on January 21, 2011
As a Nokia fan, I'll be the first to admit that my favorite Finnish phone maker hasn't been a smartphone leader for some time. They've been hemorrhaging marketshare for multiple reasons and even the diehard aficionados are hoping for the best from Meego and updates to S^3. This, however, isn't a review about about smartphones or top end OSs. This review is about the C3-01, a device that Nokia hopes will set a standard from which to keep feature phones in pace with their smartphone brethren.
The meat and potatoes of Nokia's business is feature phones and it shows. The C3-01 feels like a quality device right out the box. The hardware seams are very small. The primarily metal construction, rounded edges and weight lend this candybar a solid feel in hand. The hardware fonts are very legible and just bright enough. One thing to note is that the warm grey unit has its keypad backlit in white while the silver unit has blue backlit keys. The volume and camera keys on the right work just fine but the lock key will take some practice since it sits flush with the side.
The touchscreen is obviously one of the big attractions of this device and it works decently well for this application. Nokia disappointingly went with a cheaper resistive unit. Even though it's one of the most sensitive resistive displays I've used, the OS still needs confident presses and drags to function properly. Not having a capacitive screen dashes any hopes of multitouch gestures through software updates but on a 2.4" display, multitouch doesn't make much sense.
People have called the touchscreen element of the C3-01, and by association the X3-02, a gimmick which simply isn't true. The customizable homescreen and drop-down app menu enable users to put almost all crucial functionality(opening apps, dialing contacts, setting alarms, etc.) within two taps of unlocking the device which isn't possible on a non-touchscreen handset short of having dedicated hardware keys. That isn't to say that this new touch enabled Version 6 of the venerable S40 operating system is perfect. There are a number of quirks which I hope get addressed in upcoming software updates. It can't set more than one alarm at any given time. Even though you can set contacts to the homescreen, tapping them will bring you to the contact details from which you can dial out. There isn't an option for 1-touch dialing from the homescreen, among other things.
The C3-01 has Ovi Store access for apps and content but since this and the X3-02 are the first implementations of S40v6, the app selection is very limited. Previous S40 version apps were designed with a d-pad in mind and won't function properly on the touchscreen. However, the SDK for S40v6 recently became available and since Nokia will be pushing the "touch-and-type" paradigm for the foreseeable future, users should see much more content and apps in the coming months. S40v6 currently lacks multitasking and app switching although you can play music and do other things at the same time. Also, Nokia's Internet radio app for S40v6 currently in beta will run in the background, suggesting that more advanced functionality such as push email might be possible. The integrated apps such as the photo browser, music player, email client and so forth work well enough but sadly, there's nothing innovative about any of them in terms of function or interface. The stopwatch, countdown timer, and LED flashlight were actually surprisingly nice additions. The stock Nokia web browser is painful to use both in load times and overall usability. Luckily, they've included Opera Mini which actually works very smoothly on the 320x240 display. Opera will also help cut down on data use since it pulls data-optimized pages through the Opera servers.
I think the C3-01 is a pretty good buy. I picked up two of these to replace my parents' aging LG Shines(as well as to do this review) and they're very happy with their C3-01s. If you just want to phone calls, this phone would work great but would be completely overpriced. If you're looking to multitask, enjoy video content or a web heavy experience, this devive won't deliver the experience you're looking for. If, however, you're in between those two extremes, the C3-01 is a compelling combination of price, features, and build quality that's definitely worth considering.
on March 6, 2011
If a standard telephone keypad is a must have for you, then hands down, the C3-01 is the best cellular phone ever created. You will not find any more elegant, powerful, or well designed phone out there than the C3-01. It is nearly perfect in every way.
I have been a loyal Nokia customer since the beginning of cellphones (I'm a 40+ male software engineer). I love Nokia phones because they are phones first. And as a phone, a Nokia has no equals. Nokia has always placed emphasis on a cellphone's primary purpose: reliable, clear phone calls with unsurpassed simplicity of use. Nokia has always had the toughest, most reliable and lowest cost cellphones. Most cellular store sales people will tell you honestly that the cheapest "free" Nokia standard bar shaped phones are the most reliable, longest lasting and best phones they have in the store. Nokia has followed behind the competition somewhat when it comes to "bells and whistles," but so far has not skimped on the fundamentals of call quality and reliability (a policy that has endeared Nokia's products to me being a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" type of guy... new features are presumed silly until proven reliable or necessary).
