Nokia C3 is a low-budget feature phone that has Eseries written all over it. The handset can easily be taken as an Eseries smartphone, thanks to its full QWERTY keyboard and specific bar form factor.
Still, the similarities stop here, as Nokia C3 is not powered by Symbian or any other operating system.
The Finnish giant included a certain kind of features that turn the phone into a messaging device. Nokia C3 stands out through its embedded social networking services (Twitter, Facebook), Ovi Chat, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity and a QWERTY keyboard.
Announced in April 2010, Nokia C3 hits the shelves in June and is currently valued at 100 Euro without subscription. Nokia fans can choose one of the three available colors: Slate Grey, Golden White and Hot Pink.Design
Even though Nokia C3 is an entry-level handset, the device looks impressive thanks to its keyboard and smartphone-like form. In fact, if you're not a connoisseur, you could easily take it as an Eseries smartphone. The stylish handset measures 115.5 x 58.1 x 13.6 mm and weighs about 114g (including battery). Sleek and shiny, Nokia C3 is susceptible to fingerprints, as the manufacturer used a polished plastic that is easily soiling, especially after the phone gets in contact with the ear. Other than that there are no real downsides or issues with the phone's built, on the contrary.
The front part of the phone is split in two, the 2.4-inches display and the full QWERTY keyboard. You'll notice in between a standard set of keys: two contextual keys, Accept/Reject call keys, as well as the big D-pad key. The latter can also be used as an Enter key, by clicking in the middle. Two more keys, that replace “Symbian menu” and “Clear (Delete)” buttons, have been placed as two metallic stripes between the contextual keys and the Accept and Reject call keys, as you can see in the pictures.
The Communities key that wish to stay in touch with friends. The full QWERTY keyboard looks exactly the same as Nokia 71's. It has 37 keys, which are comfortable and responsive. This is making the whole texting process smooth and enjoyable.
The 2-megapixel camera on the back of the phone lacks flash and autofocus capabilities. Next to its right there's a small loudspeaker marked by a grid pattern. The battery cover is made from a metallic alloy, which gives the phone a certain level of solidness. You can pull out the back hood by clicking both flaps from the base of each side of the phone. The left side of the handset includes a microSD card slot for memory expansion and a microUSB port. Both are covered by small plastic stripes, in the classic way. That means they are a little bit harder to pull out and easy to brake.
There are no buttons on the right side of the phone, which means users will have to use the big D-pad key to set the volume during calls, or when using the music player. Nothing at the bottom either, but there's a 3.5mm audio jack port and a small charger port on top of the phone.
Overall, the device seems pretty well built, it's compact, stylish, sleek and breaths elegance. If you're one of those people that enjoyed Eseries devices, but couldn't afford to get one, Nokia C3 is surely the best choice, in case you don't really need a smartphone.Display and Camera
Nokia C3 features a small 2.4-inch TFT display that supports 262
Million colors and 320x240-pixels resolution. The size of the screen, as well as its quality are almost the same as the Eseries' devices. The colors and contrast of the images displayed are excellent. Add to that the perfect sunlight eligibility and you get a great display that can meet any user’s expectations.
The 2-megapixel camera has only a few basic settings and features, as it misses autofocus and flash. Perhaps the camera is one of the weak points of the device, but this isn't meant to be a camera phone after all.
The interface of the camera doesn't come up with anything new and keeps it all simple. The preview of pictures is on full screen. Users can modify White balance (Automatic, Sunny, Incandescent, Fluorescent) and Color tone (Normal, Sepia, Black & white, Negative). Changes made won't affect pictures in a positive way, as the quality of the module camera is too low. As you can see from the samples below, there's a lot of noise and few details can be seen.
Nokia C3 has unjustly been equipped with such a weak camera, so if you're not too fond of this part of the phone, you'll have no troubles. The maximum resolution that you can use to take pictures is 1600x1200 pixels, while the maximum resolution for movies is 320x240 pixels (@20fps).Menu and Software
Nokia C3 runs on an S40 6th Edition interface, which is the latest user interface coming from Nokia. One of the most user-friendly interfaces on the market, the S40 is unchanged on the surface, and offers the user an excellent experience. Still, there are some tweaks and reshapes, which are taking this experience to a new level. The icons of the menus have been changed, but the 3D animation has been taken off.
The firmware includes the Flash Lite player 3 and MMS 1.3. Message support has been improved to accept 600KB attachments. There is better support for WMA and WMV codecs. The bar handset has some useful applications, such as Search, Alarm clock, Calendar, To-do list, Notes, Calculator, Countdown timer, World Clock and Stopwatch.
The menu is fully customizable and you can designate any MP3, MIDI or AAC file as a ringtone. The phonebook can store up to 2,000 contacts, and each can be filled with up to five different phone numbers. The fonts can be customized, but only those displayed when opening the Contacts, Web browser and messaging sections.
I have also noticed a new category in the main menu, called Communities. Users can enter and setup their Twitter and Facebook accounts and start chatting on both instant messaging services at the same time. Also, the file manager that was usually merged with the Photos area has been moved now into the Application / Gallery area. Nokia's default browser has also been replaced by MiniOpera for faster loading of the webpages.
