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Nokia C5 Review


The Nokia C5 is a defiantly old school phone strutting its stuff in an age where smartphones are becoming the norm. Read on to see whether or not the Nokia C5 can keep up with the kids.

What we like

Turning on the Nokia C5 for the first time is like stepping back in time – in a good way. If you’ve used a Nokia handset before or any mobile phone from the last ten years you’ll feel right at home with the Nokia C5.

The main menu screen comes with a number of shortcuts to many of the Nokia C5’s main features such as the camera and the text messaging.

You can assign your favourite contacts to a series of icons at the top of the screen, with pictures to these for added personalisation. Adding pictures from the gallery or from shots taken on the 3.2-megapixel camera is easy. Calendar and email widgets can also be set up on the Nokia C5’s homescreen.

A press of the Menu key on the left takes you through to the familiar 4 x 3 icon Symbian menu layout that we all know and love. From here you get access to a greater range of settings, features and apps.

Ovi Maps works nicely on the Nokia C5. Maps load quickly and are dislayed clearly with road names perfectly legible. Searching for locations takes virtually no time at all and neither does plotting a route.

The camera is fine for basic pictures of friends but isn’t by any means the best camera out there. There aren’t any effect options like negative or sepia but the C5 isn’t being sold on it’s imaging capabilities so we can overlook this.

You can easily sync tunes and playlists to the Nokia C5 via USB or load a selection of tracks to an SD card. The supplied 3.5mm headphones are pretty uncomfortable so we chose to use our own. There’s the usual selection of Nokia music presets (Classical, Jazz, Rock etc) and the ability to fiddle around with equaliser levels and save your own presets. Given that you can expand the memory by up to 16GB with a mircoSD card, the Nokia C5 could easily stand in as a replacement music player.

The keys of the numeric pad are large and depress nicely with a satisfying click. It’s easy to dial numbers and compose texts on and doesn’t feel uncomfortable. We found call quality to be fine even in areas of the office where we struggled to get signal.

We liked the mixture of smooth grey plastic and metal finishes on the Nokia C5. It’s lightweight but feels reassuringly sturdy and compact. The metal plate on battery cover is a nice touch and it put us in mind of that old favourite the Nokia 6300.

What we don’t like

For all the old school nostaligia and instant familiarity, there were a few relics of the past we’d really wished Nokia had left behind.

Occasionally when you want to do something like edit the name of a contact or enter the name of a picture you’ve taken instead of offering you a straightforwards solution the Nokia C5 presents you with a maze-like series of menus.

Whilst you can customise the home screen with contacts and an email widget you can’t add shortcuts to any other apps that you might want to use, such as Facebook.

The small ‘c’ cancel button normally used for correcting typos is positioned awkwardly above the red end call/power off key. Accidentally pressing this when you’re editing a text message will see you catapulted back to the home screen. It’s also positioned beneath the right-hand context-sensitive menu key.

We often found ourselves accidentally closing down an application when really all we wanted to do was correct a mistake in a status update or message. Granted, this doesn’t happen all that often but once is more than enough, especially if you’re halfway through typing a particularly lengthy message.

The built in Facebook app is terrible. The text is small and cramped, profile pictures are virtually unrecognisable from their desktop equivalents. You get the impression that the experience might have been better on a bigger screen. Worst of all it’s really slow. Loading times are barely tolerable over 3G or Wi-Fi and it grinds to a halt on anything slower.


The Nokia C5 will more than satisfy those who want a basic, no nonsense phone to call and text on. The music player is good and you get a lot of potential storage for tracks but the antiquated warren-like menus will frustrate and the Facebook app will send social networkers into fits of rage.




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