It is not a secret that Microsoft Mobile is working on the second-generation Nokia X smartphone that was originally expected to be based on the heavily modified Google Android operating system and was projected to be sold mostly in developing countries. Apparently, the new Nokia X2 smartphone will not be only an Android-powered handset from Microsoft, but it will actually be a dual-boot device with both Windows Phone and the OS from Google.
The Nokia X2DS (RM-1013) smartphone is already listed in the database of the AnTuTu benchmark, which may be an indicator that the smartphone exists and is currently at the final stages of development. The handset is based on a strange Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 system-on-chip that has two general-purpose cores (presumably the Cortex-A7) as well as the Adreno 305 graphics core. Officially, the dual-core Snapdragon 200 features the Adreno 302 graphics.
It is claimed that the Nokia X2 sports Google Android 4.3 operating system, a 4.3” display with 800*480 resolution, 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM, 4GB of NAND flash storage, 0.3MP front-facing as well as 5MP back-facing cameras and so on.
Improved hardware specifications is not the only thing that makes Nokia X2 different from the original Nokia X. According to Michael Faro-Tusino, senior editor at Unleashthephones and MyNokiaBlog, the device will run both Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone operating system and will even come with Google Play store installed, reports WMPoweruser. The original Nokia X did not come with installed Google Play.
Although dual-boot smartphones have some advantages compared to single-OS handsets, it is clear that most of the time end-users utilise only one OS and hardly really need the second one. Theoretically, a customer may get a dual-boot smartphone with Google Android and Windows Phone and then make his or her decision which OS to use. In reality few people are eager to try a new mobile operating system and will use the one they are more familiar with or which seems more intuitive.
The original Nokia X smartphone.
Recently Microsoft made some serious actions in a bid to make Windows Phone and Windows RT more popular than they are today: it made Windows free of charge for phones and tablets with screens smaller than 9” and it is getting ready to launch Windows Phone 8.1 that supports low-end hardware. Bundling Windows Phone with the Android-based Nokia X2 could be another way to boost adoption of the platform.
What is not completely clear is how Microsoft plans to differentiate the Nokia X2 and the low-end smartphones from the WP-based Lumia lineup, such as the Lumia 500-series. It is unclear how Microsoft plans to sell the entry-level Lumias, if there are similar smartphones with both Windows Phone and Google Android operating systems?
Late last year Microsoft held talks with Huawei and some other makers of smartphones regarding dual-boot handsets with two operating systems. However, the negotiations were not successful.
Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.
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KitGuru Says: The information about dual-boot smartphone from Microsoft looks rather strange. Microsoft clearly needs to capture market share away from the rivals on the market of smartphones in general, but it also needs to popularize its own Windows Phone operating system as well as its mobile/Internet services. If the information about the Nokia X2 is correct, then it features too many competing technologies (i.e., Android, Google Play) and does not really make popular Microsoft’s own OS and services.