Nokia announces the X3, exactly what the world doesn’t want: T9 dumb phone with a 2.4 inch touch screen

With Apple eating Nokia’s lunch at the premium end of the market, and Google stealing developer mind share with their open source Android operating system, and the South Korean duo LG and Samsung biting the Finnish company’s feet in the low end and emerging markets, what does Nokia decide to do? Release a dumb phone that has a touch screen.

Say hello to the Nokia X3 Touch and Type. No, I’m not joking. That’s the full name. That or X3-02, the materials provided to the press don’t really prefer one over the other. Anyway, the specifications: quad band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) GSM/EDGE, quad band (850/900/1900/2100 MHz) HSPA (unspecified speed), 106.2 mm x 48.4 mm x 9.6 mm body, 78 gram weight, 5 megapixel camera, 17 day standby time, 3.5 hours of talk time if you’re using 3G, 5.5 hours if you’re using GSM, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, and a microUSB port. And oh yea, the screen: 2.4 inches, 240 x 320 pixels, 262,000 colors.

All yours for only 125 EUR (160 USD or 105 GBP) and available this quarter. Below are two videos that showcase the device. Note again how Nokia is using the “touch and type” marketing slang to somehow convince you that having a choice of whether you want to stab a small screen or tap a keypad that doesn’t adhere to the standard 4 rows, 3 keys per row format, is a good thing.

Sure, it’s cheap, but it doesn’t have GPS. Sure, it’s got an aluminium backside, but that’s because you need to make sure the thing doesn’t break during the first 3 weeks of getting familiar with the offset keypad.

I’m genuinely confused as to what the company was thinking when they conceived this concept and then spent the next 2 years bringing it to fruition. Couldn’t they have made it a side slider like the Sony Ericsson X10 Mini Pro or Sprint Epic 4G? Couldn’t they have thrown Symbian on it and hacked off the 3G in order to make it cheaper? Couldn’t they have thrown in GPS and made it just a tad bit more expensive, but infinitely more useful?

Help me understand this brick. Please.

  • Mace

    Stefan. This is exactly what people have been missing: good and affordable combination of touch screen and keypad. With this price range, you cannot have all features on the book, GPS is good to go because navigation on a small screen won't be joy anyway. It will sell like hotcakes, I'm sure.

    And I do not understand *your* logic. Why should not Nokia launch great dumb phones at the same time they are trying to upgrade their offering in the high-end?

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      Navigation on a 2.4 inch screen sounds horrible. I've got an idea though, let's shrink the screen down even further and make a device dedicated to GPS!

      Enter the Nokia 2710:

  • Johnnie Lasker

    Stefan, your overall knowledge of the phone market appears to completely inadequate. You seem to ignore completely the overall picture. You thinking is oversimplified. It's good for blogging but completely insufficient for a serious analysis of the existing market situation.

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      You don't get what I'm doing on the internet, do you? I'm part informative, part agitator, part entertainment, and 100% having fun.

      • Hary

        That's right! That is the reason that mostly only your posts about Nokia are the ones that get any comments, else more than 99% of the posts on Intomobile get no comments. 🙂

  • Mike

    Stefan, just grow up and get over you bitterness towards Nokia …

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      Whoa! Is the real Mike Monroe?

      Thanks for reading IntoMobile!

      • Thomas


        your comments here are totally inadequate. I think your NOKIA history has made you blind for
        the good things, NOKIA brings to a lot of people. Nobody can prevent you from publishing your
        views full of bitterness with NOKIA, but maybe let me give you an advise you might not like though.

        Take a rest for a day and read through all the comments people have been publishing on your views without immediately answering on them. After sleeping and thinking one night over it, the world might
        look slightly different. If not, you have at least spent some time trying.

        I think it would be worth it.

        All the best.

  • Mikael

    If you come down from your ivory tower you proabably could understand that this kind of cheap low end phones are selling with huge volumes in markets like India and China.. so, Hey.. its all about business ! You probably got your 50 USD already from Apple for writing the evaluation without even trying the product.

  • skjj

    stefan u should stop writing about Nokia, U r slave of Apple

  • Sven

    Stefan, the high-end market of mobile devices is not the whole market of mobile devices. There are people who prefer "dumb phones". And even if I prefer high-end myself, I greet a dumb phone with both touch and type abilities. Yes, I would prefer to have a full QWERTY and GPS, but they come with a price, and there are people (loads of people, actually) who rather drop the GPS and QWERTY but go for touch and T9 instead of a dumb phone with T9 and a bigger screen and bigger pockets.

    But then, in the end, you have a right to your opinion, and so do the numerous people who will go for X3 T&T.

  • APS

    Stefan this phone is not aimed at you or me but it *is* what the world wants

  • GeceBekcisi

    Stefan, you know (at least by the comments above) you're really a hateful moron (aka Eldar M. clone) which doesn't get it; right?

  • MaMa

    Darling. Dear Stefan.
    Grow up.
    And please forgot, really forgot you got fired from Nokia.
    Your Nokia related posts are simply embarrasing!
    And BTW, finish your studies please.

  • Slobodan

    I'm using android for one year now, with 3.2 touch screen.
    And whenever I get my hands on one of those relict phones, I am pressing with my fingers on their little screen.
    This will help a bit if I accidentally have to make a call from one of those, but nothing more.

