Nokia C5 review

We review the Nokia C5, a budget candybar offering both the simple necessities and a few extra bonuses

Colour screen, comfortable buttons for texting, inexpensive
Misses out with call quality, home screen too busy, too many navigation buttons
Nokia missed a trick here, not focusing on getting the basics right, and left it a muddled and cramped device that doesn't perform.

Much of the focus when it comes to mobile phones nowadays falls on the smartphone market.

The likes of Apple and HTC dominate the headlines with their extra shiny devices, but that is not what every user longs for.

Some people still want a phone that does the basics, without having a hefty price tag, and this latest Nokia device looks to those people. But does it fulfil those needs?

First, when looking at the C5 we weren't exactly blown away. It was a bit of an awkward shape, very long but without the width to match, giving it a stretched appearance.

The mish-mash of light and dark metallics, along with a black matt screen surround, also made it look like a Frankenstein phone, cobbled together from some spare parts left on the factory floor.

We will give it credit though for not feeling on the heavy side, despite its slightly bulky depth, and having decent sized buttons for a phone that is a lot smaller than some of its competitors.

The buttons do dominate the look of the device though. It is almost as if it was designed to be childproof, with no surround to the buttons to ensure you don't miss what you are dialling.

Above this comes a group of seven buttons that are badly placed. The central large button doesn't take you to the menu, which intuitively you feel it should do, and the two small silver buttons that lie between the other four are hardly noticeable until you have spent a lot of time with the device. When one of these is the cancel button, it becomes quite a pain. 

The screen then takes up the top half but it felt Nokia may have put more time into the buttons below. The screen is TFT colour but of pretty poor resolution - 320 x 240 pixels.

There is a nifty task bar that runs along the bottom of the screen which it editable to fit your regular application on there but navigating it with the large button below was quite fiddly and kept skipping over our choices.

You can add extra applications onto the home screen as well in the centre, with the default of calendar and emails. Yet with a screen so small – 2.2 inches – it made the whole thing look far too busy and forced everything to shrink in size to fit in, making it difficult to read as well.


Typical Price £149 SIM free
UK Launch 2nd quarter of 2010
Network T-Mobile
Frequency Tri band
Phone Style Candybar
Thickness 12.3mm
Length 112mm
Width 46mm
Weight 89.3g
Built-in Memory 50MB
Additional Memory 16GB MicroSD
High-speed Data 3G
Connectivity Bluetooth, GPS
Screen Size 320x240 pixels, 2.2 inch
Camera Yes
Designer Lens No
Camera Resolution 3.2 megapixels
Zoom 4x digital zoom
Flash LED Flash
Ringtones MP3, video
Music Player Yes
Radio Yes
Speaker No
Internet Yes
Browser XHTML
Games Yes
Battery Standby 630 hours
Talktime 12 hours
Recycle Sell Nokia C5

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