It has begun, ladies and gentlemen, fellow geeks and tech-enthusiasts–the Mobile World Congress 2014. This is the time of year when you can expect all major players in the mobile devices market to offer their latest and greatest. We will kick off our MWC ’14 coverage with Nokia’s event press conference that held today in Barcelona. In accordance with the forecast of industry sources, Nokia showed no love to Lumia line-up this time (except an few announcements) and concentrated on the Asha and Android smartphones in particular, and the AOSP-based Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL and the hottest of the Nokia’s offerings.
None of these smartphones, however, are anything like your typical Android phone, since they run a forked and heavily-customized version of Android OSP. There will be no Google Play Store, obviously, and it is to be replaced by the Nokia Store. Don’t despair, though, as Nokia is giving the users the freedom to access third-party app stores and side-load applications on the MicroSD card and the file-manager that is available out of the box. Other pre-installed applications include Here Maps, Outlook, Skype and MixRadio. All Nokia X users will get one month of premium Skype privileges and 10GB of OneDrive storage as well–all included for the price of the handset.
Nokia Store has been optimized for monetization, and in-app purchases, try-and-buy, and operator billing are some of the features that the Store will offer to its users.
As far as the specifications go, Nokia X and X+ host a 4.0-inch, 800 x 480 pixels display (~233 ppi), weigh 129 grams and have a battery capacity of 1500 mAh. Their larger sibling, Nokia XL has a 5.0-inch WVGA IPS display. All models of the X-family boast a dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8225 chipset with 3G network and optional dual-SIM capabilities. The only major difference among them is the RAM capacity and cameras. Nokia X has 512 MB while both X+ and XL have 768 MB of RAM. Both X and X+ have 3 MP primary camera (no LED flash or secondary cameras here) and the XL boasts 2 MP secondary and 5 MP primary camera with LED flash. All models have 4 GB of internal memory which is, thankfully, expandable via MicroSD card of up to 32 GB capacity.
The UI on the phones looks like a blend of Windows Phone and Android UI. There’s a Windows Phone-like Glance Screen and resizeable tiles on the home-screen. Folders and widgets are also available. Swiping across the home-screen brings up the notifications-bar, called Fastlane, and it shows recent apps, messages, calls and other information.
The phones will be made available globally soon with a major focus on “emerging markets”. Nokia X will be available immediately for $125 (€89) while Nokia X+ and XL will be available for $135 (€99) and $150 (€109) respectively, starting early Q2 this year.
(Image Credits: The Verge & Engadget)