Yes, you read that headline correctly: Despite questions about Microsoft’s long-term commitment to Nokia’s fledgling Android lineup, the Redmond company today unveiled the latest addition to the Nokia X family — the first since Microsoft completed its acquisition of the smartphone maker.
The new Nokia X2 features a larger 4.3-inch screen, and an updated interface that looks more like Microsoft’s Windows Phone. It has 1GB of RAM and a 5 MP camera and adds a physical home button to the hardware, addressing a criticism of the original Nokia X device lineup.
The phone runs Android apps, but the key is that it also comes with Microsoft apps and cloud services pre-installed.
“Lumia is our primary smartphone strategy. At the same time we believe that everybody should have easy and direct access to the most popular Microsoft services, such as Outlook, OneDrive, Skype, and now also OneNote through Nokia Store,” said Jussi Nevanlinna, Microsoft vice president of marketing for mobile phones, in a blog post. “More people are now connected to the Microsoft cloud through Nokia X.”
As with the original lineup, the new phone is a concession to the strength of the Android ecosystem around the world. But Microsoft is hoping to use the X lineup as a way to get its services and apps into the hands of more people around the world.
Microsoft says in a news release that the device will roll out globally next month for 99 euros, about $135.
Here’s a Nokia video showing the basics of the phone …