Nokia C6 review

Full review: Budget full QWERTY slideout Symbian smartphone

Image 1 of 4 Nokia C6 keyboard
Nokia C6 keyboard
Image 2 of 4 Nokia C6 black
Nokia C6 black
Image 3 of 4 Nokia C6 inbox
Nokia C6 inbox
Image 4 of 4 Nokia C6 main
Nokia C6 main

The Nokia C6 handset is an affordable smartphone that combines touchy-feely skills with a sleek physical QWERTY keyboard layout

Nokia’s C series is fast becoming the Finnish phone maker’s smartest collection of blowers. The classy Nokia C5 and Nokia C3 have already set the standard for basic functionality coupled with high-quality design and now the C6 is looking to follow.

Combining a resistive touchscreen with a slide out QWERTY pad, it apes older siblings such as the Nokia N97 and N97 Mini, as well as eyeing up Android rivals like the Motorola DEXT. But under closer inspection, is it really the do-all smartie it purports to be?

Check out our Nokia C6 pictures gallery here.

-----------------------------------

More on Nokia:

Nokia C3 review

Nokia C5 review

Nokia 6700 Slide review

------------------------------------

The similarities between the Nokia N97 and the C6 are myriad. There’s the same Symbian S60 OS, the same UI with live Facebook feeds and email, as well as direct access to Ovi and GPS. Likewise, the touchscreen is the same resistive effort as the previous Nokia flagship, with the only major difference being the fact that the keyboard doesn’t flip out laptop-style.

Nokia C6: Interface

Symbia S60, despite lagging behind Apple IOS 4 and Android for customisation and apps, remains straightforward to use. Setting up email on the homescreen is as simple as tapping in your email address and password, and it’s the same for direct Facebook access. That said, the front screen is too cluttered, especially when in landscape view. There’s just too much going on to hold your focus properly. Perhaps the C6 could have taken its cue from its candybar cousin the C5, which is far more minimal.

When in portrait mode, it’s much easier on the eye, however you’re then reliant on the touchscreen, which if we’re being honest is not up to snuff. It measures up well against the Motorola DEXT, but that’s hardly a compliment.

Resistive touchscreens are improving all the time (the LG Optimus being a good example), but this effort is average, requiring constant prods and re-prods. Sliding through menus and web pages is not enjoyable and you’ll be falling back on the physical keys and the D pad at every opportunity.

Nokia C6: Keyboard and browser

The QWERTY though, is more than decent. It took us only a few minutes to get really up to speed with it, the keys offering a reassuring thunk every time they’re tapped, with a decent bobble on each one to ensure you don’t slip onto the wrong key while tapping out texts.

There are two minor concerns, however. As with the N97 and Motorola Milestone, the D-pad on the right hand side means you’ll be stretching your right thumb across the phone to type, which can cause real discomfort. The space bar is oddly placed too and takes a while to get used to. These niggles were ironed out with the N97 Mini, so it seems strange that Espoo has fallen back on them for the C6.

Web browsing is standard, with pages rendered well by the 320 x 640, 3.2-inch screen. Zooming, however, is not great, although load times were decent over 3G. T3.com takes around thirty seconds to load fully. Flash Lite is on board, although it remains clunky and is still not perfect for watching web-based video. If you want that, you’re best off holding out for a top-end Android FroYo phone with Flash 10.1.

The speed of the device is of concern, however. Running the same 434Mhz processor as it's N Series cousins, like many S60 devices, the C6 feels sluggish, taking time to swap from portrait to landscape and offering up ugly white screens when opening apps such as Facebook. It doesn't have the same snappy vigour as rival Android efforts.

Nokia C6: Multimedia

The snapper is one on the Nokia C6’s calling cards. The 5MP pics are aided by a functional LED light and there’s plenty of opportunity to share your shots over social media with one touch access to the web. Other multimedia functions, such as music playback and video, take their cue from S60, with basic results. The media player looks average, but works well and only the most technophobic phone user would be unable to get to grips with it.

The battery is a bit of a winner, giving just shy of two days performance despite sending plenty of emails, zipping about the web and making loads of calls.

The Nokia C6 is a decent stab at bringing the N97 to a lower price point. However, it feels like something of a retread of the N97 Mini. If you want the aggregation skills of the C6, then HTC Wildfire and (albeit pricier) HTC Legend offer better skills at a similar price point. This is a decent phone, but unlikely to convert anyone to Symbian, making it a handset for Nokia fans, with the priority of texting and emailing.

The Nokia C6 is out now, find out more from Nokia

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Specifications:

OS: Symbian S60
Processor: ARM 11 434MHz
Storage: 200MB, MicroSD
Screen: 3.2-inch resistive 320 x 640 pixels
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, HSDPA (3.6Mbps), A-GPS
Camera: 5MP, LED, autofocus Vide: 640x480 at 30fps 3G talk time: 5 hours
Video playback: 4 hours
Music playback: 30 hours Dimensions: 113 x 53 x 17 mm
Weight: 150g

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------