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Christmas Gift Guide
Phones

Nokia C5-03 budget Symbian touchscreen phone packs Wi-Fi

Nokia has launched another budget C5 series Symbian phone with decent hardware, but is it really good enough to make a splash before Christmas?

The Nokia C5-03 is another in its C5 series of budget phones, but those crafty Finns have added a dash of quality by sticking a touchscreen, Wi-Fi and 3G on it.

Unfortunately, the 3.2-inch touchscreen of the C5-03 is the clunky resistive kind, which you might be familiar with from old devices such as the Nokia 5800. Newer, pricier Symbian handsets such as the X6 generally sport capacitive touchscreens -- it seems Nokia weren't able to shoehorn one in for the £150 price the C5-03 should be selling for.

There's no Symbian 3 love here either: the C5-03 is stuck with the dated Symbian S60 5th edition OS. But the C5-03 does have Wi-Fi, a significant upgrade from the Nokia C5, which only had 3G.

You also have a decent 5-megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom, but no flash. It will also come with a compass and assisted GPS, with free Ovi Maps. There's just 40MB of memory, but it supports microSD cards up to 16GB.

The C5-03 is similar in weight and size to the upcoming C6-01, the upcoming Symbian 3 phone that will land in the UK before Christmas for around £220. You'll be able to buy the C5-03 in white, black, lime green and blue.

Nokia used to have this budget end of the smart phone market sewn up. It keeps churning out the handsets, with the Touch and Type X3 and C3 also expected this year, but things have changed dramatically in the last few months. When it comes to phones priced around the £100 to £150 mark, there are now plenty of options if you don't want to stick with a Nokia Symbian phone.

The Orange San Francisco Android 2.1 phone, for example, is a capacitive touchscreen phone, and at £99 costs £50 less than the C5-03. Android has the benefit of a huge number of apps and is generally more user-friendly than Symbian, which is really looking its age.

November will see Samsung flooding the market with a number of inexpensive Android and Bada handsets. In previous years Big Sam would have had Symbian phones available at these prices, but it has given up on the platform, leaving only Nokia using it.