Nokia X
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Nokia X and X+ announced, runs Android apps

Nokia X and X+ have just been announced by the Finnish handset maker at their Mobile World Congress 2014 press conference. The devices are the first Nokia handsets to run Android, although it is a forked version of the operating system. Nokia X and X+ is aimed at emerging markets and is partly powered by Nokia and Microsoft services. Think of these as an extension of Asha and not so much a threat to Window Phone. Details below.

The Nokia X and X+ are low-cost Android phones, running a forked version of the open source operating system. You won’t be getting apps from the Google Play store, but instead from Nokia’s own “Nokia Store” and other locations (more on that below). The phone will be powered by a suite of Microsoft and HERE apps. These aren’t flagship devices, but meant to move a lot of numbers and appeal to emerging markets.

Nokia X and Nokia X+

For specs we’re looking at a 4-inch display on both phones. The X+ is notable for having extra memory and storage through a microSD card. Both phones feature bold colors and an iconic design.

On board you’ll find OneDrive, Skype, Outlook.com, HERE Maps, Nokia Mix Radio and more. Apps can be sideloaded through a storage card. The phones will be available in over 60 markets on 160 different operators. The Nokia X and X+ are meant to drive users to Microsoft’s services. 

The Nokia X and X+ will be available immediately. Nokia X will cost 89 euros, while the Nokia X+ will cost 99 euros. 

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Reader comments

Nokia X and X+ announced, runs Android apps

147 Comments

So, this is good news for MS, WP, and Lumia devices.. Like Elop said NX is a feeder device for the Lumia brand. Basically the X devices are there to push MS services.. This gives WP that much more credibility, especially if these devices do well..
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Smart move MS.. The Nokia X will soon be a MS product, and MS will now have the Asha, X, and Lumia brands for mobile phones...
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Very interesting, and this was a lot better news than I could've ever expected... And, with WP8.1, and it's flexibility, apps, and hardware should increase exponentially...
Who would've thought that "Normandy" was all just a plan to boost WP?.. I sure didn't, although it did cross my mind... I guess Elop is a real Trojan horse... Lol!

Honestly don't see how this will push people to windows phone. What are they going to do when it comes time to switch and the windows phone app store has less apps to choose from than what they had on their x device. All of this stuff, aside from here/nokia is available in the play store. And there are google alternatives to everything else.

Time.. Give it time.. Haven't you learned anything.. We can now trust that MS is thinking now... Besides, this is ultimately a MS device in the future, so if it does good it will inherently help continue to fund the awesome WP efort... WIN-WIN❕❕❕❕❕

Exactly, it's going to be at least a year, more likely 2 or 3 before most people are ready to upgrade again, by then there will be no app gap.

Except that in emerging markets that are the main target market, phones are not usually purchased on contract as in the US.

Now I want to buy one, just to prove you wrong. Officially, they won't have Play, but I'm 100% sure you can sideload it.

I have no problem reading. I think you might want to slow down and read my comment "properly". I never said the X devices would have access to the play store ( though you can sideload, and it is much easier for a company to get an android app working in nokias store than it is to get it in the windows store ). I was talking about when it comes time to get the next phone and tour decision is between android and windows. In one, you have everything ( including those Microsoft services you have been spoonfed and great alternatives to the nokia/here stuff ) and in the other you have only the nokia/here stuff.

Maybe you weren't reading the part of the article where it stated that Nokia X and X+ owners would NOT be getting access to the Google Play store.  And maybe you were not reading the other part of the article which stated that Nokia X and X+ owners essentially be getting spoonfed Microsoft services; you know, as opposed to Google apps and Google services.

Nokia X and X+ push Windows Phone, because they are essentially the 'Fisher-Price' version of Windows Phone.  Looks like Windows Phone, smells like Windows Phone, uses Windows Phone back end services.  So from the perspective of the end user, it must be the little brother to Windows Phone.  So you buy a Nokia X, or X+ if you are on a tight budget, you get acquainted and used to all the Microsoft backend services, and one day when your ship comes in, you naturally upgrade to a proper Windows Phone.  Where even a switch to the Lumia 525, could be considered an upgrade over the Nokia X.

