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Nokia C5 - Messaging, Call Quality and Verdict

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


For a start, text messages aren't arranged in conversations as is now common. Then there's the picture viewer, which as well as insisting you view it in landscape mode is slow and awkward. Email support is also rather basic and the lack of WI-Fi means you're limited to slower mobile data at all times.

Arguably, considering how basic the phone actually is, its interface is generally a bit cluttered and overly complicated as well: something you'd certainly get over, but it makes for more of a learning curve. For instance, sending a text message to multiple people takes an inordinate number of menu options and confirmations.

Thankfully Nokia hasn't slipped up when it comes to the basics as the main controls are large, responsive and generally easy to use. The keypad keys, though a tad wobbly, have a nice light action, making it easy to bash out texts nice and quickly.

Call quality isn't let down significantly on any particular front. The tone isn't quite as fulsome as the best phones, but volume and generally clarity is adequate. There's no active noise cancelling, though, so the recipient of your call will have difficulty picking your voice out if in a noisy environment.

As for battery life, this is where the merits of a basic phone really shine through. You can go for a week between charges and we've no reason to doubt the official figures of 12 hours talk time.


The Nokia C5 certainly isn't perfect with its slightly cluttered interface, lack of Wi-Fi, screen with poor viewing angles, and no support for nested text messages. But, if your main concern is getting a slim, light and well-built phone simply for making calls and sending texts, then it's still a contender.

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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