Nokia XL
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First look at the Nokia XL, an Android phone inspired by Lumia

Today, Nokia announced a few new phones, including their ‘X’ family: Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL. The XL is appropriately titled as it comes in with a five inch IPS display, 5 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front camera. It also adds a flash, making a significant bump over the X and X+ versions.

The phone will run for 109 euro when released in Q2.

What to make of it? It’s not just a Lumia running a forked version of Android. Sure, it borrows from the Lumia’s design language, but it feels blockier. The IPS display is not bad, but it’s clearly missing the sunlight readability feature found in Lumias for bright lights.

Nokia XL Rear

The OS is not super-fast but neither is it sluggish. It’s certainly interesting to see an Android device that is basically skinned to look like Windows Phone 8, including the Tile movement and resizing. But clearly Nokia is going for the service play here: get people on Nokia and Microsoft services, avoid Google at all costs. You have to admit, that’s a bold strategy, one that may irk Google.

Nokia XL Camera

This is the first time a major smartphone company has purposefully shunned OHA and Google. That can’t make them too happy, especially since they’re replacing a lot of services with their own.

Nokia XL Side

I have to admit, the few minutes I spent with the XL it was an interesting device. Priced right and put in the right markets, it could do very well as a smartphone with training wheels. Or as Elop noted, a launching ramp for Lumias.

We’ll have more coverage later, but for now, check out the photos.

Nokia X SoftwareNokia XL DisplayNokia XL USB

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Reader comments

First look at the Nokia XL, an Android phone inspired by Lumia

177 Comments

Exactly!!!! It's kinda a slap in the face too those haters who said WP sucks so MS has to use Android... Turns out it's more of a MS phone then anything..... This device just helps push the Modern interface even more on the public... And, it can have even more positive affects for WP, and MS in general...
It's kinda like MS challenging Google at it's own game... I can dig it❕❕❕

Yep.. Glass half full.. And do we really think MS would throw all the past few years of work on WP down the drain?.. No.. They know what they are doing now..
......................
Trial and error.. But, it took them long enough.. Lol❕

Hope after using this android version,after some time period they provide on air update to this phone,and guess what?after installing update people got windows 8on this X,lol

its weird now 

are you going to decide on whome will be reviewing the nokia x devices since they are ANDROID?

WP or Androidcentral

Not really a problem, but since it has the element of WP on this phone, I curious enough to see how it goes.

This X series is pretty funny.. All these android fans bitching and complaining about Nokia being exclusively WP and they finally made an Android.... And it sucks!!! Just check the Verge, writers and commenters and ripping it to shreds. Good for WP though. People are calling it the "poor mans Lumia".

Dude, you could bring a Lumia/Windows phone from the year 5000 that can read your mind and even cooks for you and the Verge writers would still give it a 5 for ecosystem and come up with anything else to give it a 7 out of 10 on their Apple scale. As a Nokia stock holder I think this might give Nokia a better chance to thrive in countries like China and India who might be more open to this OS vs. Windows. MS on the other hand is bringing their services to close the gap, which I'm sure is part if the plan.

I appreciate your devotion. And tbh I'm the first person to tell people to stop hating on the competition. But I just don't get it. From what I've heard it's endlessly laggy, even for android. And the fact it's so WP like means anyone who would consider buying it would probably also consider buying a WP (which is obviously the better option as it will be supported for longer). I honestly think it was a waste of time. But that's imo obviously.

Eh, sure there's some arguments for it.. But I'd have to say it's not worth much hype. Windows phone and Asha covered most of the important markets. This feels like and awkward medium.

We'll see how it goes. At least for now I hope this gives a few Finnish folks a few more jobs and there is also a long term plan. My only complaint really is that Nokia just put the same effort Samsung put into windows phone with the hardware. Kind of hard to compete with those specs.

Well if they are going to compare it to a Galaxy 4, HTC One or whatever then of course it is going to get ripped to shreds. People on these sites are always unable to review/view things in perspective. It's a cheap Android phone, of course it's pretty shit - but for the money it's a handsome, well built entry phone. Considering the cheap plastic feel of a Galaxy I cannot imagine how horrid Samsung's low-end phones are.

