At the opening of Mobile World Congress Nokia introduced not one but three Android smartphones: two versions with 4-inch screen (the Nokia X and X +) and one 5-inch screen (Nokia XL).
There is high-end equipment, but the company proposes to be very economic alternatives, so the hardware does not compete with the giants of the industry, seeks to be an option for those who are entering the world of smartphones (a group that comes in great number of other Nokia phones).
The teams run a modified version of Android 4.1.2 base (the AOSP), has no Google services (such as maps, Drive or the app store) and replaces them with Nokia and Microsoft: Here maps, or Outlook Nokia Store for applications, but supports the use of other stores like Yandex or manual loading of applications (using the installer file Android, APK) and, of course, you can use a Gmail account as email, have Google Talk, etc. (third party applications).
Amazon already did something similar for its line of tablets. In fact, you can use the Amazon App Store on Android phones of Nokia. As teams Amazon, Nokia’s Android is different from the standard, with a similar aesthetic and Windows Phone Fast Lane, an endless view of notifications and recent applications also used in its Asha phones.
The Nokia X has an IPS 4-inch display and a 3 megapixel camera, the X + adds a microSD slot, both with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1 GHz, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage, the Nokia XL a 5-inch screen, 5 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front for video calls, plus 768 MB of RAM. In all cases, the screen resolution of this equipment is 800 by 400 pixels.
According to Elop said, the vast majority of applications run smoothly on these teams, those who point directly to some Google services must be recompiled to use the Nokia equivalent APIs.
The Nokia X is available “right now” at a price of 99 euros, while the X + (which adds a microSD slot) and XL (which has a 5-inch screen) will be available in the second quarter in markets “emerging” without specifying which ones. Prices are published without calculating taxes and subsidies to operators, but are a guide (and are essentially cheap equipment).
“It’s an opportunity to reach more people who can not access more expensive equipment”, said Stephen Elop, the head of the mobile division of the company, during the presentation. “Lumia is our platform for smartphones for the future, but we want to show the next billion users who are entering the world of smartphones can do with Nokia X. Allows us to reach prices that otherwise we would be complicated, although there is certain that there will be a certain overlap of offering the Lumia. We are using the version of open source Android (AOSP) excluding Google services deliberately, to promote the services of Microsoft. But using Android allows us to leverage the ecosystem of applications that already exists”.
It is clear that the new platform X is the Asha and the Lumia, although it is closer to the latter than of the first. In all the presentation spoke of Microsoft as a strategic partner, with Nokia as a vehicle to promote the services of Microsoft; the purchase that made the European giant mobile phones Division recently will be after March. The Android project, which precedes the decision to purchase, is seen by many as a strategy that was born to show Microsoft that Nokia could pursue an independent path.
The teams are ready and will start its sale is clear that Nokia considered a viable option for increasing their presence, although they admit that there is an overlap with the low-end Windows Phone-alternative, will have to wait a while to see if Microsoft Access to use them as a way of promoting their services or prefer to go for a single-and own-platform. Here Satya Nadella, the new CEO of Microsoft, has an interesting opportunity.
I said at the time it seemed unlikely that the project would survive the sale; it seems I was wrong, however, and that Nokia is making a strong commitment while Android is how to give some benefit to Microsoft. Yesterday, also in Barcelona, Joe Belfiore, Windows Phone honcho within Microsoft, said Nokia was still an independent company, and there were things that made them seem great and others less so, in obvious reference to the use of Android.
And said that the update 8.1 of Windows Phone (which will arrive in the second quarter) improves further resource use-Windows Phone is very frugal at that point-he admits dual SIM application load on memory cards and more, all elements that put even more doubt on the future of Nokia X as a platform. Elop preferred to talk about price segments, and that to lower the price of the Lumia also of the Nokia X. will do so will have to wait and see how it responds the market; indeed, it faces competition in the segment of economic smartphones with Firefox OS, targeting the same audience.
The company also confirmed that in the coming weeks on BlackBerry Messenger will be available for Windows Phone 8, but gave no details. It is also available, of course, for Nokia X.
The company did not forget the members of its lower range, which today is the segment where they have more volume, and which financed the operations of the company in recent times. So, he showed the Nokia 220, a conventional phone with internet for $ 29 (the cheapest of the company so far), with free 2G, Twitter, Facebook and a month of standby battery, and a new member of the line Asha, the 230, with a price of 45 euros, touchscreen, the company confirmed that all Asha that reached the market in 2013 will receive an OS update that adds MixRadio (the free streaming service Nokia Music) and Automatic loading photos OneDrive.