Sunday, March 16, 2014

Knockaround phones - Part 1


I've been using a HTC One X+ and frankly, it's one of the best Android OS phones I've ever handled.
Prior to that, I was lugging around an LG Optimus 2x.
That one suffers from some serious lag-time when it comes to call-handling and due to wear and tear, I had to retire it.
Now, recently, there is a selection of decent smartphones at prices below RM500.
This is a benchmark for phones you can carry abroad for travel and use with foreign SIM cards.
I gave this much thought and narrowed down my search to Lenovo's A369i with an unbeatable price below RM300.
The phone was so hot, it was literally "cleaned" from the shelves.

The Nokia X
It's down to one choice and the winner is...

I saw a newspaper ad on Nokia's latest entry-level phone - the Nokia X.
This one has a 4-inch screen and its powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.0Ghz dual core processor.

In short, this little phone as more processing power than a 286 desktop computer of the 80s.
It's also one of Nokia's entry-level phone for those living in the third world who are not acquainted with the Android OS.
It has a retail price of RM399 and also features two ports for SIM cards.
I find this useful for travel across the border where data lines are offered as prepaid packages.
You can slip in a SIM Card, turn it on and get instant access to your emails on the go.
Since I don't want to remove the micro SIM card from my HTC One X+, the cheap Nokia X gives plenty of advantage as a "knockaround" phone for bicycle touring.
The Nokia X has a decent screen resolution.
This is much better than the Lenovo A369i.
But its nowhere compared to the defunct HTC One X+.

A lot of getting used to..

The Nokia X uses it's proprietary OS, which is the Nokia X platform.
I find the user interface a marriage between Windows phone and the Android.
What I like are the coloured bars where one can access email and social network apps.
But, there is a downside.
On the Nokia online store, it's impossible to get Whatsapp, let alone install it.

Instead, the We Chat apps came standard with the Nokia X.
I have yet to test the phone's WiFi hotspot capabilities as its able to host eight devices at any time.
So, the real testing is in Thailand next month.

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