If you are like me, I refused to jump onto the so-called "smart phone" bandwagon. I want a reliable phone first, with some goodies and extras as a bonus (as opposed to a feature rich, underpowered, energy draining, pocket bulging, barely out of beta-testing toy. I want a solid bar shape, with no moving parts that slide, flip or twist, I don't want to carry something too expensive around that I'm too worried about losing or dropping it, if I want to type a novel, I'll use a full QWERTY keyboard on my laptop not a keyboard made for infant sized hands, and I don't want to be the unpaid beta tester for the latest experiment in technology. And of course, I don't want to pay for that phone over time in a lay-away plan called a "data contract"...
PREVIOUS PHONE - NOKIA XPRESS MUSIC 5310
And then I found what I was looking for... My previous phone was a Nokia Xpress Music 5310, another fantastically powerful ultra-small candy bar shaped phone. Like the newer C3-01, it had a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, Micro-SD card slot, music player, volume buttons on side, Bluetooth, camera (video and still), EDGE internet access*, helpful apps including Google Maps and loan calculator, USB connection to PC, alarm clock, excellent Nokia call quality, room filling loudspeaker, classic Nokia simplicity and ease of use and of course and unsurpassed Nokia long battery life (several days of heavy use with no charge needed).
Ok so the older 5310 used the slightly slower EDGE network for data (* no GPRS/3G or 802.11x wifi like the amazing C3-01) but it was perfect for me. I loved my Nokia 5310 and it has served me extremely well. I loved to turn heads every time I pulled it out and shocked people with how small it is. They'd be amazed when I checked my email using the built in browser or searched Google using Opera Mini, listened to music (using standard skullcandy ear buds) off my 1 GB Micro SD card. It was one of the extremely few phones that had a standard headphone jack at that time, and when everyone was talking about the amazing iPhone, I quietly had my little powerhouse in my shirt pocket, whose battery lasted four times as long, doing everything a handy cellphone should, with no expensive data contract (only the standard $10 a month unlimited family data plan).
But alas after years of good service, the 5310 has begun to age: the molding around the front music player buttons is falling off, the plastic back cover has came loose, and I'd been having trouble getting signal where others have had full bars - perhaps due to weakened battery(?). The phone had a tendency to crash and reboot during long phone calls, but this was a flaw that I accepted because I never took the time (or risk) to install a 5310 Nokia software update that might have fixed that.
DISCOVERING THE C3-01
And then I found the Nokia C3-01 here on Amazon. What a find! It is everything the 5310 was and more, improving upon every last aspect of the 5310 that could possibly be improved and a fraction of the cost of competing phones.
My utter enthusiasm for my latest Nokia C3-01 phone compelled me to start writing about it only 24 hours after receiving it, and I've been continually updating this review every day as I discover something new! [UPDATE: Now on day five I've discovered workarounds and solutions to every issue I've had! This phone is hands down awesome exceeding my expectations in every way!]
BENEFITS OF THE C3-01 OVER ANY PREVIOUS NOKIA CANDY BAR SHAPED PHONE
Here is an incomplete list of the amazing things the C3-01 does better than the previous amazing Nokia 5310:
- It's all metal stainless steel casing is sleek, sturdy and tough! No plastic here! (read that again: stainless steel!)
- It's screen is bigger, brighter, sharper, and (wait to you hear this) it's touchscreen!
- It has a large well lit number key pad, but seven less buttons than prior Nokia candy bar phones. There's no more main "select" button, navigation keys, or menu keys. It has standard numeric key pad, 0-9, * and # keys, a green TALK button and red END button - that's it. How does it get away with this? Except for numeric key pad, all the rest of the buttons are "virtual" (meaning on the touchscreen). So how do you navigate around to various menus? Effortlessly! I can't tell you what an amazing combination this is! The harmonious combination of physical and virtual buttons should win user interface design awards for ingenuity. (There is nothing real buttons for no-look single thumb dialing and typing).
- Learning to use the C3-01 was effortless, as everything Nokia does is similar to it's previous phones and learning to use the virtual buttons on the touchscreen was quick and painless.
- The resistive touchscreen is responsive and high quality - what you'd come to expect from a touchscreen, however it doesn't have multi-gesture capacitive screen like the N8 or any high end Android or iPhone. I can still dial numbers and text with one hand (with my thumb) and still reach everything on the touch screen with one hand.