You can download apps from various android stores and side load. Second since apps are 100% compatible, its merely a question of devs submitting apps. If nokia offers 80-20% revenue and next to 0 submission fees, im sure a lot of apps would flood nokia store

Also and Microsoft has allowed oem's to use the same android design for windows phone... So nokia can recycle these devices... Or they can think of dual boots later on... :)

Where has anyone said they were getting access to it? Sideloading maybe.

Seriously, take time to read my comment. I was talking about the X driving people to windows phone ( or probably not ). A ton of the android apps they will have available on their X or X+, or XL will be in the play store, plus's thousands and thousands more. And alternatives to the Microsoft /nokia stuff, or even the same services. WP will have the Microsoft/nokia stuff and a considerably smaller number of other apps. THATS ALL I WAS SAYING. Not that the X devices have access to the play store, even if it will be easier to get other android apps into Nokias store.

Maybe you weren't reading the part of my comment that said that, or just imagined something else.

Why?

It is going to hit price points that windows phone will not. It is running nokia's own vision of android - if you compare amazon's os and android you can see that they share almost nothing in common (at LEAST visually). They don't even use Google's apps. Why the ugh? Would you rather Nokia ignore a market that will be huge and give it to people actually running android?

Personally, I think anybody who sees this as a bad move has a very narrow perspective, unless you can explain to me why addressing a market they can't with windows phone is bad. Nobody thought Asha was ugh.

Developers have to (re)submit their Android apps to the Nokia store, which uses a more strict app certification process (got this info via my Nokia Dev account). It is an attempt to only get quality apps in this Nokia (Android) Store, in contrary to Google Play Store which is filled with many apps that are just plain and utter crap. Also to make sure that the apps run smooth enough on Nokia X, something which Google also does not check or enforce correctly.

Why cant they address the low end market with WP? Now that Microsoft has removed all hardware barriers you can run windows on as crappy hardware as you want.

That's what I was wondering too. The 520 is already like, what $60 in some markets? How much cheaper can this Nokia X be?

$60?!! Are you for real? The cheapest it has gotten is $100 off contract. Not every country is the US where you get it for 60 bucks on contract!

In the us frys have it for $49.99 prepaid no contract in the uk the lowest i think we had it was £50 i. Just bought one recently for £75 even at that price its a bargain the phone is worth it...

shortly after I wrote the fry's price went from $49.99 to $79.99 so its now cheaper to go to Walmart $59.99, bestbuy $69.99 or target $69.99 in the US of A

In the UK our best places to buy the Lumia 520 are Asda £75, Tesco £75, Vodafone £75 or O2 £79.99  unless anyone knows cheaper prices.....

On contract, it's free. Off contract you can get it as low as $29.99USD. Bing "metro pcs". They have it at that price with NO contract.

Are you kidding? Here in Indonesia, 520 still priced at IDR 1,450,000 (that is around USD 125). Not every country can have discounted or subsidized like US did (-_-)a

People keep saying this is not a threat to windows phone but the lumia520 is the biggest selling device yet due to its price. So you're telling me that an even cheaper phone won't cut into those sales? Yeah...i call bull.

How are they hitting price points that Windows Phone will not? The leaked specs sound neck and neck with devices like the 520 and 8S. Meanwhile, Nokia needs to pass on the cost of significant software development and platform maintenance to users.

Its simple really the reason people want android is BECAUSE of the play store and the wide app selection w/out that what's the point? Its not a good android phone or MS phone... smh

In the market that these phones are targeting it doesn't matter if there is Play store access or not - the corner stores selling the phones will be happily side loading pirated apps for them instead!

Apps are available outside playstore. Infact i read somewhere that nearly half of the used apps are come from outside playstore.

