The folks at Nokia want their X10 back.
Am I thrilled about that? Not entirely.
I received an email last week, one whose arrival I’ve dreaded for a while.
“It’s time,” is basically what it said - more diplomatically framed, of course.
I’ve had this device for exactly 10 weeks now. Here’s the headline: There are three things it implements impressively, two it’s decently good at, and one aspect that could be better.
Let’s jump right into it, shall we?
At the start, I worked very hard to kill this phone’s battery in a single day. I eventually gave up on that quest. I had to give up.
Of course I documented proof of my efforts.
This is one of the core reasons I’ve found it hard to let go of this device: It’s been a long time since I didn’t need to worry about where I left my charging brick and my USB-C cable every 4-7 hours of heavy use.
Nothing I did could bring this phone’s 4470 mAh battery to 1% in any less than one-and-a-half days, and that only happened once, on a day when I was using it as my primary camera for my photography, plus the occasional video.
Now, 4470mAH may not sound like much in a world where such figures are rather frequently tossed around, but the folks at HMD Global seem to have found a formula that allows you and your device to enjoy plenty of your time and adventures untethered, before needing to plug it in for some extra juice.
Imagine the freedom and peace of mind that comes from not having to sit near a socket whenever you’re on the move. Imagine.
And now that I’ve breached the subject of cameras…
I’ll freely admit: I found it hard to tear myself away from Pro Mode, for reasons that will become evident just now.
Pro Mode on the Nokia X10 makes proper use of the 48 MP main lens, whether you choose to shoot in raw or jpg. And as I’m not a fan of overexposing my images, the full manual control has made shooting with this rather delightful.
The main lens has been a powerhouse in the time I’ve used it, in both daytime and night - although the macro, ultrawide, and front-facing lenses work more reliably in generous light than they do in darker spaces.
On the video side of things, the Cinema Mode is also brilliant - I’ll soon share some snippets on my Twitter and/or my Instagram.
Listen. I like to feel a bit of heft when I’m holding a phone. Perhaps it’s a feeling I grew accustomed to because of a Nokia N70 that my much-loved mother once upon a pandemic-free past gifted me. Or maybe it’s thanks to the Nokia Lumia 1520 feeling so solid that it could be used as a weapon. (Fun fact: Someone once flung a Lumia 1520 full force at my head - but that’s not a story for this present moment, now is it?)
We’re getting off-track here. Let’s stay focused. Where were we?
Ah, yes: Beefy build.
Even before you fit it into its compostable case, it feels solid. (Full disclosure: It accidentally slipped from my hand as I was typing this, without said case on, and look, it’s still alive!)
This heft is not for nothing: Its 6.67 inch screen is alive to both my photography and writing needs, covering a comfortable plurality of the everyday tasks of my life - with plenty of time for true-crime YouTube podcasts and air crash investigations as I do my cooking and my dishes.
It’s not The Flash, but I found the Nokia X10 quite snappy for my day-to-day use. Let’s be very clear here, though: This is not a gaming device, so it would be deeply disingenuous of me to attempt to make comparisons on such a level.
(Although let’s be honest, even The Flash is certainly not the fastest man alive at this point, is he? I’m looking right at you, CW.)
That said, between what I found impressive (especially given its price point), and its typical speeds, I found myself enamoured enough to make this my primary device - which is part of why I’ve found it surprisingly hard to let go of. The Snapdragon 480 5G chip has been a surefooted processor, and paired with that efficient Android 11 system management it comes with right out of the box, it may not be a Pietro Maximoff, but it certainly makes for a capably smooth multitasking and task-switching experience.
And while on the subject of speed…
Charging, I mean. This is one of those things where you’d have to decide for yourself how important charging speed is for you. I’ve had no problem leaving it tethered for 2-3 hours to get it juiced up, precisely because it all still works within my schedule. Plus, remember where I mentioned how the battery lasts more than a day? Well, activate power-saving mode, and it’s a whole other beast.
Which is all to say: It’s not the fastest charging phone on the market. Not by far. But it’s not the slowest that I’ve ever worked with either - not by far.
It’s not a stereo experience, the loudspeaker experience, given it’s a single bottom-firing speaker. The mids and highs are rather sharp, especially at higher volumes, which can get slightly unpleasant for people with gentle auditory sensitivities such as myself.
See that little hole at the bottom there?
With the benefit of 3.5mm wired headphones/earphones, your audio experience becomes wholly enjoyable. Again, it’s not the worst thing to exist, but that’s why I labelled this section “The could-be-better”.
There are moments in life when you don’t want nor need anything flashy; rather, you need something you can lean on, something you can trust.
The Nokia X10 is exactly that: A trusty and trustworthy workhorse.
This won’t be that loud, boisterous person we all know that pontificates more than they execute. Rather, this is that unassuming one you talk to when you want to get the job done efficiently with no fuss.
Me? I love it.
Especially for a price of between 31k and 35k Kenyan - depending on your preferred retailer.
Plus, there are a few other little implementations on the Nokia X10 that made my everyday experience with it quite endearing:
Unlocked in a snap: The power button on the right side of the device doubles up as a fingerprint sensor, making unlocking both the phone and biometric-protected apps delightfully snappy.
Cool running: Not once did it ever heat up. Including when I was both charging and working on it. Never once had that kind of heat that could fry an egg. (I have, of course, never attempted to cook my food on any of my devices - I have a cooker for that kind of thing.)
The nifty bits: 5G support (if only we had this in Kenya), NFC, happifying haptics (yes, I’ve decided that that’s a word now), headphone jack (I can’t say this one enough).
It may seem quiet and introverted on the surface, this device, but once you get to know it better, much like with many a human, those still waters win you over, as you get to love it, you grow to trust it, and perhaps decide to keep it - quite likely for a long time to come.