Nokia C6-01 review: Clear as black

GSMArena team, 17 November 2010.
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Introduction

The Nokia C6-01 comes in as a reasonably priced and well-built smartphone with great all-round connectivity and a unique feature to set it apart from rivals. The ClearBlack display can actually give Nokia quite an edge if it lives up to the expectations.

The Nokia C6-01 has got a tall task on its hands. It comes to replace an iconic phone like the 5800 XpressMusic. The Nokia 5800 (despite all its imperfections) introduced Nokia to the touchscreen game with a winning move but now itís time for it to bow out of the way with dignity.


Nokia C6-01 official photos

One bestseller out Ė the next one in. The next generation is here and weíre happy to greet the Nokia C6-01. Letís start with a quick check-up.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Quad/Penta-band 3G with 10.2 Mbps HSDPA and 2 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 3.2" 16M-color ClearBlack AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of 640 x 360 pixel resolution
  • 8 megapixel fixed-focus camera with dual-LED flash and 720p video @ 25fps recording; geotagging, face detection, smart-zoom in videos
  • Symbian^3 OS
  • 680 MHz ARM 11 CPU and 256 MB RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • TV-out functionality (SD)
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation
  • Digital compass
  • 340MB on-board storage, microSD expandable
  • DivX and XviD video support
  • Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Stereo FM Radio with RDS
  • microUSB port with USB On-the-go support
  • Flash and Java support for the web browser
  • Stereo Bluetooth 3.0
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Smart dialing and voice commands

Main disadvantages

  • Disappointing battery life
  • Symbian^3 is still behind Android and iOS usability (mostly in text input and web browsing)
  • The camera is a fixed-focus unit, tends to oversharpen images by default
  • No office document editing (without a paid upgrade)
  • Relatively limited 3rd party software availability

The Nokia C6-01 seems better equipped indeed than most of its direct competitors. HVGA (320 x 480 pixels) seems to be the standard in this price range and nHD (360 x 640 pixels) trumps that and even keeps some deeper blacks in reserve. Not to mention stuff like HD video recording, USB On-the-go, DivX and XviD or Flash support, which are still rare enough to make a great selling point.

Nokia C6-01 Nokia C6-01 Nokia C6-01 Nokia C6-01
Nokia C6-01 at ours

Update, 24.08.2011: We installed Symbian Anna - check out our impressions over here.

From where we stand there are some personality issues the C6-01 needs to tackle if it wants to keep the competition at a safe distance. The Symbian^3 shortcomings (no split-screen typing and a sub-par web browser) may not be make-or-break in the mid-range but they certainly matter. The other thing is the fixed focus imaging Nokia are so fond of.

Anyway, this phone looks good and we really hope it delivers on the promises it makes. Itís not the top of the smartphone food chain and the C6-01 doesnít feel particularly threatened. On the other hand, strong newcomers are always welcome in the midrange.

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