- Scrolling is by the familiar "flick of the finger" stroke that has now become so standard (thanks to Apple), and the C3-01 does this smoothly and FAST!
- 802.11x WIFI! How's that for an OMG feature for the price? I connected to my home wireless 802.11g network, typed in password, and was checking my yahoo email at m.yahoo.com in seconds - look ma, no data contract... oh boy was it fast!
- 3G But what if I'm away from home and I want to search Google, check email or whatever using AT&T's over the air network? No problem, searched internet for "How to connect your C3-01 to the Internet using AT&T". Found a forum post on the subject. Just follow instructions to set up your G3 GPRS Internet connection and enjoy better than EDGE speed anywhere in AT&T's network without a costly "smart phone" data contract (aka loan repayment plan).
- Camera has been upgraded to a 5 Megapixel beauty... Not that I'm going to use this as my primary vacation camera, but it's more than adequate! It even has a flash (a feature I will not likely use) and please don't complains about the quality of it's low-light pictures... what do you expect?
- It has an LED flash light built in (doubles as a flash for camera). You turn it on by pressing the star key! Super cool! Love it! Love it! Love it! I'm always looking for stuff in the dark and have often used my lcd screen on phone for years. Now I have a dedicated led light with me at all times. Neato.
- Haven't had time to try and configure it as a tethering device, but I'll let you know if I succeed (this is potentially a killer feature). [UPDATE: Downloaded Ovi application, attached C3-01 with USB cable to my Windows 7 laptop, and with a click of a button it asks whether you'd like to connect to the Internet using C3-01 as "modem." I said yes, and within seconds I'm surfing the web at 485 Kbps using 3G network! OMG. That's cool].
- Context menus are accessed by intuitive touch and hold on the touchscreen. Elegant.
- Display of time and date on home screen and locked screen is huge and pretty. I use the alarm clock every day to wake up for work and the alarm clock on this baby is accessed directly from the home screen by default with a single click... right where it should be! In fact, every font here is bigger and bolder - great for aging eyes.
Keypad lock (an extremely important feature) works just like it did on older Nokias: virtual menu key + the star key. There's also a dedicated lock button on the side, but I'm used to my old way.
- Volume buttons are still on the side - actual physical buttons - also a very important feature because you don't have time to look for virtual volume buttons while talking.
- Oddly, an old Nokia quirk seems to have persisted (willing to be proven wrong)... you can't actually turn on the high quality Nokia speaker phone until the phone number you are dialing has begun to ring... The loudspeaker button appears right away after sending (an improvement over previous Nokias I've used) but clicking it doesn't seem to do anything until the other phone starts ringing first... Only then does the speaker phone come on. [UPDATE: it's worth noting that the speakerphone is up to Nokia's usual high standards - it's the best speakerphone in the industry: loud and clear and the other party can hear you perfectly].
- I've been playing with the C3-03 for more than 24 hours straight, swiping, calling, texting and surfing and the battery is at 3 of 4 bars. Take that "smart phones!" [UPDATE: under heavy usage, battery lasted 2 days before warning of low battery. I didn't let it go until it died, so it had more life in it. Note: when battery is low, it doesn't let you use the camera, and it disconnects energy draining High Speed Internet Access (HPRS) indicated by an "H" symbol at the top of the screen whenever you're not using it]
- The SMS messaging is now in "conversation" format - something I might like but have not had before... [UPDATE: you can set it to standard "Inbox" mode too. I'm trying to get used to conversation mode, but it's still awkward for me... Even though I look at the new message in conversation mode, it doesn't mark it as read until I click on it, which is an annoyance I've now come to live with and actually come to like! Conversation mode let's me see at a glance the entire thread of conversation I've had with someone and it's growning on me]
- The calculator sports a new look, but still has the way cool loan calculator and scientific calculator.
- Works with the newly improved Ovi software (Nokia's PC synch UI was a bit behind the curve but the Ovi software is starting to shine with some polish)... Synched my contacts from 5310 and synched them again to my new C3-01 in a matter of minutes.
- The Home screen is customizable, but the defaults are pretty close to exactly what most of us need (this is where Nokia excels)... a place for favorite frequently used contacts, a button to go to your contacts ("names"), menu, and "Go to" area. Clicking (or should I say "touching") the date on the home screen brings you intuitively to the calendar, clicking the time brings up the alarm clock. One click to the Internet.
