Stating it intends to introduce the Internet and cloud services to the "next billion" people, Microsoft Devices Group unveiled the Nokia X2, an addition to the Nokia X line of affordable smartphones. It will be released into select European markets at a price equivalent of $135.
The Nokia X2 debuts the next-generation Nokia X Software Platform 2.0, which blends the Android platform with certain Windows phone features, including the option of a Windows Tiles-like interface. It also includes Microsoft services such as Outlook, Skype and OneDrive, the latter with 15 GB of free cloud storage. It also incorporates the Fastlane feature for rapid app switching.
One of the features of the new platform is the presentation of choice of three types of screens for the user -- a home screen with familiar-looking Windows Tiles; Fastlane to access recent apps and calendar items; and a new (Nokia) Lumia-themed apps list, from which items can be pinned to the home screen. Dual SIM slots allow the use of multiple accounts.
"Straight off the bat you'll notice that the home screen has been enhanced. Instead of just three tiles side by side, there's now room for four," explained Timo Saari, delivery manager at Microsoft.
The new Nokia X Software platform will not be available on Nokia X, Nokia X+ or Nokia XL due to hardware issues.
The plastic case of the Nokia X2 is a seamless body that exhibits what the company calls an "Inner Glow" design that features exchangeable back covers combined with a brightly colored core and a translucent outer layer. Introductory colors are glossy orange, black/green, with glossy yellow, with white and matte dark grey slated for future availability.
The Nokia X2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor that features a dual core 1.2 Ghz CPU and 1 GB of RAM. The display is a 4.3-inch WGVA ClearBlack screen. A 5 MP rear camera with autofocus and flash and a VGA front-facing camera provide the imaging options. Talk time is up to 10 hours on 2G, 13 hours on 3G.
Microsoft will be extending the design and feature philosopy of the Nokia X line going forward. The Nokia X2 is seen as the next step up, according to Jussi Nevanlinna, vice president of product marketing of mobile phones at Microsoft.
"Through and through, this is the best example of the Nokia X family," said Nevanlinna. "The platform is maturing perfectly and this is a true 2nd generation device."