“As an emergency or secondary mobile phone, Nokia’s C5 is perfect. The phone has a few smartphone-style features, though the lack of wi-fi support makes them hard to use”
Nokia's C5 is lightweight and user-friendly
Nokia’s C5 isn’t a smartphone, and it doesn’t pretend to be one. This mobile phone is aimed squarely at those shopping for a no-frills phone or a secondary/emergency mobile.
“Phone Switch” booted up when I first turned the C5 on, transferring all my contacts, calendar entries and important files across from another mobile phone using Bluetooth wireless technology.
Anyone who’s used a Nokia phone before will feel instantly at home with the C5. Its refreshingly simple interface let me seamlessly scroll through contacts, check emails and open my favourite apps right from the homescreen.
The C5 doesn’t have a touchscreen - it’s button operated. Nonetheless, the phone’s central navigation button and large keypad made finding my way between apps and writing text messages extremely easy.
If you’re going to buy a basic phone then it goes without saying that you’ll have to forgo some features, and the C5 is no exception.
However, Nokia’s decision to leave wi-fi support off the C5 was a real oversight.
The phone supports wireless 3G - so you can access websites from the phone on the move, yet most took ages to load. Once webpages had loaded they were difficult to browse because of the C5’s cursor-based internet navigation.
The metal battery cover is a nice touch
Ovi Store - Nokia’s answer to the iPhone App Store - comes pre-installed and is accessed using 3G. The store itself doesn’t take long to load but downloading apps requires some patience.
A stripped down version of Facebook runs on the C5. The app offers most of the social networking website’s core features (the wall, my profile, etc) and its tabbed interface made for easy routing between them.
Apps can multitask on the C5, with a small circle appearing beside those still running in the background. Multitasking didn’t soak up too much of the C5’s battery life (which was excellent, I should mention).
I set the C5 to retrieve my Google Gmail emails and really liked how the phone displayed the subject of new emails as links on the homescreen. This made getting into my email account quick and easy.
Any emails I received with only images in their bodies (adverts for Domino’s Pizza, mostly) were converted into text, meaning I didn’t need to wait for the phone to download the image before I could read the email.
Nokia has saved on costs by fitting the C5 with a cheap camera (3.2Mp) that doesn’t take very good images.
Having said that, I was surprised to see “Panorama Mode” lurking within the C5’s imaging options. Panorama mode stitches multiple images together into one and is useful for capturing landscapes, but the feature’s usually reserved for cameraphones like Sony Ericsson’s Satio.
Ovi Maps - a rival to Google Maps - is available on the C5. Generally the phone plotted my location very accurately and gave me a good choice of directions and options when plotting my route somewhere else.
In terms of looks the Nokia C5 is nothing special. Its plastic body feels a little cheap, but the solid metal battery cover should protect the phone from sticky tabletops.