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Review of Nokia X2-00 GSM Phone
Live photos of Nokia X2-00
In the box:
This model opens X music range and its 2 index means the lowest price of €85 (before taxes). It follows in the footsteps of Nokia 5130 XpressMusic, which became the music bestseller from Nokia and had a dominant position on the market in general. Sequels of successful models are difficult to come up with, but this case is an exception. Accessible models attract with their prices. Add more features, use new materials for the segment and you get a potential bestseller, especially if you can capitalize on Nokia brand name. In the company's lineup Nokia X2 is a definite bestseller, will be sold in large amounts and will oust several rivals from the market, which were either slow to appear or languished in the segment for too long.
The ingredients of success are simple – a music candybar with an excellent price. Nokia X2 somehow resembles sneakers for €15 you can buy in any European shop. Bright laces, white edge at the bottom and they look nice in the shop window. Easy to wear and democratic they are loved by teenagers and young adults for the price. Nobody cares that the sole will be destroyed in two weeks and the material is hardly of top quality. Key factors are price and trendy fashion. The same applies to this phone. It meets the expectations of customers and offers a compromise. Do you need a phone of metal? Here we have a metal back cover. Are you looking for two loudspeakers? Here you are. Would you like to have bright colors? Choose yourself.
It is easy to understand that the model has not only the price for young people, but is positioned accordingly. I cannot imagine a person after 30, who could buy a model for everyday use. It looks like a toy, which is rather good. The gender ratio among schoolchildren is 50/50, just choose your color. In the older age group men will prevail. I cannot explain it, but they are more eager to buy candybars. The ratio is 65/35. The upper age limit is 25 years. All in all we have two main groups of customers – 18-25 and 10-18. Nokia 5130 XpressMusic targeted these age groups as well.
This model is a good choice for parents, who want to buy an accessible phone to their children and need good value for money.
When you look at its face you see a typical candybar. It can be Nokia, Fly, Sagem or something else. Unfortunately, the design is ordinary. Our sample was red with appropriate elements on the bottom and top. Sides also feature red plastic. The rest of the body is black. Brighter colors are for more expensive models.
There are only two color schemes – black with red and white with blue.
I have no complaints to the build quality. Some owners claim that the back cover has vertical looseness, but I did not experience that during my week long testing. The phone has inexpensive plastic and the grill at the back cover showed signs of wearing off during the first day. I put this model in a jeans pocket together with another phone. I tested the plastic in other conditions and understood that it really wears off with ease. In the sun these areas look acceptable, but still the plastic wears off. Initially the plastic has certain gloss with nice speckles and shines in the sun, but not for long.
The back cover is made of metal, and slightly resembles Samsung U800 Soul with its color.
The back view was similar there as well as the dimensions - 111x47x13.3 mm (4.37″x1.85″x0.52″), while it weighs 82 g (2.89 oz). The phone is convenient to hold in hands. There is also a hole for a strap at the bottom.
Sides are dedicated to controls. On the left these are player buttons, which have no backlight, but allow activating the player with one touch from the standby mode, move to another track or use a rewind option. Keypad locking is a must for such buttons.
The right side hosts a paired volume control button and a camera key. In the middle there is a microSD slot with a plastic cover, which requires a bit of an effort and may be not liked by everybody.
The top boasts a 3.5 mm jack for a headset or headphones. Near it we have a 2 mm charger jack (an appropriate device is in the box) and a capped microUSB slot. The latter is used for charging when the phone is connected to PC.
The entry level screen does not have good viewing angles. Turn the body a bit and the colors fade away, which makes the screen difficult to read. It is a good protection from those who like to read your messages. It is the only downside. In all other respects the screen is bright with good contrast and nice picture. It is a good solution for an entry level phone. 2.2″ TFT screen has a 240x320 resolution (262 000 colors) and fits up to 12 lines with three service lines. In the sun the screen fades away, but stays readable due to the font size.
The buttons are made of one solid plastic piece with rubber dividing elements. The width is limited, which is slightly inconvenient. During the text input the winning size proves to be a downside. Keystrokes are too short. Taking into account the popularity of SMS among the target audience this phone is not very handy for them. The ergonomics is average. It is compounded by the slow text input in selected apps when you have to enter letters and wait when they appear on screen. Fans of speed text input should forget about it on this model.
The backlight is white, even and visible in different conditions.
The handset boasts a 860 mAh Li-Ion BL-4C battery. The manufacturer claims up to 810 minutes of talktime and up to 540 hours of standby operation. Music playback is up to 26.8 hours.
In real life the average operation time was around 2 days. It includes 1.5 hours of talktime, allows taking several dozens of photos, two minutes of video recording and three hours of radio or music playback. The total recharge time is 2.5 hours. The replacement of the charger to AC-8 decreases the charging time by 25 per cent.
Look at maximum operation times in different modes:
Less impressive operation time for radio may be influenced by the internal antenna work (we tested radio via headphones and not the hands free talking).
USB. In USB settings one of the following 3 modes is available:
Data transfer speed reaches 1 Mb/s. When USB cable is connected the phone starts recharging.
This model has a USB Host. When the adaptor is connected you can use external USB storage to copy files. Nokia labels this feature USB on the Go and promotes it only for Nokia N8, though it is supported on many inexpensive S40 models.
Bluetooth. Bluetooth 2.1 supports EDR. The following profiles are available:
Data transfer speed via Bluetooth reaches on average 100 Kb/s. We tested the transfer of stereo to a headset like Sony Ericsson DS970. Tracks handling, rewinding and skipping work without any problems, but the name of the track played at that time is not displayed on the screen.