-The green talk button, like every Nokia in history, brings up the history of recent calls, and the red end button cancels out of wherever you are back to the home screen. The recent call list (both incoming, missed, and outgoing) is all integrated into one list (like a lot of recent Nokia phones - they call it the "Log") and this is one of my most frequently used feature.
- Clicking a contact asks you intuitively what you want to do? Call? Send Message? Send Mail? The interface is so clean and simple it's beautiful. Of course there are virtual buttons for adding detail etc...
- Every time you click to go to the Internet it asks you which method you want to use (I.e, wifi or GPRS) which is a good thing [UPDATE: you can turn this warning off]! I for one like to know what's happening and who potentially is going to charge me! This is such a relief for those who are afraid they are going to be charged for data usage.
- The built in Internet browser is much faster, asks you to remember passwords (nice), and seems very smooth. [UPDATE: the newest Opera Mini browser is pre-installed and still is quite head and shoulders better than the even the new improved native browser. I have switched over exclusively to Opera Mini. It sports multi tab support, "find" on page support, much faster paging when going forward and back, all around better experience]
- [UPDATE: free Ovi maps are not supported on the C3-01 because it doesn't have GPS. Other Nokias that are slightly more expensive but in same price range come with free Ovi maps (aka Navteq) and GPS Navigation for the life of the phone, but alas, the C3-01 doesn't.]
THINGS THE C3-01 DOESN'T DO
The following list is hardly a criticism of the C3-01, but, for the sake of accuracy, a list of things the C3-01 does not do:
- The C3-01 is not intended to compete head to head with an Android or iPhone. It's a classic candy bar phone whose screen is not intended to large enough to fit an entire web page on a single screen and still be readable(you can still scroll around to see a whole page) , nor large enough to fit a full qwerty virtual keyboard, nor is it meant to be the point of sale for downloading your myriad of time wasting "apps" [that you could do without anyway by simply googling and surfing the Internet itself in your browser]... It does however have just the apps you really need, it let you surf the web, check your email, search on Google and be online when you need to and you're away from your desk or laptop. And there's an Ovi store for a more modest list of apps if you insist.
- This phone is not for the teen who wants to watch hulu, netflix or youtube on their "phone" all day or play latest downloaded games from iTunes. The smaller screen of the C3-01 plays videos nicely, but is not meant for that.
Does not have an accelerometer as far as I can tell (?) but again, I do not need this feature on my phone... It requires you to click a button to flip the videos or photos into landscape mode, instead of tilting the phone sideways (curses! ;) )
- I do have a pet peeve about Nokia however [UPDATE: this is no longer an issue! see below!]: a major time waster is that Nokia phones don't let you switch to typing in "numbers-only" mode when you want to (such as typing text in any text field using standard text or T9 predictive text)! This is VERY annoying. Why have a numeric key pad if you can't use it? [UPDATE: actually, you can, I just didn't know how!] For example, I want to type a street address (123 Main St.) into an SMS message: the way I've been doing it for years is first I have to click pound a few times to get out of T9 predictive text mode, then I have to click 7 times(!) on the "1" key to get a "1", then four times on the "2" key to get a 2, and again four times on the "3" to get a three, then pound a few times to get back to predictive/T9 text to type "Main" (i.e., "6246" on the key pad). What a pain when mixing numbers and text together! Wastes so much time when sending someone a phone number, dollar amount, or street address in a text message or whenever you need numbers inside a block of text! Hello Nokia product designers: can we please have a "numbers only" mode in any text field, PLEASE?? Is there something I'm missing? Does anyone else find this annoying? Enlighten me! [UPDATE: much to my surprise, if you hold down any of the number keys, after a short delay, it types the number! I wish I had known this earlier! I can't wait to try it on my old Nokia phone! Doh! I feel so dumb with all the frustration I've had with mixing numbers and letters together! Albeit, it would still be nice to have a dedicated numbers only mode so I could type numbers quicker whenever I wanted, but this is only a nice to have feature - not a must have!]
- The resistive screen (instead of a higher end capacitive screen) is (as others have mentioned) not as responsive as a full multi-gesture, pinch and zoom type of screen. For the price, however, it's very good. Flipping through contacts and photos is FAST and SMOOTH!
