The Final Android Nokia
Nokia have recently been focusing mainly on Windows OS handsets, however since acquisition of BlackBerry last year, Nokia have concentrated on some of the companies popular features, mainly BBM which will be pre-installed on this handset on the Android platform. The takeover of Nokia by Microsoft will most probably see the end of Android after this release which was announced at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona.
Nokia has been struggling to find a place in the market, years ago it was one of the more dominant handset manufacturers however in recent years it has fallen behind the times with smartphone releases. Sales did pick up when it was only one of a few handsets which offered a Windows OS, but nothing like some of its rivals such as Samsung and Apple. The launch of the X, X+ and XL Android handsets from Nokia have been described as a “perplexing strategic move”.
Windows OS still only hold a small section of the OS market, dominated by Android and iOS from Apple. This year 1.1 million devices running Android are expected to be shipped. Compare this to 360,000 using the Windows operating system and you can see the battle Windows OS have ahead with critics commenting that Microsoft has been too slow to respond to the booming market for mobile devices. Will their move forward with Nokia see them eat more into the market? Who knows, but a Nokia handset running on Android, is welcomed by many.
The Nokia X range, made up of three handsets being the Nokia X, X+ and XL, feature 4-inch displays for the X and X+ and 5-inch for the XL (unsurprisingly). The handsets are made up from a number of different platforms and set ups, for example the handsets use the Android Open Source Project to replace Google’s services with Nokia’s own including cloud offerings from Microsoft. Nokia’s Stephen Elop said at the launch today: “The Nokia X takes people to Microsoft’s cloud, not to Google’s cloud,”
The user interface (UI) of the X range brings together Android and Windows phone functionality with a touch of BlackBerry to create a user friends ‘gateway’ phone which is well priced for a smartphone. The X, X+ and XL will range in price from 89 euros (£74) to 109 euros (£89). Which comes in reasonably priced compared to last year’s Nokia Lumina which was priced at £110. There are a number of slight difference between the handsets, enough to up the prices in the range. For example the X+ has a better internal memory and the XL has the bigger screen size. The design of the handsets also follows Nokia’s favourable style, with matte plastic casing, square edges with rounded corners and gently curving backs. Plus you can choose from the bright and cheery primary coloured cases, choose from Cyan, yellow and red as well as green and orange, plus your usual black or white options.
Technology inside the handsets reflects the affordable price, but it doesn’t mean it’s shoddy or poor. Simple tiling functions (a teaser of windows perhaps) and simple scrolling make it easy to use and in standard Android format. Swipe and flick up gestures helped you open and close as well as navigate and also can be used in apps. Also added is Nokia’s FastLane feed, something of a recent apps menu you find on Android. You can keep up with the hive of activity on social media feeds and any updates on the recent apps you have used.
Keeping their handsets simple and easy to use plus affordably priced could be a move in the right direction for Nokia.