Nokia C2-01 Review

Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone. It can beused with AT&T and T-Mobile USA (2G only).


The Nokia C2-01 is a feature phone for the occasional web crawler. With traditional Nokia candybar styling and S40 on board, it's aimed at the casual user who may want some online functionality, music playback through the 3.5mm jack or radio and the odd camera snap here and there.

The Nokia C2-01 is an all plastic candybar handset with physical numeric keypad. It is a marked revision of past handsets, so the design is safe and functional, though there is a chrome-effect band around the unit which visually works well.

You can compare the Nokia C2-01 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The screen is 2” with a resolution of 240x320 pixels. While the pixel density is decent and colours are displayed well with okay viewing angles, it's beyond question that the screen is on the small side.
Working our way round the phone and there is a microSD slot to the left, while on the right hand-side is a microUSB slot, both contained under plastic flaps. Below the screen is a dpad, two softkeys and small chiclet type send and end buttons with a numeric pad for T9 entry below these. The number keys are individually raised and bulbous, so while flushed with one another are nevertheless easily distinguishable, though a tad small. Up top are the 3.5mm headphone jack and 2mm proprietary charging port.

The overall design and functionality therefore neither inspires nor does it offend. With a few niggles, such as the lack of volume rocker and the small screen, there are also “bonuses” in the form of a hotswappable microSD card slot and the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Nokia C2-01 runs S40 - a feature phone interface that allows for some basic web browsing with integrated mail and Facebook clients. There is also support for Java based applications as well as a range of organizer tools and games preloaded.
As far as the UI is concerned, the home screen can be populated by up to four different widgets at any given time and these include: calendar, timer, e-mail, general indicators, my note, notifications, radio and media, shortcut bar, store and web search. This adds a good degree of functionality to the device, allowing for any additional features to be accessed through the main menu.

The main menu is comprised of a 3x3 grid with no surprises in terms of icons, giving you access to the different aspects of the phone's functionality. In the organizer you will find the alarm clock, calendar, maps, as well as other standard organizer features. Getting contacts onto the handset can be a pain. If like us, all your contacts are backed up in the Google cloud, good luck. If however you have all your contacts on your SIM card or your computer, syncing should be very straight forward.

Camera and Multimedia:
Picture taking on the Nokia C2-01 is achieved using the handset's 3.2MP camera, though from the offset, the lack of auto-focus and flash aren't promising. Nevertheless, it performs competently for such an unpretentious shooter, and some pictures can even be exported for online sharing and small scale print-outs. Most low light shots taken on the device will be for the most part unusable thanks to the lack of flash and poor noise handling however. Video is captured at QVGA resolution and looks OK on the device, though exporting to content highlights the choppy framerate and considerable artifacting.

Music is played back on the platform's proprietary music player. It handles your tracks predictably and reliably, with various means of browsing content such as by artist, album or playlist, and support for background playback. The addition of the 3.5mm headphone jack coupled with the microSD card support and relatively compact, robust form factor add to the phone's usability as a music device.

Given the screen size and orientation, it should be fairly unsurprising that video playback isn't suited to the Nokia C2-01. Thanks to the quality of the screen however, photos look pretty good on it, with an intuitive gallery system letting you navigate comfortably.


The Nokia C2-01 is pretty well connected with Bluetooth, quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G. The 3G does help speed things along, though, as with other Series 40 handsets, the proprietary browser can be frustrating especially when coupled with the small screen. While Opera Mini is pre-loaded, depending on how you access your web page, you will likely bump into both browsers which is confusing and inconsistent. Therefore for the occasional news story, journey planner, football score, however, the phone will suffice, just don't expect too much more.

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In call quality with the Nokia C2-01 is passable, but there is a slight background static on both ends of the line. Volume levels are adequate (adjustable using the dpad due to the lack of volume rocker). In addition, the caller noticed distortion with sudden volume changes such as laughter.

As far as UI performance goes, there isn't noticeable slowdown when using the handset unless, for example loading complex websites. The Nokia C2-01 has its battery rated at 8.75 hours of talk-time and and about 17 days of stand-by, which is about average performance.


To wrap up, there are very few surprises with this handset, though it comes in a bit expensive considering what it offers. Nevertheless, what it does offer is a robust candybar phone with a few good connectivity features and a good music offering. So, if that's what you're looking for, it will fit the bill.

Practically speaking, if you're looking for a better connected device, we'd recommend the Nokia X3-02 which comes with both Wi-Fi and a touch screen to facilitate web browsing. If money saving is your priority, the Sony Ericsson Cedar comes in at a lower price point and provides a similar offering with a green heart.

Nokia C2-01 Video Review:


  • Good quality screen
  • Solid ergonomic design
  • microSD support


  • Small screen
  • Camera has no autofocus or flash
  • Confusing integration of two browsers

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

4 Reviews

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