Nokia release new smartphones that run on Android

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Microsoft bought Nokia last year so why are they bringing out phones that operate on a system from Google competitors?

It definitely seems odd to say the least. Nokia abandoned their own operating systems in favour of Windows Phone three years ago and Microsoft have since acquired the Finnish communications company.

The word from Nokia and Microsoft chiefs is that by bringing out entry level smartphones powered by Android they will pave the way for first-time smartphone buyers to graduate to Windows phones when they upgrade

Speaking to recode current Nokia head Stephen Elop notes, ‘“We have to earn the right for that next purchase,” To help the cause, ‘What we’ve done, of course, is make sure the primary user interface is uniquely Nokia.”

Looking at the new Nokia X, X+ and XL they are indeed distinctly Nokia-esque in appeal. Their interfaces are inhabited with colourful tiled icons clearly recalling premium Windows Phone Lumia models and setting them apart from Google Android phones.

The new Nokia X range won’t however support Gmail or allow access to the Google App store. Instead Nokia are encouraging Android developers to build for their own app platform.

For Nokia, who have a decent track record for good design and build quality there’s clear potential for success at the budget end of things. The price tags on their X range are all well under the £100 ($170) mark.

If the gambit is to pay off, Nokia now need consumers looking for affordable smartphones to be suitably impressed and of course outside support from Android app creators.

Early reviews aren’t tremendously flattering with regards to performance, slow load times compared to other low-priced smartphones being a bugbear. This could however be a canny move on Nokia’s part, especially in light of the fact they want their customers to go on to buy ‘better’ Windows based phones.

When you consider Amazon scored big with their Kindle Fire tablets, which also ran on a modified Android system, then there is some history to suggest you can succeed from a venture of this kind. How the Nokia X range will fare from here is yet to be seen.

image: © Nokia