The Nokia C2-01 is a budget-level phone with an old school 12-key dialling pad. Aimed squarely at those who want the basics, there’s nothing smartphoney about it at all. That said, the Nokia C2-01 does give you access to Facebook on the go and features 3G connectivity for fast browsing. We took the C2-01 for a spin to see what else it had to offer.
What we like
The Nokia C2-01 is a nice fit; comfortable in the palm, easy to text on and doesn’t take up a huge amount of pocket space. It’s lightweight and has a smooth matt finish that’s both pleasant to the eye and touch.
The screen, though tiny compared to the comparatively acre-sized touchscreens of today, is big enough for the essentials (calling, texting, email etc).
Facebook also works a charm, better than we’d expected. You can take pictures and post them straight to your wall from within the app itself as well as do the usual things (check inbox, check friends’ walls, update statuses etc).
The buttons click and depress nicely and we found it easy to get back into the swing of texting the old fashioned way. Tapping through menus using the d-pad and context keys was similarly no problem.
The general layout of the menus is standard Symbian, so if you’ve used a non-touchscreen Nokia before you’ll feel right at home here. On the homescreen you have a number of customisable shortcuts including a scolling Mac OSX-style taskbar of icons. Underneath this you’ve got the usual Nokia 3 x 4 grid of icons to things like the Gallery, Messaging and Settings etc.
Thanks to the microSD and USB slots you can easily get your playlists on to the Nokia C2-01. There’s a 3.5mm audio jack so you can use your own headphones which is always good to see. If you get bored of your music, there’s an FM radio built in as well, should you want a bit of Chris Moyles in the mornings.
Battery life is also great; we got a decent two days use out of the phone without having to charge it. And that was with doing everything, surfing the web, making calls, checking Facebook, listening to music, the lot.
What we don’t like
The only things that you can really fault the Nokia C2-01 on are the obvious things. First of all, it’s screen size means that browsing the web (although fast thanks to the 3G) is going to be a cramped experience.
The metaphor ‘like looking into a huge, busy room through a keyhole’ has been used before to describe this experience but sadly it applies here on the C2-01.
Limited screen size also means that you don’t get a good idea for how good or bad pictures taken on the camera actually are.
The 3.2-megapixel camera is actually pretty good; when we uploaded some snaps to our PCs we saw that most of them were fine. Then again, some were horrible – not that you’d be able to tell by looking at them on the 2-inch screen. Not having a flash also means it won’t do so well at night or in dim locales.
We know this is a basic phone and not a high-end music/iPod replacement phone but we’d have thought that Nokia could have at least put a volume rocker on it. Changing the volume of a track feels a little bit odd using the d-pad.
Sound quality through the supplied headphones is anything but great, but you can always listen to music through your own headphones on account of the 3.5mm port. So this isn’t a huge deal.
Finally, sound quality was a little bit muffled in places, especially with the call volume turned all the way up. That said it wasn’t so bad that calls ever became inaudible.
The Nokia C2-01 will satisfy those who are after a basic old-school phone to do the basics. It’s lightweight but not flimsy, is comfortable to text and dial on and is generally easy to use.
The camera is fairly decent for what it is but is by no means the best one out there. 3G allows for Facebook checking on the go but the screen size means that web browsing can feel a little cramped. But if you want a bare bones basic phone to call and text on then this won’t really bother you at all.