CEO of Nokia Corporation Stephen Elop with the new Nokia X and X+ at MWC. Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images.
Nokia Goes Android with X, X+, and XL
Nokia isn't very good at keeping secrets, and this one has been been in the air for years. However, during the first day of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Finnish handset maker finally revealed the Nokia X family of smartphones—all powered by Android.
Of course, that statement comes with a lot of caveats. The X family runs Android but strips away Google Mobile Services (GSM). The play store is essentially supplanted by Nokia's own store. The same can be said for Google Maps (Here Maps), Play Music (MixRadio), etc. This is a similar OS maneuver that the Amazon's Kindle Fire has been doing for years.
The X family has three different members: the X, the X+, and the XL. The first two are four-inch options with the X+ sporting a little bit beefier specs, and the XL is your 5-inch addition. The user interface resembles Windows Phone, but not entirely. The tiles are still there and the ability to adjust them still exists, but the experience is way different from the Lumia 1520 or the newly released Icon. On the outside, the phone looks pretty similar to the Lumia 520, and the Android-powered X family is targeted for emerging markets with only 512MB of RAM and only 4 GB of storage (with MicroSD card support). Strangely enough, the X family runs on 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, though KitKat was specifically built for low-end phones using 16 percent less memory.
The X also houses Microsoft services like OneDrive and Outlook and therein could lie Nokia's strategy for the X—introducing new users to the Windows ecosystem. With Microsoft fully acquiring Nokia in the coming weeks, it's possible that the X lives in our tech memory as a strange hiccup or anomaly, or maybe, it could be a new direction for Nokia and Microsoft's collective future.
Introducing Sony's New Flagship, the Xperia Z2
At first glance, the Xperia Z2 is like seeing double. The Z2's form factor remains relatively similar to the Z1. Yes, it still has a glass back meaning the Z2 will also be a fingerprint magnet, but the smartphone's insides get a definite upgrade. The screen size is a little bigger but resolution remains stunning at 1920 x 1080. Pack in 3GB of RAM, a 3200mAh battery, and 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801, and Sony's device rivals some of the top-spec'd devices out there, including Samsung's new S5.
The Z2 will be available in March with Android 4.4 KitKat, and as always, will retain its IP58 waterproof rating.
Along side its new smartphone, Sony also announced the Xperia Tablet Z2. For the most part, think Z2 smartphone but with a 10.1-inch screen; the tablet has the same OS, system-on-a-chip, and RAM. Compared to the Z Tablet it is noticeably thinner, according to and .
Mozilla Gets Serious
A proliferation of Firefox OS has flooded Barcelona with handsets from LG, Huawei, and ZTE to name a few. , Mozilla seems to be setting its sights on $25 smartphones. Most reports coming out of MWC are saying that the Mozilla OS feels all around better. Although it's not even close to flagship devices, Mozilla OS was never trying to enter that market in the first place.
Mozilla entered MWC with three devices in 15 markets, but is looking to expand with eyes on Latin America and other parts of Europe, according to .
LG's G Pro 2 Announced Ahead of the Pack
On Sunday, before MWC opened its doors, LG announced the G Pro 2 and G2 mini. LG essentially flattened out its G Flex design and repackaged it as the G Pro 2. The phone does feature a new Knock Code mechanism that allows users to pre-program a tap pattern to wake up the phone, reminiscent of LG's double-tap unlock. The smartphone also has great screen resolution at 1080 x 1920. However, The G Pro 2 doesn't share the Flex's self-healing exterior and instead has a plastic patterned backing.
The is available in Korea now and will see a wider release in March.
Samsung also announced a bevy of new devices, including the Galaxy S5, new Gear smartwatches, and a fitness smartband, the Gear Fit. You can read more about it here.