Nokia XL: Nokia’s First Android Phablet


At the Mobile World Congress, one of the biggest announcements from Nokia was that, despite the fact that the firm is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, their upcoming trio of smartphones will be running on Google’s Android operating system.

Of the three upcoming smartphones, the Nokia XL is certainly the most impressive device and the most expensive. However, only marginally more expensive, as there is only £10 difference between each model.


With the name ‘Nokia XL’ it is hardly surprising that this device is supersize smartphone or phablet which features a 5 inch screen. A common problem with phablets is that the devices are too wide for single-handed operation; however, we are pleased to say that is not the case with the Nokia XL. Despite being supersized, it’s still comfortable to use.

The Nokia XL sports a blocky yet comfortable design with an ergonomic soft back cover. For ultimate personalisation, Nokia’s latest phablet will be available in a range of colours: black, blue, orange, green, white and Nokia’s signature bright yellow.

Smartphone Technology

The most striking thing about the Nokia XL is that Nokia have turned away from their typical Windows Phone OS in favour of the more popular Android operating system. However, it is important to stress that while the Nokia XL runs on Android, it is a version of Android that is very different from the Android OS that we are familiar with.

Like the HTC Sense interface that glosses of the Android OS design in favour of a design more HTC-esque, Nokia too have altered the appearance of the Android OS in order to give it a more Windows Phone feel. Such Windows Phone glosses include the signature Windows Live Tiles home screen. While this definitely differentiates the Nokia XL from other Android phones on the market, many tech enthusiasts can’t help but feel that this tweak is a little paradoxical and the harshest of critics have claimed that the Android OS featured in the Nokia XL is little more than masquerade for the Windows Phone OS.

As opposed to the Google apps that typically come pre-installed on Android smartphones, the Nokia XL features their Microsoft equivalents, such as Skype and SkyDrive.

One of the most notable things about Nokia’s take on the Android operating system is that they are carefully vetting what Google Play Store applications are available to users. This is because when Nokia were testing the compatibility of Android apps on their forthcoming smartphones, they noted that a number of applications contained harmful content. So, by rigorously testing and investigating apps before they are available to the public, Nokia argue that they are promoting better security.

Although the 3MP camera seen on the Nokia X is certainly a little wanting, thankfully the Nokia XL features a 5MP primary camera and a very respectable 2MP front-facing camera.

Pricing and Release Date

The Nokia XL can be expected to hit the shelves alongside its X and X+ counterparts in Q2 and will be priced at a more than reasonable £90.