Also, some Java games come preinstalled – Block'd, Bounce Tales, and Sudoku. The phone is compatible with Java MIDP 2.1 applications, but there is a limit to the size of any application that you might want to install on it, and that's the usual 1MB. This might be the case with most Java-compatible applications.Communication
Nokia C3 is fully compatible with GPRS and EDGE Class 32, but lacks 3G network compatibility. Benchmarks revealed that the device performed pretty well when it came to data-transfer speeds (EDGE 179 Kbit/s download and 72 Kbit/s upload, but that may greatly vary depending on the location and carrier.
The phone also features Bluetooth 2.1 and microUSB 2.0. Synchronization with the PC is possible through the proprietary microUSB port, but charging over this port is not possible.
The device comes with MiniOpera browser, which replaces the integrated WebKit-based HTML browser. The former browser is rendering the pages less accurately than the latter, but pages are loading much faster. Still, I noticed that scrolling is way too slow, but at least Flash 3.0 support is pretty ok. The WebKit-based HTML browser is still present, but it is not used for browsing the Internet.
In terms of messaging, the gadget accepts standard text messages, MMS 1.3 (600 KB attachments), as well as emails. The message client works with POP3, SMTP, and IMAP4 protocols, and supports more than one email account.
The Community category enables users to log in to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and start chatting with their family or friends. Ovi Chat is also an option as an Instant messaging service, even though is not that spread between the users.
One of the great features of the handset is definitely the WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g connectivity, which cuts the bill for data transfers.
The quadband (GSM 850 / GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900) network-compatible bar handset has a mediocre GSM signal reception. Instead, the sound is great at both ends and pretty loud, even though it misses the “Voice Clarity” enhancement technology. Unfortunately, the vibration alert is sub-par, which can lead to a lot of missed phone calls if the device is kept on the Silent profile.Processor and Memory
The handset is powered by an ARM11 family processor running at speeds of up to 369 MHz. It lacks any multitasking options, so you won't be able to put the browser in the background to read an email. It might sound negative, but this way you won't experience lags caused by too many applications running. Overall, the device is decent when it comes to scrolling and gaming.
Nokia C3 comes with 64 MB SDRAM memory, but only 55 MB user free internal memory. The storage space can be expanded up to 8GB, as it includes a microSD card slot. The sales package also contains a 2GB microSD memory card.Multimedia
The music player embedded looks pretty decent and has a nice set of features. Even though it hasn't been tagged as a music phone, the handset also includes a 3.5mm jack port together with some wired stereo headset (WH-102). The phone's music player is compatible with a wide range of formats, such as: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WMA and AMR-NB. The interface hasn't changed but as always it looks good enough for an entry-level phone.
It includes features like Equalizer, Stereo widening, Shuffle and Repeat. The Equalizer can be customized, or you can use the predefined settings: Normal, Pop, Rock, Jazz and Classical. I was surprised by the good quality of the sound, even though we're talking about a mid to low-budget device, that cannot be categorized as a music phone.
The lack of music-dedicated external keys can be replaced by a Bluetooth headset, as the phone supports the A2DP profile. The small loudspeaker on the back sounds average in intensity, but it will sound muffled if you keep the phone on a table. There's also an FM radio with the RDS function that can replace the music player and can memorize up to 20 base stations.
The video player included does not worth too much attention, because of the small-sized display and low number of codecs it recognizes (3GP and MP4 formats).Battery
The 1320 mAh Li-Ion (BL-5J) battery has an officially stated life expectancy of 800 hours in standby and of about seven hours in talk-time mode. The numbers are on par with most of the Eseries devices, which suggests a very good battery autonomy. After one week of testing it, I was pretty impressed by its autonomy, as I needed to recharge it only twice per week. A soft user will probably need only one recharge per week, which is more than decent for such a device.Impressions
Nokia C3 is the “Holy Grail” of chat addicts, or the “Heaven” of texters. Even though I have a crush on Nokia's Eseries, do not consider my opinion biased when I say that C3 is one of the best low-budget phones on the market. Of course, tastes may differ, but if you're on for a cheap phone with QWERTY keyboard and Wi-Fi, then this is the device you want.
Nokia C3 feature phone is based on the Eseries lineup of smartphones, thus it features its specific design. Featuring a full QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi, and excellent battery, we could say that Nokia C3 embeds the main traits of an Eseries device. Other goodies that you will find if you go for the C3: SNS services (Twitter, Facebook), high quality music sound, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP support, microSD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack port, Stereo FM radio with RDS, Visual radio, and and excellent 2.4-inches display. Add to that the fact that you can get all the above with only 100 Euro and you get the best bang for buck.
Well, I would say that the worse scenario for a person not wanting to buy this phone is the low camera module and the lack of a document viewer. Other minor downsides of the device might be the lack of multi-tasking, which is very useful when you use multiple instant messaging services, and the missing smart dialing feature. Also, there's no charging over the microUSB cable.
Nokia C3 handset
Nokia Battery BL-5J 1320 mAh
Nokia Compact Charger AC-3
Nokia Stereo Headset WH-102