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O2 X2 and X3

 O2 X2 Discontinued
6th April 2004

O2's foray into the own-brand clamshell market in October 2003 with the O2 X1 met with mixed, but promising, results. The X1 proved to be a popular phone, but production issues and software problems meant that it wasn't as big a success as O2 would have hoped.

For the O2 X2 (pictured) and X3 models, O2 has ditched the X1's manufacturer, Maxon, and awarded the contract to Benq instead. This is an ideal arrangement for Benq, who get a much needed foothold in European markets, and for O2 who get a pair of stylish phones exclusive to them. This is basically the same approach that Sharp have with Vodafone, exclusively promoting the GX20 and GX30 models.

The O2 X2 is the most basic device, due for launch in May 2004. It has a 128x128 pixel display in 65,000 colours with a smaller monochrome external display, with a VGA resolution digital camera with low-level light capabilities. It supports Java, MMS, polyphonics and connects to a PC with a USB cable. Network-wise it's a tri-band GSM phone with GPRS. The X2 is light too, at just 89 grams.

O2 are pitching the X2 at the Pay-As-You-Go or ultra cheap contract market, at about 150/240 for prepay and free for pay monthly users. Essentially, it's a cheap and cheerful clamshell pitched against low end Samsungs and the like.

The O2 X3 is technically a much more interesting phone, with a 128x160 pixel display in 262,000 colours plus a smaller 4000 colour outer display. There's a 1.3 megapixel camera with a flash and 5x digital zoom, an MP3 player supporting O2's "over the air" music delivery service, MMS, Java and polyphonic ringtones.

In addition, the O2 X3 can be connected to a PC using infra-red or a USB cable, but sadly no Bluetooth, but it does take mini-SD cards, with a 16Mb card included in addition to the X3's 3Mb internal memory. However, MP3 support realistically requires at least 64Mb to fit a CD on, preferably 128Mb for two, but the mini SD format is certainly useful.

Comparisons between the O2 X3 and Sharp GX30 are inevitable. Although the X3 has a slightly higher resolution camera, the Sharp has a much better screen plus Bluetooth support. Still, the X3 is a nice handset and certainly better than many clamshells on the market. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but we estimate the launch price to be about 200/320 on a 30/50 per month contract.

Will this strategy succeed? Well, O2 scored a near hit with the X1, and the XDA II is certainly a popular phone too. The O2/Benq link up on these phones looks very promising for both companies.

O2 X2 Specifications

Available:

May 2004

Network:

Tri-band GSM

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

128x128 pixels, 64K colours

Camera:

640x480 pixels (0.3 megapixels)

Size:

Compact clamshell
81x41x21mm, 89 grams

Bluetooth:

No

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

3.5 hours talk, 7 days standby

O2 X3 Specifications

Available:

Q3 2004

Network:

Tri-band GSM

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

128x160 pixels, 262K colours

Camera:

1.3 megapixels

Size:

Compact clamshell
81x41x22mm, 89 grams

Bluetooth:

No

Infra-red:

Yes

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

3.5 hours talk, 6 days standby

 

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