Nokia introduced three new low-cost smartphones—the Nokia X, X+ and XL—that are based on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and look like modified Windows Phones.
As rumored, Nokia took the Android plunge at Mobile World Congress with a trio of colorful dual-SIM handsets that start at approximately $122.
All running a hybrid OS called Nokia X, the phones maintain a familiar look to Nokia’s Windows and Asha devices but will provide access to a selection of popular Android apps. The Nokia X phones won’t feature the Google Play store, opting instead to use the Fastlane interface to send out a curated list of Android apps.
At launch, apps like Facebook, LINE, Twitter, Viber, Spotify and Vine will be available for the Nokia X family of devices. In what Nokia said is a first, BlackBerry’s messaging platform, BBM, will be available for the Nokia X devices as well as Windows Phone.
Nokia described opening up its devices to Android apps with a minimal amount of porting overhead as a win for developers.
"The reach of Nokia's operator billing network provides developers with a powerful revenue driver - up to five times that of credit-card billing offered within other platforms," Nokia VP of developer relations Amit Patel said in a statement.
Analysts anticipated Windows Phone developers could see long-term perks.
“Traditional Microsoft developers will see no immediate benefit from Nokia X, although in the longer run we would expect it to become a part of the Microsoft developer toolchain, centered on Visual Studio. A wait-and-see strategy may be the most pragmatic approach for Microsoft developers for now,” said Tony Cripps, principal analyst at Ovum.
Besides the benefits of Android applications, the Nokia X phones should also deliver zippy performance from their Qualcomm 1 GHz dual-core processors and memory expandable up to 32 GB through a MicroSD.