Nokia’s foray into the world of Android wasn’t filled with as much fanfare as its Lumia launch events over the last few years, but it did create a lot of excitement from Nokia enthusiasts who have been clamouring for such a device for a long time. The first device in the series, the Nokia X, has been available for some months now, and although it comes with a forked version of Android that has its own limitations, the handset has been selling extremely well in India. With the launch of the 5-inch Nokia XL in the country, Nokia is looking to build on the initial success of the Nokia X and offer a uniquely different device to customers looking to make their entry into the world of Android.
Nokia XL feeds on Nokia’s brand recognition
There isn’t much to differentiate the devices in the Nokia X series: the Nokia X, X+ and XL all share the same design language and come with similar internal hardware, with a few minor variations. The Nokia XL is taller, wider and heavier than the Nokia X on account of its 5-inch screen to the 4-inch offering in the Nokia X. The increase in screen size means that Nokia has a product to cater to users who are looking to get a budget phablet device. While the manufacturer was as such smart in increasing the size of the screen, what it failed to do was increase the resolution of the screen on the Nokia XL, which shares the same WVGA (800 x 480) screen resolution as its 4-inch sibling.
Considering that most manufacturers are starting to offer HD or qHD (960 x 540) resolution screens in their budget handsets, it is a let-down to see the Nokia XL feature a WVGA screen. However, that may not amount to a whole lot as most users would more than willingly shell out money for a Nokia branded handset than a similarly priced device from say, a manufacturer like Micromax. It is this brand recognition and loyalty that are driving the Finnish manufacturer ahead. The fact that the Nokia X and XL are finely crafted devices also does not hurt Nokia’s bottom-line.
High pricing and lackluster hardware may let the Nokia XL down
Now that the Microsoft – Nokia merger is finished, the Redmond organization is selling the Nokia XL in the country. As beloved as Nokia is, Microsoft does not share the same amount of loyalty.
The Nokia X has sold very well mainly due to the cost reductions which came into effect a few weeks after the launch of the handset. The Nokia X is currently selling for Rs. 6,650, while the Nokia XL price is set at Rs. 11,350 at launch. While there is a high likelihood that the price of the handset will come down to around Rs. 9,000 soon, it does not look promising for the Nokia XL, considering that there are much better alternatives in this segment. The Rs. 11,350 price is clearly not justified if you look at the hardware that is on offer.
|Processor||Dual-core 1 GHz Snapdragon S4 Play|
|OS||Android OS, v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)|
|Display||5.inch with 480 x 800p resolution|
|Storage||4GB, expandable up to 32GB|
|Camera||Rear: 5MP; Front: 2MP|
The forked Android ecosystem on the Nokia XL also bears mentioning, as it is quite different from any other Android offering. Nokia has stuck to what it knows best and utilized a styling similar to that of Windows Phone on its version of Android. The result is that the Nokia XL is a device that shares a lot of visual cues, from the solid colors to the tile-like user interface of Windows Phone. This being a fork of the open source Android, there is no Google Play Store or any of Google’s Mobile Services, which include Gmail, Drive, Google+ and others. You instead have to resort to using Nokia’s offerings: the Ovi store for content, HERE for navigation and location-based services and Nokia’s own utilities for email and browsing. The silver lining here is that Nokia does bundle an often lot of games and utilities with its handsets, which is no different with the Nokia XL.
The Nokia XL does offer more than the Nokia X, which does not have a front camera, but there are other devices, like the Titanium S5 Plus from Karbonn, Micromax’s Canvas Elanza 2 and the Xolo Q800 X-Edition. Do we believe that the Nokia XL can come close to what the Nokia X has achieved in terms of sales? No, we do not. The Nokia X, like the Lumia 520 before it, was a one-off that ticked all the right boxes for a device in the budget segment. Even though Microsoft is trying to emulate the same with the Nokia XL, there are just too many great devices available at the same price for us to suggest the 5-inch handset.
Image Source: Android Central