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Nokia C2-01 – an initial thoughts review

Currently, Nokia is arguably the strongest force in the budget and emerging phone markets. The C2-01 is the result of many years of refinement, where the basic functionality, features and design have been stripped down to produce the handset.

This Nokia mobile is a surprisingly handsome creation, with both a compact and practical design that proves we have almost gone full circle. C2-01’s design is vaguely reminiscent of some of the very first ‘mobile’ phones, such as the ‘Maxon’ series. The very nature of Nokia’s model naming system will continue to perplex and bamboozle the most pompous of phone store ‘experts’ worldwide. It‘s still possible though to make the distinction, if not by the model number, then by the refreshing aesthetical qualities that the C2-01 brings to the table.

Upon first exploration, you discover that the on-board memory is limited to just 43MB, but the handset officially supports microSD cards up to 16GB and this initial problem can be easily rectified. If you do consider purchasing this phone, then media storage probably isn’t your priority. The basic functions of calling, messaging, price and battery life would be the most attractive features to a potential customer. In this sense, the C2-01 actually provides an elegant solution to replacing or updating an old phone.

The one true disappointment is the browsing experience. We would never expect high-resolution graphics or other such luxuries from its 2-inch screen, but with an incredible lack of options or even a URL entry the user has little control over web surfing. Nokia should really be providing a more user-friendly approach to the web by now, especially when you consider their target market.

Nokia’s C2-01 certainly won’t be competing with smart phones in terms of price, but to say it is ‘cheap and cheerful’ would be hugely undermining its potential. After a few weeks of using the phone it does actually offer more that its basic specifications indicate, although the features are hardly likely to blow the mind. Overall, the Nokia budget mobile is genuinely comfortable to use, as the keys are a good size along with being arranged in a desirable manner.

The ergonomic precedence warrants incredibly effective text entry and the navigation keys guarantee ease of access to the phone menus, where no delay or ‘deft touches’ slow you down, regardless of your dexterity. These advantages are increasingly rare as technology often serves to ‘show off’, with their scrolling animations and similar ‘party tricks’. This is all without focussing on the staple ingredients of a phone, such as responsiveness and effective task management.

Amongst the scattering of basic features, the 3.2 MP camera hides no tricks up its sleeve but the end results are sufficient in our opinion. The editing options also provide a lot more than you expect, but the icons are just too small to comfortably use. The Nokia C2-01 enjoys instant access to email, IM and messaging courtesy of the side-scrolling front screen menu. Each of these features provide an entirely academic setup, which perfectly complements the general theme of ‘usability’ throughout the device.

This C2-01 is a true benchmark in terms of what you can now expect from a budget phone. It isn’t particularly surprising however, as Nokia has proved again and again that they can sell phones like this in huge numbers – where the C2-01 looks to be one of the most successful to date.

– B

Originally published at

Rob Kerr
Rob Kerr

Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.