Nokia’s X3 Touch and Type offers the company’s first blend of touchscreen and numeric keypad within the same chassis. The most striking aspect of the design is Nokia’s integration of a dual – and supposedly complementary – interface: a touchscreen interface with a numeric keypad.

The plan has struggled to totally succeed, however, because the X3 falls between two stools. There are not enough buttons to support the touchscreen interface and the screen itself is much too small for comfortable touchscreen operation. In fact, it’s only 0.2in bigger than Nokia’s basic C5 phone.

The problems continue with the difficult-to-secure battery cover and the finicky volume-rocker switch. On the plus side, the phone includes a 3.5mm headphone socket.

Fast and Furious

Call quality is good and data transfer is fast via HSDPA (up to 10.2Mbps). There’s access to the Ovi Store and its attendant apps such as the useful Snaptu and Gravity. There’s no Wi-Fi nor GPS but the resistive screen interface is efficient and responsive (much better than the LG GD510 Pop, for example) while the screen itself is vivid and sharp.

The built-in camera lacks a flash and, despite the noise-reduction feature, does suffer from noise in low-light conditions but it is rated at 5MP.

Beats and bobs

A dedicated music key triggers an easy-to-use music interface. While the audio output is overly bass-centric, which tends to mask audio quality, the Nokia X3 has enough sonic impact to make its mark in noisy environments.

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Nokia X3 Touch and Type review

The dual touchscreen/keypad interface is a little clunky but there is still plenty to admire about this new candybar design