoft OneDrive and Skype pre-installed on their devices. Nokia also offers its own app store but since it's all Android it will be easy for developers to make their existing apps available in the Nokia store. The devices will also support sideloading of apps in the same way as this can be done on Amazon's Kindle Fire devices that also uses a forked version of Android.
The user interface looks different to what you are used to from Android, too. The X series comes with Fastlane, which is a start-screen that is visually loosely modeled on Windows Phone's tile design and allows for quick access of your apps.
The Nokia X will go on sale immediately in Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, starting at €89. The Nokia X+ and Nokia XL are expected to roll out in the same markets starting early second quarter, priced at €99 and €109, respectively.
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