The Nokia C6 looks and feels like a poor man's N97, or more accurately , except it's not actually that cheap. The C6 suffers from the worst excesses of the N97's software, without the saving grace of its solid hardware, resulting in a phone that's disappointing at any price.
The C6 is available for free on a £25-a-month, two-year contract. You can also pick it up SIM-free for £250.
Slip and slide
The C6 is a slider phone that looks, from a distance, like the N97, which was last year's top-of-the-range Nokia phone and turned out to be a bottom-of-the-pile disappointment. Up close, however, the C6 looks and feels much cheaper. The slider mechanism is reassuringly solid and springy, but the case itself is dull and plasticky.
The three buttons beneath the resistive touchscreen work well, although we found that the call-end button, which also turns the phone off, is far too quick to shut down the handset when you press it for a moment. The buttons also seem stranded in the empty space at the bottom of the phone, which strikes us as poor design.
The C6 is rather chubby too. You can blame that on the full Qwerty keyboard that slides out from under the screen. We found the keyboard to be of average quality. More travel and space between the keys would be welcome. We had no trouble typing accurately with it, however.
We've never been fans of Nokia's attempts to shoehorn its Symbian operating system into a touchscreen phone, a ploy the company first tried with the. We're now running out of patience with a user interface that even Nokia has admitted is deeply flawed.
Small irritations, like the need to double tap items to open them or the constant prompting about which network connection to use, soon develop into a genuine overall dislike. Without a good-looking case or innovative features to weigh on the positive side of the equation, the C6 isn't left with much to recommend it.