Nokia XL

Nokia this morning at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, announced three Android-powered smartphones — the Nokia X, X+ and XL. 

Mobile World Congress

Make no mistake, folks — while these phones are based on the Android Open Source Project, the look, feel and purpose serve Nokia and Microsoft. This is in no way your typical Android device.

In fact, after spending a few brief minutes with the Nokia XL — the largest of the bunch at 5 inches — there's no real telltale sign that what you're using isn't just some low-end Windows Phone device. The hardware isn't of the same class as Lumia, in specs or in feel. The Lumia 1020 I have just feels better. Period. The user interface felt a bit sluggish — tough to tell if that was trade-show wonk, or if it's just slow.

For our purposes, it'll be interesting to see how many Android app developers hop on board. SwiftKey, for example, is in the Nokia store already. We'll have to explore that more thoroughly as we go on.

It's also important to remember that Nokia X isn't really targeted at any of us either. CEO Stephen Elop made a big point of specifying "growth markets" — which can mean whatever Nokia wants but really means emerging markets that aren't already saturated with smartphones and need something low-cost. 

To that end, the Nokia X, X+ and XL cost €89, €99 and €109, respectively. These phones are about the price points, not what OS they're running.

 

Reader comments

Hands-on with the Android-powered Nokia XL

56 Comments
Sort by Rating

I laugh at this phone.
No Google Services means no reason to buy this.
I don't use IOS but I'd buy an iPhone before I buy anything without Google Services.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mA battery and ZeroShock Case)

Nokia is insulting Android with this POS phone.The interface takes the cake in being the worst looking android launcher ever and I thought Touchwiz was bad.Nokia can just shove this shit up their ass

Posted via Android Central App from Google Nexus 7 2013

Because they are taking it, and making it slower, and less appealing. The Moto G is also intended for emerging markets, yet it is a fantastic, snappy, attractive device (hardware and interface). This is not. Just because something is "free and open" doesn't mean you should make it "slow and ugly."

"Just because something is "free and open" doesn't mean you should"...

Just because you have an emotional attachment to a collection of computer code doesn't mean that code is capable of being insulted. Android is open source, so anyone is free to do whatever they want with it. If your personal limitations and restrictions were placed on it, it wouldn't be open source any more.

On being "slow and ugly", first, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You might not like the tiled UI, but many people do, and it's clearly a tie in with Nokia's Windows based phones. Can't fault them for that. As for slow, it's a 5 inch, $149 phone for emerging markets. You could argue that the Moto G offers a better overall package, but that would be based on your preferences and priorities.

Personally, while I would never buy a phone like this, I think it's great that manufacturers are starting to come down to earth regarding price. Even just a year ago, a phone like this for $149 would have been unheard of. So if this phone, for this price, defines low-end, I find nothing to complain about.

That's exactly the WHOLE idea!!! You don't want people to stick with Android when your primary focus is the Lumia line dont you? Elop said exactly what they intended with the X line. An entry for EMERGING MARKETS to the Lumia line of products. The interface seems great although I would have liked the tiles to be separated from each other. I will probably buy this phone to take with my 1520 since I need something CHEAP to take everywhere. I'm from Argentina, an emerging market since lots of people own feature phones and even if we can afford a Lumia or Galaxy it's dangerous to go out with them. I have to go most of the day with an LG Cookie, that's just useless.

Nokia is insulting Microsoft with this. It is a concession that Microsoft is unable to create a competitive mobile platform. Microsoft will kill this as soon as they take the reins! It is embarrassing to them!

Posted via Android Central App

Do some research, you're full of it. Why would they kill something they approved and put their services in. It was intended.

You couldn't be more mistaken. Microsoft doesn't have the ecosystem today that Android has. So what they've done is taken Android, stripped it of Google, added 70% app compatibility with existing developers (read that as income for developers) and made it a viable gateway to using Microsoft infrastructure and services as well as Nokia. This is what Amazon did with their forked Android version for Kindle which is working very well for them. This allows developers to start integrating Microsoft framework into the apps, it allows end users to use those apps while engaging with Skype, Onedrive, HERE Maps, Outlook.com, Office, Xbox Music / Video, etc.

