Microsoft-owned Nokia plans new Android smartphones

By Graeme Burton
22 May 2014 View Comments
Nokia XL Android smartphone

Microsoft-owned Nokia is planning a new range of Android smartphones to follow-up the Nokia X series, the company's first Android smartphone, launched while the takeover by Microsoft was still pending.

The new Nokia Android phones, which are predominantly intended as entry-level smartphones for emerging markets, will have a "home" button, like most Android phones, but unlike the first-generation Nokia Xs. With the current Nokia X users need to press and keep pressed the back button to return home, but not all users are aware of this.

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Microsoft had been expected to discontinue the line as soon as it formalised the acquisition of Nokia. Rather, it is continuing to use the technology to take on emerging markets, while pitching its Windows Phone devices at a higher level.

Its iteration of Android, furthermore, omits some key features, such as access to the Google Play store. Instead, users get access to Nokia's own Android app store, while Google services have been swapped for Nokia and Microsoft services.

For example, Outlook replaces Gmail, Bing is the default web search option and Nokia Maps replaces Google Maps.

When the Nokia X and Nokia XL smartphones were launched, the-then Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said that its Asha, Nokia X and Lumia phone prices would continue to fall. However, the Nokia X and XL smartphones are currently more expensive than Nokia's entry-level Windows Phone devices, the Lumia 520 and Lumia 630.

It also comes as Motorola, which is now in the hands of Chinese PC maker Lenovo, has launched a £90 Moto smartphone as the prices of Android devices continue to fall sharply.

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