Nokia reveals the X family

After being heavily rumored for months, Nokia has finally revealed the X family – Nokia X, Nokia X+, and Nokia XL.

Code-named Normandy, the three devices are the first phones from Nokia to run on Android, though not the one you’d expect. Instead, they run on a heavily forked version of Android, much like how the Fire OS which runs on Amazon’s Kindle Fire range is also a version of forked Android. The result is a mash up of Windows Phone 8 and Android, with elements from both OSes such as live tiles and a notification bar. Similar to the naming convention of the Fire OS, Nokia’s forked Android is named Nokia X.

Nokia X screenshotsImage courtesy of Nokia

Running on forked Android, the X family does not have access to the Google Play Store. This is a massive miss, and could potentially kill many sales of the X family.

Not to worry however, as Android apps will be available on a Nokia app store, which will have “hundreds of thousands” of conventional Android apps at launch. Interestingly, apps can be sideloaded as well, that is installing an app from an APK file you downloaded. Some apps may not work properly without developers first recompiling it for Nokia X, which only takes a few hours according to Stephen Elop of Nokia.

Perhaps as a result of the acquisition of Nokia’s devices division by Microsoft, instead of featuring Google’s cloud services, Nokia X will feature several Microsoft services and products such as OneDrive and Skype.

The Nokia X and X+ are essentially the same device, with the same 4-inch screen, with the difference being the X+ featuring more storage and expandable storage through a microSD card slot. The XL, as the name suggests, has a bigger 5-inch IPS LCD display, and also a front facing camera which the X and X+ apparently lacks.

The Nokia X, X+, and XL will be retailing for €89, €99, and €109 respectively, which works out to be around $160, $175, and $195 respectively, placing them within the budget range of the Lumia line and the Asha line.

The X family is an interesting addition to Nokia’s line of handsets targeted mainly at the budget conscious, hopefully shaping up to become a game changer in the budget phones market.

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