Nokia C5 Review

2. August 2010 at 08:55

What is that? A phone without a touchscreen? Is that 2010? Many user haven’t had a simple standard phone since 2008. Without a doubt, a touchscreen is convenient, cool and so futuristic. However, there is still a market for devices without a sensitive screen. With the Nokia C5, Nokia have released a handy smartphone in a candybar design, dedicated to the people which want to be connected with the ones who matter the them, Nokia said.

Nokias suggested a retail price of €135 before taxes and subsidies but a look in the internet shows that it is available for under €120 with taxes already. For this price one gets a fully capable navigation device. Built in GPS with A-GPS and the latest navigation solution ‘Ovi Maps’ are the highlights of the device


It comes equipped with the full map of the country you are living. If you are planning a trip in another country you can grab the maps for the whole world free of charge and save it on the 2GB card which comes with the C5. Voice guided navigation works decent and GPS fix comes fast. One might assume that the rather small 2.4-inch screen may be a problem when one tries to navigate. In the car, however, we had no problem with the display nor with Ovi Maps. Without a mistake we have been pointed to out destination. In strong sunlight, the small non-transflective screen is, as many other displays, hard to read. This, I wouldn’t count as a negative point though.


The C5 runs on S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2. On the homescreen, which you can customize, you have the overview over up to 20 of your contacts, six shortcuts to your favorite applications, one fast access to your email account, upcoming appointments and basic information such as time, date and current profile.

Using the menu key, two softkeys and a directional-pad one navigates through the menu. Besides these hardware keys there is also the alphanumeric keypad to enter the text or to dial a number.

These keys are really big, arched and do have a good pressure point so that it is also convenient for bigger fingers. As all other S60 devices, also C5’s menu consists out of a grid view with subfolders and many applications. For some user which aren’t familiar with Symbian having that many folders a applications may be a little bit confusing. Less applications would clearly lead to a better overview.


Changing from the gridview to a list, horsehoe or V-shaped menu is no problem. Moving applications, deleting and creating folders is also possible and so you can personalize the C5 for your needs.

Users who like a shiny, easy to use and innovative UI are wrong with the C5. Rather it is a powerful but plain UI that does not show off with stunning animations and transitions.

Nokia C5 (top) and Nokia N97 (bottom)

The 2.4″ screen allows a compact design. It is only 12,3 mm thick and overall really handy. Actually it feels really good in the hand and also in the pocket. Without a problem it fits in every back pocket and makes in every situation a slim figure.

The Nokia C5 is available in two different colours. Our model is called ‘warm grey’. The C in C-Series stands for classic and so does the C5 look like. Silver gives the C5 a timeless sheen.


A chrome frame all along the edges and the stainless-steel batterycover give the C5 a more solid and gallant look. The rest is made of plastic.
Unfortunately we noticed a rattle when shaking the C5 a little bit. This comes from the loose microSD card slot on the right long edge side and may annoy the user.

On the back of the C5 we can spot a 3.2 megapixel sensor with a tiny LED. The camera-software offers many options like different scene modes, a panorama mode, self timer function or a sequence mode.

Screenshot0039 Screenshot0042

What hobby photographers will miss is the autofocus which is actually standard nowadays. Hence the C5 isn’t the proper device for people taking many and good pictures. Here are a few samples (click to enlarge):


Connectivity wise there is UMTS ,GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, 10.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 2 Mbps and Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP. Unfortunately Wifi isn’t on board.

Nokia’s own application store – the ovi store- comes preinstalled and contains applications, games, videos, ringtones and themes. Frankly, the Ovi store cannot compete with Apple’s App store in terms of both, quality and quantity. It is hard to find a really good and useful app.


A web browser is also on board. This browser supports flash content, handles Rss-feeds and displays the web pages like you would expect them. However, due to the limitation of the screen you have to zoom in/out and scroll around a lot. In order to navigate more easily you can activate a map-view giving you an overview and showing you in which part of the web-page you’re currently in.


Youtube videos can be displayed in full screen.

The final question is, to whom the device really fits. We doubt that teenagers will go crazy for this device. Rather we think that it fits to customers over 30 or older seeking a standard and a handy phone to rely on. The slim form factor, the big keys and the the full GPS capability are without a doubt a convincing argument.

Nokia C5 – it sounds like a baby toy (almost)

Facebook & Twitter: Social Media Integration on the C5