Microsoft-owned Nokia to Unveil Android Handset at MWC

Images of the Nokia X from prolific handset leaker @evleaks
Images of the Nokia X from prolific handset leaker @evleaks

The Android handset which Nokia was already developing when its mobile division was acquired by Microsoft last September has been one of the industrys worst-kept secrets over the past few months.

So its no great surprise that, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal, Nokia will be introducing the handset, codenamed Normandy, later this month at Mobile World Congress.

According to tweets from @evleaks, the device will be renamed Nokia X, and feature a 4” screen, 1GHz dual-core processor and 4GB RAM.

It wasnt previously clear how the Microsoft acquisition, due to close in the coming months, would affect the launch. The reports offer a partial answer – the X, it seems, will run a forked version of Android, similar to the OS Amazon uses on the Kindle Fire, without access to the Play Store or preloaded Google apps. Leaked screenshots, again from @evleaks, previously showed a UI fashioned after Windows Phones tile-based aesthetic.

The X could act as an entry point for Microsoft into the Android ecosystem – and, given that there are no no low-end Windows Phone devices available, into developing markets to boot – or could just prove to be an anomaly.