The Nokia X3 is a slider music phone that lacks a touchscreen.
Nokia X3: Features
The Nokia X3’s price-tag proves that it is indeed an all-out feature phone, one that focuses on one or two features in order to keep its price low. In the X3’s case, the feature happens to be music playback. However, that doesn’t mean that the X3 has forsaken all other features. The X3 has a 3.2Mp camera (but no flash), a 3.5mm jack for headphones and a microUSB port. It uses the 6th Edition of Nokia’s S40 UI which now resembles the S60 interface (found on phones such as the 5800 XpressMusic, N97 mini and the 5233)quite a bit.
The X3 also comes with a bunch of pre-installed apps that perform plenty of functions including Nokia Maps, that connects to the internet to help you plan trips or browse your city’s map. Other apps include a well-fleshed out organiser/scheduler, converters for metric units and apparel sizes, and the excellent Opera Mini mobile web browser.
Nokia X3: Design & Usability
Tested in the PCWorld.in Labs
There’s no denying it, Nokia’s X-series of phones have a bold design statement with their straight edges and sharp-ish corners. We saw that in the Nokia X6 and now the Nokia X3 carries forward the cool look. The “edgy” look is also complemented by the metal keypad that slides out smoothly with no unwanted movement. We had no issues with the X3’s build quality except for the back battery panel that creaked a bit and appeared to not be well-set.
The Nokia X3 keypad is made up of hard flat keys that might look good but fall slightly short on the usability front, making me miss a regular keypad with raised keys. On the screen’s left are a couple of hardware media control buttons that let you skip to the next audio/video track or radio station and play/pause the music/video player or the radio.
The XNokia X3’s S40 UI is simple to use and works decently except for a general sense of sluggishness. The UI allows for four shortcut bars on the homescreen which you can customise to add, shortcuts to apps, the app store, email, multimedia content etc.
Our biggest complaint with the X3 is its terrible screen that reminded usof the screen on the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic, an entry level phone, much cheaper than the X3. The Nokia X3’s screen has terrible viewing angles and even at a slight angle, a horrible colour shift takes over that literally turns the screen black.
Nokia X3: Multimedia, Browsing etc
The Nokia X3’s 3.2Mp camera does nothing special. We expected as much since it had no flash, no autofocus and minimal adjustment settings. This is strange since the similarly priced Nokia 6303 Classic not only has a camera that allows for auto-focus but also a dual LED flash. The X3’s camera takes decent outdoor pictures but the indoor pictures (under fluorescent lights) revealed plenty of noise. Videos we recorded were also not too great and were very choppy.
For its price, the Nokia X3 gives very good music playback and does justice to the XpressMusic label. There were no volume issues and there are plenty of EQ presets to choose from. However, the music played did sound a little thin at times. The bundled earphones are decent and the external stereo speakers output really clear music at a satisfactory volume.
Videos can be transferred easily to the Nokia X3 using Nokia’s Video Manager tool but there were still frame-rate issues with the videos that the tool automatically converted and transferred. Also, the screen does not make watching videos on it a very pleasant experience.
The Nokia X3’s default WebKit based browser is pretty bare-bones and is just about okay to browse web pages meant for mobile phones. You would be better off using the Opera Mini web browser that comes pre-installed.
The X3’s battery lasted me for over a day which is pretty good. Calls on the Nokia X3 sound clear albeit a little too soft. Also, the mic is extra sensitive and there’s a great chance that people on the other end will be able to hear plenty of background noise.
The FM radio’s reception was average and sometimes unstable. The auto-scanning function also worked fine. The Nokia X3 also comes with a number of simple but addictive full-version games. The added bonus is that you can download more from Nokia’s Ovi Store.
NEXT: our expert verdict >>
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