You might be right there, but we're still not comparing apples with apples here. Take a look at equal spec windows phones and you may as well get one of those. Similar look and feel, similar pricing, but the WP will be supported for a lot longer and has office etc

There's never an "exact" comparison. But there's no equal spec WP phones, these have lower specs than even the 520. There's not much in it, but then there wouldn't be at this price level, but it's here where even $10 can make a difference in sales. And if you compare to the 520 it came out at $150 and the X is $80, a substantial difference. Personally I'd have hoped they would have 320 & 420 with these specs to replace Asha phones, but perhaps with this being "Android" and that being seen as the thing to have and having more apps, for now, this is a better play.

That's not true. Doesn't the L520 have 512mb of ram? The XL has 768mb which exceeds the L520 and as for price point, isn't the L520 $99 - $120 already? If so, they are comparables

I'm aware it runs MSFT services, but this is a Windows Phone site, no? I appreciate that other Microsoft services are creeping onto this site too, like Xbox, but I guess they're more general interest. You gotta draw the line somewhere. Unless I can get my .NET and SQL news here too? 

+8X and if you have a subscription to office 365, you can also run office on any Android device, you can also load onedrive, Xbox app, etc on Apple & android. That would qualify as Microsoft services, so they all should be listed here

Windows Phone's biggest champion (arguably more so than MS) makes a device for a platform other than the one they've supported for the last 2+ years and you don't think this news belongs here? Really?

Every time there has been a new Asha phone released it has been reported on this site. So in answer to your question: here.

Fair enough. I probably missed those as there wasn't 5 articles about the same thing in a row like there is with this.

Congrats, I'm really pleased for you. Now you can enjoy Android, guilt free, as well then I guess? This is still (supposed to be) a Windows Phone site.

There are occasional news stories of interest touching upon the wider picture that includes Microsoft and its other OS's and services, and Nokia because they are Microsoft's premium partner. This site does post news about Windows PC's, Skydrive, Outlook.com etc as well. This is posted here, understandably because it is a huge strategic move on the part of Microsoft and Nokia to push their services into a segment dominated by a major competitor and hence newsworthy for a site focussed on Microsoft's efforts in mobile.
 

Not really; no Windows user would be happy with that experience. But it would be a much easier transition for someone switching from X to Windows Phone than from Android to Windows Phone.

That's the only advantage I can see, but if it is running choppy like it's being reported it may leave a bad taste in potential WP converts mouths no matter how many apps are available. Because the interface is tiley like the real WP, they may think all WP devices don't run well. I guess its a risk they deemed okay

I did not want to answer to your stupid question, but here it goes

The cost of XL is more than Lumia 520 and less than Lumia 620 (comparing Indian prices). Externally it has a larger screen(more than , more RAM, 2 MP front facing camera, 5 MP rear facing camera -with- flash, 256 MB more RAM, out of which atleast 512 MB is going to be available for applications (compared to a 512 MB WP device which only has 140 MB available for applications) AND technically more applications (since it's Android); rest everything is equal to Lumia 620. Sure it may not have compass, clearblack display, NFC, but who cares about those stuff in emerging markets? The 520 costs about $128, 620 costs about $193 and this XL about $149. Why would anyone even bother to pay more for less stuff? Android is still the reigning champion in mobile OS, and this is Android. People will obviously choose a $150 device with more stuff and Android (in practicality) over a $193 dollar with less features and Windows Phone (which has still not matured and isn't widely regarded a suitable operating system.

 

Thank you.

*less applications, at least for now. Most Android apps require Play services and will need to be ported. Nokia X is not the platform for a wealth of apps, not yet at least.

What I meant was Android applications (that obviously don't require play services, and I know there are a lot which don't) on play store can be sideloaded on this.

The uninformed will more than likely not even know what "sideloading apps", means. Regardless im itching to get my hands on of these :p. With BBM coming to wp, for me personally it shows blackberry have now reconciled themselves as the 4th ecosystem. I can see BBM being a key app for the Nokia X devices as well.

Where did you get your info as all of the tech site are saying they don't know if side loading is possible on these devices.

'A lot' is not many when you consider the size of the Play Store. Also the more attractive and popular the app, the more likely it will use Play APIs like IAP, location, etc.

