It is probably the fastest smartphone turnover ever. Just four months after Nokia, which was still really Nokia back then, unveiled the Nokia X and XL, Nokia, actually Microsoft, is announcing the new and literally shiny Nokia X2. With features that hit almost all the rumors, the X2 has shaped up to be the budget Android smartphone that Nokia should have launched in the first place.
So what exactly is new? A lot of things, both without and within. While the X2 still comes in those intensely vibrant colors, the smartphone also appears to be shiny. And this isn't just your eyes playing tricks on you. Nokia boasts of a brand-new translucent outer layer, which hopefully also doubles as a protective coating besides giving the device some shine. So Microsoft/Nokia has swapped out the obviously plastic exterior for a shiny plastic exterior.
Inside, Microsoft has also changed things up a bit, both hardware and software. The processor is now a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200, up from the X's 1 GHz. RAM is also boosted to 1 GB double that of its predecessor. There is also now a front-facing camera that makes it possible to use the device for Skype, which Microsoft also owns by the way, though don't hold your breath for anything remotely decent considering that the rear camera now reaches only 5 megapixels. And it seems that rumors of a home button were spot on, though now the device has two buttons on its face. Quite unusual for an Android smartphone. The Nokia X2 also has a bigger 4.3-inch screen. While the specs are curiously silent about the actual resolution, the noted 217 ppi betrays the same 800x480 on the original X.
For software, Microsoft has somewhat learned from the error of its ways, though it ironically ended up taking its custom Android UI even closer to its Windows Phone interface. This flavor now has a dedicated Apps List page, accessible via a swipe to the right from the home screen. This frees up the actual home page for favorite apps. Fast Lane has been relocated to the left and functions just as it did before. The back key also has an additional feature now that it has been relieved of pretending to be a home key. Long press the back key and you get to your list of recent or currently running apps, where you can scroll through them or close them one by one. As for additional apps, Microsoft mentions that the updated Nokia Store incorporates third-party app stores, though how that is implemented remains to be seen.
Naturally, the Nokia X2 will also cost more, €99 to be precise, around $135. At launch, which starts now only in selected countries, it will come in color options of glossy green, orange, and black, but glossy yellow, white, and matt dark gray will join the roster soon enough.