It may look like the same old same old prima facie, but that's exactly what the C series are all about. They are just not the kind of phones to set the place on fire. It's a lineup aimed at the mass market and it doesn't need inspiration and creativity when a couple of tried and tested recipes will do.
The C series are the melting pot for designs, forms and features that are proven to work. It's a low-cost and risk-free operation - what comes out of the C series isn't burdened with expectations and is more or less immune to criticism.
Every phone in the C series can trace its lineage generations back. With the C6, it's a clear case of N97 meets 5800 XM. Some may rightfully claim that Symbian touch UI needs quite a bit of genetic engineering to get things right. It can certainly use some new graphics, animations, transition effects and all that eye-candy but it isn't up to the Nokia C6 to deliver it. There's Symbian^3 and ^4 for that.
What you have every right to expect from the Nokia C6 is reasonable build quality, full-suite connectivity, great typing and reliability. And it delivers on all counts - save for a shaky battery cover (we hope it's our unit) and the clunky touch interface.
On Symbian turf, the Nokia C6 has one major competitor, the Sony Ericsson Vivaz Pro. It has a similar screen, but far better processing and graphics, crowned with HD video recording. The features you sacrifice over Nokia C6 are the free voice navigation and access to the growing Ovi Store.
Among the Android species of QWERTY messengers, the Nokia C6 will have to watch out for the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 mini pro and LG GW 620. The X10 mini pro runs Android 1.6 Donut, but the Eclair update is on the way. The small size, the capacitive screen and the cool Timescape user interface count in X10 mini pro's favor. The LG GW620 likes to keep a low-profile but might be a reasonable alternative as well.
The Motorola BACKFLIP and the MB220 DEXT are two QWERTY-enabled droids to offer you the MOTOBLUR UI, which takes social networking to a whole new level.
The Nokia C6 is the most advanced and expensive C series phone so far but it obviously is on the cheap side of smart QWERTY messengers. It's got quite a bit of pressure to handle from competitors and finds it hard to identify a unique selling point. Plus currently it goes for almost the same amount of money as the N97 mini and until its price moves down, the C6 will hardly earn a place for itself in the Nokia's Symbian lineup. We are yet to see how things go though.