Lightweight, and with a simple yet attractive design, the X3-02 sits in hands nicely
The slightly odd layout of the keypad might require some practice at first, but once there, the combination with the touchscreen feels very natural
Equipped with a decent amount of connectivity options such as HSDPA and Wi-Fi, this compact phone only falls short of a built-in GPS.
It handles most tasks reasonably well, all the while considering it’s not a smartphone
The moderate energy consumption of X3-02 means the phone can survive up to three days on a single charge
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,4/7/2011 10:09:12 AM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Compact and affordable feature phone with an eye-catching design. Great ergonomics once you get used to the touch-screen and keypad combo
No GPS and weak camera performance. Screen quality could be better
With its Touch and Type series, Nokia merges the time proven candybar form factor with the touch-screen, while still retaining a standard keypad. The idea is to offer a reliable package to users that are still on the fence about phones that exclusively rely on touch control. It's a rather specific market Nokia is targeting, and it all comes down to the execution, whether the series becomes a success story or simply a gimmick.
The X3-02 is immediately likeable, with an extremely light (77.4g) chassis that feels pleasant in the hand. It's predominantly made of high-quality plastic that leaves virtually no fingerprints except for the usual - the glossy plastic area of the screen.
There's a change of pace in the rear, however, with a steel battery cover held firmly by a latch on either side of the phone. Behind the steel curtain lies a Li-Ion battery with 860 mAh capacity which is sufficient to keep the phone running on a single charge for up to three days.
The first impression about the physical keypad is somewhat deceiving as there are actually three rows of alphanumeric keys, with the usual fourth row having been moved to the right column. The keys themselves are generously sized and offer great tactile feedback, although they lack any space between them, which could make mispresses common for some users. There are dedicated messaging and music player buttons in the top row but it's a pity they cannot be re-assigned from their default functions.
Another deviation from the old and familiar formula is the lack of the D-pad for navigation. Instead, moving around the menus and confirming actions is mainly done using the surprisingly sensitive 2.4-inch resistive touch-screen. In direct sunlight, the TFT display loses a large portion of its colours, but the on-screen information remains legible thanks to the large system fonts. It's not an ideal situation of course, but is acceptable for a budget solution like the Nokia X3-02. Also on the cheap side is the five-megapixel fixed focus camera that has been denied an LED flash, and thus offers unsurprisingly weak results anywhere else than in bright daylight vistas.
Series 40 - the software platform for Nokia feature phones - has been slightly redesigned with larger, touch-optimized icons and other interface elements to avoid any problems working on this smaller touch-screen. The 240x320 resolution of the display does seem a bit low, and it's especially noticeable when using the web browser. On the upside, this WebKit-based browser renders websites quite well and supports kinetic scrolling. As an alternative, Nokia has also pre-installed the excellent Opera Mini browser, designed for rendering mobile websites quickly.
Social networking tasks are handled by the Communities application that includes very basic but nevertheless functional clients for Twitter and Facebook. The built-in Email client is also relatively simple but supports multiple accounts and is easy to setup.
Simple and intuitive to use, and above all, consistent at what it does, the Nokia X3-02 is a likeable, basic phone. But the inclusion of a higher resolution screen and built-in GPS would have turned this solid effort into a solid success.