Microsoft launches Android-based Nokia X2 smartphone
Despite having completed its £4.6bn acquisition of Nokia's devices and services business in April, Microsoft is expanding Nokia's range of low-cost Android-based devices with the launch of a new smartphone.
Nokia launched its first mobile phone running Google’s Android software, the Nokia X, in February. Somewhat confusingly, Nokia’s senior vice president and former CEO Stephen Elop said the device was about “introducing the next billion people to Microsoft".
Microsoft admitted at the time that the move was one of Nokia’s tactics that it was “a little less excited about”, and several commentators speculated that the line would be discontinued once the acquisition went through.
However, Microsoft has today announced the launch of the Nokia X2, reiterating the claim that it will serve as "a gateway to Microsoft services", driving uptake of Outlook.com, Skype and OneDrive.
At a suggested retail price of €99 (£79), the Nokia X2 is designed to attract a "new generation" of smartphone buyers. It has 4.3-inch display and runs a customised version of Android that emulates Windows Phone's tile-based interface.
Featuring a 1.2Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM, the X2 it is nowhere near as powerful as Nokia's Windows Phone-based Lumia devices. However, it is a step up from the original X, which had a 1Ghz processor.
"The Nokia X family is going from strength to strength, with the Nokia X smartphone achieving top-selling status in Pakistan, Russia, Kenya and Nigeria, while earning the third-best-selling smartphone spot in India," said Timo Toikkanen, head of Mobile Phones, Microsoft Devices Group.
"The Nokia X2 elevates the Nokia X experience with a stellar new design, ease of use and new Microsoft experiences. We’re proud to continue to bring smartphone innovation to lower and lower price points."
The Nokia X2 will be available at launch in glossy orange, black and green, with glossy yellow, white and matte dark grey coming later to the lineup. It will be available initially as a dual-SIM device and will begin rolling out globally in July 2014.