The pint-sized version of the Nokia X6, the X3 handset comes without music but will set you back less as well. It's a dinky little slide phone with a very masculine look. But with the X6 failing to impress as a handset, how will a stripped down version compare?

What we like
Typing is actually quite easy and user-friendly on the hard 1-9 keypad, thanks to the nicely spaced keys and borderless slide-out keypad. We had no problems writing text messages or short emails.

Transferring music using the Nokia Ovi Player is pretty straightforward. Sound quality is nice and clear through the 3.5mm headphone jack and the accompanying headphones, but the beauty of the 3.5mm jack is that you can use whatever headphones are to your taste. The music keys on the LHS of the screen which is really handy. Built-in FM radio is always a nice addition, and easy access from the home screen makes it more likely to get used.

While the X3 doesn't use the Carl Zeiss lenses that we love having on the higher-spec Nokia handsets, the camera on the X3 is passable. It doesn't feature a flash unfortunately. It's a small, light handset which is great, but the styling feels very masculine.

What we don't like

No touchscreen - it's not exactly a flaw, and if you're not into touchscreens it may even be a bonus, but with the capacitive touchscreen on the X6 one of the few things we actually liked about the handset it's a shame to lose it. But for keeping costs down on the X3, we're quite happy with the hard 1-9 handset instead.

The D-pad isn't the best, because it's so thin it's a bit difficult to use and a bit sharp against your thumb. In fact, the whole handset feels a bit cheaply made - perhaps not something we should be surprised about given its budget phone status, but when simple things like the back panel don't clip properly into place, it's worth the cost saving.

While you can set up multiple email accounts on the X3, there's no push email so you have to go into each inbox to check for new messages.

The biggest failing for the X3 is the absence of Comes With Music. It will be particularly frustrating for people who've had CWM on previous handsets - even though you're still using a Nokia handset, digital rights management means you can't transfer you're existing downloads to your new X3.

Conclusion

The Nokia X3 isn't the perfect phone; but it's not a basic handset trying to be a cheap smartphone and that's why we like it. Yes, it's a bit basic but it fits into its own skin unlike its older brother, the X6. So rather than getting frustrated every time we used the phone, it was a pleasant albeit basic experience.