Basically acknowledging its debut Android effort was a bad judgment call, Nokia Microsoft refined and upgraded the X, delivering a much beefier, worthier low-cost rival for Motorola’s Moto E: the X2 “with Android apps”.

Nokia X2 Microsoft introduces Nokia X2 with Android apps, 4.3 inch display and 1 GB RAM

Now this is unusual. The Nokia X, loosely based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, is barely three months old, yet a next-gen X2 is already official. Granted, upgrade cycles have diminished in recent history for essentially anybody that’s somebody in the tech décor, but not like this. Never like this.

Clearly, when taking over Nokia, Microsoft realized it had to either drop the X line, or step things up ASAP. Fortunately, they chose the latter strategy and unveiled the budget-conscious smartphone they should have in the first place.

With pretty much the same iconic Asha design, playful paint jobs and all, plus a capacitive home key next to the back button, the X2 is definitely not handsome in a traditional way. But it’s solid and robust, and besides, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri7qNQc5Q08

Packing twice X’s RAM (1 gig), a punchier 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 chip and comfier 1,800 mAh battery, the X2 will lag a little less while slightly upping the autonomy ante. Sure, the hardware configuration is hardly that of a powerhouse, yet considering the price range (€99, or $135 in Europe), the bang for buck is satisfactory at the very least.

Especially since the rear-facing camera is also improved, with a 5 MP sensor, flash and autofocus, and a front snapper is added in the mix. The display increases in size, to 4.3 inches, but keeps things modest resolution-wise, at 800 x 480 pixels, while on-board storage remains claustrophobic (4 GB).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCA1bHO-qpM

There is thankfully microSD support, and as far as software goes, not much has changed. Nokia Microsoft took AOSP code once again, and completely butchered it, replacing every single Google service with its MS/Nokia counterpart.

They’re calling the resulting UI Fastlane and, instead of simply admitting it’s based on Android, they’re saying it “supports Android apps”. I guess that’s one way to put it. Capable of accomodating two SIM cards at once, the Nokia X2 launches in glossy green, orange, black, glossy yellow, white and dark grey “immediately in select countries globally”. Sooo, a handful of European and Asian markets.

Source: Nokia Conversations