Microsoft announced Tuesday the release of the Nokia X2, a low-end smartphone geared toward emerging markets. The phone is the successor to the Nokia X, which was released in February before Nokia's hardware division was acquired by Microsoft.

The Nokia X2 is built on a custom version of Android developed by Microsoft. Although many analysts believed Microsoft would cancel production of Android phones to promote its own Windows Phone operating system, the company seems to have created a compromise. The base Android system is still there along with its huge library of apps, but Microsoft has stripped away the pre-installed Google services Android phones typically come with and replaced them with Microsoft programs such as Outlook, Skype and OneDrive.

The new phone features a 4.3 inch display with a resolution of 800 x 640. It runs on a 1.2 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor and contains 1 GB of RAM. The phone also features a 5 megapixel camera with flash. Microsoft claims that the battery lasts for up to 13 hours of talk time. The Nokia X2 also features a removable rear casing available in a number of colors. Orange, black and green will be available at launch, with yellow and white to be added later, as well as a grey model with a matte finish.

"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," says Timo Toikkanen, the head of Microsoft's mobile department, in a statement. "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."

Microsoft is using the Nokia X2 as a way to capitalize on the popularity of the Android operating system while also offering a gateway into the world of Microsoft devices. In addition to the pre-installed apps, Microsoft will make more of its services available through the Nokia Store. Notable apps include Bing search and OneNote. The phone will be released worldwide in July, and will have a retail price of 99 euros, or approximately $135.

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