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Nokia C3 Review

Nokia C3

Posted: , posted by Daniel P.


Interface and Functionality:

The Series 40 interface is so widespread that you most probably have seen it on some of the phones that you, or people you know, have/had, unless you live in the US, where Nokia is not very popular. In the Nokia C3 it is masked to look like a Symbian interface in terms of graphics. It is a pretty reliable platform that very rarely crashes, but, of course, you can forget about multitasking.

The phonebook doesn’t stray away from what you’ve seen on all Nokia Series 40 devices. It’s customizable and allows for picture ID and ringtones to be attached to contacts, but there is no smart dial function to search for them.

The Home screen has three editable strips of content – on top are the favorite contacts, and the bottom one is a launcher with five application icons. The closest to the all popular widget type is the middle row, where you can rotate for example your Facebook status, friend updates and notifications, right from the homescreen - a neat and welcome feature for the social networking addicts.

The Home screen of the Nokia C3 - Nokia C3 Review
The Home screen of the Nokia C3 - Nokia C3 Review
The Home screen of the Nokia C3 - Nokia C3 Review

The menu page is a simple and functional icon grid, while the whole interface uses a nice big font that is very easy on the eyes. Notable here is the Communities app, which updates Facebook and Twitter in the background, for example. There is also an Ovi Store shortcut which kept giving us low memory errors upon start – not that you will be installing tons of apps on this one.

Speaking of apps, the core features are covered well here. The Nokia C3 has a no-thrills, simple to use calendar with month view on the left and the day's meetings, notes, anniversaries, etc., on the right of the screen. The reminder alarm option forced our unit into multiple restart mode, until we put in a SIM card. To the list of utilities we can easily add the handy Converter, Calculator, Voice Recorder, Flickr client and To-Do apps.

Main menu - Nokia C3 Review
Nokia C3 Review
Nokia C3 Review
Calendar - Nokia C3 Review

Main menu




The core strength of the unpretentious Nokia C3 is written communication, since the QWERTY keyboard accelerates typing greatly. You may find yourself shooting text messages and email back and forth, or chatting more often than calling someone from the phone. The email application allows for easy setup of popular accounts, but the phone memory is somewhat limited for a proper full HTML view, or downloading large attachments. Since you don't have a document viewer on the Nokia C3, those features would not add much to the limited email experience anyway. The default IM program is Ovi Chat, but the handset works with Gtalk as well, and other popular instant messengers can be easily set up.

Email - Nokia C3 Review
Email - Nokia C3 Review
Email - Nokia C3 Review

A QWERTY keyboard is an excellent solution for quick typing on a small device, and BlackBerry users will surely attest to that. We only wish the one on the Nokia C3 was slightly larger, but the clever curved layout and the convex keys tip the balance towards some pretty decent usability.

Internet and Connectivity:

Nokia went with Opera Mini for the general browsing solution on the C3, which is an excellent choice of a browser, as it renders the pages on its own servers and sends them over compressed and bite-sized. Thus even the weak specs of the C3 managed to load our full home page in a few seconds. Flash Lite 3.0 is supported for proper display of pages as the creator intended, but the default S40 browser with it runs only in the Web Services mode – i.e. when you fire up Nokia.mobi, MySpace or AccuWeather from the Internet option. The D-pad serves to guide an arrow pointer which zooms the underlying section when clicked, and then executes a link, if needed.

The Nokia C3 comes with Opera Mini - Nokia C3 Review
The Nokia C3 comes with Opera Mini - Nokia C3 Review

Nokia C3 doesn't have a 3G baseband, you will be limited to EDGE speeds when out and about, but you can hook up the handset to a Wi-Fi hotspot provided that faster data speeds are needed. The handset has no GPS capabilities either, however Bluetooth and an FM radio are still on board.

Camera and Multimedia:

The 2MP camera on the C3 might seem to have huge lens, but does its duties poorly. The colors are fine, however detail and focus are almost non-existent. Photos look like you have been applying some special effect to them, while cursing and fumbling around with the lean camera interface.
The handset now has a dedicated multimedia gallery called Photos, unlike other Series 40 handsets, where all files are mixed up in a single location. Capturing videos produced appalling results, unless paltry QVGA resolution with 15fps sounds good enough for you.

Camera interface - Nokia C3 Review
Camera interface - Nokia C3 Review
Camera interface - Nokia C3 Review
Gallery - Camera interface - Nokia C3 Review


Outdoor samples shot with the Nokia C3 - Nokia C3 Review
Outdoor samples shot with the Nokia C3 - Nokia C3 Review
Outdoor samples shot with the Nokia C3 - Nokia C3 Review
Outdoor samples shot with the Nokia C3 - Nokia C3 Review
Outdoor samples shot with the Nokia C3 - Nokia C3 Review

Strong - Indoor samples - Nokia C3 Review
Medium - Indoor samples - Nokia C3 Review
Low light - Indoor samples - Nokia C3 Review



Low light

Nokia C3 sample video at 320x240 pixels resolution.

The music player is basic, but works well. It sorts the files by artist, album, or genre, and can keep playing in the background, which is the closest to multitasking you will get on the Nokia C3. There is a Radio and Media widget (well, sort of) that you can place on the home screen, which will show you details of the song currently being played. The speaker is of average strength, but the sound is quite clear, and the same holds true in headset mode – very clean audio output and good base sounds, but the volume is low even at maximum settings. Although there isn't a dedicated rocker, volume can be changed with pressing the D-pad up and down, which is almost as if, unless you are outside of the music player.

Video play is limited to MPEG-4 files up to QVGA, and the meager 64MB RAM often make the phone hiccup even at these unimpressive resolutions.

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PhoneArena rating:
Display2.4 inches, 320 x 240 pixels (167 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Size4.55 x 2.29 x 0.54 inches
(115.5 x 58.1 x 13.6 mm)
4.02 oz  (114 g)
Battery1320 mAh, 7 hours talk time

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