Nokia C2-03 review: Twice the phone

GSMArena team, 23 September 2011.
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Reasonable retail package

The Nokia C2-03 comes with a 2mm charger, a single piece headset. A 2GB MicroSD card is inside the phone. There isn't a MicroUSB cable in the box.

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The retail package omits a data cable

Nokia C2-03 360-degree spin

At 103 x 51.4 x 17 mm, the Nokia C2-03 is not the most compact phone to offer a 2.6” screen. The keyboard needs room, but it's a rather thick handset even for a slider, but that's how some people like their phones. The weight of 115 grams is reasonable.

Design and construction

The Nokia C2-03 keeps a low profile, nothing fancy in terms of finish. The rounded shape, the faux-metal at the bottom and the matte plastic go well together to give the C2-03 a mature look, even if perhaps a little too conservative.

The Nokia C2-03 has a 2.6” touchscreen of QVGA resolution (320 x 240 pixels). The image quality is unimpressive with contrast, brightness and viewing angles all failing to impress.

At 153 ppi it isn't the sharpest tool in the shed but in its quiet low-end spot it shouldn't face too much opposition. It's an affordable phone and that means compromises have to be made.

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The uninspiring display of the C2-03

Although a resistive unit, the screen is pleasingly responsive. Nokia's unmatched haptic feedback comes as a bonus: soft gentle vibrations acknowledge your input and it's always the part of the screen that's right under your thumb that vibrates.

There’s no manual brightness setting in the Nokia C2-03 and there’s no ambient light sensor either. The brightness level stays at a fixed level all the time.

Below the display we find the Call and End buttons, while the earpiece is the only thing above it on the front panel. The two call keys are placed on a single thin piece of glossy plastic that's almost level with the surface around it. The buttons, big enough for comfortable press, are placed right above a subtle chin, which makes them easier to locate by touch.

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The earpieice and the two call keys complete the tally on the front

Sliding up reveals 12 more keys set in four rows of three – the standard alphanumeric layout. It's a flat keypad but thin grooves run vertically and across to set each button apart. The decent stroke is enough to give reasonable typing speeds.

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The keyboard is certainly not perfect, but it does the job

On the left side of the Nokia C2-03, under a plastic lid you'll find the secondary SIM card slot. It's hot swappable, meaning a new SIM inserted is instantly accessible without a reboot.

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The left side of the C2-03 holds the second SIM slot

The right-hand side of the phone is busier, with the volume rocker, screen lock slider and the lanyard eyelet.

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From top to bottom you get the lanyard eyelet the volume rocker and the screen lock slider

At the top you get the 3.5mm audio jack, the standard microUSB port and the 2mm Nokia charger plug. The C2-03 doesn't have USB charging enabled.

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The jacks are all on top

At the back, the loudspeaker grill is next to the 2 megapixel camera lens. The lens is huge, but if you are interested in cellphones enough to be reading this site, you’d certainly know better than to expect miracles from a 2 megapixel fixed-focus snapper.

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The 2 megapixel camera lens and the loudspeaker grill

Removing the back cover reveals the 1020 mAh BL-5C Li-Ion battery that is said to last up to 600 hours of stand-by or up to 5 hours of talk time on a single charge. In real life we managed to get it going for almost four days, but that’s mainly because there’s not too much to do with the C2-03 besides calling.

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The battery is good enough for four days of moderate usage

The microSD card slot is under the battery so hot-swap is out of the question.

Overall, the Nokia C2-03 seems pretty solid and we are confident that it will last in the long run. Parts of the finish do look prone to scratches, and you do have the fingerprint issues, but even if looks do fade with time, the handset should last.

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The Nokia C2-03 feels nice to handle

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