Nokia 603 Review

The Nokia 603 is supposed to be the workhorse of the new Symbian Belle portfolio, balancing the value-for-money virtue in the low mid-range spectrum. Thus it is pretty average in terms of specs – 3.5” display, 1GHz processor and 5MP camera with 720p video recording but no LED flash.

It shares the “brightest mobile display” of the Nokia 701, however, and has an abundance of swappable back covers in various colors for the joy of the teen market, but does it deserve its price point, and is it distinctive enough apart from those different shell paints? Read on our review to find out...

In the box:

  • Spare color back cover
  • In-ear headphones
  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Warranty and information leaflets


The Nokia 603 comes chubby at 0.5” (12.7mm), so it's not going to win any design awards that seem to be all about waistline these days, but its tapered edges and sloping corners make it pretty ergonomic and easy to hold. Operating the phone with one hand is also easy, and all buttons around the sides are protruding enough for a decent feel, plus their travel is decent.

You can compare the Nokia 603 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The 3.5” IPS-LCD display boasts 360x640 pixels of resolution, and 210ppi pixel density, which only came detrimental when we were trying to read very small text. Viewing angles are wide, and brightness is very high thanks to the 1000 nits output, plus the ClearBlack tech minimizes reflections. The higher than average brightness and low reflection make for an excellent outside visibility on the Nokia 603.,

The handset comes in black and white, with a number of swappable back covers in different colors, and one is included in the box for free. There is no front-facing camera, just a 5MP fixed-focus shooter without an LED flash.

Nokia 603 360-degrees View:



1. ReturningToNokia

Posts: 130; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Dear Phone Arena: I see that you have a 'Price' tab listed under Specifications for this (and other) devices. Going forward, is it possible to state the MSRP for devices in your reviews as well (perhaps in the Introduction section)? One of the cons listed in this review for this device is that there are more capable Android devices for the this price range, but what is the price range, exactly? Thanks!

16. bradfeet

Posts: 4; Member since: Jan 25, 2012

They actually look like a really nice phone. It's s shame the OS won't have development, this would be a nice Android device. Anyway, I want to share with you what I know about Fairfax auto repair: They can offer assistance in providing the highest level of auto repair services like car maintenance, car care services, heating and cooling services, transmission, electrical and undercar services and all types of car services.

17. printingfairfax

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

I love Nokia 603 but it hard to choose it over xperia ray when the price almost the same....Nokia plz drop down some price. Anyway, I want to share with you what I know about Printing Alexandria They can provide direct mail, printing, and copy services. Printing Alexandria VA provides the most reliable and fast mailing services as well as digital, offset and variable data printing and colored and black and white copying.

2. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Ace is better? You must be kidding!

4. -RVM-

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

He actually said that "Ace is notably cheaper and with comparable specs". Seems, he forgot that Ace has regular TFT display with only 480x320 resolution, only 280 MB of RAM (comparing to 512 MB on Nokia 603, not to mention how memory-hungry Android is), slower HSPA connection, no NFC support, weak Adreno 200 GPU and 800 MHz CPU, no camera shutter key, and most notably only 15fps QVGA video recording.... which is really pathetic these days.

14. Srj355

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 26, 2011

Argreeddd!! So true. Nokia is the best! :)

21. akhilbabu08

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

you have the point ..ace no match with 603.

18. amandapages

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Me myself love this phone. The Nokia 603 runs on Symbian Belle OS and is powered by 1 GHz processor with 512 MB RAM. It has a 3.5-inch, 360 x 640 pixel display. Anyway, I want to share with you what I know about Plumbers Richmond VA.: They can offer assistance in providing the highest level of plumbing services like installation and repair. Plumber Richmond VA provides home plumbing, emergency plumbing and commercial plumbing services. They are the solution to all your clogged drains and massive water blockage and all your plumbing needs.

3. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

The GALAXY Ace is laggy and sucks, The Xperia Neo is better although is 30% more expensive where I live The Nokia 500 doesn't look as nice The LG Optimus 7 is LG The HTC Wildfire S is about the only thing that can challenge this, and even it runs ok with Gingerbread on a 600MHz chip. So yeah, this things real only competitor is the HTC Wildfire S

7. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Wildfire was a crap. Slow and crappy. Wildfire S is faster and more stable? That's a question, nothing more. I'm curious.

9. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Yes it was, its stil paltry by today's standards but Sense 2.1 on Gingerbread runs fairly smoothly on it.

