The new generation touch and type mobile phones are rightly worthy of being labelled as the new avatars of the Symbian S40 operating system. With the unique and quite intuitive touch and type interface, these are getting a lot of popularity amongst users throughout the country and across the globe.
While touchscreens are better for navigation, keys are definitely good when it comes to typing messages. The freedom it brings to the users, to enjoy the benefits of both a touchscreen and keys of the phone, is probably the biggest reasons behind its growing popularity.
But except the good part there are bits and pieces of bad too with this device which are not grave mistakes but small little things which can be easily looked upon but to make a perfect buying decision all points are to be considered so read on.
Look and feel
The Nokia X3 — 02 looks great and gets full marks on this front. It manages to grab maximum eyeballs the moment it comes out from the pocket. The slim profile and sharp but human friendly edges give it a sophisticated and a rich appearance. Even, while holding it in the hand, the phone feels good and gives a good grip to the user.
The placement of the keys and the touchscreen is perfect, letting you to type in one or in two hands quite comfortably. So in a nutshell, the X3-02 looks great and feels great too so full marks here.
As I mentioned earlier, its new user interface combines the positives of both the touchscreens, which are great for manoeuvring thorough the menus, and keys, which are best for typing.
The keypad is big, nicely laid out and spaced well. Although the placement of the keys might be a little funny as the Hash and Asterisk keys come on the extreme right along with the 0 key. But you get two dedicated buttons for media and messaging and a very comfortable keypad
The 2.4 inch touchscreen, although resistive, gives quite a high degree of accuracy and comfort while using. Even the slightest touch translates into a perfect action. Considering the price of this phone, we would have expected a capacitive touchscreen in place of a resistive one but with the Series 40 OS the screen compliments the user interface.
This is the first time ever that the Symbian S40 operating system has been optimised for a touch based operation, but sadly the user interface is still not fully optimised for such a touch based operation. The menus are still little longer and take a lot of time in executing commands. Users may also need some more time to get used to the dual input based interface.
Besides, though the OS uses both the inputs at the same time, there is no way in which a user can just make use of the touch or the type (keypad) independently. This is also not the first time that we are seeing touch and type interface based phones here in India, all thanks to the direct Chinese imports.
Performance wise, the IOS is pretty swift and during the whole review it never hung or crashed. All the actions were completed without any delays and users will definitely like the new variant of S40 a lot. But still some tweaks in terms of placement and spacing, looks, menus and some more tune ups are required to make it perfect.
Internet and connectivity
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS, 3G – anything you can possibly think of vis-à-vis connectivity options are there in this phone. One of the best features of the X3 is the USB on the go feature that allows the users to connect low power consuming flash drives to this phone and access content directly on the phone similar to the feature that came with the Nokia N8. Although the cable for USB on the go connectivity is not supplied but it is a super feature to use and you won’t mind buying the cable for a few additional bucks.
Wi-Fi connectivity is standard although there is a slight issue which I faced while using it: the phone kept using the phone’s GPRS connection as well while using Wi-Fi and the interface misses the button to switch to the only-WiFi mode.
The 5 megapixel fixed focus camera and a multi format audio video player with FM radio sums up the multimedia segment in this phone.
The camera is mediocre with no flash and doesn’t have the much needed auto focus capability. Video recording also comes at 15 FPS, which is jittery. But on the other hand, this is the first time that Xvid playback is added to S40, so you will enjoy it definitely.
In the audio front also, the X3 fails to impresses unlike other handsets from Nokia in the past. Nokia decided to put the microphone and the loudspeaker both at the bottom of the phone. Although the mic is hidden beneath the 9 key, still loudspeaker causes some trouble while talking on loudspeaker.
Nokia X3 — 02 has 16GB of expandable memory but as you go upwards after 4GB, it starts making the phone sluggish. So a maximum of 8GB is what is recommended for this handset.
The X3-02 turns out to be a nice surprise of S40 interface with charming looks and great features and a super cool battery life of almost 3 days of normal usage between charges. For the price tag of Rs 7,500, it justifies worth for every penny invested if you are happy overseeing the smallish flaws which are there in the handset. Otherwise, the X3-02 is a great handset with nice features that will make the users happy.