If Asha sold millions each quarter, then why has Nokia resorted to Android? I'm sure I won't get a straight answer as you Finn's have issues telling the truth about Nokia when it doesn't show them in a good light. By the way, I own 5 Nokia phones, so I'm not anti Nokia, I'm just honest about them

I think the idea is to acclimatize customers to Microsoft and its services before they jump into Google Android. A major hurdle for people who want to jump ship from Android is the dependency on Google's services. This new X range will appeal to people upgrading from feature phones but who instinctively look for Android phones because they are so popular. Once they do that they enter Microsoft's world of services and when they upgrade eventually they will give Windows phones a fair consideration- so the thinking goes. So these phones would be beneficial to Windows phone in the long term. And I think Microsoft is obviously in on this too. Nokia has long been in team Microsoft for a while now.

It is a crafty plan, once a person is invested in an ecosystem it is hard for them to leave. Given there are literally no Google services, their only option would be to upgrade to a lumia. But life never goes to plan, I imagine these will be rooted double quick to run Google's Android.... As people have been clamouring for a Nokia Android device for ages now.

Yeah, but people (read: tech nerds) have been clamoring for a Nokia Android device with good specs and features - not a low-end bargain basement device.

It makes no sense, they want people to use Microsoft so they went out of their way to drop windows phone and completely redesign android to look like it...what's the point when the OS you are copying already exists. That's like apple dropping the iOS and going to android to completely recreate it...why bother?

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Feature phones generally don't require and are not dependent on data plans/WiFi, like the 520 and other smartphones are. I would assume the Nokia X line will be more like feature phones than smartphones in this respect.

AOSP is not Google's. Google's Android is Google's. Nokia is not contributing to the OS, in fact this is more of a blow to Google -- Nokia gets to piggy-back on their work and Google gets absolutely nothing in return.

Maybe because Windows phone presence is still very marginal in smartphone world, and people reflexively give Android first preference when they look for new phones. And low end market is flooded by Android. So, a new smartphone user shopping in the low end will likely not go for a Windows phone device over a similar Android option.

@Nik Rolls, most people don't realise there are two versions of Android. Google's version is being less open with every update. Aosp (Android Open Source Project) is the bare bones and is completely open. Now they will learn how "open" Google's version really is :P.

Agreed, hence the explanation. Time will tell if they have a problem with apps or not (there are not many AOSP apps around, most will require a port).

I'll not be here for a bit now.. Untill WPcenral is about WP again.. We knew there was not going to be much abot WP at MWC so why be there and why fill pages with content irrelevant to the site.

THere is no relevance to this phone for a WINDOWS PHONE enthusiast site. Android central doesn't spent countless artciles discussing Samsung's upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 device or any of Samsung/HTC past windows phone devices.

I could see if one or two posts were made about it but the overflooding of info on a phone that 90 percent of the people here likely DONT care about is a bit...overwhelming.

Agreed. Are they going to start covering Asha phones now too, just because it's Nokia? This is a feature phone that runs "Android", which is Android in the same way OSX is Unix - based on it, but not really the same.

I'm already fed up with seeing so much about Xbox One and Windows 8.1 on this site. Don't add Nokia phones as another non-WP related topic that inexplicably keeps popping up.

Microsoft is NOT buying Nokia. Their buying the phones division that now belongs to Nokia. Nokia will carry on and I bet that in a few years Nokia phones will be back.

Hey Daniel , Focus! Stop eating tapas and icecream and start doing your job. This is android, not windows phone. 

fckin UGLY. gross. not just because it is android, it just looks too dry to look at it. if they go android, i think it would be fine if they appear same as what android devices appears like. way better than those pile of blocks. i'd buy one if they have it, bcause it's nokia.

Jesus, what is everyone complaining about. Some of us want to read it as its relevant. You can clearly see its android related from the title, so don't read the bloody article and stop your bitching in the comments, so over it!

The point being we're not here for android related stuff...I am sure Acentral users would feel the same way if windows phone was pretty much the only thing being discussed there all day long LOL...it's simple and the bitching is warranted.

 

I don't have to click on an article to still unfortunately see this atrocity everytime i flick throguh articles.

I don't really care about Android either, but I don't feel that this is irrelevant to WPC.

'THere is no relevance to this phone for a WINDOWS PHONE enthusiast site. '

You're just plain wrong. Nokia owns 90% of Windows Phone's market. Nokia intends this device as a feeder to the Windows Phone and Nokia / Microsoft Ecosystem - Relevant.

Microsoft has all but purchased nokia on the dotted line - Relevant.

The industrial design even follows the Lumia design philosophy so in a way, that's kind of relevant too. I've seen Asha phones on this site before and I didn't get too pissed about it, and in this case, neither should you.

