The Nokia X1-01 comes in a box with the basics - a charger, a one-piece headset and some manuals. Realistically, this is as good as you can hope to get in this price range.
Plus, this is just about everything you will ever need with a simplistic device like the Nokia X1-01. Okay, a microSD card might have been nice, but that would have driven the price up for everyone and not everyone would need it so maybe things are best the way they are now.
Plus you'd need a card reader to use the microSD card, as the X1-01 cannot be connected to a computer.
The Nokia X1-01 is not the most compact handset at 112.2 x 47.3 x 16 mm but we weren’t expecting it to be. The 91g of weight isn't particularly light either, given that the higher spec'd C2-00 is just 74g.
The front of the Nokia X1-01 is black but you have a choice of Red, Dark Grey, Ocean Blue, Orange and White for the back cover. We have the Orange version with us and the bright, glossy plastic really livens up the phone.
The front looks pretty standard, but you can easily tell some corners were cut when making the phone. The 1.8" screen is dwarfed by the bezel around it and the keypad seems to be made from a single piece of flat plastic, which might grant some dust resistance but doesn’t bode well for its usability.
Still, there are no obvious weak points of the construction of the phone, which is the actually important part - for a phone of this class, durability far outweighs looks.
The top half of the X1-01 front is taken by the 65K-color TFT display and its bezel. The display measures 1.8 inches and it has 128 x 160 pixel resolution. The image quality is on par with the earliest color mobile displays - not very bright, kind of dull colors and minimal viewing angles.
Even sunlight legibility, which is an area of expertise for Nokia, was a disappointment. We were actually wondering if it wouldn't have been better for the X1-01 if Nokia gave it black-and-white LCD, which if nothing else would have offered much better visibility in direct sunlight. We don't think the S30 UI would have lost a great deal on such a screen either, as there's not much eye candy anyway.
Above the screen, there's just the earpiece. There's no ambient light sensor and no setting for the screen brightness - it just is what it is.
Underneath the screen is the navigation deck built around a D-pad. It's a four-way D-pad, there's no confirmation center - you'll have to use the soft keys for that. That's a bit confusing at first if you are coming from an S40 device, but the D-pad itself is quite comfy to use.
The four keys around it - the two soft keys and two call keys - are arranged in two rows (soft keys on top, call keys below them).
Except for navigation, the D-pad is also used to quickly turn on and off the inbuilt flashlight. Pressing up twice starts the flashlight, while a third press on the same switches it off.
As for the keypad underneath, all keys are flat and smooth, with just a small nub on the 5 key. Typing, without looking is very hard, if at all possible. That's disappointing since texting is one of the cheapest ways to communicate.
If you want to toggle which SIM card is default (that is, which one is used to make a call when you press the green call key), press and hold the asterisk key. There's also an "Always ask" option, which may be preferable if you use both SIMs for making calls equally.
Regardless of which SIM is chosen as default, both are active and you can receive call on either.
The left side of the handset houses the dedicated music control keys. There's three of them - previous, play/pause and next. They are relatively easy to press, but not so easy as to allow for accidental presses so we'd say Nokia has found a good balance here.
On the right we have the microSD card slot, hidden under a plastic flap. The microSD card is hot-swappable but it's hard to push the card all the way in, as the port is recessed into the body of the phone.
On the Nokia X1-01 top we find the flashlight we mentioned earlier as well as the standard 3.5mm audio jack and the charger plug. The flashlight is quite anemic and can't replace a proper flashlight, but it is still good enough for less-demanding tasks like finding the keylock in the dark or the key you just dropped on the ground.
The back cover of the Nokia X1-01 is made of thick plastic and has a glossy finish, which will probably get scratched with time. However the plastic itself seems sturdy enough to last for quite a long time.
The loudspeaker is the focal point of the back - Nokia say it's the loudest they've ever made and, as we will find later in the review, it's quite loud indeed.
Underneath the back cover, there is the 1320mAh Li-Ion battery (BL-5J) which is quoted at up to the unbelievable 43 days of stand-by or up to 13 hours of talk-time. That's even more impressive when you consider that this is a dual-standby phone. Music playback time is quoted at 36 hours.
We didn’t spend enough time with the X1-01, certainly not over a month, to confirm the battery life, but the phone lasted for ages on half a battery.
The two SIM card slots are hidden under the battery. That means no hot-swapping, which was a bit of a disappointment (and a point in favor of the C2-00). The SIM cards are held in place by standard metal doors, with labels telling you which one is SIM1 and which is SIM2.
The build quality is pretty decent and certainly better than the price tag suggests. In fact the X1-01 felt somewhat sturdier than the C2-00. The glossy black will probably get scratched and the gap between the keys on the front will fill with dust and dirt, but that's about as bad as it gets and we have really seen more expensive phones do way worse.
Plus the handset feels quite comfortable to hold, despite not being very compact.