The Nokia C6-00, or Nokia C6, is an entry-level smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

Nokia's C6-00 smartphone is positioned as an entry-level device that is ideal for email and social networking thanks to its physical QWERTY keyboard. Unfortunately, this is another Nokia smartphone that is let down by poor software and questionable build quality. The C6 may be cheap but it can't hold a candle to a range similar priced phones, particularly the excellent HTC Wildfire.

The Nokia C6 smartphone has similar dimensions and a similar style to Nokia's current flagship N Series device, the N97 Mini. It lacks the flip-up screen, but possesses a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a resistive touchscreen and runs the same Symbian operating system. The C6 has a nice balanced feel to it but its build quality is questionable — the rear battery cover rattles, the slider wiggles when in the open or closed position and screen lock slider feels loose and flimsy. To top it all off, the design feels tired and dated, especially compared to the latest range of Android smartphones.

The C6's QWERTY keyboard should have been a highlight of this handset, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Though the keys are quite large and are raised to ensure good tactility, the space bar feels like two buttons mashed into one, resulting in an uncomfortable typing experience. We also don't understand why the keyboard is effectively split into two; the keys are split between the Y and U letters for no apparent reason and this makes it a stretch to type letters on the edges of the keyboard (such as Q and P). On a positive note, the keys have a soft backlight, making it easy to type on in a darkened room.

The Nokia C6 smartphone is controlled largely via its 3.2in resistive touchscreen; combined with the clunky Symbian operating system it delivers a highly frustrating user experience. The display lacks the responsiveness of a capacitive touchscreen and the Symbian OS and dated S60 UI is filled with inconsistencies. For example, the selection of buttons is inconsistent, with single clicks required in some menus and double clicks in others. Performance is also poor; we regularly experienced lag and delays when completing basic tasks (such as opening and closing the slider), while scrolling in basic menus is jerky and unnatural — a complete opposite to the the smooth experience offered by similarly priced Android smartphones.

The Nokia C6's home screen is a slight positive: you can customise it with a range of live widgets including Facebook, e-mail, news, weather and phone shortcuts. The content is limited and you can't adjust the size of the boxes, but you can edit what is displayed in each of them. As with other Nokia phones running Symbian, holding down the menu button displays the application manager, which allows you to close currently running programs.

The clunky software and poor build quality are a shame, because the Nokia C6 packs in plenty of features for a phone at this price point. A 5-megapixel camera with LED flash takes reasonably good photos with accurate colour, and it also doubles as a basic video recorder. The C6 also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a built-in GPS receiver that works in tandem with Nokia's Ovi Maps application. Ovi Maps provides free, full turn-by-turn navigation for the lifetime of the device. Although we'd still recommend a dedicated GPS unit for everyday use, the Nokia C6 paired with Ovi Maps is a competent navigation solution for casual users, especially when it costs nothing.

The phone has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and an FM radio. The media player is similar to the one seen in most Nokia's N Series handsets, displaying album art and allowing the adjustment of multiple settings including loudness, stereo widening and a five-preset equaliser. The Nokia C6 has just 200MB of internal memory, but ships with a 2GB microSD card.

Best deals on the Nokia C6

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

See also: Group test: what's the best smartphone?

Mobile phone deals

Nokia C6-00: Specs

  • Camera resolution (megapixels): 5
  • Geotagging
  • 3.2in 640x360 TFT touchscreen accelerometer
  • expansion card slots: Flash
  • GPS receiver
  • full QWERTY keyboard, touchscreen keyboard
  • email, MMS, SMS
  • Microsoft Exchange support
  • Attachment editing/viewing
  • Data tethering
  • 1800MHz (2G), 1900MHz (2G), 2100MHz (3G), 850MHz (2G), 850MHz (3G), 900MHz (2G), 900MHz (3G)
  • FM radio support
  • Voice recorder/playback, music playback
  • Alarm, Calculator, Calendar, Notes, Stopwatch
  • Rechargeable removable battery 1200 maH
  • Symbian S60
  • 200MB storage
  • microSD
  • AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WMA, MPEG-4
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • A2DP Bluetooth
  • 3G, Bluetooth, Wireless 802.11b, Wireless 802.11g
  • 150g
  • 53x113x17mm
  • Camera resolution (megapixels): 5
  • Geotagging
  • 3.2in 640x360 TFT touchscreen accelerometer
  • expansion card slots: Flash
  • GPS receiver
  • full QWERTY keyboard, touchscreen keyboard
  • email, MMS, SMS
  • Microsoft Exchange support
  • Attachment editing/viewing
  • Data tethering
  • 1800MHz (2G), 1900MHz (2G), 2100MHz (3G), 850MHz (2G), 850MHz (3G), 900MHz (2G), 900MHz (3G)
  • FM radio support
  • Voice recorder/playback, music playback
  • Alarm, Calculator, Calendar, Notes, Stopwatch
  • Rechargeable removable battery 1200 maH
  • Symbian S60
  • 200MB storage
  • microSD
  • AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, WMA, MPEG-4
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • A2DP Bluetooth
  • 3G, Bluetooth, Wireless 802.11b, Wireless 802.11g
  • 150g
  • 53x113x17mm

OUR VERDICT

Nokia's C6 smartphone may be cheap but clunky software and a dated-looking design means it doesn't represent very good value for money. There are plenty of better alternatives at a similar price point.

Find the best price