It may be years since some of us used our thumbs to triple tap a text message on mobile phones. Now Nokia’s bringing it back with the phone that comes with both a touchscreen and a numerical 12-button keypad.
The Nokia (NYSE: NOK) X3 is a retro variation of Nokia’s old-school signature candybar-style device with the top two-thirds dedicated to a touchscreen, while the lower third has a keypad.
The phone is being called “Nokia’s first ‘Touch and Type,’ implying that there could be more of these hybrid phones coming to market. The combination of texting and touching sends a pretty clear message to a potential user. If Qwerty keyboards and new input technologies like Swype make your head swim, this is the phone for you. Mary McDowell, Nokia’s EVP of Mobile Phones, backs up the concept with research: “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.”
The Nokia X3 is expected to retail for about $161 (EUR 125), excluding taxes and subsidies starting in the third quarter. That’s pretty cheap considering the other features: 3G, Wi-Fi, music player, FM radio, and a 5 megapixel camera. It also comes loaded with Ovi social networking and entertainment applications.