Delve below the top layer of the Nokia C1-02’s interface and you’ll find a selection of apps pre-installed. Besides the now-obligatory alarm clock, media player and calculator, there’s a stopwatch, to-do list, note taker, world clock, unit converter and – our surprise pick of the week – a full expenses manager. Like the phone itself, these apps are functional but ugly – and slow to load too. If apps are a concern though, you should be looking at spending more than Â£30 on a phone.
Three games are included on top, a puzzler, pinball game and Sudoku, but you’ll have to make do with this spread of apps and games. A trip to the Nokia web portal directs you only towards ringtones, not more apps.
Call quality is reasonable, if a little quiet and scratchy-sounding, and without any fancy tech to drain the battery – beyond Bluetooth – the battery should last for up to a week. After the C1-02 got the basics down, we were disappointed to hear the mediocre audio quality produced through the 3.5mm jack. It’ll suffice for the odd bout of radio-listening when your MP3 player’s run out of battery, but tunes sound thin and weak when played through this phone.
At the time of writing, the Nokia C1-02 is not yet widely available in the UK, but will retail for around Â£30. It’s hard to do a phone down on value when it sells so cheap, but do bear in mind that you’re paying a slight premium for the Nokia name, and perhaps slightly increased build quality. Alcatel’s low-end phones are far more cut-throat in their pricing – the bare-bones OT 209 is available for as little as Â£2.95 when you buy some top-up credit – and Vodafone’s range of ultra-budget handsets offer very similar fare to the Nokia C1-02, but for slightly less money.
Solid, reliable and easy-to-use, the Nokia C1-02 is a safe budget bet. The screen’s poor, there’s no camera and it’s not much cop as a music player, but if a simple reasonably sturdy emergency-use phone’s what you’re after, this is it.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.