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Nokia X3

Nokia X3 sliderphone

Simple, but effective

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Review Hot on the heels of the music-centric Nokia X6 touchscreen smartphone comes the X3, a scaled down version, with running Symbian S40 this time rather than S60, but with a similar UI on top. There’s no touch screen or Comes With Music, no 3G or Wi-Fi or GPS, though it does have a 3.2Mp camera and yet still has music in mind.

Nokia X3

Easy listening? Nokia's X3

It's a relatively compact slider with the front dominated by its perfectly capable but unexceptional 2.2in screen offering 320 x 240 pixels resolution and 262,000 colours. Below it are two soft keys and call start and stop surrounding a responsive square navpad and along the left-hand side are the metallic music controls we're familiar with from the XpressMusic phones of yore – holding down the play button will take you straight to the music player.

On the sides and top are a volume rocker, micro SD and micro USB slots covered by plastic grommets, camera shutter button and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The thin plastic back feels a bit flimsy and well, plasticky, though that undoubtedly helps to keep the weight down.

The keypad slides out easily with just enough resistance to reveal an array of large buttons with a good degree of feedback, despite them being covered by a single slim metal plate. The icon-based UI allows you to access media player, radio, calendar, alarm clock and files from a scrolling menu on the homepage, as well as the Internet, your contacts and your messages. Indeed, this is a phone that's very easy to find your way around.

Nokia X3

Music downloads are possible, but not exactly speedy

Unlike the X6 – the 32GB version anyway – the X3 doesn't have Nokia's Comes With Music free download service. It has access to Ovi Music, though you'll have to pay for any tracks rather than enjoy unlimited downloads. Downloading is a bit of a hassle though, since there's no Wi-Fi or 3G support, making on-the-move track downloads a snooze-inducing affair using GPRS. Better to download to your computer first and side load to the X3, which generally seemed to work painlessly enough.

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