Nokia C5 review: Smart and trusty

GSMArena team, 12 May 2010.
Pages: 1234567»

Introduction

If you are on the hunt for a stylish smartphone but you run a tight budget, chances are the Nokia C5 is on your radar already. The compact Symbian-running handset looks well, costs little and can give you all the smart you need in a phone.

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Nokia C5 official photos

Even more so if you need your mobile phone to do voice-guided navigation. The Nokia C5 comes with a lifetime license that costs exactly zilch. Now, isn’t this one of the handsets to claim the best bang for your buck on the market? As always there’re compromises involved, but the price tag hanging on that metal body won’t make you think twice.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Dual-band 3G (900/2100) with 10Mbps HSDPA and 2Mbps HSUPA
  • Neat and well built, metal on the body
  • 2.2" 16M-color QVGA display, excellent sunlight legibility
  • Symbian OS, S60 3.2 user interface
  • ARM11 600 MHz CPU, 128 MB RAM
  • 3 megapixel fixed-focus camera with LED flash
  • VGA video recording at 15fps
  • GPS receiver and free lifetime voice-guided navigation license
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS, Visual radio
  • Bluetooth (with A2DP)
  • Standard microUSB port (with charging support)
  • microSD card slot (16 GB supported, 2GB included)
  • Smart dialing
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Great audio quality
  • Document viewer preinstalled

Main disadvantages

  • No WLAN
  • Small screen
  • No accelerometer (hence no auto screen rotation)
  • Fiddly memory card slot
  • Document viewer doesn't support editing

Last week we reviewed the Nokia 6700 slide and while it wasn’t a revelation, it did well to reassure us Nokia still have it when it comes to neat, compact and affordable smartphones.

The Nokia C5 is not so much a rival of the 6700 slide, but a partner in the lower end of non-touch smartphones. We won’t get tired of saying that giving the user a choice is a good thing – you can have (and pay for) only the features that you do need.

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The Nokia C5 all over

One thing that the Nokia C5 won’t give you is WLAN. We’ve been there already with the 6700 slide. It certainly doesn’t look good on the spec sheet, but we hope the performance and ergonomics will make up for that.

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