Nokia may be struggling to re-establish itself in the smartphone market with handsets like the N8, but the company still knows its onions when it comes to creating simple and reliable phones for the mass market, which is obviously the target for the C3 Touch and Type.
At first glance, the C3 Touch and Type, or C3-01 as it’s also known, looks very similar to the likes of the Nokia 6300 and 6700 Classic, thanks to its traditional layout, with a standard keypad at the bottom and a portrait screen at the top. Like those models, it also has a brushed metal finish with real metal used on the battery covered while the rest of the handset is plastic with a metallic paint job. Nevertheless, the phone feels remarkably solid to hold and looks quite classy for this type of phone.
The keypad is very large by Nokia standards and the buttons feel responsive and give a noticeable click when pressed, so tactile feedback is quite good. At the top of the key pad, there are two call control buttons, but unlike most Nokia’s, there’s no central menu button. There’s a good reason for this and that’s because the ‘Touch’ in the name refers to the fact that this phone uses a touchscreen – but more on that later. The left-hand side of the phone is completely free of buttons, whereas the right side houses the volume rocker switch, lock button and a dedicated camera key.
As with many of today’s mid-range Nokias, the handset has both a micro-USB port and a mini Nokia charging port. The phone can actually be charged using either, but the mini charging port charges the phone faster and so Nokia supplies this type of charger in the box. Nestled between these two ports is a standard headphone jack and Nokia supplies a pair of ear bud headphones (including an inline mic) with the phone. The rear battery cover slides off to give you access to the SIM card slot and microSD card slot. The latter accepts cards of up to 32GB in size giving you plenty of room to store photos, videos and music tracks.
At 2.4in, the touchscreen isn’t large by smartphone standards, but it’s good for a traditional candybar shaped phone. It has a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, which means that it can display quite a lot of text on a single screen. The display uses resistive rather than capacitive touch technology, but it actually feels responsive when selecting most items in the menus, although the fact that Nokia has made all the selectable icons and options quite large helps in this regard.
When scrolling through longer lists it doesn’t work quite as well, as you have to consciously press a bit harder on the display rather than perform the light, capacitive screen grazing action. One minor annoyance is that pressing on the screen causes ripples to appear under your finger and slightly distorts the colours around that area. You get used to it, but it is a bit disconcerting at first and makes you wonder how robust the display will be over the longer term.