Nokia X Release Reveals Android OS That Looks Like Windows, Available Now

The Nokia X, X+, and XL release at the MWC 2014 revealed a phone that truthfully has everyone scratching their heads. For months, the mobile world was buzzing with the leaked news that Nokia was jumping on the Android bandwagon.

But in the first big official MWC reveal, the Nokia X release is quite puzzling. The specs were never expected to blow away the competition, it was the fact that a Microsoft partner would jump on to the Android OS. Instead, what interested parties got was neither truly Android or Windows.

One of the market realities that has become clear in the days leading up to the MWC is that the new mid-tier phone market is here to stay. With LG announcing the release of the LG G2 Mini, other companies are realizing that they have to find new ways to compete with the handset giants of Apple and Samsung.

The Nokia X has a four inch display with an 800 x 480 resolution, 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, microSD support, and a 5-megapixel camera. Underwhelming, we know. But the phone is not designed to woo consumers away from already existing markets. The goal of the Nokia X is to bring the Windows experience on an Android OS to emerging markets.

It is a bold and truthfully odd move by the Finnish hardware maker, whose deal with Microsoft will be complete later this year. Although the X, X+, and XL will all be running an Android OS, none of them will have the most marketable of all apps, the Google Play Store. Instead, users can download those apps on their own and navigate through the Windows looking experience.

The Nokia X release is accompanied by the X+ and XL. X+ just means the buyer gets extra memory and storage, whereas the XL is a five inch display with a front facing camera. These all feature the same strange Android-Windows hybrid that would leave most users feeling confused. Is it an Android or is it a Windows phone? The answer is, “yes”.

Apps can be transferred from other Android devices via the SD card slot, but in order to buy new apps users must go through Nokia’s own store set up. As ZDNet put it, consider this phone a “gateway” drug to the Windows universe. The only question is, are people interested?

The X suite will cost 89, 99, 109 euros respectively. Countries receiving the Nokia X release immediately include developing phone markets in Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.