Nokia can rightfully pride itself on having conquered the budget mobile phone market, even if its recent high-end touchscreen smartphones haven't been able to compete with the best. Hoping to continue this heritage is the C5, a simple candybar handset available for under £150.
Despite a change of naming scheme, from the four-digit model numbers of old, the C5 still looks and feels very much like a classic Nokia phone. Dark grey plastic combines with chrome and brushed steel to make for an understated but generally stylish handset. It's light, too, at just 89.3g and with dimensions of 112 x 46 x 12.3mm, it's slim as well. A curved back and rounded edges also make it very comfortable to hold.
The only immediately obvious let down is the plastic screen that really shows off fingerprints and, if you're anything like me, will pick up scratches easily. That said, the owner of the model we reviewed (Geoff Richards, our Publishing Manager) has had his for a couple of months and it has come to no harm.
Taking a tour of the phones physical features, we're pleased to see standard headphone and microUSB sockets, so you'll be able to use your own cans and borrowing a spare cable to charge your phone shouldn't be a problem. Also on the top edge is Nokia's proprietary charging socket, which is useful for the fact it charges quicker than over USB. In the box you get the proprietary charger and a USB cable, so both options are open to you. The charger itself is also rather neat as it uses a pop-up earth connector to half the usual height of the plug when in transit.
The battery cover is a nice strong stainless steel slab that pops on and off with reassuring certainty – there's none of this prying off plastic panels like you get on so many devices. Thankfully you don't even need to remove this to get to the microSD compartment, which is actually accessed through a slot on the right edge. It uses a hinged hard plastic door rather than a flexible push-on flap, which is a neater solution but you'll have to be very careful when opening it as it will easily snap off.
A volume rocker sits above this, and a 3.2 megapixel camera with an LED flash can be found on the back. There's no dedicated camera button on the left edge, but it's not much of an inconvenience to reach for the central D-pad button to take a shot. Results from the camera are adequate for the odd snap, with the LED being surprisingly powerful, but low light conditions without the flash prove rather too much for it, producing grainy and noisy pictures. Video is produced at a decent 640 x 480 resolution, but with a framerate of only 15fps it's of limited use.