Nokia C1-02 review: Nokia C1-02

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The Good Solid build quality; Bright screen; microSD expansion; 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Bad No 3G; no camera.

The Bottom Line Perfect for mobile novices or those who desire straightforward functionality from their phones, the C1-02 is rugged, works well and has brilliant battery life. If you can do without 3G data and a camera, it's worth a look.

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7.5 Overall

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While gadget hounds and smart-phone lovers eagerly await the first glimpse of the fabled Nokia Windows Phone, at the other end of the scale the company continues to pump out surprisingly decent budget devices. The C1-02 (not to be confused with the confusingly recent C2-01) is the latest in this lineage. It cuts more corners than a particularly unscrupulous Finnish rally driver, but ultimately delivers astonishing value for money.

The C1-02 is available for around £20 on pay as you go. SIM-free prices are a little higher, at around £50.

Beauty is only skin-deep

Those of you expecting Nokia's latest release to be a formidable multimedia powerhouse will be deluded disappointed. The C1-02 is as humble as they come, and lacks the physical attractiveness of devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S 2 or the iPhone 4.

That's not to say the C1-02 is ugly. When compared to other budget phones -- including such siblings as the creaky Nokia 1616 -- the C1-02 comes off looking quite refined. The entirely plastic casing doesn't exactly exude sophistication, but it feels as solid as a rock. The slightly rubberised texture is also a bonus, as it prevents the phone from slipping out of your hand.

The large, friendly buttons of the C1-02 make texting a real pleasure.

The big, bold keys on the front of the C1-02 make for quick and easy texting, while the responsive D-pad allows for intuitive navigation through the phone's venerable S40-based operating system. You'll also find a 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth file transfer and a microSD card slot -- the latter of which is quite a rarity in the budget sector.

Bright eyes

The 1.8-inch screen -- which, er, 'boasts' a resolution of just 128x160 pixels -- is pathetic when set against the iPhone 4's pin-sharp retina display. But compared to the murky, washed-out screens seen on similarly priced mobiles, it's actually impressively sharp and bright. The colour balance is also decent.

Alas, something had to give to cram this tech into the C1-02's dainty 108 by 45 by 14mm, 78g frame. There's no camera, so if you're a fan of capturing impromptu snaps with your mobile, you're going to be out of luck here.