@ Micah Dawson, well its like you have the option to either eat a slice of chocolate cake Or a portion of apple pie. Some of you are trying to eat both at the same time :p.

Yes. On paper it looks great. The question is how will Google counter act? I'll bet this was already thought out by Google a long time ago in case this happens. We have to wait for Google response. This is to early to celebrate.

Google can't counter they don't own android. They only make money off the oems that they charge for access and for the use of their services.

"But clearly Nokia is going for the service play here: get people on Nokia and Microsoft services, avoid Google at all costs. You have to admit, that’s a bold strategy, one that may irk Google."

 

Well, does that mean that Microsoft will be pulling their Apps from Google Play? Because otherwise, that strategy is doomed to fail. At best they could get people hooked on Nokia's MixRadio or HERE services...but MixRadio has competition and HERE services will very very likely arrive on Android and iOS as soon as the D&S division is sold to Microsoft.

In the meantime, they try to anger Google...hmm...so we're keeping the childish attitude are we, Microsoft? I hoped Nadella would put an end to that. Well, they can p*ss off Google all they want. But then they shouldn't complain when Google refuses to allow them an official YouTube on WP...

 

That said, the UI is horrible. I'm sick of tiles but I honestly prefer the WP ones to these. Hopefully someone over at XDA will manage to solve this... =P

The dual sim functionality makes this a great 'travellers' phone. In some countries, the price of this phone makes it almost disposable so ideal for basic access while travelling with both a local sim onboard for data/calling and your own regular sim for receiving.

So what are Nokia strategic market points?

In the last few years they manage to gain image recognition as " beautifully design and different smartphone"

They also manage to hit many markets and target at nearly all price points.

They gain popularity and have created various applications and are know to stand behind their products and support them at least 1 1/2 years.

Today
It seems like they want to use their brand advantage and claim android OS yet provide neither. (People expect good and beautiful hardware. People expect google services when you say android)

Why didn't they just use the Lumia 520 instead for this project. If not they should at least add it to their portfolio of X families 520x or x520.

Then again what they really want is people to upgrade to the Lumia series, after they go trough a sub par experience. No google apps and no windows apps because they need to basically use a whole new app store.

But it can go both ways, it can put people off entirely. Although it is a shrewd move, it is a risky one none the less. However you'd never get any where in life if you don't take risks or venture into the unknown.

Doesn't MS make more money on Android devices than WP devices because of patent issues? I'm not sure why this is even a reality. Maybe the Nokia App store will only have stuff available on WP. I don't know, and I just don't get it.

I suspect the same thing about the app store having apps also offered on WP.... And maybe change the OS to WP8.1 later. Hahaha

Hmmm... Wasn't there news before of WP8.1 reducing the touch buttons to just one (and running virtual buttons)? Plus, they also eliminated the need for a dedicated camera button.... Hmmm, this makes me think that somewhere down the road these phones can be loaded with WP8.1, becoming real "trojan"/"feeder" phones! If that is the case, I suspect Nokia/MSFT only approving apps in the Nokia store that are already in the Windows store.
But then this is just wishful thinking...

Good specs or not, laggy or not, tile like interface or not, if this is at the right price point it will sell well. Ain't nothing the MS hating Verge can do about it.

I despise the Verge as much as the size of their bias against MS. Not because I love MS but because they are biased and pretending not to be. In other words I don't like dishonesty.

Once developers get ROM dumps and are able to extract drivers, a Cyanogemod 11+ won't look bad on this, personally I would stay away from any Androids :P

Simple fact, Android sucks!! No matter how strong your hardware it will still be buggin' and shit!! I spent 2 years on Android before switching to Windows Phone 8, and my last Android device was the giant LG Optimus G!! But you know what? After using it for a while and installing a dozen of apps on it, it started driving me crazy, with freezing screen, buggy performance, sudden crashes!!! This never happened with my HTC 8X!! And now that I have almost no free memory on it after installing tons of apps and downloading hundreds of songs and videos! It still running smoothly! Not a single bug! Not a single crush!! That's the beauty of Windows Phone baby!! Now tell me wtf is this X or XL (or whatever the name) is supposed to be a good idea with Jurassic hardware?!!!

Don't compare the X / XL with a regular Android phone, they are not meant to compete with that. They are a replacement for the Asha series. When you start to compare the X's specs to those of Asha phones, that have 128 Mb's of RAM at best, the X suddenly doesn't look so Jurassic.

