Nokia X2 for T-Mobile Review

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Introduction and Design
Introduction:

In this continuing volatile world economy, which has yet to prove itself in stabilizing any time soon, people from all corners of the world are still fastening their belts very tightly when it comes down to their spending budget. With that in mind, Nokia aims to appease those who don’t quite have an unlimited disposable income with their messaging friendly Nokia X2. Rightfully so, this device sports a $79.99 price point on T-Mobile’s prepaid lineup, but just because they’re targeting this segment, does it mean that potential buyers will be greeted with an inferior product?

The package contains:

  • Nokia X2
  • Battery
  • Wall Charger
  • Stereo Headset
  • User Manual
  • Terms & Conditions

Design:

Interestingly enough, the Nokia X2 exudes a design that’s favorable despite its affinity for being regarded as an entry-level device. From afar, it closely resembles some of the Finnish company’s more respected portrait QWERTY devices, like the E72, but upon holding it, we’re presented with a completely plastic device that’s normal sized (0.56” thick) and extremely lightweight (3.79 oz.). On the whole, we’re particularly content with its well-rounded construction that tastefully retains some of the elements employed by its higher-end counterparts, but of course, resorts to using lower quality materials instead.



You can compare the Nokia X2 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Notching down things just a little bit, the Nokia X2 boasts a low quality 2.4” QVGA (320 x 240) TFT display with support for 262k colors. Even though its size might seem proportionate, we’re not all that impressed with its bland color production and egregious viewing angles. Additionally, the display becomes blatantly difficult to view outdoors under the sun. Moreover, there is no option under the settings menu to modify its brightness output.


Beneath the display, there are some decently sized dedicated buttons, such as the soft, send, and end keys, which exhibit a clicky response when pressed down. Additionally, the directional pad is prominently placed squarely in the middle, and is comfortable enough to feel out with our thumbs.

And of course, it’s hard to miss its distinguishable 4-row portrait style keyboard that’s probably the centerpiece of the entire device. Buttons might look deceptively small and crunched up against one another, but since they’re rounded towards the middle, they provide an exceptionally solid tactile response when pressed. Overall, we soon found ourselves quickly speed typing away without much falter in accuracy – thus strengthening its position of being a suitable messaging phone.


Strangely, the X2 omits a dedicated volume rocker and relies on the d-pad to act as one when you’re either on a phone call or playing audio. On the left side, we find the microUSB and microSD card slot hidden behind a difficult to remove plastic cover. Although we initially thought that the microUSB port would supply power, it in fact does not – and requires you to charge via the proprietary port on the top side of the handset. Furthermore, the top edge is also home to the handset’s 3.5mm headset jack.


Turning things around, the paltry 0.3-megapixel camera is located towards the top with the notches for the speakerphone next to it. Removing the plastic cover is easily accomplished by prying it off from the bottom edge – thus giving you access to its battery and SIM card slot.



Nokia X2 360-degree View:





Interface and Functionality:

Being one of the few Series 40 handsets to make it stateside, the Nokia X2 doesn’t have much in terms of personalization versus what’s seen with some smartphones. Aside from the various themes offered out of the box, we’re generally treated to some basic customizations with its homescreen – like changing the wallpaper and rearranging the tiles. Luckily, there is a carousel with one of those tiles that quickly gets you into some of the most commonly used apps with the handset; such as the camera or web browser. With the main menu, it’s laid out in the typical grid-like form, but it can be modified to a listing or single view as well. Straightforward in nature, we did experience some instances of slowdown and delays while navigating.


Meanwhile, this is an ideal candidate for any individual out there who primarily connects with others via text messaging thanks to its fantastic and responsive keyboard. Naturally, you can always flare a simple message by attaching any assortment of multimedia content, from photos to audio, to convert it to an MMS message. All in all, there’s nothing that’s going to bog you down with its speedy keyboard.

If you plan on emailing, you’ll find the Nokia Email service on board with the device to be acceptable in usage since it is easy to set up a Gmail or other generic account by simply providing our email address and password. Far from being intuitive like a smartphone, it’s still nonetheless appreciated to find this functionality – giving you some control with your emails on the go.


Showing off its whole hearted functionality, Nokia Conversations allows you to set up your social networking accounts on the handset. After getting our Facebook and Twitter accounts set up, it essentially aggregates content from those respective services separately – but moving between them is easily accomplished. Lastly, we like how one of the tiles on the homescreen is tied with your Facebook account and  gives you quick access to reading posts from friends.

