Nokia X2 Review

By on October 1st, 2010 15:14 GMT
Nokia Xseries was introduced at Nokia World 2009 and now includes around six different models. Xseries handsets are all about the music. Each and every one comes with separate media controls, Stereo speakers, FM radio and a 3.5mm headphone jack. An interesting fact is that Nokia X6 is the first Nokia handset to feature a capacitive touchscreen, Nokia N8 being the second.

Nokia X2 is one of the less featured Xseries handsets, but is also recommended for those that are looking for a music phone. Most of the Xseries handsets offer access to Ovi specialized services, such as Ovi Music, Ovi Store, but also Comes with Music.

Announced in April 2010, Nokia X2 was launched on the market in July 2010 and can be bought for about USD130 without subscription. Potential customers can choose from two available color schemes: Red on Black or Blue on Silver.

Design

Nokia X2 isn't among the best looking music phones on the market, instead it distinguishes through its ergonomics. The phone measures 111 x 47 x 13.3 mm and is perfectly pocket-sizable. At first glance, you would expect the bar phone to be very light, but the metallic battery cover on the back adds to the total weight, 81g (including battery). X2 features the same rounded edges, specific to the Xseries. Even though it's a low-budget handset, the phone doesn't look too miserable. The metallic cover on the back, as well as the plastic on the front and sides gives him a tint of elegance. Unfortunately, the first good impression that I got was suddenly destroyed when I touched the dedicated music keys on the phone's left side and when I noticed how cheap is the plastic that covers the microUSB port. Otherwise, the phone looks solid and compact, which is remarkable for a low-end phone.

The front part of the handset is divided in two parts by the 2.2-inch screen and the keypad. It may seem weird, but because of the reduced size of the phone, the screen doesn't look small anymore, even though it is. The keypad's plastic is shiny and well polished, so it may retain grease occasionally, but you won't notice any fingerprints. Unfortunately, I wasn't too excited by the keypad, which is a little bit harder to press. Even those with normal finger will have to use the tip of their finger to use the keys. The big D-pad is much easier to handle.The phone's right side features a dedicated camera key, a microSD card slot for memory expansion and a dual volume key. You will have to check them out very closely, because the icons imprinted on each of the buttons are of the same color as the cheap plastic. The phone's left side include three dedicated music keys, which are controlling the music player when the headphones are inserted. On the top side of the handset there's a micro-USB port, a 3.5mm audio jack port, as well as a small charger port. The backside of the phone is covered by a metallic plate, except the top and bottom parts, where the Stereo speakers have been placed. The 5-megapixel camera includes a LED flash, but is totally unprotected and exposed to scratches.

Overall I would say that Nokia X2 looks pretty decent for a low-budget device that has been manufactured in Romania. The mobile phone has no major flaws in its build.

Display and Camera

The X2 features a 2.2-inch TFT display that supports 262K colors and a 240x320-pixel resolution. As the device is a low-budget phone, the size of the screen doesn't bother too much, but if you want to take advantage of the full Internet browsing capabilities, it may look a little bit too small. The colors, contrast, as well as the quality of the image displayed are pretty standard for a Nokia phone, which means they are very good. While sunlight eligibility is not perfect, you will be able to use your phone outdoors successfully.

The 5-megapixel camera included comes as a wonder for a low-end phone, and it features big LED flash. The module camera features 4x digital zoom, full focus, fullscreen viewfinder and noise reduction. The maximum resolution that can be used for pictures is of 2592 x 1544 pixels, while clips can be recorded with a maximum resolution of 320x240 pixels at 20fps, and can be saved in 3gp, MPEG-4 formats.In terms of picture quality, the camera is a nice surprise. Even though it lacks any fancy features such as autofocus, face detection or geo-tagging, it does excellent pictures. Especially if you get the right light conditions, the results will be amazing for a low-budget device. The only drawback is the dedicated camera button, which is a little harder to press, so I recommend using the D-pad as shutter. The camera interface is standard with the usual options: Effects, White balance, Landscape. Overall, the 5-megapixel camera performs exceptionally for a low-budget handset.

Menu and Software

Nokia X2 runs on an S40 6th Edition interface, which is the latest user interface coming from Nokia. The icons of the menus have been changed, but the 3D animation has been taken off. The firmware includes the Flash Lite player 3.0, and MMS version 1.3. Message support has been also improved to accept 600KB attachments. There is better support for WMA and WMV codecs, the most important improvement embedded in the S40 6th Edition interface of the new web browser. It now includes the Web-kit-based browser, which you won't be able to use though. Instead the Nokia X2 is using Opera Mini browser when you want to access a webpage.The candybar includes some useful applications, such as Web Search, Alarm clock, Converter, Calendar, To-do list, Notes, Calculator, Countdown timer, Size converter, World Clock and Stopwatch. The menu is fully customizable and you can designate any MP3, MIDI or AAC file as a ringtone. The phonebook can store up to 1,000 contacts. The fonts can be customized, but only those displayed when opening the Contacts, Web browser, messaging sections, as well as Menu fonts.Users have access to Ovi Store, as well as Facebook, through dedicated applications. Also, some Java games come preinstalled – Bounce Tales, Rally 3D, Sudoku, Diamond Rush, City Bloxx, Brain Champion, Block'd and Snake III. The phone is compatible with Java MIDP 2.1 applications, but there is a limit to the size of any application that you might want to install on it, and that's the usual 1MB. This might be the case with most Java-compatible applications.

