Nokia X3 Review: Slider Music Phone

Nokia X3 Review: Slider Music Phone
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The Nokia X3 is a phone from the Nokia X series. While the Nokia X6 was a Symbian S60 powered touch-screen phone, the Nokia X3 is a budget music oriented slider phone with S40. With the S40 6th edition OS, Nokia has added in Ovi Store integration and a form of makeshift multitasking. It offers most of the features you would expect in a budget phone and it excludes Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G connectivity to keep the costs low.

Nokia X3 Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 96 x 49 x 14 mm
  • Weight: 103 gms
  • Display: 2.2 inch TFT Display, 240 x 320 pixels, 256K colors
  • Internal Memory: 46 MB
  • External Memory: 2 GB MicroSD (upto 16 GB supported)
  • Connectivity: GPRS, EDGE
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP
  • Camera: 3.2 MP camera, 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Radio: Stereo FM Radio with RDS
  • Operating System: Series 40 6th edition
  • Battery: Li-Ion 860 mAh Battery

Design, Display and OS


The Nokia X3 sports a nice slider design and is pretty compact with dimensions of 96 x 49 x 14 mm. It weighs slightly more than 100 gms and is suited for daily usage. The plastic and metal body is quite sturdy and the build quality is good.

The front face sports the 2.2 inch display and the D Pad with the Call, End and two soft keys. To the left of the display, there are three dedicated music keys just like on the Xpress Music phones. The slider slides down to reveal the keypad. The top of the phone houses the microUSB port, the 3.5 mm audio jack and the charger port. The left side has the microSD slot while the right side sports the volume rocker and dedicated camera keys. On the back is the 3.2 MP camera and the battery compartment.

The Nokia X3 comes bundled with the charger, a microUSB cable and a 3.5 mm headset. A 2 GB microSD card is included in the bundle with the user manual.


The Nokia X3 comes with a small 2.2 inch display which has a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels and supports 256K colors. The display is, quite frankly, disappointing, especially when compared to the 3 inch plus displays of most new smartphones. The display quality is decent with average contrast but it is not at all meant for watching videos. The sunlight legibility is mediocre too.

OS and User Interface:

The Nokia X3 runs the S40 6th edition OS. S40 is primarily intended for budget phones with semi-smartphone capabilities - a part which the Nokia X3 plays quite well. The user interface is very similar to older S40 versions with a few improvements.

The user interface has an active standby mode with application shortcuts and notifications. The menu allows you to order applications as a list, a grid or a tab. It is pretty responsive and fluid.

Contacts, Messaging and Email:

It sports regular features like Phonebook, Messaging, Gallery etc. The Phonebook supports up to 2000 entries and comes integrated with Ovi Contacts which allows you to synchronize and manage your contacts. Ovi Contacts also allows you to chat with your contacts using Ovi Chat or Google Talk. Ovi Contacts makes use of the notification based multitasking which allows you to stay online and receive updates as notifications even after you exit the app.

The messaging app allows you to send and receive SMS, MMS, email, flash and audio messages. It also supports the threaded conversation view. The email app supports POP3, SMTP and IMAP protocols and is very usable.

Nokia X3

The new gallery allows you to access music, videos and images. It also doubles up as a basic file browser. It allows you to view all your images in a grid, view them as slideshows and sort them by creating albums. You can even upload your images to Flickr or Ovi. You can also view your images on a timeline based on when they were taken. It allows zooming in and cropping the photos as well as adding text and other effects to them.

The music player is the highlight of the Nokia X3. It supports album art, themes, playlists, etc. It also allows you to sort your music by artists, genres, albums etc. It supports a range of formats - AAC, eAAC+, MP3, WAV, WMA, AMR, etc. You can listen to your music using Bluetooth headphones (A2DP) and it has a custom equalizer option. It has excellent audio quality with a superb frequency response and nice dynamic range.

It has a basic video player which supports 3GP, MP4 and WMV formats. It can play videos in the fullscreen landscape mode too. However the small display size isn’t suited for video playback. It comes with an FM Radio with RDS support.

The 3.2 MP camera takes average pictures and pales in comparison to other phones. It lacks autofocus and flash which reinforce my point that the Nokia X3 is primarily meant to be just a music phone. The camera interface is standard and offers basic customization options. It can record video at QVGA resolution at 10 FPS which is pretty mediocre.


The Nokia X3 loses out on the connectivity aspect; it skips on 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS. It comes with GPRS, EDGE, Bluetooth 2.0. and the Webkit HTML browser. You can also install Opera Mini on it.

It comes with the Flickr app which allows you to upload images to Flickr. It also comes bundled with Ovi Store which lets you download compatible applications directly through GPRS. Additionally, it comes with Ovi Share and Nokia Maps pre-installed as well as a few games. The call quality is really good on the X3, just like any other Nokia phone.


The Nokia X3 isn’t a very good deal, but it should be a decent option if you want a music phone with a keyboard. Otherwise, I would recommend phones like the Nokia 5230 which offer a better display, GPS and 3G, but a slightly worse camera. If you are looking for a phone with a touch screen, consider checking out the updated X3-02.