Over the last few years we have seen Nokia release a succession of high quality smartphones that cover all manner of uses, from the all round performance of the excellent N8 to the superb messaging facilities found on the E7. With their latest release they have taken a step back from the traditional smartphone market and presented us with a back to the ‘old skool’ candy bar styled phone in the form of the X3-02 Touch and Type.
In the days before smartphones, these were the handsets that most people possessed, sporting a traditional styled numeric keypad beneath a small screen. Yes the models lacked a lot of the features found on the modern phone, but they were compact, they looked great and they did the job that was asked of them. Nokia have acknowledged that there may still be room in the marketplace for such a handset, but have teamed it up with some of the more modern functions that we have become accustomed to.
The first obvious integration of newer technology on this model is the inclusion of a touchscreen display. This offers huge benefits to the consumer as it enables the numeric keypad to be used purely for the input of letters and numbers, leaving the user to navigate the menus and access various functions via the display. The screen itself measures 2.3 inches and offers a resistive touch panel. The display, despite at first glance appearing small, is ample in sizing especially as anybody looking for a large screen for multi media usage is not likely to be looking at a phone like this in the first place. In use the screen responds well, even though it seems a little strange to see the older S40 operating system navigated via the screen rather than by using a navigational key. In terms of resolution, the screen offer 240 x 320 together with 256 thousand colours, giving the small display plenty of clarity and colour.
The other area that the X3-02 Touch and Type performs admirably is with regards to its audio facilities. Despite offering a modest 50MB of internal storage, the handset borrows another trick from smartphones by including a micro SD card slot. This means you can add the exact amount of memory that you require, and this can be up to 32GB if necessary. To access the audio element of the phone, there is a dedicated music key which is located beneath the screen. This is much easier than using the menu system, and given the tiny size of the handset, does make it feel just like a stand alone MP3 player. Album art is supported and thanks to web connectivity the phone can also access Nokias excellent Ovi store, an online market place where you can purchase an abundance of music direct to your handset.
The Nokia X3-02 Touch and Type is an incredibly refreshing handset. In the world of black slabs that is the modern touchscreen, this older format receives a needed overhaul resulting in stylish looks and a nice mix of old and new functionality.
The Nokia X3-02 Touch and Type is available now.