Nokia C3 in-depth review -

Look and feel

The C3 is quite the looker, with a design borrowed from Nokia’s Eseries line. Made of lightweight plastic, the handset's matt sheen gives it an air of respectability, while the four-line QWERTY is one of the best on a low-end model.

Ease of use

The Nokia C3's interface may be user friendly but its laggy software makes browsing the web a painful experience.

Features

The token two-megapixel camera has no autofocus or flash, so night shots are out of the question. Even in daylight, the pictures were quite soft, though the colours were decent. Wi-Fi is a welcome addition, which allows for speedy uploading and downloading to Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, the social networking apps can’t run in the background, so you won’t receive push notifications of events.

Performance

The C3 is far too slow for its targeted social networking crowd to get any more than a quick fix.  Both the Facebook and Twitter apps are really, really slow. Scrolling down the feeds is also a jerky affair – and that’s one of the main problems with the phone.

Battery life

The Nokia C3 will provides up to 420 minutes of talktime before you have to reach for that charger.

 Nokia C3 Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,4/8/2010 4:25:54 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Full featured Facebook and Twitter apps, solid hardware, Wi-Fi

Cons:

Slow interface, no push notifications for social networks

Another day, another phone with designs on the chatty teen market. The Nokia C3 is the first of Nokia’s budget Cseries with onboard Facebook and Twitter – but much as we’d like to love it, the budget factor is a tad too obvious.

Designer looks

The C3 looks the business, with a design borrowed from Nokia’s professional Eseries line. It’s made of lightweight plastic, but the matt sheen gives it an air of respectability, and the four-line QWERTY is one of the best on a low-end model. Below the 2.4-inch screen are two option keys, a D-pad, hang up, call end and two customisable shortcut keys.

There’s a token two-megapixel camera with no autofocus or flash. Night shots are out of the question and even in daylight, snaps were quite soft, though colours were decent. You can email, Bluetooth or text your pictures, but you can only share them on Flickr, despite the device’s USP being onboard Facebook.

The C3 supports slower EDGE data rather than 3G, but we’re impressed with the inclusion of Wi-Fi, which allows for speedy uploading and downloading. Unfortunately, the social networking apps can’t run in the background, so you won’t receive push notifications of events.

Socialise

The home screen has three shortcut spots that you can customise with things like Favourite Contacts, Calendar, a toolbar with links to all apps, or Communities, which takes you to the Facebook and Twitter apps. Both are quite full-featured. The Facebook app has links to everything you would want on desktop, and even an events menu showing what you’ve been invited to over the next 10 or so days. Twitter looks like  the desktop version as well, granting you access to direct messages, mentions and ‘favourited’ tweets. You pick one as your main account, and from the home screen, can post an update to that account simply by selecting the Communities box.

Unfortunately, both apps are really, really slow. Scrolling down the feeds is a jerky affair – and that’s the main problem with the phone. We didn’t expect it to multitask, but every time you hit the ‘call end’ button, a message pops up asking you to confirm if you really want to close the program you’re in. There is also a one second lag when you press a button and programs take a while to load, making it all rather frustrating.

Friends, web, you

Preloaded for web surfing is the excellent Opera Mini browser, well known for getting the best browsing performance out of low-end specs. There’s a slight lag when typing in search terms and addresses, but pages load quite quickly. There are no zoom keys, just a zoom box that lets you go between an unreadable, nearly-full page view and 100%. It does a pretty good job of displaying non mobile sites but this phone isn’t really meant for much more than looking up a quick bit of info. Meanwhile, as with many other Nokia phones, getting your contacts onto it is no cakewalk – you’ll have to first sync them to Ovi Suite somehow. Ovi Mail is onboard so you can add any webmail account – there’s no push notification, but if you just want to be able to check your email on the go, it’s good enough, and the QWERTY keyboard does let you fire off messages very quickly.

Conclusion

For £80 on PAYG, perhaps the best you can expect is decent hardware and laggy software. The C3 looks good for a budget entry, and its interface is easy to use, with good Facebook and Twitter functionality. But its targeted social networking market is all about instant gratification – and the C3 is far too slow for that.

Natasha Stokes