The Nokia X smartphone runs on a modified version of Google’s Android and focuses on emerging markets. Photo: Bloomberg
Nokia has unveiled its first phones to run on Google’s Android operating system rather than Microsoft’s competing Windows Phone software.
The Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL – unveiled at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona – are low-cost handsets targeted at emerging markets.
Nokia will bin many of the Google services that come with Android and instead emphasise Microsoft apps including Bing search, Skype, and OneDrive file storage.
Because the phones use Android, they will be able to run most Android apps.
However, app developers may have to tweak some of their software because the phones don’t have key Google services.
Stephen Elop, executive vice-president of Nokia’s Devices and Services, said the company wanted to "connect the next billion people".
The Nokia X comes with a 4-inch screen, 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM and a 3-megapixel camera. The Nokia X+ also includes a 4-inch screen and 3-megapixel camera, but it has 768 MB of RAM and comes with a 4-gigabyte (GB) MicroSD card. The Nokia XL has a 5-inch screen, 768 MB of RAM, a 4-GB MicroSD card and a 5-megapixel camera. All three use a 1-gigahertz QualcommSnapdragon Dual Core processor.
Each model will be available in numerous colour options.
Once the No. 1 maker of mobile phones, Nokia has been struggling to keep up with the iPhone and devices running Android, such as those made my Samsung.
And even as competition intensifies for high-end smartphones, Nokia has been hit by competition from cheaper mobile phones made by Chinese and other Asian companies.
The Nokia X will sell for €89 ($137.12) immediately in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
Nokia is understood to be considering whether to bring the phone to Australia.
The company also introduced two cheaper phones: the Nokia 220 and the Asha 230, which will cost €29 ($44.68) and €45 ($69.33) respectively.
The writer travelled to Barcelona as a guest of Samsung.