Communication

The low-end bar handset is fully compatible with GPRS and EDGE Class 32, but lacks 3G data compatibility. Benchmarks reveal that the device performs pretty decent when it comes to data-transfer speeds (EDGE 150 Kbit/s download and 60 Kbit/s upload, but that may greatly vary depending on location and carrier.
The phone also features Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR support and microUSB 2.0. Synchronization with the PC is possible through the proprietary microUSB port or Bluetooth, and charging is also possible through the USB cable. Unfortunately, there's no USB cable in the sales package.

The phone uses Opera Mini browser, which works very fast and smooth. In terms of messaging, the bar phone accepts standard text messages, MMS 1.3 (600 KB attachments), as well as emails. The Nokia message client 2.0 works with POP3, SMTP, and IMAP4 protocols, and supports more than one email account.
The quad-band (GSM 850 / GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900) network-compatible candybar has a good GSM signal reception. The sound is very good in quality at both ends, and pretty loud. The vibration alert is average, which means you won't miss too many phone calls if you keep it on the Silent profile.

Processor and Memory

NokiaX2 is powered by low ARM9 family processor, but I'm not sure about its frequency, as Nokia never makes public the CPUs of its low-end devices. Anyway, while not the fastest phone on the planet, the handset is easy to browse. Nokia X2 does not lag even when running a music player or radio in the background.The handset embeds 48 MB of user free internal memory. The storage space can be expanded up to 16GB, thanks to its included microSD card slot.

Multimedia

This is where the phone has to shine, as its main purpose is to entertain its users with multimedia features. Xseries lineup has been especially developed to include exceptional music features and X2 is no exception to this rule. The phone comes with a 3.5mm audio jack port and Nokia Stereo Headset WH-205 earphones. The quality of the sound definitely recommends it as a music phone. If you think the included earphones are mediocre, you can easily change them if you want better sound. Still, the integrated MP3 player's interface is old and basic, but including a few specific features such as: Equalizer, Stereo widening, Shuffle and Repeat. The Equalizer can be customized, or you can use the predefined settings: Normal, Pop, Rock, Jazz and Classical. The mobile phone is compatible with MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+ and WMA formats.Thanks to the dedicated external keys, users will be able to easily control the music player without even pulling out the phone from their pockets. Of course the phone is also compatible with Bluetooth headsets. The Stereo speakers on the back sound pretty decent. There's also an FM radio with the RDS function that can replace the music player. The phone also has a built-in antenna, so you won't need to insert the headphones for the radio to work.

The video player included is compatible with 3GPP formats (H.263), H.264 and MPEG-4. Overall, I think Nokia X2 is one of the best low-budget music phone.

Battery

The 860 mAh Li-Ion (BL-4C) battery has an officially stated life expectancy of 624 hours in standby and of about thirteen hours and 30 minutes in talk-time mode. Also, Nokia stated that the battery had a 27-hour autonomy when used only as an MP3 player. I've been able to use the phone without charging it about 6 days. During this time I talked for about three hours listened to the music for about two hours and browsing the Internet for half an hour. The battery has a more than decent autonomy, which recommends it to those that are talking a lot on the phone and want a cheap phone.

Impressions

Even though it looks a little bit cheap on the outside, Nokia X2 worths every penny you pay for it. The Finnish handset manufacturer did a good job with the Xseries and the X2 is a very good example. I haven't been able to test the other handsets in the lineup, but I'm pretty sure that X2 is one of the best deals.

The Good

One of the most important things for a low-budget phones is to offer as many decent high-end features as possible, and Nokia X2 meets this demand. Targeting users that are looking for music phones, I would also recommend the X2 to those that want to use their phone to take very good photos. The phone also features a very good battery and excellent music sound.

The Bad

Besides the small-sized display and the old S40 interface, I would also enlist here the cheap plastic used on the phone's sides, as well as the lack of an USB cable inside the sales package.

Sales Package

Nokia X2-00 handset
Nokia Battery BL-4C
Nokia Compact Charger AC-3
Nokia Stereo Headset WH-205
Nokia High-Efficiency Charger AC-8C (China only)
Nokia Connectivity Cable CA-101D (China only)
User guide