Nokia C2-00 review: Dual SIMbiosis

GSMArena team, 04 August 2011.
Pages: «1234»

Tags: Nokia, S40

Unboxing the C2-00

In the price range of the Nokia C2-00 you can't really expect much from the box, besides the phone itself and the charger. You do get a decent one-piece headset, which ups the value of the package a bit.

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What's in the Nokia C2-00 box

There's no microUSB cable with which to manage files on the phone but you can use a microSD card reader for that or grab a cable yourself (those are as low as a couple of bucks).

Nokia C2-00 360-degree spin

The Nokia C2-00 has classic Nokia looks with smooth rounded corners. The design language is well familiar to most users. The phone measures 108 x 45 x 14.7 mm and weighs 74g. A chubby one indeed, but compact enough to comfortably carry around.

Design and construction

The design of the Nokia C2-00 is as basic as it gets: a screen, two soft keys and call buttons around a D-pad and a phone keypad below. And by the way, we don’t mean basic in a bad way. This layout has been used just about since the dawn of time (of mobile phones anyway) and it’s proven to work.

We wouldn’t mind if the C2-00 was a bit thinner, but durability counts more than styling as far as such phones are concerned. The Nokia C2-00 is solidly built though its plastic body is likely to get scratched pretty quickly. Aesthetics will suffer but overall, the phone will keep working – it’s what this kind of phones do.

The 1.8” TFT screen has a resolution of 128 x 160 and is about as basic as can be while still warranting the title "color screen". In all honesty though, there are still smartphones around with that screen resolution, as well as entry level handsets with even lower-res displays. So it’s not all bad on this boy.

Brightness is low (and fixed, since there's no setting or an ambient light sensor), colors are dull and viewing angles are slim as a knife blade. If you're not looking at it dead on, there's severe color shifting and loss of contrast. On the positive side, the super limited viewing angles will give you an extra piece of mind when you need the privacy – say, while riding on the underground.

Most disappointingly however, is that the sunlight legibility is very poor.

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C2-00’s display is rather poor

The softkeys and D-pad are well-sized but rather stiff. The call keys are more responsive. With S40 inside, the D-pad is a five-way key. Unlike the most basic of Nokia phones, it has a confirming center button.

A press and hold on the * key brings up the SIM management menu.

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The keypad and navigation deck

The 12 keys of the keypad are decently big but rather flat. There are two big nubs around the 5 key, which does help with touch orientation somewhat. Still, the Nokia C2-01, a single-SIM handset, which we have reviewed, had a much more comfortable keyboard.

The right side of the Nokia C2-00 is the most interesting bit of the hardware. It holds the classic round charger plug, the microUSB port (which disappointingly cannot be used for charging) and the second SIM card slot, covered by a plastic flap.

The 3.5mm audio jack is stationed on top of the phone, for easy access. To the left is the lanyard eyelet and, at the bottom, there's the mouthpiece.

That's it, there is no volume rocker, nor a dedicated camera key – the D-pad is used instead.

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Well-connected: microUSB port, card slot and 3.5 mm audio jack

Rearside are the large hole of the VGA fixed-focus camera lens and the loudspeaker grill. The glass above the camera is exposed to scratches, but it's part of the back cover so we guess, it can easily be changed if it gets too damaged.

Under the back cover lies the battery, with the microSD card slot on the side. You have to remove the back cover to access the card slot, but it's not too much of a hassle. Cards of up to 32GB are supported, so storage is limited by your budget only.

The battery is a 1020 mAh BL-5C battery that is rated at up to 19 days of standby. The C2-00 will give you up to 5 hours 45 minutes of talk time, according to the manufacturer. That's pretty good for having two active cards on standby, but the C2-01 offered much better talk time on the same battery so we guess the C2-00 batter life estimates are fair with double the number of SIM cards inside.

Underneath the battery is a regular SIM slot with a metal hinge that keeps the SIM card in place. There's no way to hot-swap this SIM card, just the second one.

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The camera lens and loudspeaker grill at the back • the battery and the SIM bed under the rear cover

The back of the Nokia C2-00 is made of nice matte plastic which, although not luxurious, does its job well. The glossy plastic of the front is less pleasant, but not a deal breaker either. The phone has a simple, sturdy build so it should take quite a bit of beating before it throws in the towel.

The rounded shape allows comfortable grip, the phone is quite a bit on the thick side though.

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Nokia C2-01 held in hand

Here's a size comparison with the other new dual-SIM, dual-standby handset by Nokia.

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Nokia C2-00 vs. X1-01 size comparison

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