By Michelle Callanta-Toledo
I have two postpaid SIM cards and a phone to carry each one. Let me first say that neither of the two is slim—and lugging both around is an absolute chore. So to ease my burden, I would leave the less frequently-used phone on my desk or at home. In hindsight, I knew I could’ve saved on calls if I had the option to change providers more seamlessly.
Enter the Nokia X1-01, a phone that can address this particular need at a very affordable price. Running on Symbian Series 30, you can pretty much expect very basic features. You can use either SIM to make calls and send text messages (not MMS). Though this may require more sub-menus to press and activate, it’s less troublesome than carrying around and fishing for another device in your bag. You can also assign a different logo and ringtone for each card while the device can remember up to five different cards. You can store up to 500 contacts in the phone with up to three numbers each, plus however many contacts you can fit on the two SIM cards (typically, 250 contacts per SIM, but maybe more for newer SIMs).
It’s a fairly basic and simply designed phone that comes in four different albeit somewhat flimsy back covers (red, dark gray, ocean blue and orange). However, it does come with a few noteworthy features, particularly in music. The phone can also serve as an MP3 music player and stereo FM radio with an intuitive one-press playlist creation and three dedicated music keys. An incredible built-in loud speaker (up to 106phon) is located conspicuously on the back while a 3.5mm AV connector allows you to use your standard head or earphones, in case you want to enjoy some personal listening. And with a microSD slot, you have more room to keep the music you want. For further entertainment, the X1-01 also comes with pre-loaded games such as the Snake game and Sudoku.
There’s no denying that it’s really easy to use and doesn’t require too much fiddling to get acquainted with it. I did have a bit of trouble remembering that the center of the navigation keys is NOT a button (like in my N82 which is a selection key that activates the menu). What I particularly liked about the X1-01 is the built-in flashlight (which has saved me from running into things on several occasions) and the surprisingly long battery life. With average use, I could go 2 to 2½ days without running for that charger. Of course, it’s not like you can browse the internet and check your mail or take pictures or anything like that. But you do get a no-nonsense phone that pretty much saves you from carrying another phone. And even if you have more business-oriented needs and are more inclined to using a smartphone, there’s no denying that this “Bossing” phone is a phone that has the ability to appeal to everyone.
System: GSM/EGSM 900/1800
User Interface: Series 30
Physical Dimensions: 112.2 x 47.3 x 16mm
Weight: 91.05g (including battery)
Display: 1.8-inch, 65K-color 128×160 TFT display
Memory: Support for up to 16GB microSD, hot swap
• Dual-SIM, dual standby
• Long battery life
• A tad flimsy build quality
• Not quad-band
• No camera
If you just happen to have two SIM cards and you’re tired of carrying two separate phones, and that is your only concern, this is the phone for you.
Buy Meter: 7.7
[This review originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Gadgets Magazine]