The exciting thing today, at Nokia’s Mobile World Congress event, was not IMHO any of the Windows Phone or Asha news although good, the expected Android device/devices overshadowed the day. The X line remains outside the Nokia/Microsoft deal that is yet to be fully finalised, and in a telling New York Times Q and A, Joe Belfiore was quoted as saying
“What they do as an independent company is up to them. There are some things they do that we are excited about. There are other things that we are not so excited about.”
Politics aside, the aim seems to be to bring an Android experience with a Microsoft based focus, the UI is definitely akin to Windows Phone, it borrows very strongly in fact, with resizable live tiles and plenty of familiar services like Outlook, OneDrive, Skype and some surprises like BBM, to the mix.
Incredibly Nokia didn’t stop at one phone, in all three new Android devices were introduced, the X, X+, and the XL. With the obvious sizing references, they are relatively modest, although they differ in spec, we see a range of phones that many Android users will scoff at.
Then again, specs aren’t really the point as far as I can see, the X range is a means to an end, which is getting Nokia phones at a reasonable price into the hands of as many people as can be convinced to adopt Nokia’s newest choice of OS, in a package that is stylish, but inexpensive.
While Windows Phone fans may scoff at the X devices, I’m sure Nokia fans will welcome them, and most people should realise that the company, even though its relationship with Microsoft has been highly profitable, still wants to put a device into the hands of more people, and somehow hark back to it’s halcyon days when a phone wasn’t any good unless it was a Nokia.
Controversial? Questionable? An exercise in independence? Nokia flexing its muscles in an attempt to stay relevant in the smartphone market? Whatever it is, it’s cheeky!
Nokia Press Release and the announcement video embedded below!