This phone is perfect for someone who wants a quality phone first, that can be held and operated easily with one hand and one thumb only, fits in a shirt pocket, but is powerful enough to surf the web through any network you want whenever you want (WiFi/G3/GPRS/HSDPA/BlueTooth etc...) and will last for days without charging. This phone is for those who want physical actual buttons that are clear, large, visible and palpable for writing short texts and searching not writing novels. Nokia has truly included the best of what you actually need in a phone.
The C3-01 is the perfect phone for me, at a great price that won't break the bank and doesn't require a data contract. It is by far the best phone I have ever had and a great choice for those who value what it has to offer.
on February 16, 2011
I want to start my review by stating that I currently have an iPhone 4 for my primary phone that I purchased last year. I ordered the Nokia C3-01 for my travel phone due to the whole micro sim card thing with the iPhone 4. I'll be using it (C3) in Germany, Austria, and Bulgaria this year with local prepaid sim cards.
I REALLY like this phone! I previously had a Nokia N85 and for me, this seemed much more responsive. Also my experience with Nokia touch screens hasn't been good, however I was quite impressed. It's not PERFECT, but it's definitely usable! You have to make sure you push a LITTLE when you tap the screen. I heard some reviews about this and I was worried, but honestly you barely have to put any pressure at all.
Interface is the same as most Nokia phones. The whole system is quite responsive. Calls were great quality and it has just enough features outside of basic calls to make it an excellent and affordable phone! The price is great for what you get! If you want just above a basic phone, this is definitely the one for you! If something ever happened to my iPhone, I definitely wouldn't be upset that I had to switch to this!
PS - The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is because I've become spoiled by the iPhone 4 display. While I would like to see a high res screen on this phone, I'm VERY please with the display as is!
on June 16, 2011
Processor and Memory
Nokia C3-01 Touch and Type embeds 30MB internal memory, 128MB Flash, 64MB SDRAM, as well as microSD card slot for memory expansion up to 32GB.
The external memory card slot can be found under the battery cover, but it's hot-swappable. The handset lacks multitasking, but it's quite snappy when it comes to opening apps and navigating through the menu.
Display and Camera
Nokia C3-01 comes with a 2.4-inch TFT "resistive single touch" touchscreen with up to 262K colors and 240 x 320 pixel resolution.
This is the second Nokia S40 UI feature-phone to get a touchscreen like in the X3-02, the C3-01 touchscreen navigation is smooth and easy to handle. The touchscreen is a big step forward for Nokia, which only had sub-par resistive touchscreens included with some of the XpressMusic series devices.
As expected, the quality of the image is excellent including brightness, as well as contrast. The display is perfectly visible even when it is exposed to strong sunlight. As downsides I would enlist the lack of built-in accelerometer for display auto-rotation and the missing proximity sensor.
When it comes to photos one thing is certain, Nokia C3-01 is not a camera phone. Even though it comes with a relatively high number of megapixels, the snapshots it produces fail to impress. Nokia added a flash, but removed the autofocus function and replaced it with fixed focus, most likely to keep costs down.
Also, there are no additional functions such as smile detection, face recognition or blink prevention. The interface of the camera is pretty standard and intuitive with settings such as White Balance and Effects that can be browsed through using the touchscreen.
The camera captures pictures with a maximum resolution of 2592x1944 pixels, while video clips can be recorded in QVGA at up to 20 fps and VGA at up to 15 fps.
Even though the phone includes a dedicated camera button I wouldn't recommend using it because it's very hard to press. Instead, users will have to rely on the "touch-n-shoot" button that appears on the screen.
The pictures look mediocre and unimpressive, with lots of noise and low contrast. Check out the samples below for a more accurate opinion about the quality of the camera
The incorporated 12-button keypad is very huge by Nokia standards. The buttons are receptive and provide a noticeable click whenever you press. Above the keypad 2 call buttons are present, one for receive and other for end. Unlike other Nokia phones here a central menu button is missing, but for that you have touchscreen
The mid-budget phone is fully compatible with GPRS and EDGE Class 10, as well as HSDPA category 9, maximum speed up to 10.2 Mbps and HSUPA category 5, maximum speed up to 2 Mbps. Benchmarks reveal that the device performs quite well when it comes to data-transfer speeds (EDGE 166 Kbit/s download and 86 Kbit/s upload, HSDPA 1967 Kbit/s download and 278 Kbit/s upload), but that may greatly vary depending on location and carrier.
