We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Smartphones Reviews
15,526 Reviews

Nokia C3 review

From free depending on contract; £69 inc VAT (SIM free)

Manufacturer: Nokia

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Nokia C3 is a budget mobile phone with a hardware qwerty keyboard and Wi-Fi support.

With smartphones becoming more and more affordable, the definition of a budget phone has been gradually changing. The Nokia C3 fits into the mould of the new breed of budget phones - phones that offer more than simple calling and messaging features.

The Nokia C3 is a phone with a qwerty keyboard, but don't mistake it for a business phone. The Nokia C3 doesn't have fully fledged productivity apps and makes do with a 'to do' app in place of a calendar/organiser app.

In fact, the Nokia C3 is aimed purely at the budget buyer who likes to stay connected to social networks. As a result, Nokia has added a Nokia Community app, using which you can log into your Facebook and Twitter accounts and get all your profile updates in one place on your phone.

Nokia C3 screen

Nokia Community lets you work with your Twitter and Facebook accounts

The Nokia C3 supports Wi-Fi (there's no 3G or GPS, though) which is a great bonus to have at this price. There is some issue with the C3's Wi-Fi connectivity (which plenty of people on Nokia's official support forums have come across). Certain apps don't recognise the Wi-Fi connectivity including Nokia's Ovi Store app, forcing you to incur data usage when downloading apps in spite of there existing a usable Wi-Fi network.

The Nokia C3 is an S40 device, which means there aren't too many multi-faceted apps that you can download for it. However, Nokia has included some decent apps apart from the Communities app. This includes a Nokia email app that lets you set up multiple email accounts from different service providers in a very short and simple way. However, to check your mails, you have to have the app open at all times since the inbox only refreshes when you are in your inbox.

Nokia C3 screen

The Nokia Mail app lets you pick and choose from numerous email providers

The Nokia C3 also has a Google Talk app that works really well except for the fact that there is no way to go 'invisible' once you log in.

To make sure that all these apps (and a couple of other shortcuts, favorite contacts and so on) are one touch away, the Nokia C3 has customisable shortcut widgets on the homescreen. This is a great addition and brings the C3 one step closer to being a smartphone.

One thing that takes the Nokia C3 one step back from that, however, is the absence of true multitasking. Yes, you can play music in the background while performing tasks, but that's about it.

Nokia C3: Hardware

The Nokia C3 offers very basic hardware - nothing more. Apart from the excellent keyboard, the C3's hardware features are in line with other budget devices.

The Nokia C3 has a 2.4in colour screen with a resolution of 320x240 and output of 256k colours. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microUSB port. However, you can't charge the phone over USB so you'll have to make use of the separate charger port. The Nokia C3 has only 55MB of internal memory but the good news is that it accepts microSD cards up to 8GB. Imaging is taken care of by a 2Mp fixed-focus camera that can also record videos at 320x240.

Nokia C3

Nokia C3: Design and usability

The Nokia C3 definitely looks like a phone that's more expensive than it actually is. In fact, it would be quite easy to mistake the C3 for one of its more expensive E-series cousins, especially the Nokia E5. All in all, the C3 is easily one of the better-looking devices in its price range. In terms of build quality, the C3 feels really solid and Nokia has done well in putting together the phone with just the right amount of metal and plastic.

Next page: Web browsing, multimedia, and our expert verdict >>

See also:

Nokia E5 review

Best deals on the Nokia C3

Group test: what's the best smartphone?

Mobile phone reviews

Nokia C3 Expert Verdict »
Nokia C3 Scores 8.6 out of 10 based on 517 reviews
Quad-band phone
2.4in (320x240) screen (256k colours)
55MB internal storage
2Mp fixed-focus camera
qwerty keyboard
Wi-Fi
3.5mm headphone jack
microUSB port
microSD cards up to 8GB
talk time 7 hours
standby time 480 hours
58x116x14mm
114g
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The Nokia C3’s price tag of £69 inc VAT (SIM-free, pay as you go) makes it easily one of the most affordable phones we’ve reviewed. The C3 offers Wi-Fi and a hardware keyboard, as well as good looks and build quality and a fast interface. If you aren’t particularly looking for a smartphone but wouldn’t mind Wi-Fi connectivity and a qwerty keyboard with your budget mobile phone, you really can’t go wrong with the Nokia C3.

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£97
  • Nokia X3 Touch and Type review

    Nokia X3 Touch and Type

    The Nokia X3 Touch and Type is a budget smartphone. It has a hybrid design that combines a touchscreen as well as a traditional 12-button phone keypad.

  • Nokia C6 review

    Nokia C6

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

  • Nokia C7 review

    Nokia C7

    The Nokia C7 is a Symbian^3 smartphone with an 8Mp camera and an AMOLED display.

  • Nokia E5 review

    Nokia E5

    Nokia's E5 is a business smartphone with a qwerty keypad and social-networking functionality.

  • Nokia 5800 Tube review

    Nokia 5800 Tube

    The touchscreen 3G Nokia 5800 gives the mobile phone world a pleasant surprise. This iPhone rival brings plenty of hardware goodies, but can it compete with Apple's crown jewel?


IDG UK Sites

The 10 most ridiculously opulent, mega expensive and utterly stupid gadgets you can't afford

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 review: Hands on with the iOS 8 beta

IDG UK Sites

5 things Android Wear *can't* do: Smartwatch OS is great but not flawless

IDG UK Sites

Free QuarkXPress update offers redlining, notes and image enhancement