It’s easy to get caught up in the latest smartphones, but not everyone has $600 to spend on a new unsubsidized phone every year. And that’s where something like the Nokia C6 might come into the picture.
To be fair, while I do report on the latest gadgets and tech for a few of my clients, I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to buying these things for myself. After all, I stuck with the Nokia E71 in the face of lowered performance and outdated features. With the Nokia C6, you get most of what you can do with more expensive phones but in a more affordable package.
If you’re expecting the world of the C6 (which was the gadget of the week on Dot Com Pho this past weekend), you’re going to be disappointed. However, if you’re looking for something that’ll update your Facebook, check your email, surf the web, play games, and do all that other smartphone stuff, it’ll do that. For people who prefer the physical touch, the Nokia C6 has “haptic feedback” for its touchscreen, meaning that it vibrates ever so slightly to acknowledge your input.
Much like the Nokia N97mini that I reviewed last year, the Nokia C6 also has a hardware QWERTY keyboard that pops out the side. However, while the N97 mini could do the slide and tilt thing, the C6 only slides. The keyboard layout is also a little different with a prominent directional pad to the right. This makes navigating menus a fair bit easier, as the touchscreen can prove finicky at times.
The overall user experience remains largely unchanged from other recent Nokia Symbian phones. If you’ve used the N97 mini, the Nokia N8, or anything else that is similar, you’ll be familiar with the C6 pretty quickly. The Ovi Store is there for apps, the web browser is the same, and the front page widgets are the same.
In terms of the five megapixel camera on the back, picture quality is actually pretty decent. There’s flash when you need it, but the above shot was taken without flash until relatively low light conditions. That’s not too shabby.
I didn’t expect much when I opened up the box to the Nokia C6 and, by and large, I didn’t get much either. It’s not a bad phone, per se, but it’s the kind of thing where you feel like you’ve already fallen behind before you’ve broken the seal on the packaging. That said, the Nokia C6 can be had for less than $250 unlocked and brand new on eBay, so that’s a pretty great bargain.
It will certainly be interesting to see what becomes of Nokia when it starts shipping phones with Windows Phone 7 on them. Will they return to their former glory? Time will tell. In the meantime, here are a few more shots of the C6. Click on the thumbnails to check out the bigger versions on Flickr.