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.
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.
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.
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.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.