These phones WILL be competing with the new low end windows phones now that Microsoft lowered the hardware requirements. If you saw the answer Joe Belfiore gave when asked about nokia/android phones you would understand this is NOT something Microsoft is happy about.

> .. this is NOT something Microsoft is happy about.

 

Then how would you explain this? If Skype team at Microsoft prepared an exclusive Nokia X version before its release date, then how is Microsoft unthrilled?

 

Don't let Joe Belfiore fool you. Sometimes he does that for fun.. :)

I hate it too. This is a very stupid idea. Microsoft services are already available on almost any device. I really think they should've continued with only Lumia and Asha.

I think this is very calculated play by MS and Nokia, think about it...soon Asha brand will be part of MS which currently runs all Nokia services, MS does not have any other choice but to continue this product line, what would be better than Nokia themselves replacing their Asha brand with something else which now runs MS services...rather than updating ageing Asha line with MS services. I think this is very clever play by both...

Even as the sale of nokia to microsoft is not complete yet. One would expect that MS is heavily involved with strategy already. This is an approach to low end buyers, familiarizing the UI. So that high end WP devices will be recognized ;-)

Legally Microsoft cannot be involved in Nokia's strategy until the deal is closed. Joe Belfiore stated that Microsoft is LESS thrilled (ie the Nokia X) about some of the things Nokia is doing. If Microsoft could have killed these phones they would have.

Microsoft is NOT ok with this. The only reason they didn't kill it was because they couldn't. Watch Belfiore statement about Nokia/android.

This is not android,this is windroid.look at those tiles.does ms allowed Nokia to copy their metro ui.

I think this might be one of the things Microsoft is less than thrilled with, as mentioned during the Microsoft presentation yesterday. They can't do a thing about it now though.

And if you heard Belfiore yesterday it's more than clear this is something Microsoft never wanted and is NOT excited about. These phones will be in direct competition with the new low end 8.1 devices when Microsoft went through hell to bring new OEMs to make windows phones.

Anything from Microsoft or Nokia involving smartphone releases has to do with WP in some form. Whether it be considered good or bad to the platform and I think this fits under several reasons why wpcentral should be covering it.

Good decision to skip out foogle play store...a lot of Indians will be fooled for sure hahahahahahaha

You don't need google play to run apps. Kindle fire doesn't have google play either but runs the apps. They will come from Nokia. Store.

It runs normal Android apps, you just can't download them from PlayStore. You can download them from Nokia's own Android store or other stores such as yandex etc

Its what you expect to see from an article on wpcentral that has nothing to do with any of us here. I'm not disgusted so much as confused why this phone exists and how people can keep saying this won't undercut windows phone at all, with devices like the 520 selling at sub $100 level.

I think they're trying to replace that segment. They want Windows Phone to have a good market image, not be seen as the sub-100$ emerging market OS. So they leverage the flexibility/scalability of Android to create those low end phones in a way that will make Windows Phone the natural place to upgrade if someone wants the full fledged modern smartphone experience.

This keeps the mental image of Windows Phone as a high-end competitor, and allow Microsoft to keep developing Windows Phone for good quality, enduring, innovative hardware rather than constantly trying to make it work on really cheap emerging market stuff.

I think they have discovered (by means of the 520) the huge cheap-smartphone market as a step to getting people onboard with Windows Phone, but they don't want Windows Phone itself to service that market. You might end up with a really fragmented operating system, like has happened to Android when trying to service both junk phones and flagships.

BS. Microsoft needs Market share and the low end Windows Phone's are the only way to get it because that is where the (global) growth is.

You're right, but I think they've learned from Android that they have to make a decision: to support moderate  to high-end devices, or to mix high-end and low-end and lose the quality of the ecosystem.

