Besides launching the new Nokia X platform, handset maker Nokia also announced five new handsets, three of which run on the new platform. But is Nokia too late or will it be able to regain its previous dominant position? Only time will tell. (Also read: Nokia X Developer Initiatives, New Lumia Apps & Imaging SDK)
Nokia X Smartphones
Nokia announced three new Nokia X based smartphones – Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL. The interface is inspired by its Asha platform and offers a dual homescreen mode – a tile-based interface taken from its Lumia smartphones and a Fastlane view which displays your recent apps, photos, Facebook updates and others, based on your usage.
What’s interesting here is unlike other Android smartphones which follow a three-button design, Nokia X follows a single back button design with no dedicated buttons for home or multitasking. This is quite similar to what we saw on Nokia Asha 501 and Asha 502.
Since Nokia has stripped all Google services from the platform, there is no Google Play app store. Nokia is countering this by offering its own app stores along with access to more than a dozen third-party app stores and allowing app installation through sideloading. Nokia informed that it has also inked quite a few tie-ups to offer most of the popular apps on Nokia X platform.
However, this is probably not the best approach since multiple app stores can be confusing and sideloading can be quite risky depending on where users are getting the application files.
On the software front, Nokia will also be offering 10GB free cloud storage for Microsoft’s OneDrive and a month of Skype’s Unlimited World Subscription (in select markets) which allows users to make international calls to landlines in more than 60 countries and mobile phones in eight countries. The Skype offer will however be not available in India.
Nokia will also be offering its own Nokia MixRadio and offline HERE maps with integrated turn-by-turn navigation for free. These phones are being positioned in the affordable range and a gateway for consumers to upgrade to their premium Lumia smartphones. But the question here is whether this will really be an ‘upgrade’ for consumers who are used to a more richer (possibly) Android app ecosystem?
Specs: Nokia X has a 4″ IPS capacitive display and 3MP camera while Nokia X+ will feature similar specs with more memory (768MB RAM as against 512MB RAM in Nokia X) and more storage (an additional 4GB microSD card besides 4GB internal memory). Both the phones will be available in bright green, bright red, cyan, yellow, black and white colors.
Nokia XL on the other hand, has a 5″ display with 2MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing, autofocus camera with flash. It will be available in bright green, orange, cyan, yellow, black and white colors. All the three phones supports dual SIM and are powered by a dual core Snapdragon processor.
Nokia X is priced at €89 and is expected to go on sale immediately in India, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa while Nokia X+ and Nokia XL are priced at €99 and €109 respectively and is expected to be available from early Q2 2014.
Nokia 220 & Asha 230
Nokia also announced two new feature phones – Nokia 220 and the full touch Nokia Asha 230. Nokia Asha 230 runs on the new Asha platform and has preloaded messaging apps like LINE, WeChat and WhatsApp. With a forthcoming software update, the company says users will get 7GB of free cloud storage on Microsoft OneDrive, along with an option to automatically back up photos to the cloud, similar to what Dropbox or Google+ does right now. The phone is priced at €45 and will be available in single and dual SIM variants. It is expected to start rolling out immediately across India, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
On the other hand, Nokia 220 has a 2.4″ color screen with preloaded Facebook and Twitter apps. It will also have Nokia Xpress browser with Bing as the default search engine. It is priced at €29 and will be available in single and dual SIM variants in markets like India, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
With this, Nokia will now offer four types of devices: entry-level devices like the new Nokia 220; entry-level Asha touch phones like the new Nokia Asha 230; Nokia X smartphones like Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL which targeted at growth economies; and premium Lumia smartphones like Lumia 1020.
Isn’t this more interesting than the phones?