To be filed under “Sentences You Never Thought You’d See in a News Report”: “Microsoft has decided to make Opera the default browser on its new, Linux-based Android handsets.” (Via Gigaom) Yup, it’s true, Microsoft has debuted its first Nokia handset after completing its takeover of the company, and the handset is powered by Android.
The BBC reports that the X2 is the follow-up to the original X, which launched in February before Nokia sold its mobile business.
The “X” became the best-selling mobile device in Pakistan, and the third-best selling handset in all of India, says market-research company GfK. It also achieved strong sales in Russia, Kenya and Nigeria.
The device’s features include:
- a slightly bigger 4.3in (11cm) screen
- 1GB of RAM – double the amount of memory previously included
- a more powerful battery
- the addition of a front-facing camera for selfies
The phone will cost 99 Euro ( $135; £80) when released in July.
Microsoft will pre-load its video chat app Skype, its Outlook email service and its OneDrive internet storage app on the device, while some of its other apps – including Bing Search, the Yammer business-focused social network and the OneNote idea jotting service – will be optional free downloads for the device.
“The whole idea of bringing more people into Microsoft Cloud through these services is the very core of the strategy,” Jussi Nevanlinna, vice-president of mobile phones product marketing at Microsoft, told the BBC.
“In fact we’re ahead of other Android devices [in this respect]. But I want to stress that Lumia remains our primary smartphone strategy and that Nokia X is a stepping stone to it.”
The X2’s tile-based home screen, and apps that can be displayed as a scrollable list, mirror the Windows Phone’s user interface, which could be a factor when it comes time for consumers to upgrade, nudging them toward the more expensive Lumia models.
While the Nokia X2 can run the large library of Android apps, they can only browse available software via the Nokia Store – which excludes many apps – unless they do some work on their own to access the larger Google Play store.