The phone also features Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR support and microUSB 2.0. Synchronization with the PC is possible through the microUSB port. The phone also charges while it's connected through the USB cable.
The device comes with the MiniOpera browser preinstalled, in addition to the integrated WebKit-based HTML browser. It also features Flash Lite 3.0 support, but I wouldn't recommend visiting rich-content webpages, as you might get a "Full memory" error message.
The Community category enables users to log into their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and start chatting with their family or friends. You can also access Nokia's Ovi Store for 3rd party apps.
One of the great features of the handset is definitely the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity, which cuts the bill for data transfers (6736 Kbit/s download and 1519 Kbit/s upload).
In terms of messaging, the device accepts standard text messages, MMS 1.3 (600 KB attachments), as well as emails. The message client works with POP3, SMTP, and IMAP4 protocols, and supports more than one email account. The C3-01 also displays SMS messages like Conversations.
The quadband (GSM 850 / GSM 900 / GSM 1800 / GSM 1900) network-compatible bar handset has a mediocre GSM signal reception. Fortunately, the sound is very good at both ends, thanks to the "Voice Clarity" enhancement technology. The vibration feature is also above average.
The phone is powered by Symbian S40 6th edition OS. The series 40 interface has been fine-tuned to make it even more touch-friendly. The main menu and the scrollable submenus have large icons. You can navigate around the phone swiftly than the older phones without touchscreens because you no more have to swindle around with direction-pad to choose the item you want. Here you just have to reach out and touch.
The web browser included is kinda slow and unwieldy to use but you can download Opera Mini browser for that sake, which is a limelight. It can load the pages speedily and zooming, navigating with the screen is a big time joy. C3-01 is one of the premium traditionally shaped phone we have ever seen for web browse.
Nokia C3-01 is not a music phone, but it performs well as an MP3 player. Just like its X3-02 sibling, the C3-01 embeds a decent looking music player with a nice set of features such as album art and Equalizer. In addition, the phone comes with 3.5mm jack port that goes along with a wired stereo headset (WH-102).
The phone's music player is compatible with a wide range of formats, such as: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WMA and AMR-NB. The interface hasn't changed but this time you have all controls on-screen.
The Equalizer can be customized the predefined settings can be used: Normal, Pop, Rock, Jazz and Classical. When it comes to music sound quality, the phone can be categorized as average, not too good but not that bad either.
There's also FM radio with the RDS function that can replace the music player and can memorize up to 20 base stations.
The C3-01's video player recognizes XviD encoded movies, just like its X3-02 predecessor. Other supported formats include MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 and 3GPSoftware
On the software part, handset ropes in latest Nokia Messaging 3.0, Nokia's instant messaging and e-mail software that also supply Twitter and Facebook access. You can also access Nokia's Ovi Store for 3rd party apps.
Like other models, call quality is first-class. The microphone and earphone delivers clear and crispy audio. Loudspeaker works fine too. The Li-ion battery life is the key selling reason for this type of phone. You can use it continuously for 3 to 4 days but you need to recharge it before and offers a talktime of 5 hours 40 mins.
The phone is attractive and affordable. Users who prefer more of a traditional experience like calls, texts, camera, a bit of browsing and e-mail, then C3-01 will be sound investment for them. It can be accessed by both familiar and non-familiar with the touchscreens, an added benefit.
Besides its exquisite design, the handset offers a "tint" of features specific to high-end smartphones, such as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G with 10Mbps HSDPA and 2Mbps HSUPA for data transfers. Other interesting highlights that might recommend this handset include: microSD card slot, 3.5mm audio jack, touch-optimized S40 UI, excellent display.
The only two things I really missed from the C3-01 were a built-in GPS receiver and a document viewer. Other than that there's nothing really negative about the phone. As minor downsides I would enlist the average 5-megapixel camera and the "unusable" lock/unlock button.
on September 11, 2011
I'm a long-time Nokia user. I've had the E60, E51 and E75 - all business class phones running Symbian. This phone was a cheap replacement for my E75 which took a swim recently. With the S40 OS, it's obviously not going to be as versatile as my previous phones but it has performed well for the week or so that I've had it. It has a solid, elegant feel to it and is easy to navigate... (2013 edit to change) but the touchscreen is an epic fail. I've had it replaced under warranty numerous times, the phone itself has been replaced, and now it's dying again. This phone has never worked properly for more than a few months at a time since I bought it. My next phone will certainly NOT be a Nokia. They have lost their rock solid rating for phone build in my mind after owning this phone.