Their answer it to make a version of Android that looks suspiciously similar to Windows Phone for the lower end market. I don't doubt that they'll still aggressively price Windows Phones, using as cheap hardware as they can without losing quality. Plus, these phones get the reputation that Android has for being low-cost, but they're a bit of a trojan horse. Seems like a good plan to me, that in the long term will have a huge payoff for Microsoft.

Apparently they are confident enough in their position now to risk using something other than Windows Phone to create market share for themselves.

Come on Marco -- Microsoft don't want to let anything jeopardise the Nokia buy out. Meaning they don't want to even say they give their blessing, which may suggest, to the powers that be, that Microsoft and Nokia were working together. The best way would be to keep as far away as possible from Nokia X. And may I say, Luke Bennett theory, sounds the most likely plan -- pure genius, if you ask me. I mean, why would anyone spend 100's on WP8 when a £50 phone does virtually the same thing (except for camera). And the L520 sales kinda prove that, everyday people aren't buying enough high end WP8. Having said that, only time will tell ;)

It looks like WP 8. You can tell Microsoft definitely had a hand in this phone also. If they couldn't kill it then the least they could do was dress up their precious Android and make it decent... Smart move Microsoft.

Well WP will be a low spec OS in the future. So the X line is a direct competitor. The phones have like 520 specs but are way cheaper. Why would other OEMs in the future offer cheap low end WPs when even Nokia sells more Android phones than Lumias?

It doesn't matter if the money goes to Nokia/MS. It will distract other OEMs from WP when they see that you can sell more phones with Android.

You dont think the other OEM's know that by now?? Android owns like 70% of the market. Nokia is the number 1 seller for Windows because look at how many phones they came out with compared to HTC & Samsung. The OEM's already know where the money is that's why (LG, Samsung, HTC, Sony) keep churning out Android phones and not Windows phones.

I listened to the Nokia presentation and he said the Nokia X's could get apps from the Nokia Store and a couple of other stores. I can't remember the name of one of them, but the Yandex Store was one I believe. Certainly not the Google Play Store though.

Most of us are surely not the target users of this phone, but at that price, it will sell like pancakes in emerging markets.

So instead of using windows phone and putting it in lower spec hardware they went out their way to redesign android to remove all functionality, use windows services and look like windows......why not, just use windows? Lol

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Wasn't there a rumor that Nokia used this to entice the sale of the phone division to Microsoft? In order to make their argument it had to be real. Well now it's real :(.

it will work but only if they showcase how much better Windows Phone is! with windows phone 8.1 able to run on all android phones then hopefully next month microsoft will show off windows phone 8.1 running on Nokia X, X+ and XL

I don't think this bastard has a choice. Have you ever seen android on 768mb of ram? Now just imagine the horrors of 512mb.

How can this not be considered a threat to devices like the Lumia 520? I understand these Android devices will help push Microsoft services, but there's no point in getting more Outlook.com users as the number of Outlook.com users does not help with getting new apps on the Windows Store.

I can't help laughing at the irony of it all. Give a WP like interface, run MS services, but have Android underneath. Now tell me why anyone thinks Nokia hasn't taken MSFT into confidence on this. The only reasons I can think of is:
1) Nokia really wanted a pie of the low-end free of cost (sans license fees), to at least take in a greater margin on the hardware.
2) Nokia can now lure people, once they are familiar with the tile interface, to their superior Lumia line
3) There still is a vast chunk of less tech-savvy people who would like to have a Nokia, but then pass on it because their Fandroid friends would discourage them telling it doesn't have Android, as if Android is the holy grail. But since these former now hear Nokia has Android phones, they can buy into it, while being none the wiser.

There are normally simple ways to sideload the playstore. Or if you dont like that or can't do it you could just install the amazon app store. What the heck is Microsoft thinking here? This is the only interest that I have in this decice.

I still do not get the point of this phone at all. Very low specs, an ugly (subjective, hey I don't like it) UI and it looks like it came from 2010.

