Nokia C3 Review

Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone, it can be used with AT&T and T-Mobile USA.


One of the features Nokia touts for its Cseries line is “messaging for the masses”. The Finnish company made a name for itself with the excellent thumbboard devices from the Eseries, providing a Symbian alternative for fans of the BlackBerry form factor. The Nokia C3 is its first QWERTY messenger to be powered by Series 40 - still the most widespread mobile platform in the world.

On top of that, it provides great alternative to the ever more popular homescreen widgets by allowing you access to social networking directly from the home screen. Easy SNS access usually implies that the phone is targeting the younger crowd, and so it should come in some flashy colors, and at a bargain basement price. The Nokia C3 check-marks all these, but let's see if it manages to succeed in the details...

What's in the box

  • Nokia C3
  • Manual
  • Charger
  • Headset with microphone
  • 2GB microSD card


We got the Slate Grey version, which has more of a bluish hue, and looks stylish nonetheless. There are also the Hot Pink and Golden White color variants of the Nokia C3, and all have metallic finish at the front. The back, where we have the 2MP camera, has a two-colored design. There is an aluminum battery cover in the middle with the front panel color without the metallic finish, and the rest is black plastic, including the sides.

You can compare the Nokia C3 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

On the left hand side are the microUSB and microSD slots, the top houses the charging port and the 3.5 audio jack and that's all. The only other elements are two small buttons down at both sides that help you easily eject the battery cover.

The regular 2.4” LCD screen with QVGA resolution doesn’t have any touch layers over or under it, and it remains pretty visible under direct sunlight. Right underneath it are the two programmable soft keys, followed by two chrome-like action keys, and finishing down with the send and end buttons. The action keys on both sides of the square D-Pad complement nicely its chrome-like rim, and can be assigned to different tasks. Out of the box the one on the left of the D-Pad starts the Communities app, and the one on the right fires up Messaging, but you can assign different actions to them, which makes the default labeling next to them redundant.

The Nokia C3 thumbboard is where the added value comes from, and it has the same four row layout and roughly the same keys as the E-series keyboards, but is slightly curved downwards and thus more comfortable to type. The handset is very compact, almost too much so, so we were worried we would be often mistyping with our sausage digits. Much to our surprise, though, we kept pressing the correct convex key among the bunch of other keys around, and typing soon sped up significantly.  The keyboard is backlit in white like the rest of the physical buttons in the front, with the exception of the ubiquitous green and red for answering and closing a call.

The overall design reminds very much of the smallest Eseries phones from Nokia, which gives it a classy more expensive look; the metal plate over the battery is a thoughtful touch as well. Nokia has gone so far as to even skin the interface to look like the ones on the Eseries devices, so you can easily fool everyone around that you are typing away on a business-class smartphone.

Nokia C3 360 Degrees View:

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