15. abaza121

Posts: 17; Member since: Oct 02, 2011

lol you said LG Optimus 7 is LG u must mean updates and updates aren't needed in a wp so every single wp works with wp7.5 and u don't have to wait 4 ics or something because microsoft will update your wp in 2 weeks

5. seylan

Posts: 20; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

What is the price exactly?

6. bbblader

Posts: 590; Member since: Oct 24, 2011

oh got every single time i look at the symbian belle phone arena reviews i just cant believe that this is coming to my Nokia C6-01 this month!

8. LordBonztie

Posts: 52; Member since: Nov 14, 2011

i dont find the use for front facing cam. is this really a review site for all phones or is it just for iphones or just for androids and other makers?

10. rkoforever90

Posts: 475; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

im from uae the price of 603 is veey much less than ace here at just 900 dhirham while cost 999,and how can reviewer say neo is on same price range it cost like 1600 which is much pricier than 701 and even same price as nokia x7 and n8. Also phone arena is very biased to android and ios gsm arena give good reviews,also making it to your notice html 5 webbrowser will come to nokia 603 with carla update,which android phone like ace,wildfire s etc cant even dream of.

11. wisdom01

Posts: 10; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Great phone for a young person.

12. fakhar

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

One thing I really don’t like about phone arena is that they are owned by Apple iphone, I think so, Every Smartphone compared with iphone or even with high end android smart phones. Why Phone arena why? Secondly, Phone arena always declares a Smartphone 10/10 with respect to its browser capabilities only. Phone arena always enjoys the reviews of apple products why? Apple smart phones for rich people my dear phone arena. Nokia 603 is best smart phone in this price range. But phone arena as usual compares nokia smart phones with lower spec android smart phone, In nokia 603 only the browser is not up to the mark, otherwise i give it 10/10 in this price range.

19. richa

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 09, 2012

how to get all images in gallery. which are saved in memory card. how to do the setting that when we take image from other cell phone it should be directly shown in gallery & not in received file of F ...i.e memory card.

20. blazej86

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

I think this device going to be great for its price tag. What I would like to clarify is that Nokia apparently abandoned development of Symbian Belle ,but after success of Symbian Belle Mr. Ellop Admits isn't End for Symbian just yet, plus there is another update for Symbian coming up 'carla'.Also new Nokia 808 will be released with Symbian.Nokia realised 3 updates for Symbian in past 6 moths ,which isn't bad for dying OS, is it. As for personal experience I've used nokia e7 and I was positively impressed with symbian Belle .It does all that android would do ,just addons designed by Nokia Beta Labs has better integration then 3rd parties Android.Only thing was that e7 was slightly lacking on processing power when few widgets were on. But here we get 1.3ghz Cpu and 512 ,which in my opinion should be sufficient to run Symbian efficiently.

22. akhilbabu08

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 09, 2012

That is a totally biased review from phone 603 scores far better than a 6.5 score....!!! Nokia 603 is the best fone u can get in this price nd even a bit further..!! This was a androidised review...nd samsung ace is a peice of s**t..

23. amroid

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 29, 2012

I have Samsung Galaxy Ace and I wanna switch to Nokia 603 >>>>> I think it's an exciting phone to have!!! ..... Another advantage in that device is it's astonishing withstand through bumps or hits!!!!! through a live personal experience with my friend's Nokia 603 phone :P ________ Simply,, it's an amazing phone with an accessible price

24. DSP96

Posts: 20; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

I myself own a nokia 603 and it is a great phone. Don't get put off by the spec sheet, it is about how the os uses the RAM memory and the processor. And Symbian Belle is very much optimised for this RAM-processor combo. The display is great and because of its super high brightness output, i didn't have to worry about outdoor visibility. Due to the high brightness and nokia's Clearblack technology, there is absolutely no problems of visibility even with the sun overhead. The OS is not that bad either, i even got the symbian belle FP2 update, which adds some cool animations and transitions. The appstore is not as good as android or even windows for that matter, but still it is ok. The screen is good for watching videos or playing a few games, thanks to its good, vibrant colours. The stock video player can play videos upto 720p, without conversions or modifications. The os runs slick on the chipset and RAM, and lag is not much observed. The fixed focus camera is decent, but nothing extraordinary. It gets the job done as a mobile shooter. However, what IS extraordinary is battery life. The phone ships with a 1300mah battery, and it gives a great battery life. On average to heavy use, I could easily manage 2 days of battery life. The music playback is good, and the speaker is loud enough without cracking. Overall, this phone is great, with a great build quality and great battery life to boot.
  • Display 3.5" 360 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Storage 2 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1300 mAh(6.50h 3G talk time)

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