Featuring a large full Qwerty keyboard and streamlined access to Facebook and Twitter, the Nokia C3 is aimed at the social network addicts, but how many likes and retweets will it be able to get?
What we like
The Nokia C3’s Qwerty keypad is really easy to type on, it has a rubbery finish that is both soft to the touch and provides a decent bit of grip.
In the top section of the C3’s screen you can assign contacts for speed dialling and assign photos from your gallery to individuals numbers, which is handy. At the bottom of the screen there’s a usef lcustomisable taskbar-style list of shortcuts to the Nokia C3’s functions: camera, Wi-Fi control, the browser and music player.
We found it easy to bung MP3s and WMAs on to the Nokia C3. Tracks took a little longer to sync from our media player than we expected but the process is so hassle free that we’ll overlook it. The 3.5mm headphones which come included aren’t terrible sound-wise or uncomfortable, but they are a bit on the leaky side. Thankfully you can use your own 3.5mm headphones.
Access to social networks on phones these days is arguably as important as having a camera, and the Nokia C3 doesn’t dissapoint. The Nokia Communications app, which takes up most of the home screen gives you quick access to separate Facebook and Twitter apps.
The Facebook app is particularly good, everything is laid out in a nice clear format, text is easy on the eye and you can quickly access all the essentials: profile, inbox, updates, notifications etc.
We like that you can customise shortcuts on the homescreen’s taskbar, located at the bottom of the screen. You can add shortcuts to messaging, the calendar, camera and music player, for example, without having to crawl around in menus.
What we don’t like
The C3’s screen appears to have a slight flicker. We can imagine texting in the pub being irritating but it could be a problem with our review model.
Surfing the web on the Nokia C3 isn’t as slick as we’d like – web pages look grainy and pixellated, and the zoom function really struggled to scale pictures and text. The C3’s browser is Opera Mini 4.2 and so we were hoping for nippy page rendering and fast browsing, unfortunately we got neither, even when connected to Wi-Fi.
There’s no 3G so checking Facebook and Twitter outside of a Wi-Fi hotspot will be slow and potentially expensive.
While we were full of admiration for the C3’s Facebook app, the Twitter side of things really lets the team down. Tweets take a while to display and we got more than a few unexpected error messages when feeds were attempting to load. You can’t even search for individual user profiles – if on a whim you wanted to see what @stephenfry has been tweeting about you wouldn’t be able to. As it is, your restricted to only seeing what’s in your current feed, favourites or any @you tweets people have sent.
The 2-megapixel camera isn’t great, especially by today’s standards. There’s no flash, no focus and it takes what feels like an age to save pictures. The automatic white balance isn’t great either. All too often bright areas of shots appear too luminous. You can adjust the balance in the settings (daylight, incandescent, fluorescent) which helps a lot but it’s annoying that the best option isn’t automatically selected for you by the phone.
The C3’s music player is ok but it’s not perfect. Little things like album artwork didn’t get imported and volume is controlled by moving the central menu key up and down; this is a problem as you skip back and forwards by pressing left and right on the same key. On a couple of occasions we accidentally skipped forwards when all we wanted to do was turn the track we were listening to up a few notches. We would have preferred there to be separate skip or volume buttons mounted on the side of the phone.
The Nokia C3 is very easy to use and you can get to know its ins and outs in no time at all, but it’s let down by slow internet speeds, a dated camera and a not exactly confidence inspiring build.