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Nokia C5 review



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Nokia C5
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  • Nokia C5
  • Nokia C5
  • Nokia C5
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  • C5 Sim Free Mobile Phone - Dark Grey


Our Score:


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.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


September 27, 2010, 3:11 pm

@Edward Chester - "It still has plenty of redeeming features"...

I thought it had quite a lot of features as well, especially for the price. E.g., 3.2 Mpix camera with LED flash, VGA video recording, secondary camera for video calls, free lifetime navigation, 2GB MicroSD card included (supports 16GB), great battery life, HSDPA up to 10.2 Mbps and HSUPA up to 2 Mbps.

So I was surprised to see it only get 6/10 for features. I thought it deserved at least 7/10, maybe even 8/10 when you consider it's price point. And speaking of price, £150 seems a tad high. Especially when you can get it for £145 on Nokia's own website, and for even less elsewhere. As a result, maybe it could have gotten 8/10 for value, giving it the same overall score as well.

Just my take on things...


September 27, 2010, 3:42 pm

Hmmm, I agree value seems rather low.

I also think TR sees "Touchscreen" as a feature nowadays.

In any case, at least the video calling item needs to be amended in the feature table as I checked elsewhere and it does apparently include a secondary camera.


September 27, 2010, 6:37 pm

i thought the scores were a bit low as well.

plus no mention of the gps and worldwide ovi satnav?

Brian ONeill

September 28, 2010, 9:37 pm

I got the c3 for the wife, paid £80 for it with vodafone its not a bad phone but email was slow as hell to download. Got her a replacement, the e63 for only £89 on three. Both phones are a lot cheaper than the c5 and the qwerty keyboard is very useful.

Personally i find the symbian os a complete dog and complex as hell, but for the price the phones are great value.


October 9, 2010, 2:40 am

This phone is an absolute gem. Its simple to use and has bags of features (including free for life inbuilt voice guided sat nav). I prefer a push button phone and would not honestly swap this for an iphone. It deserves 10/10.


January 29, 2011, 4:53 pm

Hi there, I have just bought this phone to replace the brilliant Nokia 6300, and I'm concerned that the C5 doesn't give me the odd reminder that I have recieved a text message or a missed call, unlike the 6300 that used to sit on my desk flashing away...anyone else have this problem or is there a setting somewhere to tell me this.


April 12, 2012, 2:12 pm

The C5 is Nokia at its simple best trouble is what have they now in 2012 to replace it ? Nothing!
They've lost the plot chasing the iPhone and as a result they haven't made a handset which has a keypad and battery life of 5 days .

No they insist on making touchscreen phones which are not as good as an iPhone instead!

Nokia you deserve to have a low share price and to go bust you're incompetent.

Rip the fantastic C5 and rip Nokia .......

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