Nokia C5-03 review: Green cadet

GSMArena team, 17 December 2010.
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Introduction

When touchscreen became affordable its popularity skyrocketed – affordable smartphones are all the rage now. The Nokia C5-03 is the result of both these trends and while it borrows a lot from the C6-01 in terms of design, its pricing is a good deal lower.

Designed for a lower price bracket than its Symbian^3 lookalike, the Nokia C5-03 has some of its specs taken down a notch.

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Nokia C5-03 official photos

The Nokia C5-03 is a grandson of the best-selling Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and though it might be the last hurrah for Symbian^1 (or Symbian S60 as old-timers call it) it tries to deliver the same level of satisfaction on the bang for buck meter.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Tri-band 3G with 10.2 Mbps HSDPA and 2 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 3.2" 16M-color TFT LCD resistive touchscreen of 640 x 360 pixel resolution
  • 5 megapixel fixed-focus camera and VGA video @ 15fps recording; geotagging
  • Symbian S60 OS
  • 600 MHz ARM 11 CPU and 128 MB RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g; UPnP
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation; free city guides and traffic information
  • Digital compass
  • 40MB on-board storage, microSD expandable up to 16GB; 2GB card included
  • Built-in accelerometer
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Stereo FM Radio with RDS
  • microUSB port (charging)
  • Flash and Java support in the web browser
  • Stereo Bluetooth 2.0
  • Very good audio quality
  • Voice commands

Main disadvantages

  • Symbian S60 hasn’t aged well
  • Relatively limited 3rd party software availability
  • Screen has poor viewing angles and behaves badly in the sun
  • The camera is a fixed-focus unit with no flash, shutter key or lens protection
  • No office document editing (without a paid upgrade); No PDF viewer
  • No proximity and ambient light sensors
  • No DivX or XviD video support out of the box
  • No video-call camera
  • No smart dialing

The C5-03 is a very eco-friendly gadget – 80% of the phone body is recyclable, while half of the packaging comes from recycled material (and all of it is recyclable in turn).

It’s a low-price phone with some high-speed connectivity with 10.2Mbps HSDPA and 2Mbps HSUPA. The C5-03 also packs the fastest CPU available on a Nokia S60 device – at 600MHz the old but efficient Symbian just flies.

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Nokia C5-03 live shots

The free voice-guided navigation is the single biggest advantage of Symbian-powered Nokias, one that is still unmatched by any other brand or platform. The Nokia C5-03 is a trusty SatNav unit, which will work anywhere in the world and free of charge – you can download all the maps you need (won’t cost you a thing) and Ovi Maps don’t need a data connection to work.

Navigate to the next page for a tour of the Nokia C5-03 hardware – but first, we make a stop at the retail box and the 360-degree showroom.

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