It gets minus points for a few things:
-Screen lock is not configurable
-Camera is below average at best
-Zero useful apps in comparison with what's available for Symbian phones
-*** Touchscreen is a repetitive failure point and, while it can be replaced, that is not a long term repair. Something in the design or materials is faulty, causing repeated failure of the touchscreen. EPIC FAIL.
In conclusion, don't buy this phone new and DO NOT BUY ONE USED under any circumstance. It will in all likelihood fail at some time in the near future. Sorry Nokia, but you lost a decade long buyer because of this phone.
on November 1, 2013
This is a very good "Feature" phone. It is not Smarter than you are but if you really need to surf the net
you will be able to do so. It also has a host of other features you may enjoy that most so-called "Smart
Phones" have as well.
One moderate caveat though...
Caution: The vendor I bought this from sent me a Canadian phone and not the "USA Version with Warranty".
After 3 plus weeks of learning how to use the programs, typing in phone numbers, and data, I went to the
Nokia web site to back up my phone. At the web site I decided to check out the Warranty and it stated
that the phone did not have a US Warranty. I decided to give the vendor a poor rating for what appeared
to be either a 'bait and switch' tactic or false advertising. There were no choices between a "USA Version"
or a Canadian version listed anywhere on the web page.
Most vendors I have dealt with have been stand-up about their products. Indeed I had one small company
actually CALL me to confirm the game software they were sending me was the correct one. I was very
impressed with their service and it was the right thing to do.
Back to the review...
The phone generally works very well, boots up quickly and has a lot of flexibility. One reason I bought this
phone was the use of the SIM card from my other phone. No problems there. I like being able put multiple
icons (I have 6) on the home page for quick program access. The camera is okay in spite of it's 5MP rating;
don't buy it for the camera. It also plays music and has an FM radio; both seem to work well.
When trying to surf the web is where it can be challenging. I don't use the 4G capability (Only 3G) because
I don't want to pay the extra fees either up front or on a bit by bit basis. (I do not text.) The phone does
have Wi-Fi hardware and so you will need to be near a hot spot to get on the web. With a strong signal
surfing the web was okay due to slow rendering of the pages. If you will be contracting for 4G or higher it
could be worth your while.
Which brings me to the battery. I am not impressed with the battery. Granted, with my last Nokia I did not
surf the web, did not play games, and only used my calendar occasionally. That battery lasted 6 years only
charging it weekly, at most. The C3-01 battery seems to wear down fast, using it sparingly as a phone, and
using the Calendar more regularly. I don't play games, music, etc. My purpose for this phone is primarily as
a tool for vocal communication and secondly for the Calendar, which I find very useful.
I purchased this phone about a year ago and am pleased with its phone performance. So, I give the phone
4 stars due to its range of programs, the clearness of the calls, the Calendar's nice array of features and
its apparent ruggedness (The back is metal). The one star off is due to the poor battery. So if you will be
using more features on the phone expect to be charging this phone daily. As a phone it works well and is
easy to use.
Oh, and make sure you go to the Nokia web site and back up you phone on a regular basis. You will be glad
on September 1, 2011
I am copying a review I made on a different site where i gave 3.5 stars this site does not allow me to give half stars.
I will repeatedly compare this phone to my outgoing Nokia 6133, which served me from Oct2008 till July 2011.
Opening the box : the usual basics, no USB cable , has to be ordered separately.
Manual : Good, index miserable, 60 % of pages in Spanish, Nokia should save the trees and provide Spanish manuals to those who who request them
Look and feel : good looking, nice all metal feel compared to plastic phones.
Sturdiness : I read a UK review calling it a phone you can drop. I would absolutely not recommend that, unless you can guarantee that it always stays screen up. Unlike my old Nokia 6133( which I dropped 5 times from a bicycle at 20 plus miles per hour with minimal damage), C3-01 is absolutely
NOT designed to be dropped, in spite of the metal casing . The combination of a large screen which is not recessed like on 6133 and candy bar design calls for problems, as a matter of fact you can easily scratch the screen by pushing it over a hard surface.I had to spend additional 13 $ for a Clarivue screen protector.
Side buttons : Good and easy to use. I miss a flash light button, which has to be switched from the key board.
The slots do not have covers ( even my cheap back up Samsung has it !) and I predict problems down the road with grease and dirt, especially with the USB slot.