  • Alin

    ?tefan, b?t?lia ta e pierdut?! De ce vrei s?-?i compromi?i cariera? Ai multe alte subiecte, scrii bine, las? Nokia pentru al?ii!

  • FirstTimer

    I visited this site for the first time today and also for the last time.
    Thanks Stefan for quickly letting me know that this site is junk.

  • Peppo

    Stefan, go gargle Steve’s balls or start writing something better.
    The phone looks good and sounds interesting. I think this will sell.

  • araqadir

    I'm sure if it was a slider phone, you would say there is C6, N900.. why not something different? why not the T9 keypad?

    This is a low-end device like the C3 target the non-techie people who need a more clean & simplified UI rather that Symbian's.

  • Gustavo Chacon B.

    Estimado Stefan, primero opino que este sitio es muy bueno, entiendo muy bien tu punto de vista, y, pienso que Nokia no está entendiendo la tendencia tecnológica que estamos viviendo. Hay personas que les gusta los teclados T9, hay gustos de todo tipo, pero definitivamente Nokia aún no trae en dispositivo que marque la diferencia hablando tecnológicamente. El X3 va a la categoría de gama media, no más de allá, seguramente los consumidures de esta gama estarán contentos, mientras los de gama alta siguen decepcionados.

    Muchas suerte y sigan adelante (Y)

  • Peppo

    This is so sad to read.
    How bitter can one be…

  • Rone

    I have when this type of an article has been written even if it is aimed to be humoristic, sarcastic or whatever… The segments of mobile device users is quite big so other manufacturers shipping only their nifty high-end touch devices without physical keyboard is becoming just boring. Every device looks almost the same. Think something new for a while like Nokia did in this device.

    Anyway, actually this kind of device is what at least I have been looking for. Those slider-qwerty devices are of course nice to use but this concept is very attractive compared to full touch keyboard devices without hardware keyboard. You always need to do something in order to get the virtual keyboard visible. In this device you don't, and the layout is nicely formed in a sence that it is more easier to reach the screen compared to standard T9 layout. Let's hope this device gets wide range of users. At least it seems to be a new, interesting concept.

  • asdf Adsf

    I think a touch-screen / keypad combo would be great, though I think I'd prefer a 4-way rocker over a "play" button.

  • T-Man

    I think it's a great concept and excellent design. Nokia should drop the number of phones they're offering, and concentrate on these new designs, like the X3 Touch & Type and N8.

    I agree, though, would be better with GPS. Heck, it has WiFi, which most Nokia's don't have. GPS would just complete the picture. Would mean a hard to beat entry-level but fully featured phone which everybody would carry. I will buy one. Just shame about GPS.

  • Stefan is great

    Troll'in Troll'in

  • tamoghno

    there are samsung touch only phones with only 2.8 inch screen (corby something) that is selling like super hotcake . so 2.4 inch coupled with a keypad is not bad. considering its price its great namg for buck phone.

  • T-Man

    To clarity, I think the idea is great because I hate the concept of a rocker, d-pad, or whatever to navigate. It's not only inconvenient, it's pretty abstract. With the X3, you get your normal T9, but also navigate naturally with your fingers. You touch what you need.

    I think the more traditional phone has its place when it's executed properly. And it has its place for people who do not need a feature phone, or at least until feature phones get down in price.

    Phone, texting, mail, camera, maps, calendar. It should be about the tools every person really needs to get through the day. A phone, texting and mail to stay connected. A camera to snap events and personal connections. Maps to navigate from A to B. And a calendar to organize the day. That's what the traditional phone should be about. And when you execute this perfectly, you'll have a winner. I think X3 represents it. But it just needs GPS to complete the picture.

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      But it doesn't have a normal T9, that's the thing.

  • iFonePhag

    I just followed your Tweet over here to read all the insane Nokia Fanboys. But I find that I agree with them. I think this is a cool little phone. GPS would have been awesome. Wifi is kinda odd but if you can load Opera Mini on this thing it would be AWESOME. Also T9 isn’t a bad thing to have, I spent a year and a half looking for the best free T9 keyboard app for Android. I actually missed T9. I just had to say I disagree with your distaste for it, but we all have our opinions.

  • tunppi

    Nokia havent made any good phones in 3 years or so, this one goes also to trash.

    I live in Finland and few years ago we saw only Nokias here, but now look theres htc apple samsung… not much nokia if you dont look at old people who cannot change.

    few weeks ago Finnish isp Elisa sold in selected stores htc hero 40pcs for 40euro there was 100people on line 10hours before shop opened.
    also on some stores they sold nokia 2710 for 40euro and guess what? no line at all.

  • The world might not want this phone. I love it. It can call and send sms, it has no opening parts, so there’s not much chance of breaking something, it has only a few additional functions among which there are the most useful ones (and the only ones I need and use) – that is a camera, notes and stopwatch. And the T9 is easily turned off (I hate all the versions of T9). It’s a cheap and practical cell phone for anyone who wants mainly call and message. I’m not a big fan of touch screens, I would prefer something without it, but for the price – The best phone I had in years. I’m working as a scientist and sitting about ten or twelve hours a day by the computer – I really don’t see why would I want to bring another one in my pocket wherever I go – and this is precisly what all the oh-so-modern cells offers me. I’m really thankfull for those last pieces of simple cells 🙂

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