Finally, the messaging experience wouldn’t be complete unless we talked about instant messaging. And with that, it’s so fitting to find one on the Nokia X2 that’s powered by OZ. Specifically, you’ll be able to chat with an abundant set of friends since it offers support for AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, and MySpaceIM.



Camera and Multimedia:

Move along if you want to take memorable photos on your handset because it’s absolutely horrendous with the Nokia X2. Already falling behind the pack with its below average VGA camera, images look extremely muddy and have a general over-exposed appearance – which in turn, produces some inaccurate colors. Obviously, quality takes a dramatic spiral downwards in low lighting situations since the results are nothing more than excessively noisy and pixelated looking.




Again, the handset’s video capturing performance is downright forgettable by any means since we’re only presented with a maximum shooting resolution of 320 x 240. Not only does it lack any moderately acceptable detail, but audio quality from its recording is exorbitantly muffled in tone. Granted that it shoots at a smooth 25 frames per second, it still doesn’t quite take away our attention from its appalling visuals.

Nokia X2 Sample Video:



Showcasing anything but a generic looking music player, that simply displays the on-screen controls and track information, we’re rather bewildered to find it offering different equalizer settings. Although it minutely has any effect, the audio quality from its speaker is undoubtedly earsplitting at the loudest setting, however, there is a hint of crackle that makes it irritating to the ear.

Without question you can watch videos on the Nokia X2, but the only kind it’s capable of loading are low quality ones – like the movie trailer we used that’s encoded in MPEG-4 320 x 240 resolution. Combining the poor viewing angles with its tiny display, it can definitely sour some eyes after some extended viewing. Luckily though, you can set the video to play in full-screen to make it just a tiny bit more conducive to your video watching needs.


Summing up with only 55MB of internal memory, it’s nice to see that you can supplement its tow by simply placing a microSD card into its slot – which happens to support cards up to 8GB in size.

Internet and Connectivity:

Voice calls pose no problems with this quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) GSM phone, but don’t expect to experience any fast data speeds with this EDGE only handset. In cutting its cost, Nokia has also omitted GPS with the X2, but despite that, it still features Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR to get other wireless devices to connect with it.

Going into it, we really didn’t expect to experience something exhilarating with its web browsing performance since it’s a budget device. Naturally, our assumptions were eventually confirmed since the handset is painfully slow in loading complex sites like ours – which is primarily due to its EDGE only speeds. In addition to that, scrolling is finicky because we constantly find on many occasions that it would stall or just flat out lag to the point of making it unbearable. Furthermore, since it’s limited with its internal memory, we encountered a message saying that memory is full – thus not loading any photos.





Performance:

Unfortunately, the Nokia X2 doesn’t fare that great in the calling quality department seeing that there is just a tremendous amount of static noise heard through its ear piece – which makes for some difficulty in comprehending our conversations. On the other hand, our callers mentioned that there is very little distortion on their end. And finally, the speakerphone of course emits some strong tones, but in the end, it causes voices to sound muffled.

Fortunately, the Nokia X2 seems to maintain a solid connection to the network in high coverage areas around the greater Philadelphia region.  Moreover, we didn’t experience any dropped calls as well in our testing.

Seriously, we were floored when we managed to attain 10.5 hours of continuous talk time on a single charge – that’s because the manufacturer has it rated for 4.5 hours of talk and 480 hours of standby time. Impressed you’d say? Indeed!

Conclusion:

Above all, its $79.99 no-contract cost is profoundly satisfying since we’re presented with an extraordinarily good messaging device. With functionality like email, social networking, and instant messaging along for the ride, it’s easily understood why the Nokia X2 is a respectable offering for something that’s namely dirt cheap – and not to mention, it’s complemented with its clicky keyboard. However, it doesn’t quite hit the mark in certain key aspects – like its poor camera and voice calling quality. Regardless, with its decent looks, integral messaging aspects, and inexpensive cost of ownership, it should prove to be a hit with mostly teenagers.

Software version of the reviewed unit: 07.22

Nokia X2 for T-Mobile Video Review:





Pros

  • Decent looking design
  • Clicky physical keyboard
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Shoots terrible photos & videos
  • Extremely staticy calling quality
  • Choppy web browsing

PhoneArena Rating:

5.5

User Rating:

8.7
12 Reviews

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