Battery , SIM card, Memory card and it's installation : The back cover is very difficult to get off. The optional memory card ids in the battery/SIM card compartment. The battery life is somewhat disappointing for a GSM phone, the same as it was with 6133 . I would prefer functional to sleek.
The charger and- with full discharge- the p0hone get rather hot during charging. Wonder what it does to the circuitry .
Setting up the phone : Not too difficult, but somewhat more so than it was with 6133. There are no menu prompts when you hesitate.
The touch screen. A slightly above average size compared to other phones is the good thing.
The touch function itself is horrible, difficult to use no matter how long you calibrate. Scrolling is a disaster. I need 3-4 attempts to let it stop where I need it. You try to do it slower and you open applications you do not want to. My 6133 was perfect for one hand use, with some memorizing you could use the phone while driving without looking at it. C3-01 touch and type you better use it in a quiet parking lot with both hands. At this pointy of time I seriously considered returning the phone.
Customizing and menu options: Nokia apparently forgot that there are people who simply prefer a white screen without any junk on it. There is one oddity on the menu screen. The call log icon was replaced by music icon and call log has to be accessed through contacts To make things worse, you cannot create a short cut to call log, only to a specific option(e.g. missed calls or voice call duration).
Even more bizarre, once there you cannot get to the general call log. Somebody really slept here.
There are some unnecessary restrictions for customizing the home screen. But all together, it is still a Nokia and the menus are intuitive and logical, though somewhat less than on my old 6133.
One nice thing is that the unit converter is back, although I would prefer more units, e.g. for pressure.
Keypad and dialing : Easy to use.
Speakerphone : Good
Audio Incoming : Good, but less loud than 6133 even in maximum position. In noisy environment I loose calls.Annoying.
Audio outgoing : According to other people good, but less so in a noisy environment. than my old 6133. With a tiny candy bar phone the distance between the mouth and microphone is too large.
Ringer : Average, unfortunately less than my old 6133. Lets me miss calls in a noisy environment.
Signal sensitivity : Good, but you have to make sure that you do not touch the bottom part of the phone where the antenna is located, which makes holding the phone a bit tricky .
Camera : Really good for a cell phone. The zoomed in pictures somewhat less so. This made it a keeper for me after the screen disappointment.
Music functions : Work well, I could not care less.
International dialing with an alternative carrier : works well with this phone.
Bluetooth and data transfer. : Works well with other Nokia phones or your computer ( via USB if the computer has no Bluetooth capability. I could transfer most of my data easily from my 6133 to C3-01.
Wireless broadband : C3-01 works on HSDPA networks, in the US only T- mobile has that. I am a T-mobile subscriber but without a data plan so I could not test it. However, I tested the Wi-Fi. Works well, however it is only suitable for an occasional user, for daily use you need a true smart phone.
Flash light : I love this improvement, though I miss a dedicated button.
I would recommend this phone because there are no really good choices in this segment of the market- the half way between cheap phones and ' smart" phones- but I think that Nokia missed some opportunities here.
On edit: I am upgrading the rating to 4 stars, however I stick to the comments made.
on April 21, 2011
A simple phone with many features. I mainly just make phone calls with hardly any texting so I prefer the numeric key pad, but like the touch screen. Camera takes good pictures. It is very easy to navigate. Great service. Have not experienced any dropped phone calls. Use the bluetooth everyday with phone and it has done great. I am in construction and it has very done well with all the elements of noise, weather, etc. I have had this phone for about 3 months and happy with my purchase
on January 1, 2014
I used this for travel in Sweden. Bought a SIM card at Arlanda Airport, activated it, and eventually had phone, text, and web service. I ultimately visited a local computer/cell phone store in Lindesberg Sweden. They help set me up with all the extras and saved me some kronors as well! This is an unlocked GSM phone. Works in Europe with all carriers (I used Telia). Works in US with T-Mobile and AT&T, and several smaller no contract companies.
on February 27, 2012
I have found this phone to be usually a good phone. That means that at least twice the touch screen has stopped working. The first time it started working again after a few days of non-use. This time, I am getting another phone. Nokia quality used to be legendary. Based on my experience, and a search of 'nokia c301 screen dying' , it seems that this is no longer the case. In essence my phone is shot after 9 months. I will send it back and see what can be done under warranty, but my anecdotal evidence is that this phone doesn't work well.