I never tried a ”low-mid” segment phone from Nokia before, but having the opportunity to get my hands on the Nokia X3 was something I didn’t want to pass. I received the blue version of the Nokia X3 after an anxious wait, not that I wanted to use it as my main phone, but perhaps it was a little giant that would surprise me. The Nokia X3 is a really cheap phone, just 140USD and am sure that free with many contracts. The X3 has a 3.2MP Camera, Bluetooth, runs S40 and is an Xseries meaning that music is the big thing. Here are some pics of the Nokia X3 unboxing:
So what was my experience with the Nokia X3? Well, my expectations for this device weren’t high at all, I expected a good-looking entry-level phone with some nice features and decent usability. But right after opening the box everything just didn’t run as expected. Right after opening the device I obviously needed to take the back cover off to install the SIM card and the battery. This is when problems started. After not paying attention to the sticker explaining how to open the X3, I tried for 5 minutes to open the back cover. After I realized that I had done everything possible to open the X3, I resorted to the picture to find that the way to open the X3, was basically what I had thought. After another 5 minutes of trying to open the X3 I got really angry and just used force to slide the back-cover; it came off flying across the room in an abrupt movement. The back cover of the X3 is the most difficult thing to remove in the world, somebody could easily break the slider in the process having in account that the X3 isn’t exactly solid. So I proceed to install the SIM card, and unbelievably, same happens, took me another 5 minutes to dent my nail to open the idiotic cover to insert the SIM. Anyway, I tried to forget that since I know that someone who buys this phone won’t change batteries or SIMs frequently, so I just proceeded to play with the X3.
The X3 is a beauty. The colors and the design of the phone are very appealing; it is just a cool looking handset. But the X3 feels somehow cheap. It is made entirely out of plastic, and the type that is in the edge between good quality plastic and just average plastic. I would think that the build-quality and materials used are just a bit above average, just what you would expect in this type of phones. The X3 is durable, the plastic is resilient to any accident that could happen, the X3 can stand pretty much against all dangers that a phone could face. The screen, however, is a completely different story.
The screen of the X3 is the worst screen I ever saw in a mobile phone. It is not because it is small, it is because it is small but on top has design problems. After I turned ON the X3 I thought something was wrong with my contacts, I just saw the images on the screen awkwardly, like if my eyes were playing tricks on me. Looking at the screen of the X3 is like looking at one of those visual illusions that play with your eyes, they get your eyes out of focus and make you dizzy. Upon further inspection, I discovered why the X3 has this effect. The people that designed the X3 put the backlight in a way that when the user looks at the screen from the left angle, the screen looks darker, and when the user looks at the screen from a right-hand perspective, the screen looks lighter. Take a look at this pics and notice the difference when looking at different angles.
This, is a huge design error. This change in colors make your left eye see a darker version of the screen, while your left eye is seeing a lighter version of the screen. This creates a confusing image that your brain has trouble understanding, it is just a horrible experience to look at the X3’s screen.
The problem with the screen renders the X3 completely unusable, at least for me, but I still had a look at the S40 UI that the X3 uses. I found that the S40 platform has evolved a lot, I couldn’t tell the difference between S60 and S40 until I got deep in the menus of the X3. The homescreen is customizable and you can change and have several elements right there. It is very useful because the homescreen allows you to access many of the features of the X3. The buttons on the screen also make the X3 a wonderful music device,they make it very easy to listen to music on the X3. The X3 also supports some more advanced features like Ovi Store, Email and Web Browser. You can also change themes, and install games and apps. By the way, the X3 comes with a really cool set of games pre-installed.
The Nokia X3 is a bad phone. That might sound like a very ”radical” conclusion but is just the truth. No one can use a phone that has such a stupid design mistake on the screen: the most important part of the phone because is the point of communication. Nokia should be aware of this things, I mean, it took me 5 seconds to notice that something was wrong with the screen, why couldn’t Nokia do the same? On the other hand, the Nokia X3 is an excellent phone for music fans, really loud speakers and music functions.