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Nokia C5-03 Review

Friday, 23 December 2011

Nokia C5-03 Review
General   2G Network     GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network   HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100
Announced    2010, October
Status  Available. Released 2010, December
Body  Dimensions     105.8 x 51 x 13.8 mm, 65 cc
Weight   93 g
  Type     TFT resistive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size  360 x 640 pixels, 3.2 inches (~229 ppi pixel density)
Handwriting    recognition
Sound   Alert types     Vibration; Downloadable polyphonic, MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker   Yes
3.5mm jack   Yes, check quality
Memory  Card slot     microSD, up to 16GB, 2GB included, buy memory
Internal  40 MB storage, 128 MB RAM
Data   GPRS     Class 32
EDGE   Class 32
Speed     HSDPA, 10.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 2 Mbps
WLAN    Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, UPnP technology
Bluetooth  Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
USB        Yes, v2.0 microUSB
Camera    Primary     5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, check quality
Features   Geo-tagging
Video     Yes, VGA@15fps

Secondary No
Features   OS     Symbian OS v9.4, Series 60 rel. 5
CPU   600 MHz ARM 11
Sensors   Accelerometer
Messaging  SMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging
Browser  WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, Adobe Flash Lite
Radio  Stereo FM radio
GPS   Yes, with A-GPS support; Nokia Maps
Java  Yes, MIDP 2.1
Colors  Graphite Black, Lime Green, Petrol Blue, Aluminum Grey, Pink/black
MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
MP3/WAV/еAAC+/WMA player
Photo editor
Voice command/dial
Predictive text input
Battery   Standard battery, Li-Ion 1000 mAh
Stand-by  Up to 600 h (2G) / Up to 576 h (3G)
Talk time  Up to 11 h 30 min (2G) / Up to 4 h 30 min (3G)
Music play  Up to 35 h
Misc   SAR US     1.36 W/kg (head)     0.89 W/kg (body)   
SAR EU  1.29 W/kg (head)
 Nokia C503
 Nokia C503
 Nokia C503
 Nokia C503

Nokia C503
 Key Features Symbian S60 operating system
 5-megapixel camera
 3.2-inch 360x640 pixel screen
 3.5mm headphone jack
 2GB bundled microSD card

Nokia C503

The Nokia C5-03 is clinging onto the past with all its might. Nokia has just teamed-up with Microsoft to pump out its own Windows Phone handsets, but the Nokia S5-03 is stuck with the Symbian operating system. It's not the Symbian^3 OS released in October 2010 alongside the Nokia N8 either - this is Symbian S60 version 5, used in the Nokia N97 way back in the prehistoric age of 2009.

Symbian S60 isn't just old, it's the cremated remains of a smartphone system held together with sticky tape and hair spray, and it pales in comparison to iOS and Android. In a budget phone like the Nokia C5-03, however, it doesn't feel entirely out of place. The phone is available for free on contracts of £15 a month or more, or SIM-free for around £180.

Nokia hasn't tried too hard to convince us this is anything but a budget smartphone through its build. The Nokia C5-03 has an all-plastic body and, apart from a textured end-cap, it's super-shiny. Out of the box this heavy dose of plastic is clearly evident, but it's only going to get worse with use as this finish shows up every blemish, scratch and scrape whenever the phone catches the light. In fairness, the actual design is quite smart but we just fear it won't remain looking that way for any length of time. 2010's Nokia C3 proved that Nokia can produce a phone with a top design and a rock-bottom price, but it hasn't pulled off the same trick here.

On the top of the handset, there are the now-standard 3.5mm headphone and micro USB ports, and the right hand-side is home to the volume rocker and lock button. The only odd addition to the Nokia C5-03's body sits on the handset's bottom - the tiny cylindrical Nokia charge socket, now nearing extinction as micro USB continues to dominate mobile charging. The micro USB socket of the C5-03 can also be used to charge the phone, but using the dedicated charging socket is quicker. We found charging with a dedicated micro USB charger snappy enough, but one isn't bundled here - just a proprietary charger and USB data transfer cable.

Questionable aesthetics and blast-from-the-past features aside, the Nokia C5-03 isn't entirely out-of-date. It has a 600MHz ARM 11 processor, on-par with the majority of budget smartphones and not much slower than the Nokia N8's 680MHz CPU. That said, day-to-day navigation is rarely lag-free, but we'd attribute that's more the inherent interface design of the Symbian S60 system than a lack of power in the Nokia C5-03. All told, the lag is similar to what you'd see in an Android 2.1 phone with a similar 500-600MHz processor.


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