If you were to be a consumer of this device, it would bridge the gap between having many apps and accessing Microsoft and Nokia services. After that, you would be embedded in Microsoft's infrastructure. This buys Microsoft time to have apps come to Windows Phone in the next 12 months without losing all of that opportunity to Google.

Shrewd move. I applaud it.

Wow this phone is a brick. Why do people want a Nokia android phone? They always have enormous unattractive devices.

Posted via Android Central App from my Moto X

"...enormous unattractive devices."

I have to disagree with you on this one, brother. Nokia's hardware is the best in the business. Handsets such as the Lumia 1520, 1020, and even the recently announced Icon are absolutely gorgeous devices.

And the X is far away from being an unatractive device. How do you call a Galaxy? A plastic toy phone. You have to consider price point and the market before you come up with a conclusion.

Some of us happen to have hands larger and stronger than a bushbaby.
A thicker heavier phone is not a bad thing.

I do not particularly like light and thin as a design criteria. It usually means expensive and limited in some way. Usually you have to charge it after 8 hours.

Hard to tell if Nokia/MS is making a stealthy/clever strategic move (an Android AOSP Fork with Windows cues - as a Trojan horse for WinPhone) or starting to commit suicide (by tacitly admitting Android is a better alternative for starters, in the low-end market).

MS's history under Ballmer (with Elop taking his cues from "the other Steve") would augur the latter, but since this is Nadella's big bowl of twisted spaghetti to untangle now (even with Ballmer on the board and Gates sitting at the next desk), we'll have to see.

And the Here services and others have promise. NTM including them in Win 8.1u1 indicates that MS plans to have a continuing "special relationship" with the parts of Nokia they're not buying....

...Also the Nokia moniker still carries weight in the developing world, and for those moving on from Symbian, looks like a step up in their worlds.....

It more of a insult to Android. Since WP runs very good on the exact same specs. When people complain it will damage Androids brand. After that Nokia says. "blame that on Android's code". Which later on when MS releases a second Nokia X running WP8.1. they'll market it as it runs smoothly as the first gen. Therefore they use the lag on the Nokia X as a marketing advantage and say WP runs smoothly on Nokia X hardware at the cheap price point. Pretty smart move

Microsoft doesn't have a competitive mobile platform. If they did, then this wouldn't need to exist. This is certainly an embarrassment to them. Windows Phone has failed and this is what Nokia has come to.

Posted via Android Central App

Have you actually used a windows phone? I suggest you try it before you talk from the hip. I'm a convert from an S4 and an HTC One. I personally will never go back to another Android de... well maybe this Nokia one I might.

That said, all this does is buy time. It's not google android, it's microsoft android and before you dismiss it, take a look at Amazon android and ask yourself if it's working or not.

I've got to be missing something here...

Is there significance to this block shaped turd or did my grandparents come out of retirement to do design work for M$'s mobile division?

Posted via Android Central App

I guess everybody else said it. I'm curious as to who here guys are targeting when one of the biggest sellers of Android phones is Google goodies. Cut those for bing? I don't know what their doing.

Posted via Android Central App

Microsoft doesn't have the ecosystem today that Android has. So what they've done is taken Android, stripped it of Google, added 70% app compatibility with existing developers and made it a viable gateway to using Microsoft infrastructure and services as well as Nokia. This is what Amazon did with their forked Android version for Kindle which is working very well for them.

Looks good for the price. I would like to try it. Nokia's cameras are good. I would've been happy if Google services too were provided!!

Nokia could've instead:
1) Revived MeeGo and re-engineered it to work with Android apps. MeeGo would've made a better OS for the emerging markets.
2) Or fork android to work more like Android instead of Windows Phone
3) Or fork android to make to look and feel like MeeGo, it had a better UX.

Sorry, I have to agree with most of the comments so far... this is more or less garbage, at least when compared to actual Android flagships like the X and Nexus 5.

I kinda disagree here. No doubt, it's definitely not on par with ANY flagship devices, regardless of OS. But, it's not really meant to be a flagship device or compete with any. Nokia competing with an Android flagship device: trust me, that ship has already sailed. But, I think they have a solid chance of getting into more "growth markets," and this definitely seems like a solid offering to d just that.

