Nokia has second go at Android with dual-SIM X2, but still no Google Play

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The new Nokia X2, powered by Android software. Nokia

Nokia has unveiled the colourful X2, an Android-powered smartphone costing €99 (roughly £80, $135 or AU$140). The company is yet to confirm when and where it will go on sale.

The 4.3-inch X2 has a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage inside, as well as a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. In some countries there will be a dual-SIM version, handy for people who want their business and personal numbers in one phone. Nokia has only announced the dual-SIM version, but a single-SIM model is likely to follow.

The X2 is encased in a translucent outer layer in a variety of candy colours. It comes in green, orange and black for now, with yellow, white and grey models coming later.

Going back a few years, Finnish company Nokia used to be the world's biggest manufacturer of mobile phones. When the smartphone revolution happened Samsung usurped that title, leaving Nokia floundering. A couple of years behind the iPhone and phones made with Google's Android software, Nokia hitched its wagon to the relatively unpopular Windows Phone platform for the Nokia Lumia line of phones.

The close relationship between Nokia and Microsoft, which makes Windows, was cemented earlier this year when Microsoft bought the handset division of Nokia. But despite its closer-than-ever commitment to Windows Phone, Nokia hedged its bets this February with the Nokia X, a new smartphone powered by Android software.

We were impressed with the X's build quality and battery life -- which should be even better in the X2 thanks to its 1800mAh power pack -- but found it to be a little slow compared to other smartphones. The X2 is Nokia's second crack at an Android phone and looks to fix some of those problem with a faster processor.

The X, X2 and their ilk are Android phones, but owners of an HTC, Samsung or other Android phone might not know it at first. Nokia's take on Android is a heavily-customised version, known as Nokia X.

The X2 boasts a "home" and "back" button, which borrow as much from Microsoft's Windows Phone software as they do from Android. For example, when you hold down the back button, your open apps appear, allowing you to skip to another app or close the ones you no longer want -- much like Windows Phone.

Microsoft apps including Skype, Outlook and cloud storage service OneDrive are built-in to the X2. The phone comes with a free month of Skype calls to anywhere in the world.

Nokia's own Android app shop, Nokia Store, now includes third party app stores such as 1Mobile Market, Aptoide, SlideME, Mobango and Yandex, making it easier to add Android apps to the phone. There's no access to the main Android store Google Play, however, which is a huge black mark against Nokia's take on Android.

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Nokia X2 Dual SIM

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