"The Nokia X2 is a major improvement over the Nokia X. Here's a quick look at the major changes."
Earlier today, Microsoft launched the Nokia X2, the successor to Nokia's Android-based X series of smartphones. The Nokia X2 is a big improvement over the Nokia X (review), ramping up hardware and software alike. Given its spruced up internals, the Nokia X2 is looking like a formidable contender among affordable smartphones, and even trumps the more premium Lumia 630 (review) on a few fronts. The smartphone is expected to launch in India shortly, but before it hits the shelves, here’s a quick look at the key differences between the Nokia X2 and its predecessor.
The Nokia X2 closely resembles the Nokia X, but there are a few important differences in design. While the Nokia X is encased in a matte-finish polycarbonate case, the X2 gets a translucent layer on top, giving it a glossy dual-layer finish similar to the Asha 503.
A big improvement comes in the addition of a home button, which is missing on the Nokia X. The back button has also been upgraded, and can now be long-pressed to bring up a task manager.
At 11.11 x 121.7 x 68.3 mm, the Nokia X2 is slightly taller and thicker than the Nokia X, which measures 10.4 x 115.5 x 63 mm. It’s also slightly heavier, weighing 150g, compared to the Nokia X, which weighs 129g.
The Nokia X2 sports a 4.3-inch LCD display, with Nokia’s ClearBlack coating, and a layer of scratch-resistant glass on top. It also features a double-tap to wake gesture. The Nokia X offers a smaller 4-inch LCD display. Both devices offer a display resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, which means that the Nokia X gets a marginally denser pixel density of 233ppi, compared to the Nokia X2’s 217ppi count.
The Nokia X is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 chipset, while the X2 is backed by a more efficient dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, clocked at 1.2GHz. RAM has also been doubled from 512MB to 1GB. For graphics, the Nokia X packs in an Adreno 203 GPU, while the X2 gets a more efficient Adreno 305 unit.
The Nokia X is fitted with a lone 3MP fixed-focus shooter. The X2 takes that up a couple of notches, and offers a 5MP autofocus rear shooter with LED flash. It even adds a VGA camera in the front for video calling.
Both the Nokia X and X2 are based on the Nokia X software platform, which is a custom build of Android AOSP. The Nokia X runs Nokia X software platform 1.0, while the X2 has been upgraded to v2.0. The base Android version has also been updated from v4.1.2 to v4.3 Jelly Bean. The new update brings several key enhancements to the UI.
There’s now a new WP-style ‘apps list’ screen, which displays all installed apps and games, leaving the start screen free for all your favourite apps and widgets. The drop-down status bar, which earlier displayed only connectivity and phone settings, now finally displays notifications too. On the Nokia X, all notifications are only visible in FastLane, a separate screen accessible by swiping to the right. This means that if users install a third-party launcher, such as Nova Launcher, which removes FastLane, they can't see new notifications. The new notification bar should hopefully sort out that issue on the Nokia X2.
Since Nokia is now part of Microsoft, the X2 gives users access to Office, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive. Nokia apps like MixRadio and HERE Maps are available on both devices.
Both devices offer 4GB of internal storage, with a microSD card slot to expand it by an additional 32GB. While the Nokia X had a 1,500mAh battery, the X2 comes with a larger 1,800mAh unit.
Currently, the Nokia X2 is looking like a very attractive option in the budget handset category, and seems to offer the best of Windows Phone and Android. Unfortunately, Microsoft has announced that the first-generation Nokia X devices (Nokia X, X+ and XL) won’t be updated to Nokia X software platform 2.0, so they may not get all the software perks of the X2. While Microsoft has improved on the shortcomings of the X series, we hope that it does the same with pricing too. If priced below Rs 8,000, the Nokia X2 could just be a runaway hit. We'll just have to wait and watch.
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