Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nokia C3-00: First Impressions

I recently ordered a Nokia C3-00 (slate) from Nokia USA for my wife. Since her Samsung Magnet took a swim, she has been using my old Nokia E61. She gets really great use out of it, especially with WiFi and the large screen and great keyboard. However, I felt it be necessary she gets an upgrade (although her Magnet was also an upgrade back in April, but I digress ...) since my eyes have been set on the Nokia N8 for nearly 6 months now.

Upon opening the box (I will get some pictures up in a full review - not a very exciting unboxing) I found a beautifully colored slate blue phone atop the box, and the underneath compartments housed the battery, Nokia's world-famous pin-connector charger, and a set of headphones, which are also for hands-free calling. I powered up the phone without a SIM card, and it asked if I wanted to continue since a SIM was not detected - very nice feature. I then had to manually set the date, time, timezone and daylight savings. Then, on to the home screen, which is setup rather nicely for a feature phone are three slots for "widgets" that can be customized however you'd like. Anything from application shortcuts, Facebook and Twitter status updater, Music and Radio player, Favorite contacts, and more built-in, as well as downloadable from the Ovi Store (which is built-in). I noticed immediately the shortcut keys for Bluetooth (Hold '*') and Silent/Normal profile (Hold '#') didn't work with this version of S40, but not a huge deal, and there are shortcuts that can handle that I found that the lower right button is both the control character and Normal/Silent profile toggle - the Symbol key is now a dedicated key left of the spacebar. The menus look very nice, and the notification screens have large, bold text that makes it easy to see, even on a small screen. The screen itself is nice and bright. I connected my wife's Facebook to the phone, connected to the wireless network at my office, did a Google search straight from the home screen, and was able to pick up a few radio stations via the FM radio built-in (headphones required to act as antenna as usual). The headphone jack is a 3.5mm size, so that is very surprising, considering Nokia's past with the 2.5mm or proprietary connectors, but in this day, it is hard to get away with not having 3.5mm. They keyboard is fantastic, and the keys are a bit longer than the E71's. The phone, although very light in weight, feels durable and well crafted. I sent a picture over Bluetooth from my laptop and it worked seamlessly. The camera takes decent pictures, but they wouldn't let me delete them? I haven't dug into the user guide yet, so I will page through that, and cook up a full review of this very slick feature phone.

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