LONDON, England – In yet another experiment to understand how different Nokia phones work, I’ve ditched my two smartphones for 24 hours and have loaded up the Nokia X1-01 with both my work and personal SIM card in. How did my day pan out and did I find it useful? Find out, after the break.
Early. Too early. My alarm clock sounds on my (proto) Nokia N9 which means it’s time to wake up and start my day with a different phone. The N9 powers down and my SIM card removed. Feeling left out, my Nokia N8 also gets the same treatment and my other SIM card is removed, too. Out of the drawer I pull the Nokia X1-01 – already fully charged – and I remove the shiny red back cover and the battery. It’s under here I find the two empty SIM card slots, waiting to be occupied by my two SIMs. Naturally, I oblige. I power up my new phone for the day and I’m ready to go. This phone feels solid, yet light, which makes for a good combination.
With my morning chores complete, I’m ready to leave the house when I remember I need some music for my journey. I remove my memory card from the Nokia N8 – loaded with songs – and pop it into the slot on the side of the X1-01. Job done. I could of course just use the FM radio for my music needs, but considering as I’ll be hopping on and off trains on the London Underground, I’ll stick with my MP3s. As for the music player, it’s really simple to use. There’s a round icon in the middle of the screen that (I think looks like a speaker) has the volume controls on it, and a favourite icon, too. Pressing left or right on the navi-key increases or decreases the volume and pressing down adds the current song to your favourites. On my journey into work, I find the music controls on the side of the phone really useful for skipping tracks or just pausing a song.
10:29 – Emails done, I need to get on the phone. Extracting contacts is easy, and quick, and I’m ready to dial. Hitting the green button, I’m asked if I want to make the call using either SIM 1 or SIM 2. I should probably point out that I have already set this phone up before for some testing, and renamed my personal SIM card Home, so I’m actually asked if I want to use Home or SIM 2. I press SIM 2.
As it’s a conference call I need to tap in a conference ID and pin code, both five digits each. Usually on my Nokia N8 or Nokia N9 I have to tell my phone I want to open the keypad, but on the Nokia X1-01 it’s much easier and quicker using the physical keypad. A neat reminder of the benefits of having a real keypad.
12:30 – Time for another conference call. Again, the physical keys make for a faster, less fumbled attempt at entering codes and passwords into my phone. I like it.
13:13 – It’s lunchtime and I desperately need some food, time to find somewhere to eat. On my usual roam of the area that surrounds the office, I contemplate finding somewhere new to eat, but never do, I turn up at the usual place and wait in line behind many other hungry city-dwellers. I usually find this a good time to fire off some text messages and to check some emails. The text messages bit of this routine is taken care of, but as for emails, well, I can’t. It’s not an option on this phone, unfortunately. But I do find something called Spreadsheet within the Extras folder. It’s a very simple way of keeping an eye on your expenses where you can type in an amount next to Food or Transport, for example. What a great way of keeping track on what you’ve spent in any given day or month, like my lunch, for example.
17:05 – With a busy day of conference calls, writing and general keyboard-tapping activities it’s time for me to finish up and head on home. I plug my headphones into the hole at the top and slip my Nokia X1-01 into my pocket. I board a train, and luckily manage to find a seat, and I’ve finally got time to explore what else I’ve got available inside this phone. The menu system is similarly styled to Symbian Anna, with its rounded-but-square icons which give some consistency to the whole range of phones.
The games menu is the first folder I’m keen to look through. I’m pleasantly surprised to see Snake on the menu, albeit a new version called Xenzia. Oh, how I’ve missed playing Snake. This will get some more use later on after I see what else is going inside this menu. Bounce and Sodoku are another couple of games to pass the time, but I’m more happy pleased by the Nokia classic.
There’s an option called Money, which asks me to register when I select it. Mobile Money is a service for transferring money from one person to another or to pay bills right from your phone. Currently available in India it’s not for me so I leave it well alone.
17:45 – I walk through my front door and sling off my jacket and shoes. It’s time to prepare some dinner for my family and wind down from the day’s events.
00:30 – Between nappy changes and pacing around the living room floor, I find some time to have another quick play of Snake Xenzia. After 10 minutes, I’m suitably satisfied and turn on the Flashlight, which is amazingly bright*, to help me find my way to bed. I usually plug my phone in to charge before I hit the hay, but I don’t need to with the Nokia X1-01, it’s still got loads of battery left. And, I won’t be using it tomorrow, anyway.
*Stupidly, I looked at the top of the phone to see just how bright it was. Very.
07:00 – I wake up again to the familiar sound of the Nokia N9’s alarm tone that’s emitting from my drawer. I remove my SIM cards from their temporary Dual SIM home and return them to their usual places.
I performed a similar challenge a few months ago with the Nokia C3 Touch and Type, although that lasted for five days. My conclusions are fairly similar to that experiment. I still love the smartphone and that is the only choice for me when it comes to a day-to-day mobile.
However, I can see the value in a lower-specced Dual SIM device. Moving from two separate phones to one single phone is a real plus in my books. It makes my pocket much lighter and I love the way that when I go to make a phone call it asks which SIM card I wish to use, giving me complete control.
Whilst the X1-01 might not be for everyone, it handles its primary task with some aplomb. Swapping from one SIM to another on the fly brings a whole new level of convenience to those who need it. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.