Android fans have been clamoring for Nokia to release an Android phone for years, but when they finally do, it’s not the one anyone was begging for.
One of the big acquisitions of last year was the purchase of Nokia by Microsoft. Nokia had been a long time partner for Microsoft and produced–what most people would consider–the best Windows Phone devices.
Nokia’s reputation for quality smartphone handsets extends far beyobnd just Windows Phone users, though, as many Android enthusiasts have long since been drooling over Nokia phones wishing they would be available with their own choice operating system instead of exclusively Windows Phone.
Their patience has paid off. Sort of…
During Mobile World Congress, Nokia finally unvieled three Android phones, the X, the X+, and the XL. All phones are low tier devices running a Windows Phone-esque skin over Android 4.1 JellyBean.
The X, X+, and XL are mostly the same, each having a dual core 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a 4″ 800 x 480 WVGA display. The cameras aren’t much to speak of at 3MP each. The only variances is that the X+ has 768MB of RAM instead of 512MB and the XL has the RAM upgrade plus an upgrade to a 5MP camera and a 5″ screen (still WVGA). The X, X+, and XL are clearly budget phones intended primarily (exclusively?) for emerging markets with prices of 89 EUR, 99 EUR, and 109 EUR, respectively.
Maybe not what people wanted when they clamored for a Nokia Android Phone. Many may not even consider them Android as they forego any Google Services (including the Google Play Store) as they are well ourside of–and have no intention of meeting–Google’s Services Certification standards.
The phones are still compatible with 75% of Android apps, though, they just need to be submitted and approved through the Nokia Store and the remaining 25% just need to be modified to ensure they don’t tie into any incompatible Google Services (such as cloud services or Google Play Games leaderboards and etc).
This is the type of move we could start seeing with increasing frequency, and is in fact very similar to how Android is supposed to be used in the first place. Obviously, most people are more familliar with the Google Services version of Android, but Amazon does something very similar to what Nokia is doing here with their Amazon Kindle Fire series.
The Nokia X phones are unlikely to make their way to the US and since the Microsoft acquisition is due to complete soon, we are unlikely to get any of the high end Nokia Android devices some people have been dreaming of, but at least this gives those dreamers a glimpse of what could have been.