Nokia C3-01 Touch and Type review: The missing link

GSMArena team, 22 December 2010.
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Tags: Nokia, Touch UI

Limited Xvid support in the video player

As we expected, the limited XviD support from the X3-02 is back. As usual it managed to play most of the Xvid videos we threw at it (granted, files have to be up to 700MB and of up to nHD resolution). It’s not the best in the class, but it’s way better than we had hoped for.

Unfortunately the nHD MP4 files were too much for the new S40 video player.

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The Nokia C3-01 hardly suited for watching video clips

As far as the user interface is concerned there are shortcuts for fullscreen mode, fast-forward or rewind and that’s that.

The 5 megapixel camera is fixed-focus only

The Nokia C3-01 Touch and Type has a 5 megapixel camera– but there’s no autofocus. The maximum image resolution is 2592x1944 pixels.

Typical Series 40, the camera settings are rather limited. The available options include portrait mode, white balance, various effects and a self timer.

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Nokia C3-01 Nokia C3-01
The camera user interface

While impressive as a number, the 5 megapixels of the Nokia C3-01 camera fail to impress. The produced images are the same quality as the X3-02 ones – lots of noise and way too heavy compression. These two combined seem to bring down the practical resolution of the C3-01 camera below 5MP. There’s also obvious oversharpening and even some purple fringing too.

Of course, since the camera lacks auto focus, you can scratch macro shots or document scanning out of the possible shooting scanarios.

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Nokia C3-01 Nokia C3-01 Nokia C3-01
Nokia C3-01 camera samples

Photo quality comparison

We’ve also added the Nokia C3-01 Touch and Type to the database of our Photo Compare Tool. The Tool’s page has a quick how to guide and also what to look for.

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Nokia C3-01 Touch and Type in the Photo Compare Tool

Outdated video recording

Things don’t get any better with video recording. The C3-01 manages VGA resolution at 15 fps, but better video recording uses a lot more processing power than the C3-01 can’t afford.

The result is the same as the still images – low contrast, lack of detail, heavy compression, lots of over sharpening and purple fringing. Some of the videos can be enjoyed we guess but only on the phone’s display.

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Camcorder UI

Here is a video sample for you to check out.

Excellent connectivity for a budget phone

The Nokia C3-01 offers quad-band GSM and UMTS support. There is also HSPA support, download speed potentially reaching 10.2 Mbps, and up speed as good as 2 Mbps.

Bluetooth is version 2.1 and A2DP is of course enabled. The Nokia C3-01 uses a microUSB port for both data connections and charging.

The bigger treat though is USB On-the-go. The Nokia C3-01 can access USB flash drives and even other phones. Of all the USB flash drives we tested, the C3-01 only failed with one (card readers don’t work either). Non-Nokia-made handsets generally refused to share their memory too.

If you happened to connect two USB on-the-go devices – it depends on which end the USB on-the-go cable is your “browsing” device to understand which opens which. By the way, a special USB-OTG-enabled cable like the one that came with the Nokia N8, is not included in the C3-01 Touch and Type’s box. You’ll have to buy one separately.

Anyway, the C3-01 successfully browsed the N8’s memory drive but, when we turned the connection the other way around, something odd happened. Both devices started flashing “Device not supported” warnings. So, your mileage may vary when using USB on-the-go to connect to other phones (both S40 and Symbian devices worked).

Wi-Fi connectivity is also at hand. In fact, the Wi-Fi is one of the key features of the Nokia C3-01 – it is one of the cheaper Wi-Fi enabled phones on the market.

The Nokia C3-01 Touch and Type also comes complete with a memory card slot. Coupled with a card reader it can usually give you the fastest data transfer rates.

And finally, there's the standard 3.5mm audio jack, which allows you to use your own headphones, but doesn't have TV-out functionality.

Good browser, small screen

Browsing the internet on the Nokia C3-01 is a pleasant experience. Even the most elaborate pages are rendered well and finding your way around is reasonably comfortable on the touch-enabled display.

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The touch-enabled S40 web browser

As you might guess the virtual cursor is no more, but there is some familiar touch controls borrowed from Symbian S60 – the full screen switch and the zoom key. There is kinetic scrolling too, which works well enough.

The dedicated zoom key is the only zooming option – neither double tap nor the volume rocker works.

Despite the Adobe Flash Lite 3.0 support, Nokia C3-01 web browser doesn’t support Flash. If you want to watch some YouTube stuff you’ll have to rely on the mobile version of the website. Anyway, the lack of Flash is not a big deal, especially for that small screen and the hardware specs.

Like most other S40 phones, the Nokia C3-01 has the Opera Mini 5 browser preinstalled.

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The Opera Mini web browser is available too

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