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The long-rumored Nokia X—the Android-powered, Windows-styled smartphone that many believed would be squashed by corporate parent Microsoft—was unveiled today at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. And not just the Nokia X, but the Nokia X+ and the Nokia XL, making three different versions of Nokia’s first foray into Android backed handsets.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pdTuFWbcNI

As we’ve long suspected, the specs for all three Nokia X smartphones are on the lower end of the spectrum. A post on Nokia’s blog says that the X will have a 4-inch IPS LCD display (800 x 480 resolution,) 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage with expandable microSD support up to 32GB, a 3-megapixel rear camera, 1500mAh battery. Meanwhile, the X+ is essentially the same device, but offers 768MB of RAM, while the XL bumps up the screen to 5 inches (but with the same 800 x 480 resolution) along with a slightly more powerful 5-MP rear camera along with a 2-MP front-facing camera. All told, none of these specs are particularly powerful. But that’s because all three of these phones are really cheap.

A BGR post says that the Nokia X starts at €89 ($122), and the Nokia X+ and Nokia XL will cost €99 ($136) and €109 ($150), respectively. That falls in line pretty well with earlier reports as to the device’s rumored low retail price.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUCEN-XvC7g

A screenshot of Nokia's Fastlane in action.
A screenshot of Nokia’s Fastlane in action.

A post on CNET offers some more details about the Nokia X line’s user interface and app access. It explains the UI as a blend between Windows live-tile stylings and Nokia’s proprietary Asha UI, the latter coming in the form of “Fastlane”: a second screen that gives users a “stream of apps and activities, like status updates and notifications.” The Nokia X phones will also be able to run all Android apps—but it won’t have access to the Google Play store, since it’s a forked version of Android, much like that of Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

The result means having to get apps from Nokia’s curated Android store, or simply zooming around the web and downloading (or side-loading) apps that way. It’s not the worst fate in the world, and since this is not necessarily a phone geared towards power users, chances are good that Nokia will offer up all the apps users would reasonably need. And visiting Amazon’s App Store would open up yet another avenue of apps, and that digital marketplace has been gathering Android apps for years now. Will Nokia X users even miss the Google Play Store?

Because none of the reports coming out of MWC discuss an American price point or release date, and because Nokia’s US-website doesn’t mention the Nokia X line whatsoever, it seems that these phones are being targeted to countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East—the fact that they all sport dual SIM cards, a popular feature in those regions, would seem to confirm that as well. As of now, the Nokia X is available in global territories, while the Nokia X+ and XL will both hit second quarter of this year.

I still think that the Nokia X would be an interesting experiment in the United States. I’d love to see how many consumers would want to get an inexpensive, unique take on Android. But at this point, I’m not holding my breath.

Even still, take a look below at some more photos of the Nokia X. Interested?

Sources: Nokia, BGR, CNET


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