The phone runs the Series 40 operating system rather than the more advanced Series 60 version found on most of Nokia’s smarter handsets. The Series 40 interface has obviously been tweaked to make it more touch-friendly, with larger icons not only in the main menu, but also in the scrollable sub-menus. The result is a phone that’s a good deal faster to navigate around than older models without touchscreens as you no longer have to fiddle around with a d-pad to select the item you want – you just reach out and touch it.
Another area that’s greatly improved by the touchscreen is web browsing. Although Nokia’s web browser is pretty slow and cumbersome to use, you can load up the Opera Mini browser instead, which is a revelation. It’s very speedy to load pages and navigating and zooming (double tap only as there’s no multi-touch support) with the touchscreen is a joy, making this one of the best traditionally shaped handset we’ve come across for web use.
The web browsing experience is also boosted by the fact that not only does the phone have HSDPA support (at speeds of up to 10.2Mbps), but it also has Wi-Fi onboard, which is ideal for use around the home or office. Naturally, there’s also Bluetooth 2.1 onboard so you can pair it with other phones or use it with a set of Bluetooth stereo headphones. As with most Nokia’s the call quality was first rate with the earpiece and mic delivering crisp and clear audio. One of the key selling points for this style of phone over a more feature-rich smartphone is battery life and here it doesn’t disappoint. We got around three and a half days from it before it needed a recharge.
The phone uses the standard Series 40 music player, which looks a little bit dated but is easy to use. Music is sorted into the usual artist, album, genre and playlist categories so it’s very straightforward to find the tracks you want to play. You can create playlists on the go and there’s a five-band graphics equaliser to give you a bit of control over the audio output. The audio quality from the standard 3.5mm jack is good, but the supplied headphones are rather poor with their weedy bass response and scratchy mid-range frequencies. As with most Nokia handsets, there’s an FM tuner that is accessed via the same Music menu as the audio player.
Unfortunately, the camera isn’t all that impressive. Although it has a 5-megapixel resolution, shots are lacking in sharpness and detail – we’ve seen quite a few 3-megapixel snappers on phones from other manufacturers that outperformed it in terms of overall picture quality. It does have a flash to help it out when it’s working indoors, but this is a simple LED one that lends an unnatural blue-ish tone to photos.
The C3-01 Touch and Type is a good-looking handset that will appeal to those who want easy to use features and longish battery life in a traditionally styled candybar phone. However, with Android handsets starting to hit the £100 mark on Pay as you Go, it’s difficult to recommend it to more adventurous souls.