By Alexandra Burlacu | Feb 24, 2014 10:10 AM EST
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014 has kicked off with exciting unveilings, including the brand new Nokia X range of smartphones that can run Android apps.
The rumor mill has been buzzing for months about an Android-based smartphone from Nokia. The purported handset was dubbed "Nokia Normandy" or "Nokia X," but not everyone believed it would actually see the light of day.
As it turns out, the Nokia X is actually a family of smartphones, consisting of three handsets based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP): the Nokia X, Nokia X+, and Nokia XL. The smartphones are powered by Microsoft and Nokia services and can run Android apps.
"Today Nokia introduces a brand new family of smartphones, the Nokia X family, a range of handsets that combines Nokia design, build quality and services with the ability to run Android apps," touts a new press release on Monday, Feb. 24.
"The X family boasts Nokia's exciting, high quality hardware design and a range of bright colours. The brand new, tile-based Home screen offers you a simple, elegant way to manage your apps and phone functions and also reintroduces a redesigned version of the enormously popular Fastlane notifications centre - a second Home screen if you like - from the latest Asha devices."
Nokia X, X+ and XL Specs & Prices
The Nokia X and Nokia X+ come with 4-inch 480 x 800 displays. Both handsets pack dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors clocked at 1GHz, 4GB of internal storage capacity and microSD card slots for additional memory of up to 32GB. Both have 3-megapixel rear cameras with no front shooters and have 1,500 mAh batteries. The difference is that the Nokia X comes with 512MB of RAM, while the Nokia X+ packs 768MB of RAM. The Nokia XL, meanwhile, sports a 5-inch 480 x 800 display, a 5-megapixel camera, a 2-megapixel front shooter, 768MB of RAM and a larger 2,000 mAh battery.
All three phones in the Nokia X family come with dual-SIM support, have 3G connectivity, and use micro-SIMs instead of regular ones. The handsets are priced between Nokia's existing Asha and Lumia lines. The Nokia X comes with a €89 price tag, the X+ will cost €99, while the Nokia XL will go up to €109.
Software & Features
As expected, the highlight of the new Nokia X devices is the heavily-customized version of Android, which features a Metro-like user interface (UI) and access to Nokia's own app store. Nokia doesn't offer access to the Google Play store, but users will be able to side-load Android apps from any third-party sources.
All three smartphones in the Nokia X family come with some neat software as well. Free access to Nokia's popular HERE Maps application, for instance, will provide users with offline maps and integrated turn-by-turn navigation, while Nokia MixRadio will allow for free music streaming and downloadable playlists. There are also several third-party apps and games pre-loaded onto the devices, including BBM, Plants vs. Zombies 2, Viber, Vine, and Twitter.
Moreover, the all three smartphones come with free cloud storage from Microsoft's OneDrive, previously known as SkyDrive. It's also worth noting that interested customers who purchase any model in the Nokia X family in select markets will also get a one-month Skype Unlimited World Subscription for free, for a limited time.
The Nokia X will be immediately available for purchase in Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. The Nokia X+ and XL models are expected to make their commercial in the second quarter of 2014, launching in the same markets as the Nokia X.
The Nokia X and X+ models will be available in bright green, bright red, cyan, yellow, black, and white color options, while the Nokia XL model will replace the bright red with an orange color option. Nokia further notes that color availability may vary depending on region. To get a better idea about the Nokia X family of smartphones, check out the video below.