So to sum it up briefly, Elop said the following about the X range:

- It is designed to run Microsoft and Nokia Services such as HERE Maps, OneDrive, MixRadio, Bing search, Skype etc. By doing this, I would think Microsoft and Nokia expect to see the numbers of people using these services go up by quite a large amount, especially in emerging markets as they call them. Well I take it that's the plan.

- It is not going to run any of Google's services

- It will always be priced lower than the cheapest Lumia device

- Lumia devices are going to get cheaper (so a cheaper version of the 520 or a WP from another OEM is coming that will beat the price point of the 520)

I can see the reason behind doing this X range. Although I'm slightly nervous about it at the same time. Will people forget about the lower end Lumia's especially the 520, in favour of an X device, as it's cheaper 'and runs on Android'. Or will MS see a huge boost in the number of people using their servives and find more people will naturally upgrade over time from an X to a Lumia. Not sure to be honest!

These are "feeder" products meant to expose a broader amount of people to a wp like experience.  It's like, meant to compete with low end android devices.  You can argue that the 520 was that, but like, in low end markets android is king.  People want android apps.  Maybe down the line when wp app ecosystem is exactly on par with android, people may decide that wp is for them based on the experience they had with Nokia x.  or maybe not.  Either way, this is good exposure for microsoft and nokia.  People get too worked up over things..

Heh. This already runs more apps than Windows Phone and has a notification centre, and costs 89 Euros. What a fail Windows Phone has turned out to be for Nokia.

How is it a fail mate? I thought the action centre is coming soon? I see it this way, Microsoft/Nokia have given Google a big 'two finger salute'. And who knows, once Microsoft take over Nokia, they might kill off low end phones -- like L520 -- to concentrate on high end models. Thus, leaving the scraps of that sector for huawei etc? This would kinda make sense, if you look at, for example, the expensive material the Surface is made from. Just my 2 pence ;)

Rather than comparing it to the best value WP 520 and its upcoming 5xx families, I think this product is more targeted for Asha users. Which I mean Nokia has two main products for different segmented targets, which are Asha and WP.

So according to the Verge these phones are running Android like a sloth on basically the same hardware as the 520. Why didn't Nokia just bring a cheaper WP device?

The Verge is the most Microsoft hating website I've ever come across in my entire life. So much so, when I tried to sign up with my Outlook email, they couldn't be even bothered, to send me a validation email. Therefore, preventing me from commenting on all those millions of Android fans, that lurk there with crap rhetorical questions... Ha ha ha ha

These phones will be rooted as soon as its out to run full Android. I wouldn't be surprised if independant phone shops don't sell this already rooted. "Feeder" my ass.

Oh how I wish a few months after this sells like hotcakes, some notification will pop up that the user can change the OS to WP8.1... Lol

To me it sounds like a decent idea. It appears that MS and Nokia are attempting to get first-time smartphone buyers invested in MS and Nokia services early on, making it harder for them to leave MS in the future. This is why it has been pretty difficult to lure early Apple and Android users over to WP...they all have tons of money tied up in things like apps, iTunes, and Google music, etc. Just my thoughts.

shortly after I wrote the fry's price for a prepaid Nokia Lumia 520 ealier in this thread it went from $49.99 to $79.99 so its now cheaper to go to Walmart $59.99, bestbuy $69.99 or target $69.99 in the US of A

In the UK our best places to buy the Lumia 520 are Asda £75, Tesco £75, Vodafone £75 or O2 £79.99  unless anyone knows cheaper prices.....

Google executive praised this morning on CBS this morning on how Important and big android is ! They mention on how even Microsoft 's favorite OEM Nokia even jumped on googles junk!!!
It made my skin crawl...a " forked" version of android? Google exects say its still has android goods! Why couldn't ms come out with a " forked version of wp8? Why use the competition?does ms not have those capabilities?

Actually this is good. There are people who still whine about lack of apps and still covet Nokia. They can now shut up and #SwitchToNokiaX :D

Even with Nokia Store offering the apps (instead of Play Store), I am sure, there will be plenty of apps.