Nokia X, Nokia X+, Nokia XL Affordable Android Smartphones, Announced! Combines Asha, Android, and WP Elements

At around 4 o'clock this afternoon (Manila Time), the Finnish Giant did the one thing that no one would have expected it to do just a year back: The company introduced its first ever Android device -- and it's not just one model, mind you, but a trio!

Nokia Android Smartphones

Announced today at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Nokia X, Nokia X+, and Nokia XL represent the company's initial foray into the Android smartphone market; One that's currently being dominated by Nokia's staunch rival, Samsung.

Nokia X X+ XL, Nokia Android Smartphones

Looking at the design of the three phones and studying their technical specifications, it is clear that Nokia made them specifically for emerging markets -- or exactly like what the Asha line was for. In fact, both the look of the handsets and their user interface are reminiscent of that of Nokia's entry level range. You get the same shells in vibrant hues plus Fastlane, which has been one of the defining interface features of Asha devices.

But what's cool about the X-line is that you get similar tiles as that of the Lumia range, which are also resizable; The bigger the tile, the more information you'll get. On top of that, users will also enjoy key high-end services both from Nokia, including HERE Maps and Nokia MixRadio, and from Microsoft like Skype and OneDrive. So I guess we can say that this new series of handsets from the company combines key elements from all other Nokia lines - and more - all in one package.

To be priced at only 89 Euros or around Php 5,450 upon launch, Nokia X is the most affordable model of the bunch. Flaunting a 4-inch WVGA IPS display, the handset runs the Android-based Nokia X Software Platform with its 1 GHz Dual Core Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, handles multitasking with 512 MB of RAM, and has 4GB of internal storage that can be expanded via microSD card slot supporting up to 32 GB. Users will also get a 3 MegaPixel fixed focus camera and a 1,500 mAh battery pack delivering 13.3 Hours of Talk Time or up to 28.5 Days of Standby Time.

Although running an operating system that's based on Android, Dual SIM Dual Standby Nokia X and its siblings won't give users access to Google services including Play Store. Nonetheless, you can still download apps from the Nokia Store and third party application stores like Yandex or you may also try sideloading.

Nokia X+ looks exactly like Nokia X and has almost the same technical specifications except for its RAM. Whereas, you get 512 MB with the latter, X+ comes with 728 MB for more efficient multitasking.

With price tag of 99 Euros or around Php 6,000, Nokia X+ will be available in select territories around world - including the Philippines, hopefully - within Q2 2014.

Lastly, Nokia XL, which I know a lot of you would be excited about, has all the specs of Nokia X+ but has a larger display, a higher resolution 5 MegaPixel main camera, an additional 2 MegaPixel front cam, and a larger battery pack.

Sporting a 5-inch WVGA IPS LCD and a 2,000 mAh battery pack giving 16 Hours of Talk Time and up to a whopping 41 Days of Standby Time, Nokia XL will also be available by Q2 2014 with SRP of 109 Euros -- that's more or less Php 6,680 with current conversion and before taxes.

Earlier, I asked my TP Friends on Facebook and Twitter what they think about Nokia's new Android smartphones. Here are some of their thoughts:

Joseph Darwin Co shared, "Nokia will regain some of its superiority back in the day now that they have used Android OS especially on low-end smartphones. Personally, I like Nokia XL and [I'm starting to] imagine a Nokia X Android phone which has all the Nokia features especially Pureview camera! Samsung, LG, Sony, and HTC, better watch out!"

Rogene Agusan Esparcia said, "How I wish they have a flagship phone [under the Nokia X line]. [If we get high-end Android] phones with great construction, which Nokia is famous for, the Lumia line will totally die."

Juan Paolo II added, "This is now the time for Nokia to increase, if not regain, the market share they used to enjoy."

According to Nikko Manay, "This might be the end of the Nokia Lumia line-up. For sure, the Nokia X line will be a hit in the market."

"I like Nokia phones for their long battery life. Maybe it's about time a mix of Android OS and longer lasting battery comes into one smartphone," shared Jeffrey Roy Pascual.

Ferdinand Sayson noted, "That would be a nice combination a great hardware plus a stable and useful OS. Looking forward to see what they will offer."

IƱigo Hiroki: "3 Worlds in 1 Handset! Cool step for Nokia (Android OS + Asha-ish UI w/ a touch of Lumia + Nokia Services {found in WP Devices})"

Rodney Aquino Valles said, "[This is] good news. Nokia is a pioneer in mobile; Maker of good quality built phones."

TP Thoughts: Considering that Nokia's Devices Business is now under Microsoft, I don't think it's highly likely for us to see Android-based Nokia phones in the high-end category. Microsoft, of course, will be reserving that range for their Windows Phone platform. However, if the WP-based Lumia line fails to take off as planned while X-Line proves to be a true cash-cow for the company in the long run, I think there are enough smart and level-headed people in the company who would vote for Nokia to bring Android to the upper echelon.