Microsoft acquired Nokia earlier this year to bolster the Windows Phone platform, but it’s thus far refused to snuff out Nokia’s flirtation with Android, the Nokia X series. In fact Microsoft’s devices group announced the latest addition to the Nokia X series of Android phones on Tuesday, the Nokia X2—the fourth entry in the Nokia X line, but the first announced under Microsoft’s watch.
Like the three previous Android handsets bearing the Nokia name, the X2 is really more of a “gateway device” to the hardcore Windows Phone experience than a full-fledged Android handset. The device runs the Android Opens Source Project (AOSP) version of Android that doesn’t include any Google services or apps, re-skinned with a Windows Phone-like feel.
The main screen is also loaded with Microsoft services including OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook.com, and Skype. Nokia services like HERE Maps are also present in place of their Google counterparts.
But unlike Lumia phones, the X2 will have access to a broad range of Android apps on the Nokia Store, or you can download a third-party app store like GetJar.
For the rest of the world
When the X2 goes on sale globally in July the device will retail for €99 (about $135), contract free. That’s a pretty good price for a device with respectable though not stunning specs, including a 4.3-inch display with 800-by-480 resolution at 217 ppi.
Under the hood, the X2 has a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, 1GB RAM, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and a dual SIM slot.
The storage situation is pretty meager with 4GB onboard and an expandable microSD slot that supports up to an extra 32GB. Amateur photographers get a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, and a front-facing camera for video chat.
Giving the X2 that Lumia-like feel, the new phone comes with brightly colored orange, green, yellow, dark gray, or white backings.
Microsoft didn’t announce any specific availability dates for various global regions or countries. But the X2 is unlikely to land in North America—similar to the three previous Nokia X handsets.
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.