Confusingly, there are two Nokia C6 phones released this year. This one is the Nokia C6-00 (to give it its full title) and it comes with a 5-megapixel camera, a slide out Qwerty keypad and a 3.2-inch touchscreen.
What we like
Everything about the Nokia C6-00 feels solid from the moment you take it out of the box. The Qwerty keypad snaps open defiantly and clicks neatly into place when you close it. It’s reassuringly weighty and the back of the phone has a matte finish that’s pleasant to the touch and provides a measure of grip.
The keypad itself is really easy to type on and reminded us a lot of the one on the Nokia N900. The keys are spaced intelligently and are big enough to ensure that typos are kept to a minimum. When writing texts and emails you have the choice of typing on the keypad or shutting it and switching to a virtual numerical pad on the touchscreen, if you prefer texting the old-fashioned way.
As the C6-00 runs on Symbian S60 (5th edition) anyone who has used a Nokia N97 or a 5800 XpressMusic before will be familiar with the menu layouts here. You can add shortcuts to Facebook, the camera app and various settings menu to the homepage on the C6-00 or with a tap of the central white button, dive into the 3 x 4 grid menu that should be familiar to users of previous Nokia phones.
Though no resistive touchscreen will ever be as good as a capacitive one, we generally got on alright with the Nokia C6-00’s screen. There were a couple of times when we had to press it twice or harder than normal to get certain actions to confirm but on the whole we found it easy to use. Easier than most phones with resistive screens anyway.
Lastly the camera is really good. It’s a 5-megapixel effort with a simple LED flash that’ll allow you to take pictures at night or in dim locations. There’s a great range of settings for various shooting modes and a grid to help you align shots properly.
There’s white balance settings (auto, daylight, incandescent) and colour options (black and white, sepia, negative). You can also access these settings in video mode, so you could video clips in sepia, for example.
What we don’t like
On the operations side of things we found the Nokia C6-00 to be a bit sluggish at times. Menus and screens didn’t load as fast as we’d like and sometimes we spotted the odd visual glitch here and there. Some of the apps, in particular, Shazam and Facebook took a little while longer to get going than we’d have liked.
Speaking of apps, there’s no way to remotely close down apps if you’ve got a lot of them running. While you can go to ‘Show open apps’ from the Options menu on the homescreen to see what’s ticking over, to close apps down you have to go into each application and shut it down manually.
This is particularly annoying if you want to quickly chuck some MP3s from your PC onto the Nokia C6-00; if you’ve got too many programs running in the background it’ll flash up a message saying ‘insufficient memory. Please close some applications’ when you connect the USB cable. And so you have to go through this rather tedious process of shutting apps down one by one before you can put a couple of Justin Bieber or Metallica songs on your phone.
Surfing the web on default browser is a pretty joyless experience. Web pages, particularly ones with a lot of images, really take their time to load. When zooming in and out images in particular feels pretty cumbersome and the on screen zoom tool hardly feels suited to the task. Here’s where a capacitive screen, one that supported pinch to zoom, would come in handy.
The camera’s physical shutter key can be a bit unresponsive. Also, due to its position on the Nokia C6, it’s easy to accidentally open the keypad when taking a pic. This can lead to messed up shots or you accidentally smearing the camera lens cover with your dirty, greasy index finger.
This however isn’t a huge problem as there’s a virtual shutter key you can use instead. But taking pictures this way detracts from that ‘genuine camera feel’ that you get from pressing down on a real shutter key.
The Nokia C6-00 is a great mid-range touchscreen phone with a good camera and a slide-out keypad that’s easy to type on. It’s not however a great phone for browsing the web or checking Facebook on, although it stands up well as a portable email device.