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.