View Full Version : My SX1 Review

08-02-2004, 11:12 PM

More than a year and a half has passed since the first series60 device , the Nokia 7650 , went out. Nokia on the following months developed many more s60 smartphones, not only because they wanted more phone sales but also because this was the way to advertise the series 60 platform to other developers. Siemens was the first one and (if we don't count Sendo who changed platform very quickly for the known problems with Microsoft) the only one to get a license and create a s60 smartphone, the SX1. The Name of it is not just plain. The only single phone that comes to my mind using the same SX prefix is the SX45. An MS Powered PDA with phone capabilities developed in cooperation with Canon. So SX45 can be called a pre-Smartphone device (just like the communicator series or the Ericsson R380). So SX1 is really the first of it's kind.

My experience until now is mixed but overall good. I must admit that I had a little bit higher expectations, but anyway I knew from the start that it was not perfect.

When I got the package I was a little bit confused. Very simplistic for it's kind, but again never judge a book by it's cover. It was like opening a jewel box, seeing only the phone...and getting in love. And bellow it, all the other stuff and accessories. What are they?

The charger, the stereo handsfree, a usb cable, a cdrom with the data suite as well as info and other apps for the phone and three manuals (3 different languages) and some other brochures. Two things to notice, the very tiny charger and... the lack of an MMC card...(the very first dissapointment that was expected though).
One last thing that may only apply in my country is that the warranty period is 2 years...

After the first charging I started using the phone.The first thing noticed was the hot-swappable MMC port. It still makes me wonder why Nokia didn't put sth like that on N-Gage. I also loved the silver-grey color the blue backlight and the design that makes you believe you have to do with a jewel rather than a phone. Also although it has almost the same size with the 7650 just a little bit thinner and a lot lighter, it gave the feel in my hand that it was NOT A SMARTPHONE (there are times that I don't feel it in my pocket). The screen was also very good and bright (although not as bright as 6600 it has quite the same quality).

I firstly moved my contacts very easily from my 7650 just using Psiloc's System tools on both phones (for flight mode to have access on the contacts.cdb file) and later after buying a 128MB card copying the messages with some tricks though...

From the very start I fell at home. Why? Because as a friend of mine said, this phone stinks all over Nokia, Just a Nokia device with the Siemens brand on it. Although I don't tottaly agree with him I must admit Nokia and Siemens made some great work together and they fixed many things that I didn't like on the 7650 while they designed many aspects of the phone especially binded with it's design. There are a few differences though from the other s60 phones like folders looking like apps on the menu...

The second dissapointment was the key layout (and again it was sth I expected). Although not as bad as 3650's it is very annoying to learn using it in texting. It reminds me of my very first days with mobile phones. The game Typegun that is included can help you be quicker in learning. I must admit that I can at least type numbers at the same speed as with my 7650. The bad thing on this game is that lets you test your skills only by typing English words and without T9.
On the other side this big dissadvantage turned into an advantage. Many of the included apps like the MP3 player and the Radio use very clever the keypad layout.

The next dissapointment came from the compatibility. Although most of the apps runs flawlessly many Java games like splinter cell, fifa , etc cannot show correctly the colours. I also couldn't find a way to enable sound to Doom. And Total IrRemote didn't work with my Sony TV(maybe weak infrared? because 7650 can). Also there are problems with the photographer not giving good quality pictures... But almost any other app running on the 3650 can easily run on the SX1.

And speaking of applications the SX1 comes with big variety of them. The very first big advantage against the 6600 is the use of a more advanced video recorder (I believe it is the pvAuthor or sth like that) that is fully customisable. It has almost identical features with the Philips Camcoder Pro.It also has Real One, Image fun, Today(from Epocware), Mp3player (from Emuzed), World Clock (from epocware again) and on the game department "sitris"a nice tetris clone,the clever "typegun" that was mentioned above for learning the key layout and the very clever and amusing "Mozzies"(I have never seen a more clever way to use the camera in a game). On the cd xonix (from symbianware) was also mentioned as included but I couldn't find it. It also has a general file Manager but if you want to edit the system folders it want help you much... So the package is full of preinstalled 3rd party apps and most of them are really useful although I would prefer the World Clock Pro from Psiloc as well as a better today program and File Manager.

One thing that I love on SX1 is the downloadable firmware upgrades. As a usual PC user I have the... sickness of always wanting to have the latest software and drivers on my PC. There is a little difference on the Mobile phones. I hate the policy that many companies follow offering the firmware upgrades only during the warranty period and only on their service centers while loosing your phone for a big time period. Well unfortunately this was not the case with Siemens. The SX1 came to me with firmware version 05. It took me sometime time to download the 20+ MB file containing 06 update from Siemens and using just simple steps I upgraded the firmware in less that 15 minutes... Well this is sth I only have seen on the P900...