It is for emerging markets in places that people have only had feature phones. to get them to use mirosoft services and as a launching pad to the lumia line.

"It’s certainly interesting to see an Android device that is basically skinned to look like Windows Phone 8..."

Um, have we forgotten about HTC's Blinkfeed?

In use, sure, but the quote I'm referring to is talking about appearance. It seems everyone these days is trying to mimic WP's flat UI style, either subtly or blatantly

Main worry for me is that looking so similar to WP, this could be mistaken by non savvy folks to be Windows Phone. Its not going to be an encouragement to upgrade if the user experience is limited, dull and slow. Nice looking hardware but its should have windows phone on it.

They are treading on thin ice here in terms of marketing, no doubt about it. Interested to see what Nokia comes up with.

It is Nokia's first Android phone.  I don't see anything wrong with them covering this device, especially since it's existence is meant to strengthen WPs presence in emerging markets. I don't see why people keep complaining about them covering it.  Seriously.  It'd be weird if they didn't.  I guess people just need something to complain about.

I dont understand y people simply like anything?I guess people dont know what is right and what is wrong ....what they do is just simply follow the ideas

Since when does wpcentral reviews androids? I am sure android central didn't review windows phones or didn't even care when they were released on Samsungs or HTCs.

Come to think of it, this might work great for me! Maybe I come to like android after all. I mean, it'll have all of Nokia/Here apps, Microsoft apps, Android apps, probably will be able to side load Google apps and doesn't have the dumb icons (or whatever is it called) from the Android starts screen. If Nokia can sort out the lagdroid "feature" it's perfect for anyone looking into an android phone.

Microsoft should be ashamed for allowing this Sh!t. Android on a soon to be Microsoft device, WTF? This is an insult to us loyal WP followers. If MS allows Nokia to continue this then I am not sure if I will continue to support MS anymore. :(

Those sly bastards.....its a great Idea people that buy this phone and like it will, when it dies, look to a familiar alternative, windows phone.....good job Nokia.

I don't understand this.  Why not just strip the lumia 520 of it's capacative buttons and camera button, and sell the phone with WP8.1 on it (from what i've read, it will add support for on-screen buttons).  I don't see what this phone will accomplish that a 520 variant could not.  Wouldn't they  both be around the same price?

Don't kill me but I WANT THAT PHONE!!! I need a cheap phone to go with my 1520 and I didn't want another Windows Phone like the 520, 525 or 625 at the same time. I'm going to get another Windows Phone to upgrade my 1520. The X will be cheap and useful enough to take it where  I can't take a good phone  (it's dangerous in my country since a 1520 is worth 1000 dollars) and play PvZ2.

That's what I was afraid of when I saw the news. Even though it's supposed to help bring Android people to Windows Phone, I'm scared it might also help bring Windows Phone people to Android because of the extra apps. Bad move Nokia...

Relax, Windows Phone users won't upgrade to the X since Lumias have better specs (except WP7). I'm only going to update my 1520 with a new WP flagship so there's nothing to worry aobut. THe X is a good companion too and will help to move revenue in Nokia.

It's a feature phone that runs Android because it was easy to skin it to sort of look like WP, and to get MS and Nokia services on it. That's it, no need to get all up in arms about it... it's "Android", not Android.

Bad move Nokia. Already in the news they are saying it's proof of the failure of Windows Phone... :( Even though there's a reasoning behind it that maybe it will help bring more people to Windows Phone, the news people are not seeing it that way.

so nokia is already more functional than WP. how long was this in developement? 1 year? puts to shame the windows phone dev team, Joe Belfiore and Terry Mayerson.

AOSP... Forked Android... Whatever they call it, it's still Android...
Better idea is to block Google's services in Microsoft's services... Let's see how Android users fare without a Windows PC to use...

Why remove the hardware camera button? Basically a 520 with slight modifacations. One of the reasons I love WP. Dedicated button is always better.

BreathTaking news for Nokia lovers..!! Finally rumors turned into reality. Nokia with jellybean? Tiles and themes of windows? Looks as if Nokia is about to hand-over a magic wand with supernatural powers to its consumers. Blessings of Goddes Google, Power Of Nokia, and Personality of Microsoft all together  in one device starting at ₹ 8599..!! Awesome exploration of news, Fantastic..!!

You can also visit on:

http://techwaq.com/nokia-first-android-phone-x-a110-is-ready-to-deployed...