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.