Nokia’s Stephen Elop earlier today took the Mobile World Congress stage to officially showcase the company’s first ever Android-running smartphone, the notorious X, along with the surprising X+ and XL.

Nokia X Surprise: Nokia announces X, X+, XL trio of Android based smartphones

Well, it’s finally happened. Nokia, despite close relations to Microsoft, has gone to the “dark side”. Fittingly, a former and future employee of MS made the announcement in Barcelona, at the MWC, though as expected, the entry-level handhelds will have little to do with Google’s services.

To quote Elop himself, the Nokia X “takes people to Microsoft’s cloud, not Google’s”, coming pre-loaded with HERE Maps, Outlook.com, Skype and Microsoft OneDrive. To download additional apps (and maybe a few games), you’ll need to access Nokia’s own store, as well as third-party shops like Yandex or GetJar. No Google Play, no Amazon, no nothing.

Meanwhile, it’s interesting to note the Nokia X, X+ and XL are listed on the company’s website as running “Nokia X software platform 1.0”. Translation: an entirely new OS (or so they’d like us to think) based on AOSP (Android Open Source Project). Exactly what version of Android? Nokia doesn’t say, and it’s probably not important.

Nokia X family Surprise: Nokia announces X, X+, XL trio of Android based smartphones

After all, this is clearly no “vanilla” Android, and any resemblance with Jelly Bean or KitKat is “purely coincidental”.

On the hardware side of things, the X and X+ are almost identical. Both measure 4 inches in diagonal, boast 800 x 480 pixels resolution, pack dual-core 1 GHz Snapdragon S4 chips and a single, sub-par 3 MP camera. The sole difference is the X+ touts a bit of extra RAM, namely 256 MB (768 vs 512).

As for the XL, that “bad boy” is bigger, at 5 inches, and rocks dual 5 MP and 2 MP cameras. Too bad the screen resolution is equally as cringe worthy, and the CPU/RAM combo… mediocre, to be kind. I mean, you may not mind 768 MB of memory on a 4-incher, but on a 5-incher it feels like a huge waste of potential.

Nokia X 2 Surprise: Nokia announces X, X+, XL trio of Android based smartphones

Oh, and apparently, the XL weighs in at 190 grams with only a 2,000 mAh battery beneath the hood. To put things into perspective, Samsung’s 5-inch Galaxy S4 is 60 grams lighter while carrying a 2,600 mAh ticker.

Of the three new Nokia devices, the X is reportedly set to go on sale “immediately” in emerging markets for $120 (€89). The X+ and XL will follow sometime in Q2, at $135 (€99) and $149 (€109) respectively. No words on stateside releases, which probably means they will never happen.

Source: Nokia Conversations