Users get 48 MB of memory in the phone (out of the overall 70 MB) to store any data.
The slot for microSD cards (hot swappable) is on the side. In the box you have a 2 GB card. The maximum cards size is 16 GB. The RAM is 64 MB. The size of apps is limited by 2 MB. Heap size is also 2 MB.
A 5 MP CMOS module without autofocus is used (fixed focus from 20 cm to infinity, EDoF) alongside the LED flash. The camera is above criticism for the money. On a sunny day the photos are decent and you can view them on PC without problems. It is not a top product, but is not downright rubbish. A compromise for the price.
The camera interface is horizontal (S40 Simple) with the side key activating the camera. Photos are quickly stored. The maximum resolution is 2592x1944. Look at the photos samples below.
Video recording. The phone supports 3GP video recording with the resolution of 320x240 (18 frames per second). You can limit the recording length, but it can be maximum until the memory lasts. The same effects can be applied to photo and video. During the playback on the phone the quality of video is acceptable even at maximum resolution. On PC you can see artefacts, but you can still watch video, which is a good advantage of the model.
All features of the phone and its platform are fully described in a separate article. Below are the photos of preinstalled apps, which do not need any particular explanations.
I have to emphasize the impressive games list. Some of them have been known for years, but are still relevant, for example, City Bloxx. The full list is the following - Block'd, Bounce Tales, Brain Champ, City Bloxx, Diamond Rush, Rally 3D, Snake III and Sudoku.
In Applications you can find Facebook (ordinary client), Flikr, measurements converter, clothes sizes converter, world clock and torch (activation of flash as a torch).
This model received OVI Chat to communicate with other OVI users, which is also nice. Unfortunately, the number of such users is limited and other services are not supported. On the other hand, this app can be folded and messages can be received in the background mode. These are the first signs of multitasking. We will see how this app develops and it can be interesting if AIM, ICQ and Skype support are added. It is unlikely to happen though.
For the first time in S40 the mail client was changed into the one from Nokia Messaging. It has its advantages, in particular supports up to 10 accounts, fast set up of popular services without the configuration of server settings. Another high point is the optimization of pictures prior to download from the server, which leads to savings on traffic costs (works for OVI Mail). For example, my picture of 1.8 MB was transformed into 16 KB. It was a good solution for a phone screen. If you need an original photo it will not be available though. The mail client is rather slow, but it operates decently unless you have tons of messages.
The phone is an ideal music box with two extremely loud speakers. Young people will be more than happy, because in terms of volume this model is unrivalled (among contemporary phones).
A 3.5 mm jack allows connecting your own headphones. Earbuds from the box are acceptable for the price, but they limit low and high frequencies. They are enough for radio, but are not ideal for music playback. Overall the player produces good impression for people who have no experience in high quality music. It surely loses out to dedicated players, which is a typical feature of all music phones.
The player is standard, you can change themes and adjust equalizers. Folders are not supported, but playlists are sorted by tags. I cannot say anything bad about the player as it will please the majority of users.
Radio has an in-built antenna, which allows operation without the headset. It is a big advantage of the model. In alarm clock you can select a radio station as a signal, which will be welcome.
In its price range Nokia X2-00 is the best music solution. Other models have no comparable features.
There is no complaint about speech reproduction in both directions and the speaker offers good volume power. Communication quality is good. Loudspeakers are impossible to ignore, while the vibro is also above average.
In some countries the price of the model includes annual membership in Nokia Comes with Music (OVI Music Unlimited in its new incarnation). It is the best offer on the market, which cannot be rivaled by other companies. Sadly, this option is not for Europe or Russia and in the official Russian box we only have a 200 Rubles voucher to buy tracks in OVI Music. It is definitely not enough, but in Russia nobody ever cared about licensed music, especially buyers of inexpensive phones?
Let's look at X2-00 as a universal phone. This model is for young people and has lots of features unrivalled in other phones of the same price range and form factor. So we have a 5 MP camera with decent photos, battery cover of metal, many games and two loudspeakers, radio works without the headset and a 3.5 mm jack is onboard. It is very close to the ideal phone for a young person. We even get USB On the Go, which is heavily promoted in Nokia N8.
On the downside we have plastic on loudspeakers, which wears off far too easily. The screen lacks good viewing angles, but for an inexpensive model it is not vital. The text input in all apps is too slow and it is more serious. In general the phone is fast, but the text input is its main problem. The keypad is not convenient enough too.
In Russia the phone is offered exclusively in Euroset for $195. When the model becomes available from other retailers its price will go down by $16. The European price is even more attractive – up to €100 depending upon the country (there is an option without the memory card in the box). In its price range the handset offers best value for money and is the best solution for young people. Rivals just do not exist. There is a slightly dated Samsung S7220 Ultra in a pricier segment. It has similar features and is more interesting, but its production has already stopped. The price will not decrease. For €170-200 you can get Sony Ericsson Elm. This candybar also features a metal back cover, similar screen (less bright and surprisingly dim), offers 3G and WiFi. The camera has a decent autofocus and it can be viewed as advantage. Menu navigation is a bit slow. But it belongs to a different class, loses to Nokia X2-00 in some aspects, is not universal enough and its standard accessories are inferior (even headsets are cheaper). With the price difference of €50 Nokia X2-00 deserves special attention.
Finally, I have to say that Nokia created a bestseller for young people. It is doomed to become popular. It is the king in its niche and has no rivals in sight.
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Published 07 September 2010
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