The Nokia C3-01 Touch and Type is simple, cheap and attractive, so what's not to like? Its touchscreen isn't the most responsive we've ever used, and the software is basic at best, but, if you've got a hankering for the simple life, the C3-01 is a winner.
The C3-01 costs £160 SIM-free, £99 on a pay as you go deal, or can be yours for free on a £15-a-month contract from Nokia's online shop.
A touchscreen gets classic
We've long been fans of Nokia's classic, well-built, budget phones, like the Nokia 6303 Classic. Sturdy and reliable, they're well-suited to anyone who's not interested in jumping on the smart-phone bandwagon. Compared to other cheap phones, they tend to have plenty of great features for the price, and many people are already familiar with Nokia's basic operating system.
But, for those who fancy a little change, the C3-01 updates the classic candybar phone with a touchscreen. Instead of using the familiar five-way navigation button, you can poke at the C3-01's screen to select what you want.
The C3-01's familiar user interface has been updated slightly to accommodate touch interaction, and we think Nokia has done a good job. The on-screen buttons are generally big and easy to jab, while the user interface sticks closely to familiar icons and menus, so as not to scare off fans of classic Nokia handsets.
Unfortunately, the touchscreen could be more responsive. It's the resistive kind, so you have to apply some pressure to use it, and the software isn't always fast enough to keep up with pokes and prods. Animations and transitions within screens are sometimes jerky and unimpressive, betraying the C3-01's inexpensive insides.
But this isn't a fancy, whizzy, pricy smart phone like the HTC Desire HD. This is a friendly, familiar and cheap candybar, and we think most people who choose it won't be too bothered about its lack of whizz.or the
Arrested app development
On the other hand, there are places where the C3-01's software is annoying. The social-networking app, for example, supports Facebook and Twitter but is slow to load and update. We'd rather Nokia hadn't bothered including apps that don't work brilliantly.
This phone has no multitasking or app-switching capability, so, when you close an app, it doesn't just hide in the background. As such, whenever you try to close certain apps, you receive a message checking if you really want to shut the app down -- and sometimes a few seconds elapse while it's being closed. Overall, moving around this phone takes serious patience.