Microsoft unveils Nokia X2 budget smartphone
Android-powered device to retail for 99 euros, Microsoft says
Microsoft today unveiled the Nokia X2, an update to the Nokia X smartphone that runs a Windows-like version of Google's Android operating system.
It is the first smartphone to be released by Microsoft's devices group since it acquired Nokia's handset business earlier this year.
The "affordable" Nokia X2 provides incremental improvements to its predecessor. The screen size has been slightly increased to 4.3 inches, and the device now sports a 5MP rear camera with autofocus and flash.
Processing power has also been upped, with the X2 now being powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 featuring a dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU and 1 GB of RAM.
The user interface has also been improved, according to Microsoft's statement. While running on the Android platform, the Nokia X series of smartphones use a heavily modified user interface that provides easier access to Microsoft's services and is designed to look similar to Windows 8 Mobile.
Some of the services to be offered on the X2 include Skype, Outlook.com and OneDrive, Microsoft's free cloud storage offering. Microsoft has also made OneNote and Yammer free to download from the Nokia Store, the app store that the Nokia X range uses.
With a retail price of 99 euros, Microsoft is hoping that the Nokia X2 will eat into Google's increasingly dominant share of the low-end smartphone market so that it can entice more users to its services. For example, Nokia X2 users will be given the option to automatically back up their camera rolls to OneDrive, which now offers 15 GB of free storage.
According to Timo Toikkanen, head of mobile phones at Microsoft's devices group, the Nokia X line has already made headway in number of emerging markets.
"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," he said in a statement.