The next thing I loved was the data suite. It has anything you need. Beside the usual apps for backup/restore and synchronise you have a very good windows explorer plugin the "Phone Explorer" to move the files on the MMC or phone memory like pictures,sound,MP3s,videos etc. and it was very handy and better than Epocwares PC File Manager (which isn't compatible by the way). The very good thing is that you can set folders that will be uploaded on the MMC during the synchronisation eg. a folder for pictures or mp3s on the PC that every file contained there will be uploaded on the phone during the synchronisation. Lastly but not least a very good messaging app. So if you are not on foot u won't have a problem with the key layout so much...

The sound quality was good. You have a loud(but not as loud as that of P900 or N-gage) and clean sound coming of the main speaker and not a separate like on the 7650. I was a little bit dissapointed by the midi performance. The 7650 sounds better on poly ringtones...

Lastly I would like to coment on the picture quality of the photos. I compared some with my 7650 And I can see that is much better and almost equal to that of 3650(which in my opinion it has the best camera of all Smartphones), but in low light condition the 7650(night mode) was better even with the latest firm.

So in general the phone is great. From the begining it gave me the feel that I have to do with a carefully designed product. A real jewel, with great specs inside. Right now is the most complete phone having almost everything you need, and if you don't mind about the key layout it is the best you can get beside the few dissapointments.

But ofcourse there is always sth better on the horizon. The Sendo X is coming very soon and I am sure Nokia will answer with a European Version of the 6620 (6600i maybe!)...

09-02-2004, 03:17 AM
wow what a killer review but after reading it i dont think ill be buying an sx1 even though i loved its key board design:(

09-02-2004, 11:13 AM
Great review MemphisX,nice and simple!

09-02-2004, 08:47 PM
If any one of the adm. of AAS feel that it would be nice to put it in html and move it on the news they greatly have my permision...
(but this only aplies for allaboutsymbian)

12-02-2004, 12:41 PM
I want one, but the lack of themeability is the only thing holding me back :(

12-02-2004, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by evobit
I want one, but the lack of themeability is the only thing holding me back :(

yep, that was a big factor for me too.

in the end I bought a 6600.

why? because the themes and keypad was too big an issue to overlook.

the SX1 is no doubt the cooler phone, but the easy, everyday usability and cusomization is the 6600, its much easier to live with.

13-02-2004, 06:59 PM
Got to play with an SX1 today.
Really nice phone - couple of dissapointments.
The cam takes pix in 480x640 portrait mode, I prefer the way nokia do it as 640x480 landscape - more natural, i'll be rotating every picture I take!

MP3 playback was SUPERB compaire to 7650/3650, but unfortunatly with the bluetooth headset attached the only sound going to it was telephone calls - NOT the mp3 music or phone sounds :(

other than those 2 points I think it's a superb phone - the keybord layout was not as bad as I'd thought it would be either!
Quite easy to get used to.


15-02-2004, 08:20 AM
Originally posted by willbrady
MP3 playback was SUPERB compaire to 7650/3650, but unfortunatly with the bluetooth headset attached the only sound going to it was telephone calls - NOT the mp3 music or phone sounds :(

It's not fair to judge the SX1 on that. AFAIK there is NO phone on the market that lets you play mp3 over the BT headset. You'll have to wait for bluetooth 1.2 for that!

15-02-2004, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by Delta737
It's not fair to judge the SX1 on that. AFAIK there is NO phone on the market that lets you play mp3 over the BT headset. You'll have to wait for bluetooth 1.2 for that!

3650/3660/6600 you can.
with the BT headset on you can hear all the phone sounds, videos, music, games etc all the sounds can be heard on the headset as well as phone cals.

15-02-2004, 08:22 PM
You can hear MP3 through your bluetooth headset but you'll need a 3rd party app like Ultra-MP3. Unfortunately this way you'll loose stereo and the quality is a lot worst.

Unfortunately this is not possible with radio.The standard stereo headset is needed because it works as the receiver antenna...

By the way the MP3 player included on SX1 although hardcoded to the firmware is also 3rd party (the site mentioned is but unfortunately you won't find any info there) and that's maybe why mp3 is not even mentioned on the manual...

15-02-2004, 08:41 PM
By the way some comparison photos -> 7650 VS SX1

------- Very Good Light Conditions (sunny day) --------



--------- Medium Light Conditions (cloudy day) ----------



----------------- Low light conditions (night) ----------------

7650(night mode):


10-03-2004, 04:45 PM
Could you post some more pictures please!

Also, what about the quality of the MP3 player/movie player?

12-03-2004, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by Jaggz
Could you post some more pictures please!

Also, what about the quality of the MP3 player/movie player?

Ok just one more. A Mazda RX8 which I took some days ago with firm07. I have also noticed that if you rotate the photos using the standard picture app (because it takes them in 480x640) you loose a little in quality. This photo though was rotated using xnview on PC (but not the previous).

The MP3 player is superb. The quality of the sound is even better than the other MP3 players I had (a Creative MuVo and a NAPA MP3 cd player). It is not though as loud as them (but enough loud for you to hear even in a very noisy place)

Unfortunately the only app I have found that utilizes the stereo output other than the built in apps is the ogg player. Every other app I have tested (like Ultra-MP3 or SmartMovie) plays in dual mono through the headset.

12-03-2004, 10:03 PM
I had a problem uploading previously so here it is...