Nokia’s Touch & Type series of handsets are far and few in between and sometimes, seems like an odd combination. With a candybar form-factor, the Nokia X3 Touch & Type comes with a standard alphanumeric keypad and a resistive touch screen.
Many would scoff at the resistive touch screen but at this form factor, it makes sense from a usability perspective — it allows for more touch points in a given area.
The Nokia X3-02 is quite a looker — it’s thin and light for a candybar phone and small enough to fit in your chest pocket without being a bother. It reminded me of the 8210 from 11 years ago though this time it looks much better and feels more solid to the hands.
Despite the small size, the screen (2.4″ @ 240×320 pixels) takes up much of the real estate space up front with the numpad a bit cramped at the bottom end. The keys are still easy to reach and typing still comfortable. It’s actually the switching between the keys and the touchscreen that oftentimes confuses and will require some time to get used to.
With standard alphanumeric keypads, all the menu and shortcuts are all found and assigned on a physical button. With the X3-02, some of the menus are on the display so there will be times you’d be looking at the physical keys for some navigational cues when it’s actually on the touch display. However, I think in time, you should be able to get comfortable with this set up (although in rare cases, navigation could get a bit frustrating).
The X3-02 comes with a 5-megapixel camera. The pictures are decent but not very impressive. The main drawback is that it comes with a fixed-focus lens so you’re left with some blurred photos half the time. Works with wide shots but not much with close-up or portrait shots. The video recording is even less usable so we didn’t bother to upload samples.
They placed the charging port at the top of the handset along with the 3.5mm audio port and a micro-USB port (used for data connection and charging). The unit supports USB On-the-Go so you can attach a USB drive to it and be able to access files from the external drive. Great for when you want to view videos from external sources (did we mention it can play Xvid as well?).
At the bottom of the unit, you’ll find the speakers which does its job just right but don’t expect anything impressive from it. You can still use the built-in FM radio tuner though.
The X3-02 has WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and 3G/HSDPA connectivity so you will not have any problems connecting to the internet. With Nokia Ovi, you can download apps like Facebook and Twitter too. It also has Bluetooth 2.1 but lacks an internal GPS so forget about maps and navigation.
The Nokia X3-02 is like a mixed bag of beans — sometimes you’ll like it, sometimes you don’t. The combination of a small, resistive touch screen and numpad is both odd and intriguing. Besides, for an S40 device, we can’t really expect a lot from it. The Nokia X3-02 Touch & Type retails for Php8,560 in stores.
P.S. The review unit sent to me had a defective battery cover. One of the clips to close the battery panel would not latch on the hook so the panel would some times drop off the back.