The Nokia C2-01 offers a 3.2-megapixel camera that can also capture video up to QVGA (320×240) 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 Â£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 Â£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 Â£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.