GLOBAL – It’s orange and it’s loud. Today Nokia launches a brand new mobile phone aimed at music lovers and the next billion, the Nokia X1-00. This device is intended to retail at less than €35 and offer the maximum boom-per-buck with special hardware features for users in growth markets. Read on to find out how it stands out from the pack, even without its distinctive colouring.
This is a music lover’s phone. You probably guessed that anyway from the massive speaker on the back, rated at 106phon (a phon is a measure of perceived loudness – 106 of them is enough to rattle your window frames, apparently). The frequency response has been tweaked somewhat, though, so that the sound remains undistorted at higher volumes, unlike most mobile phones.
Why is this important in the markets the Nokia X1-00 is designed for? Two reasons in particular: first, because ambient noise levels can high in many places in the world, so you might need everything to be a bit louder to cut through. Second, because mobile music is much more likely to be a shared experience – you might be using this device as your main music player at home, for example.
For this reason, the Nokia X1-00 comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, so you can plug it into speakers (or headphones, of course). Music-orientated hardware features are completed with three dedicated player keys and a nifty single-key playlist creator. There’s also support for MicroSD memory cards for extra music storage up to 16GB. There’s also an integrated FM radio for access to news and entertainment.
Also making a welcome reappearance is the dedicated torch on the device. This is fairly rare in devices intended for Western cities, where there’s always some ambient light, but pretty important if you live in a place where the power supply is unreliable or where there is no electricity at all. For similar reasons, the standby battery life is rated at a whopping 61 days max.
Another unusual feature is provision for up to five phone books. Why would anyone want that? Because this is a phone that might be shared between an entire family or even neighbours. Less than €35 isn’t very expensive for people in Western markets, but if you can divide that five ways, then it becomes accessible to people for whom that’s nearly a month’s salary.
Otherwise, the specification sheet doesn’t hold a lot of surprises: this is super-inexpensive and needs to be pretty simple. It uses the Series 30 operating system, so it’s got the basics people need, with a souped-up music player app, calendar, clock and calculator, pre-loaded games and so forth, but no, it’s not designed to be a smartphone competitor. It measures 112.2 x 47.3 x 16mm and weighs 91g.
The Nokia X1-00 is scheduled to be available in selected markets beginning in April. Before taxes and operator subsidies, it should cost around €34.
Any thoughts on the design decisions we’ve made to suit “next billion” users?