Nokia C5 review: Smart and trusty

GSMArena team, 12 May 2010.
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Messaging is great

The Nokia C5 has great messaging capabilities. With a great keypad and solid software support, managing your correspondence is as good as it gets on this kind of devices.

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The Messaging department

The C5 supports all common message types - SMS, MMS and email. Texts and MMS share an editor.

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Turning an SMS into MMS is as simple as adding any multimedia content

The email client is also very similar to what previous Symbian powered phones have offered. The app can automatically detect the settings for over 1000 email service providers, all you have to do is enter your email address and password.

However, we had some issues with it – we had to enter the settings manually for our Gmail test account to get it working.

There is support for attachments, signatures and basically most of the things you can think of, so the Nokia C5 can meet almost any emailing needs. There’s even a preinstalled document viewer on the C5 so you can view attached office files.

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The email client

Ovi Contacts chats with Gmail

Ovi Contacts app comes preinstalled with Nokia C5 but you can also install it on most other Nokia smartphones. It integrates tightly with the Contact list and you can easily switch between the two.

Contacts are synced with the Ovi cloud (along with calendar items and notes) and they can either be existing Ovi Contacts or G-Talk users (that’s Google’s own IM service, which is also integrated into Gmail).

Thanks to this service you will be able to chat in real time with all your Ovi/Google Talk-connected contacts, change your status messages and mood, and all that kind of social networking stuff.

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Ovi Contacts is a capable IM client

Ovi Contacts can also be used to share the name and artist info of the track you’re currently playing. Using the built-in GPS receiver, it can share your location too.

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You can use Ovi Sync to synchronize your contacts and organizer items with the cloud

While you probably don’t have many contacts using Ovi for chat, chances are quite a few of them have a Gmail account and they can use that to chat with you. They could use iGoogle too or a desktop client like G-Talk. Multi-protocol clients can usually handle G-Talk too.

On top of that there is a dedicated IM which is also enabled for chats with Ovi and Gmail users.

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The Ovi IM client

Luckily for social network lovers, there are 4 applications allowing quick access to the services of Facebook, MySpace, hi5 and Friendster.

A decent music player

There’s little diversity in Symbian music players – the one on the Nokia C5 is the exact same one found on XpressMusic devices (not that it’s a reason to complain in this case). It handles the most common audio formats - MP3, AAC, eAAC+ and WMA, and packs a standard 3.5mm audio jack.

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The music player "Now playing" interface

Sorting your songs by artist, album, genre and composer is automatic and searching tracks by gradual typing of the desired name is also available.

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Searching the music library

It is worth noting that the C5 is supposed to play music up to 34 hours on a single charge – we’re not surprised given the good performance of the 1050mAh battery.

The player comes with five equalizer presets and, should they seem insufficient, you can edit them or create new ones in a matter of seconds.

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Five equalizer presets are available • creating a new one

Great audio quality

Having seen how the Nokia 6700 slide performs, we simply expected that the Nokia C5 is an excellent musician. There are no weak points whatsoever in its audio output with all the readings being excellent.

The only area where we would ask for a bit more is the loudness level, as the C5 does unimpressive in terms of in-headphones volume.

Here are the results so you can see for yourselves.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Nokia C5+0.05, -0.25-87.687.40.0046 0.019-87.8
Nokia 6700 slide+0.07, -0.40-90.090.00.0059 0.015-90.9
Nokia 6303i classic+0.07, -0.38-84.590.40.134 0.028-91.6
Nokia 6303 classic+0.27, -0.08-75.975.90.0075 0.042-71.7
Nokia 5310 XpressMusic+0.29, -1.69-94.492.00.015 0.491-73.8
Nokia X3+0.07, -0.44-88.388.30.00670.016 -89.0
Nokia 5230+0.03, -0.05-86.786.50.00330.016 -84.0
Nokia 5530 XpressMusic+0.11, -0.84-90.990.80.0100.454 -90.6
Samsung M7500 Emporio Armani+0.86, -6.28-80.180.10.017 0.134-73.9
Sony Ericsson W508+7.30, -2.18-85.984.70.0052 0.020-84.7

Nokia C5 vs Nokia 6700 slide
Nokia C5 vs Nokia 6700 slide classic frequency response graphs

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

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