The big question on everyone's mind when Nokia revealed the Android-powered X line was whether their new masters at Microsoft would continue the line after the acquisition. It looks like Redmond is ready for another lap around the Android pool, at least in conjunction with its extensively-customized software load, because Nokia just announced the X2 for immediate release. The 99 Euro ($135) phone is "available immediately in select countries globally." Both global and select, huh?


This is technically a second-generation phone, and the X2 is the fourth Nokia retail device to run Android, but since it's only been four months since the unveiling of the original X, X+, and XL, I'd say that this is more of an evolutionary step than a true sequel. With a low off-contract price and dual SIM card slots, it's clear that Nokia's Android ambitions don't extend past low-end market segments. The rest of the specs, including a 4.3" 800x480 screen, a 5MP rear camera, a front-facing camera that's "perfect for Skype," a Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB of RAM (besting the previous phones), and just 4GB of storage (plus a MicroSD card slot), also aim pretty low.

Nokia-X2_Bright-Green-Back_ Nokia-X2_multitasking

All that being said, Nokia has a reputation for rock-solid build quality, and the X2 seems to be keeping that up. The phone will come in multiple colors, each coated in translucent plastic for a glossy, shiny look. Nokia isn't talking dimensions, but "chunky" would be about right, though the inclusion of an 1800mAh removable battery probably accounts for some of that. The second incarnation of Nokia's Android hardware includes a home button in addition to a back button, which can access a custom Recents menu with a long-press.

Like the previous Nokia X phones, the X2 runs a super-customized version of Android, which looks like some flavor of Jelly Bean. All traces of Google have been stripped out and replaced with Microsoft-powered alternatives like Skype, Outlook, and OneDrive. Nokia's purpose-built app store will give you access to new software, but naturally, there's no room for the Google Play Store. Don't expect this to pop up on American shelves any time soon.

Source: Nokia

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Ezzy

    Dual-SIM is definitely filling one niche market as are the colors. I guess this is what Microsoft thinks Android is good for, the lowest end of phones. Weird, but at least they're trying.

    • MarkG54321

      It's all about creating market confusion, fragmentation and destroying Android from the inside. They tried to break it from the outside with Windows Phone, which ended in dismal failure, this is a new trick to break from the inside, get a userbase, fork it, make it incompatible, and generally create market confusion.

      • Roger Siegenthaler

        Sorry to break it to you, but Windows Phone isn't a dismal failure... it's doing pretty well in Europe even beating out Android in certain places (for example switzerland where iPhones still hold >50% share and winPhone with 25% or something is actually second biggest).

        • Drew M

          It's been four years since WP was released and all they have to show is 3% global marketshare. Three percent! That's a dismal failure.

  • TheLastAngel

    A friend of mine (an older gentlemen) bought a Nokia X "by accident". He wanted a dual Sim phone with Android and technically the shop clerk gave him what he wanted.

    I can say, without exaggeration, that this is the worst UI I have ever seen on a mobile device. It is confusing as f*** with that timeline thing on the left and only the back button. All the built in apps are a joke with only most basic functionality and hidden menus. How this was ever green lit, I don't know. Symbian was better than this.

    Putting Google Play and a launcher on it has reduced some pain, but the single back button and the idiotically gimped notifications still leave it barely usable.


    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Maybe root + PIE will make the day better

      • Anibal96

        Ain't no better day with that shitty hardware.

    • usaff22

      The X2 has a home button, and long pressing home will give you your recent apps. I can't remember where I saw it, might have been The Verge.

  • MarkG54321

    No Google, no dice. I don't want a phone that's a trojan horse for Microsoft services...

    • Renan Lazarotto

      Is there any chance that you posted this on a Windows-based PC?

  • ProductFRED

    I don't understand what the point of the X and X2 are. Putting aside the Moto G/E argument (which is valid), there's a difference between cheap and usable. First of all, in the promo video for the phone (see The Verge article), it clearly says "Nokia X2 with Android apps".

    So from the get go, even though their intention is to sell you on Windows Phone, they're not even trying to hide the fact that this is an Android phone. Secondly, even though this doesn't use the Google Play Store, Microsoft is exposing you to sets of apps that probably don't even exist [yet] on Windows Phone. Thirdly, if someone is looking for a cheap device, as Microsoft, why don't you point them towards the Lumia 520/521? Why not just add in an FFC and camera flash like you added into the X2 and sell people on Windows Phone?

    I guess what I'm getting at is that there's no purpose that this phone serves. Yes, the Moto E has no FFC or camera flash. Yes, the Moto G is slightly more expensive. But, as Microsoft, I don't see the logic in trying to sell people the Windows Phone ecosystem through an Android phone...

    • Robert Daniels

      My guess is it is incorrect that MS is trying to sell the WP ecosystem. I think they are much more interested in promoting the MS ecosystem (Office, OneDrive, Outlook.com, etc). I can't recall where they've said that the X line is intended as a lead-in to WP. In fact, this is a device with their services and their new mantra is 'Devices and Services'.

      • ProductFRED

        Here you go: http://www.networkworld.com/article/2174680/smartphones/nokia-chief--nokia-x-android-smartphone-is-a-gateway-drug-to-windows-phone.html

        "While Nokia X is based on Android, the user interface “is remarkably similar to the Windows Phone interface,” he says.

        "That means these customers, many of whom have never owned a smartphone before, will learn to navigate in Microsoft’s world first, with the potential over time to buy higher end Nokia Lumia phones that run Windows Phone as Lumia prices drop."

        • Robert Daniels

          Thanks for the link. I appreciate it. In that case I agree with you that this won't lead people to WP. I can fathom a services play but not an OS one.

      • Lelsie

        Microsoft will be more successful if they make Visual Studio for Android, or at least for Nokia X Software Platform (or whatever they call it)

      • deltatux

        It's mainly for developing markets which has a strong tie to the Nokia brand. By selling them Microsoft services, Microsoft is hoping by the time they have to stop using the Nokia brands, these people would switch to an actual Windows Phone device that may cost a bit more.

        This is just getting people in developed nations prepared for being sucked into the Microsoft ecosystem instead of the Google ecosystem.

  • Tony Ceralva

    This phone is not from Nokia, is from Micro$oft.

    • deltatux

      Likely was already in the works when Microsoft bought them out.

  • jpelgrom

    Note it's €99 without taxes and other cost-raising additions, which means it'll probably retail for about €110-€120.

    • Tiemen Tuinstra

      note its customary to show prices with taxes in Europe so this will be the propossed price for retail in Europe.

  • Sergii Pylypenko

    Their point is obvious - get the devs in.
    Very small amount of developers do native Windows phone apps, because of it's negligible market share.
    But with this phone everything the dev need is just re-upload apps and screenshots to Nokia store. They even signed some deal with Opera store, to copy all their apps to Nokia's one.

    It seems they realized they can do nothing without good developer base.

    • kill-ios.dmg

      But even if they attract developer in, dev will only codes in Android, not WP language. I fail to see how this will benefit MS,

      unless you're required to use Win8.1 64bit and VS2013 to upload apps to Nokia Store (lol yeah) which means more money for MS. (I gave up developing WP apps because of those ridiculous requirement).

      • Sergii Pylypenko

        It will benefit MS the same way it benefits Amazon or Google - they will take 30% cut of anything sold through their store.

  • AOSPrevails

    Unless I am reading the spec sheet wrong, this phone have about the same spec(except lower res screen) as the Moto E and will be priced about the same. How do they expect it to sell when Moto E have access to playstore and Nokia X2 don't?

  • Diaz1999

    0:11 DAT BEZEL

  • Bancescu Adriana