Low-budget Nokia phones have always provided users with better longevity and functionality as compared to the other brands. The 3120, 1110 models were an absolute rage when they were launched around a decade back. In recent times as well, when it comes to better operating life times, Nokia phones have more or less always delivered. Recently, Nokia has launched the new C2-03 touch and type handset. But, is this handset a good buy for those wanting a low-budget dual SIM touch phone? Read on to find out. 

 

On Video: Nokia C2-03

The phone has a pretty neat looking slider

The phone has a pretty neat looking slider

Design and Build Quality

The C2-03 that we reviewed had a black and silver exterior and it does look pretty nice. However it’s a bit on the bulkier side, which is due to the phone incorporating a slider as well as being a touchscreen. The phone is made up of complete plastic but it doesn’t feel like a lot of the cheap ones currently in the market. Nokia hasn’t gone fancy with this design and the phone looks quite inconspicuous. For the adventurous, it comes in an alternative gold and white design. The bottom has chrome plating over the plastic which adds to the looks. 

Being a slider as well as a touch phone, one would want the phone to be sturdy and the C2-03 doesn’t disappoint. The slider has a good snap on and feel to it and the buttons on the top have a good feedback as well. The keypad, on the contrary, has barely any indent between two keys and typing on it isn’t too comfortable. The top of the handset consists of the charging port, micro USB and the 3.5mm headphone jack. The right consists of a volume rocker and the lock button and second SIM card can be housed on the left of the phone. The microSD card slot and SIM 1 slot are housed under the battery so there’s no option of hot-swap with memory cards. Overall, the phone has a firm and sturdy feel to it, but it’s definitely on the bulkier side.

The phone isn't thin by any means

The phone isn't thin by any means

Features

Interface

The phone has a 2.6-inch TFT resistive touchscreen but it’s got a pretty good feedback, unlike most of the resistive touchscreens in the market. It runs the Nokia Series 40 software and the first impression is that the interface is quite zippy and doesn’t really lag.

The home screen

The home screen

The home screen wasn’t really impressive looking or neat and is a mish-mash of small icons that include the clock, SIM manager, the calendar and a shortcut bar for the Ovi store, camera, maps and keypad. The widgets can be user-defined as well, but the home screen seems to have a whole load of icons, something reminiscent of the home screen of earlier Windows Mobile 5 and 6 versions. There are swipe gestures available for the user and swiping to the right on the homescreen brings up the games and app category and a left swipe gets you to the camera, which can be changed according to your preference.

Overall navigation between apps and menus is smooth, but scrolling through song lists on the music player is a little cumbersome. More often than not, we ended up clicking the song rather than scrolling through the entire list and the screen did have a little odd touch at times. One particular thing to note is that while playing music in the background, there’s no shortcut key that allows you to get back to the music player.

Gallery

Gallery

Media

The phone supports MP4, H.264 and H.263 formats, but we had difficulty playing .MP4 files. 3GP files played perfectly well, but the screen isn’t exactly suitable for even average 1-2 hours of video playback. So, keeping this device for primary video playback wouldn’t really be advisable. As far as audio is concerned, the quality is quite good through both the headphones as well as the loudspeaker. The music playback is loud and clear but don’t expect the extraordinary out here. FM radio is present as well, and it comes with a recording option, which might come in handy for few people. 

We’d have liked a few more options like recently added and most played in the music player and a little less time to update the playlists from the time you put in your memory card. 

Gallery

Gallery

Connectivity

The big downer is that there is no Wi-Fi on this phone. The only data connectivity options are GPRS and EDGE. With the available connectivity options, the stock browser downscales the sites and renders them pretty quickly. Nokia has also included chat options through communities that support Google Talk, Ovi Chat, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Chat. There’s Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and microUSB 2.0 as part of connectivity options. 

Misc. Features

Nokia has bundled in a few apps and games that include communities, converter, golf tour, maps, music guess, nature park, picture puzzle and solitaire. More apps can be downloaded via the Ovi store as well. Basic options like alarm clock, calculator, voice recorder, to-do list, notes, timer and stopwatch are included as well. There’s nothing out of the ordinary out here at least. 

The music player doesn't have much to offer in terms of interface

The music player doesn't have much to offer in terms of interface

Camera

The camera bundled with the phone is a 2 megapixel one. It’s quite ordinary and there’s no flash option either. Low-light snaps are quite terrible and this definitely can’t be your first shooting device option. Viewing the clicked images on the phone isn’t any problem, but when you get the images on to a bigger screen, for example, on your computer, you know that the image quality isn’t too great. The phone supports QCIF video recording at 15fps, again which is ordinary, at best. The settings for the still and video camera can be arranged based on what you use most and it does help in a more personalized customization. 

An image shot from the camera

An image shot from the camera

Battery Life

The phone comes with a 1020 mAh Lithium-ion battery and we ran it through our battery loop test. The phone gave us 3 hours of talk time, 3 hours of video playback and 2 hours 20 minutes of audio playback. Battery life is quite good and it gave around 1 hour of music playback even on low battery. Another interesting thing to mention is that simply charging the phone for five minutes gives around two hours of usage, which might come in handy for some people. 

The Nokia C2-03 - could have been a little thinner

The Nokia C2-03 – could have been a little thinner

Verdict

The Nokia C2-03 touch and type slider phone is currently priced at Rs. 4,500. The most important aspects for phones in this category are messaging, camera and music. The keypad and camera are sub-par but the phone doesn’t disappoint as far as music is concerned. For alternatives, the Micromax Van Gogh can be a cheaper option. For those not wanting to discount the touch experience, the Nokia X3-02 (which is a little more expensive) will offer much more as well. As for the C2-03, we’d have preferred a thinner version with better camera and better keypad to be able to recommend it.

Publish date: October 5, 2011 4:44 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:38 pm

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