Microsoft’s first new smartphone after officially taking over Nokia runs not on Windows Phone, but on Android.
The Nokia X2 runs a custom Android UI that resembles the tile-based layout of Windows Phone, and comes pre-installed with Microsoft apps such as Skype, Outlook and OneDrive. Aside from the tiles, the UI can also display apps as a scrollable list. The smartphone is designed to hook into the Nokia store and Microsoft’s cloud services rather than Android’s standard Google Play store.
The X2 is the next in the line of Android smartphones manufactured by Nokia. In February, Nokia launched the Nokia X budget Android phone at Mobile World Congress, two months before Microsoft finalized its acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business. The Nokia X has become one of the best-selling devices in countries such as India, Pakistan and Russia.
The Nokia X platform, which Nokia forked from Android in February, was established with the goal of introducing smartphone owners to the Windows Phone devices and services ecosystem rather than Google’s. The Nokia X2 is Microsoft’s first official step toward that goal.
Other X2 features include dual SIM support, Nokia’s Fastlane notifications screen, and Nokia-specific apps such as MixRadio and Here Maps. The device also boasts a slightly larger screen and a faster processor than the Nokia X.