Just my opinion.

@Nothingistrue Did you stop to think and compare the price of the 2 devices? why would you compare this obvious entry level budget phone to a Nexus 5?

So you're going to compare an entry level device to a flagship device and call it garbage? Well of course by comparison it's garbage. Is the Kyocera Event on par with a Nexus anything? does it have to have google services in order for it to not be garbage?

Wow, now that I think about it, you're absolutely right. That was the naming convention that HTC used in 2012. Good catch, brother!

What confuses me is why they are using android at all. WP8.1 runs much better on low end hardware than Android does and since you have no access to the play store it makes even less sense to use it.

Oh and Nokia is not pronounced Know-kia..

Because when people want to buy a phone they ask "Is it Android?" (locally speaking! Don't know somewhere else). If you say "It is a Windows Phone" they will blow off right away. But if you say it is an Android they might turn around that easily, although it's the ugliest thing ever.

Posted via Android Central App

Windows Phone doesn't run on low end hardware. Dual core Snapdragon isn't exactly low end when there are plenty of other chips out there that are much lower. Android would run fine on Windows Phone's minimum specs. This uses a two year old version of Android and is bloated. Any performance issues are on Nokia, not Android.

Posted via Android Central App

Because of the apps. If they work, they'll host them on their Windows store and call them compatible (or even Windows phone apps)..

And don't forget anyone can sideload the Amazon app store and have access to many/most of the best Android apps - no Google Play Services necessary. It wouldn't surprise at all me if the Amazon app store was preloaded on these.

So no play store right? Kinda curious how this gonna handle all the apps

Posted via Android Central App - Xperia Z Ultra

To people who say Moto G is meant for emerging markets, consider the fact that these phones start at around half the price of Moto G. This difference is huge in markets where carrier subsidies aren't there.

Here is the real problem... they are going to market this as an "android"phone. SO this phone will accomplish 2 things. Give Android a bad name because of the lack of performance and now they are introducing "fragmentation" of sorts in that not all apps will be available, AND get people used to the UI of windows more or less. Its the Trojan horse. Get these into the hands of people that dont have a preference yet and suddenly all of zimbobway likes windows UI. lol

I could be totally wrong, but there could well be some merit to this. It gives Nokia a revenue stream return for their development costs related to Android. The target market for this device doesn't care about the operating system: they care if they can make a phone call, send a text, take a picture. Plus, it will resemble the fancy phones other people have. As much as the contributors to this and other forums like to live or die over the nuances of flagship devices, 75% of the world doesn't care. If the brand Nokia can still drive sales, the people who are the target market will flock to this phone at this price point. They don't know the difference between Android and Robocop. They may or may not have a good experience. But, when they go to trade up, if they have a good experience, they will be accustomed to the metro UI. If they have a bad experience, it can be blamed on Android and the Win X.X will be much better.

Do you really think the 50% of the world care about lag? They care about dialing a number and someone on the other end saying hello in what ever language they speak. They love having a picture that resembles the members of their family. What are they going to do with13 megapixels? Do you really think the residents of BFE care about flat icons? If the $60 difference between this and the Moto G is an important consideration, and I promise it will be for many, it will be a flagship device for many of them. My only hope is that it is a reliable product. A reliable $100 smartphone will benefit everyone. It will bring down the cost of every phone. Well...except iPhones. ;-)

I hope Nokia sells millions of them. It may not be for you and me, but, you know, we're different.

This is it. This is a phone for those that are still using the feature phones we all threw away 6+ years ago. Compared to the features of say a 2006 spec Nokia feature phone these are a big step up.

Always amazed so many people just cant visualise or imagine a world that doesn't revolve around them and their own needs.

A few years ago, Nokia X was something unlikely to happen...but it does now...I guess it is just a matter of time that Nokia would finally release a high-end Android device that would compete with the likes of Samsung's Galaxy Note or Sony Xperia Z. Let's wait....

It came up in the technology news that Nokia is launching their first Android based phone which is the need of the hour. The technology has changed and Nokia can't just survive on the basis of Windows.