Nokia X
The larger Nokia XL (pictured) has a 5in display, compared to the 4in of the regular X and X Plus. IBTimes UK

Announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Nokia X range is a collection of three budget smartphones which blend the Android mobile operating system with a user interface design influenced by Windows Phone.

Previously known as Project Normandy, the Nokia X has a 4in screen, while the Nokia XL gets a larger 5in display. Between the two sits the X Plus, which is identical to the basic Nokia X, but increases RAM from 512MB to 768MB, and Nokia bundles a 4GB microSD card with the Plus model.

All models comes with just 4GB of internal storage but accept SD cards of up to 32GB.

Having briefly used the X and XL on Nokia's stand at the technology trade show, IBTimes UK can say the phone brings Nokia's trademark sturdiness and high build quality to a low price point that the company's Lumia devices are yet to reach.

Nokia X
The regular Nokia X has a 4in display and comes in a range of bright colours. IBTimes UK

The basic Nokia X is priced at €89 (£73), and despite the low price, the phone feels incredibly solid and well-made. A Nokia spokesperson explained how the colours of the X are injected into the phone's plastic rear case - not just painted on - so it will stay the same colours even if it is scratched or chipped.

All three Nokia X phones have a matte finish to them, instead of the glossy texture of the various Lumia phones we have reviewed over the last 18 months. While lacking the shininess of its more expensive stablemates, the Nokia X's matte finish makes it feel more secure in your hand - a feeling further aided by its squared-off corners and flat back and sides.


Nokia hasn't said what processors the X phones use, but the phones at least felt competent in the brief hands-on time we had with them. The Windows Phone-inspired Android interface responded quickly and smoothly, while rearranging app icons is familiar to anyone who has used a Windows Phone device before. App icons can also be resized, as they can on Windows Phone.

Nokia X
Fastlane is a list of recently opened applications, notifications, photos and favourite contacts. IBTimes UK

Although the icons are 'live', in that they update to display information for the application they represent, they are not as live as those on Windows Phone.

No Google services

There is no access to the Google Play store - or any of Google's services for that matter. Instead, Nokia has installed its own application store which offers a selection of the most popular Android apps and games. Company CEO Stephen Elop claims Android developers can tweak their apps to work on the Nokia X in just a few hours.

A swipe to the right from the home screen reveals Nokia's Fastlane interface. Borrowed from the company's Asha range, Fastlane is a scrollable list of recently used applications, notifications, recently taken photographs and favourite contacts are found here.

Nokia X
IBTimes UK

As with Android, a swipe down from the top of the screen reveals toggle switches to control settings such as Wi-Fi, Airplane model and screen brightness.

Despite going on sale worldwide, Nokia is aiming the X phones at customers from emerging markets who are yet to own a smartphone. Those upgrading from the Nokia Asha range are where the most obvious sales will be made.