Microsoft Has Just Launched Its First Android Smartphone, The Nokia X2

Meet the Nokia X2, the first Android-based smartphone being made by Microsoft.

Yes, you read that right: Microsoft has just made a new Android-based handset.

It’s not the first Android device Microsoft owns, being as Redmond took over Nokia’s mobile making division in April – a move which brought the original Nokia X device under its wing. But some doubted whether Microsoft approved of Nokia’s Android experiment — and speculated that the line would be quickly culled by Redmond.

Nokia forked Android back in February to create a new smartphone platform, which it called the Nokia X Software Platform to slot in between — pricing-wise — its Series 40 based low cost Asha devices and its Windows Phone powered Lumia smartphones.

At the time Nokia described the fork as a Lumia “feeder” — with then CEO Stephen Elop saying Nokia X devices would be a Trojan horse within Google’s ecosystem by introducing first time smartphone owners to Microsoft’s services rather than Mountain View’s.

Evidently Microsoft approves of this strategy after all — since it’s now building on that experiment with a follow up device. Or at least it’s willing to give the fork a chance.

The Nokia X2 is priced at €99 before taxes and subsidies (a little up on the original Nokia X’s €89 price-tag), and has a slightly larger screen (4.3 inches vs 4 inches), along with a beefier processor (1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor vs 1GHz dual-core in the original device).

Otherwise it’s much the same fare, with the handset coming in a range of eye-popping colours and featuring Nokia’s blend of UI experiences — with a Windows Phone-esque tiles-based homescreen, combined with Nokia’s Fast Lane notifications screen, plus plentiful Microsoft (and Nokia) services preloaded, including Skype, Outlook, OneDrive, Mix Radio, Here Maps; and — of course — access to Android apps.

The X2 also supports dual-SIM — a popular feature in emerging markets Microsoft will be hoping the Nokia X platform can better compete with other Android rivals than Windows Phone has been able to, thanks to those plentiful Android apps — and by reaching a lower price tag than the entry level Lumias can.

The Nokia X2 extends the original trio of devices on the platform which were the Nokia X, X+ and XL.

Here’s a Microsoft demo video of the X2:

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