Nokia introduced the X3 Touch and Type Aug. 17, on the Nokia Conversations blog. Touch screen or keypad? No need to decide, says the Finnish phone maker. In a first, it's combined the two, offering a 12-button keypad to complement the X3's 2.4-inch touch screen.
"Our research tells us consumers who have invested years in becoming fast one-handed, one-thumb texters want to maintain their speedy edge for SMS, chat and instant messaging-yet enjoy the benefits of touch as well," said Mary McDowell, Nokia's executive vice president, as quoted by the blog.
The X3 is colorful and thin-it comes in a choice of black, silver, blue, lavender and fuchsia, and at 4.17 by 0.377 by 1.88 inches is one of Nokia's thinnest handsets yet. But don't let the tiny packaging fool you, as there's quite a bit included here. Nokia has packed in four bands for voice, 3G connectivity, HSPA and WiFi for data. There's also an FM radio, a music player and a 5-megapixel camera with four-times digital zoom and video capabilities.
The X3 additionally supports e-mail, Web mail and chat services. (In a video on the blog, messaging is an area that seems to particularly benefit from the convenience of the paired touch screen and keypad-one can type up a note on the keypad, and send it off with a tap to the touch screen.)
Applications can be downloaded from Nokia's Ovi Store, and in some markets the X3 will come with Ovi Music Unlimited, which offers access to more than 11 million songs. And making it easy to store them, the X3 has a microSD slot that supports up to 16GB.
Battery life is said to be five hours of talk time or 17 days of standby.
The X3 will go on sale this quarter for 125 Euros, or approximately $161 dollars. While it will hopefully arrive in the United States and other markets later, the X3 will initially launch in China, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Russia, Australia and New Zealand, Singapore, Germany, Spain, Portugal, France, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
During the second quarter of 2010, Nokia led the worldwide handset market, shipping 111.6 million units, according to an Aug. 12 Gartner report. However, said the report, "good quality, well-priced products were not enough to maintain Nokia's leadership in the high-end sector," and the company ultimately lost 2.6 market share percentage points year-on-year.