In terms of features you aren't left wanting for too much, though, or at least so it seems on the surface. There's a web browser, email support, apps for Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube preinstalled as well as many more available through the OVI store. The free OVI maps and its very capable sat nav mode is also included, which is particularly good as it doesn't need a data connection to download map data, making it much more practical when travelling abroad.
When it actually comes to using a lot of these features, though, they don't live up to expectations.
Starting with contact management, there's no social network integration, so adding and managing your contacts is a lengthy process. Likewise, messages are only presented in standard inbox and outbox format, rather than the back and forth conversation style that's now so popular.
Moving onto more sophisticated fare, the web browser does a good job of displaying full size web pages but it lacks support for Adobe Flash and more importantly it feels a chore to scroll around the large pages, it doesn't support tabbed browsing, and the zoom function is a pig to use. Likewise OVI maps, while eminently useful is slow and frustrating to use. Indeed the whole device can feel sluggish when trying to do anything that requires manipulating graphics more complicated than simple blocks of colour.
One area where Nokia handsets tend to do well is their cameras and for the most part it does so here as well. With five megapixels on offer, and both autofocus and an LED flash available, it can get a half decent shot in most casual situations, so long as you're not moving around too much. Likewise video, which is shot at 640 x 480 is okay for the odd clip. Both are still a considerable way behind dedicated compact cameras and camcorders but okay for a phone. However, the camera application is rather slow so you'll need to be patient when you do feel the need to record a moment for posterity.
Call quality threw up no causes for concern and in fact the phone delivered rather a nice tone at both ends. The speaker phone is a bit weak, though, and there's no active noise cancelling either. Battery life didn't seem all that impressive with a couple of days being about the best we got, but we did have a number of onscreen widgets running so this could potentially be stretched by another day or so.
As for price, the C6 is pretty much on the money in terms of features. However, the resistive touchscreen in particular puts us off. That said, the keyboard is certainly among the better ones at this price point.
The C6 is a big improvement over previous mid-range side sliding phones from Nokia. The keyboard is very good, the software is much easier to use and aside from the screen, build quality seems decent. However, while it has made progress, the phone still lags behind the competition in many ways and there are few situations where we'd recommend it outright.