I received the C3 device back in October for a test drive. At the time the device was due for a software update hence it had some major kinks that needed to be ironed out. Considering the former, I am glad Nokia decided to delay the launch in Pakistan rather than release a device, only to have negative reviews due to software bugs. This review is based on the pre-launch device.
Pros: Fully Qwerty keyboard, wifi capability, messaging services, low price
Cons: very little internal memory, low quality camera, data sync/transfer is a problem
Form Factor and Ease of Use
The device has a metallic finish on both its front and back and is available in three colors; slate grey, golden white and hot pink. Dedicated keys for contacts and messaging allow one touch access to address book and sms, email or conversations; a chat style view for sms messages; and a full QWERTY keyboard brings full text input capabilities to the user. A 2.4″ QVGA screen brings 262,000 colors to life at a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels. The device is lightweight and easy to hold though the screen is easily smudged after a phone conversation.
Phone Setup and Basic Usage
Phone setup was a nightmare. I could not transfer my contacts and messages via phone switch, backup-restore via SD card or OVI services (that only does contacts). In the end, I had to use OVI suite to backup and then transfer my stuff.
The phone itself is great to use. The keys seem hard a bit at first and the dedicated keys take a little getting used to, however, after a few messages and phone calls, the hand settles down and it is a breeze after that. The new chat style sms exchange is wonderful and brings joy to the user. I hated getting back to my regular phone only for this reason. However, I did not miss its hard keys. The home screen customization gives appealing access to favorite contacts, facebook updates and favorite applications. The facebook updates are the device’s feature highlights and are commendable on the phone.
Wifi, Camera, Multimedia & Applications
The device is equipped with a WLAN 802.11 b/g antenna that allows users to use web applications with better speed and cheaper costs. The antenna itself is not very powerful as I found that it easily became disconnected from my Wifi access point whenever the position of the device changed or moved from room to room while my other devices remained connected.
There is a 2 MP camera at the back of the phone that shoots photos passable for facebook mobile uploads and twitter. There is nothing extraordinary about this camera and can at best be used for MMS on your phone.
For music, installation of a microSD card is a must, since the on board memory (55 MB only) is inadequate for music files. The multimedia capabilities are limited to Music and FM Radio.
As for applications, the device offers a slew of applications available for download from the OVI store. However, again the user is limited with internal memory and as such cannot install applications on the device without adding a microSD card to it. I tried to install a prayer application only to find that it cannot be installed due to limited phone memory. Nevertheless, for a standard phone that should not aspire to be a smartphone, the existing applications (Calendar, To-do list, notes, recorder, calculator, clock and converter) are more than enough for everyday use.
The device is officially priced at PKR 12,900/-
Clearly, the market demographic from the start is the teenager who needs to be instantly updated with tweets, friend statuses, shared videos and photo albums. However, those who are looking for reasonably priced device with large display, wifi and full keyboard functionality and can pay an additional price for microSD card then this is a good buy for them. For full phone specs, please visit the Nokia website.