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Nokia C2-01 - Camera, Performance and Value

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



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The Nokia C2-01 offers a 3.2-megapixel camera that can also capture video up to QVGA (320x240) resolution. It's a very basic photo solution though, with a fixed focus lens that's incapable of honing-in on anything remotely close by. To see this effect in action, check out our sample picture of a leaf on our Camera Test Shots page.

There's also no flash, and in low-light conditions the image quickly becomes very grainy - barely even suitable to post on the net, let alone print out. Chromatic aberration is very noticeable and there's almost no shadow detail - the standard level of performance for budget phones like this. There are some fun filters you can apply to your shots that mean it's not entirely useless though. False Colours swaps colours around, turning blue to orange, green to blue and so on, and the more standard filters of greyscale, sepia, negative and solarise are also included.

Any photos deemed worthy of transferring to your computer can be dispatched easily over the USB, as there's a mass storage mode available that shows-up phone storage as a disk drive on your PC, or using Bluetooth.

Call quality is good but the volume doesn't quite reach as high as we'd like. At maximum setting the internal speaker will have trouble breaking through much ambient noise - aboard a noisy bus you may have problems.

Without the smartphone extras of a clever OS packed with multitasking, GPS and Wi-Fi, the C2-01's battery life is impressive - especially if you don't use always-on web connectivity. Used as a basic non-connected phone, which is what this handset functions best as, it'll last for the best part of a week between charges.

However, it feels like Nokia's pushing it a little in flogging us this simple phone, 3G or no, for £70. If you don't need the 3G, a similar-performing handset can be had for much less - Vodafone's ultra-budget own-brand 340 costs just £15 for example. Even if the candybar form factor and 3G connectivity are what you're after, the Sony Ericsson Cedar is cheaper and has a larger screen.


The Nokia C2-01 is inoffensive and sturdy in the same way the majority of Nokia's budget phones are, but it's a little too expensive to be attractive at this £50+ price point. Other phones offer the same features for less money and for just a little more, you can get the full smartphone experience rather than just 3G connectivity bolted onto a feature phone.

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Andrew 17

October 2, 2011, 12:56 pm

I just bought the C2-01 and love it. Yes, a bit pricy, but practical, in comparison to what it replaced. I had an HTC Desire, which I hated, try answering while your driving! In Sweden we can still talk and drive. I gave the HTC to a younger family member.

After that I bought a Galaxy GT-I5500. A more practical phone, but like the HTC, the battery life is horrid. I gave the Galaxy also to a younger family member.

In closing, it's nice to be back to a common sense phone, that has good features and doesn't have to be charged up constantly. I just don't understand the global frenzy concerning tablets and touch screen phones in general. To me their only practicality is if you commute on public transport every day or dare I say, just to keep up with the Jones-es.


November 24, 2011, 8:07 am

I purchased my c2-01 in June for $129.00 AU. I replaced a 3 month old samsung f480i, which had very poor call quality, hence my decision to go back to an older style Nokia candy bar design. The call quality of this phone is good but I am disappointed in the service offered by Nokia. Unfortunately the usb data lead I purchased was faulty and I had to replace it at my own expense. I also have contacted the customer support department a second time, to advise that the battery only lasts 48 hours, whether the phone is used or left on standby. I was advised to purchase another battery, once again at my own expense. Considering the cost of this phone and the lack of support, I feel I could never buy a Nokia product again.


November 27, 2013, 8:33 am

I have now bought two Nokia C2 cellphones and both starting giving trouble after a year - in my mind they are junk and should be removed from the market. Rubbish product. Going back to Samsung and will never touch another Nokia again.

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