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Nokia C3 - Web Browser, Apps, Calls and Battery

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


Opera Mini is the web browser of choice and as with all the apps so far, it may be a little basic and slow but it displays correctly formatted full-width web-pages and most definitely gets the job done. There are some nice extra touches as well. Start typing in the address bar and it brings up matching sites you've previously visited.

Zooming into a comfortable reading level is a single button press away, as is returning to the fullpage view. What's more, when zoomed in, text is formatted to fit the width of the screen so you don't need to scroll from left to right to read it all. Topping it all off, with Wi-Fi onboard you can actually browse at a reasonable pace, though 3G isn't present so mobile browsing is a little slow.

On the multimedia side, the C3 is certainly limited. You get a basic music player that correctly reads mp3 tags, arranging your music into folders of Artist, Album, and Song. You also get an FM radio, while on the visual side there's a simple picture viewer and video playback is supported, though you'll probably struggle to find much that plays on it.

As for this phone's camera, about the best thing you can say about it is that it's there for taking the odd snap of friends. However, its miserly 2-megapixel resolution, lack of autofocus or a flash, and generally mediocre performance means you'll still want a proper camera whenever possible. Meanwhile, the limitation of five second video clips is particularly disappointing. At least the app is easy enough to use.

A selection of basic apps like an alarm clock, calculator, and voice recorder are installed though you don't get anything quite so clever as a map application or compass. You also get a couple of reasonably enjoyable basic games and both games and apps can be added to by visiting the OVI app store where a plethora of both free and paid for apps are available.

Making calls on the Nokia C3 is another area where it shines. The ear piece is loud and clear while we heard no complaints of the microphone from the other end. Even the loudspeaker is above average and certainly trounces the poor one on the HTC Desire HD.

Battery life seemed very good especially when left on standby, as there are no apps running in the background – we left this phone for nearly a week after fully charging it and it still had four out of four bars showing when we returned to it. In more heavy use it of course drains quicker, but we'd expect you to only worry about charging it a couple of times a week.


The Nokia C3 clearly isn't the be all and end all, and betrays its sub-£100 price in its low resolution screen, limited number of functions, and slow performance. However, if you're happy to be a little patient at times it holds up very well. Its screen quality is great, it's well built and nicely designed, the keyboard is nice to use, and the software is easy to get to grips with. For the money, we really can't think of a better phone.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Luan Bach

October 28, 2010, 12:41 pm

I've lost count of the number of times I've said this but here goes one more time, S40 is NOT Symbian.


October 28, 2010, 1:06 pm

Right you are, fixed.

Martin Daler

October 28, 2010, 1:50 pm

why, oh why a proprietry charger?? The USB socket is there - surely it's got to be cheaper to dispense with the extra jack socket, dispense with the charger itself even - we've all got half a dozen USB chargers floating about and some car chargers to boot. Anyway, I thought all this was nonsense sorted a while ago and the industry had agreed to go mini-USB? What happened?


October 28, 2010, 5:27 pm

At the risk of trolling if you think is this great value you can't have seen the Orange San Francisco. £20 more for a WVGA AMOLED touchscreen and Android. When's the review?!!


October 28, 2010, 6:34 pm

They had agreed to use micro usb, not mini USB. I suspect that the internals are based off an already existing design which doesn't support charging over USB.

Brian ONeill

October 28, 2010, 8:04 pm

I got one of these for the wife. They are good value for money, but there are a few notes:

-The screen does scratch extremely easily, like within the first day

-The OS is a dog, its colourful but finding your way around is very complex

-Downloading email is crazy slow

The worst part was the slow email it could take a few mins to send and receive.

I think a better alternative is the e63 on 3. I got it for £89 on payg. The 3g connection makes a huge different and the build quality of the device is a lot better than the c3.

I see the new e5 is just out on three as well for £150, a review of that would be good.

Personally i only went for nokia as there were no decent android keyboard phones for less than £250. The nokia OS's are nothing short of horrid.


October 28, 2010, 8:16 pm

@Ed - Great to see you give some love to Nokia for a change.

I was left wondering about one thing though. What's up with the video recording being limited to only 5 seconds..?? Especially since it says on Nokia's website that "Video clip length: up to capacity of memory card". Something doesn't add up here.

(BTW, it still says Symbian on page 3 below the first picture.)

Martin Daler

October 28, 2010, 9:11 pm

@Rav San Francisco looks great, but can I get it without the Orange bit?

@Mattj sorry, I meant micro-USB (which is what the wretched thing has!)

Martin Daler

October 28, 2010, 9:16 pm


@Ed/Rav - it says "Review units available on request"


October 28, 2010, 9:40 pm

@rav - Seems to be a capacitive touchscreen too, all for £99... consider my socks well and truly blown off. If only there were an Orange signal in my area. :(


October 29, 2010, 2:13 am

£65 @ carphonewarehouse.


Makes a great backup phone.


October 29, 2010, 3:26 am

I suspect TR will look at the San Francisco when they're talking about touchscreen smartphones and not messaging feature phones which are 80% of its price.

I mean, really. Come on.


October 29, 2010, 6:33 am

If there is one thing that Nokia know it's how to make a cheap phone. I'll admit that the OS can be difficult to get used to at first but you do get the hang of it. I've not seen a C3 in the flesh but I would very much like to have a go with one. I bet that it will be well built as well.

What I want to know is when are TR going to come up with a review of the N8?


October 30, 2010, 8:09 pm

only problem with the Orange San Francisco is, because it is orange, they have loaded it with all their crapware, like do you need standard android photo app AND oranges photo app?, luckily it is painfully simple to root and flash an unbranded android to it, which will get you nice clean android, google navigation and voice search being the main functions you get.

Arctic Fox

October 31, 2010, 5:40 pm

Yes Ed, I have to say this phone _is_ pretty amazing value for money _and_ it may be a very important and positive harbinger of things to come from Nokia. The company as we all know needs to get back on track, most particularly (for range of reasons which I am sure that I do not need to enumerate in this forum) in the smartmob market. If they can produce a phone of this quality at this price point what might they be planning with their high-end phones when they launch a new range with meego next year? What might they consider launching with regard to hardware in the Desire/iPhone4 end of the market - I have to admit that I am rather looking forward to finding out!


April 15, 2013, 2:17 pm

The phone is awful. I've had mine for a day and it keeps crashing and refusing to turn on. What a waste of money!


May 28, 2013, 3:11 pm

Wish it had a call register, or maybe I cannot locate it! :-(


August 20, 2013, 8:36 am

I'm a beginner user of C3 nokia phone. my gf still read the messages in my inbox and sent items even I've deleted it. any one ca help me with this.. pls.... tnx

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