Review: Nokia C6-01 – The Value For Money Smartphone [By Our Reader]

You know, it’s amazing when a reader comes forward to write a review. It is. Go ahead and read it already!

The C6-01 is the “smallest” member of Symbian^3 family and possibly the most ignored one. It is not a mainstream smartphone but falls in the class of low end smartphones that are meant to provide good multimedia experience to people who can’t afford the big guns. The device reviewed is stock Symbian^3 that comes out of the box. I refrained myself from using any third party apps (except for taking screenshots) so as to give you an impression of what it has to offer for an average Joe.

Unboxing

The box itself:
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It is a rectangular blue box and I can’t elaborate it in more detail.
The C6-01 –
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And other contents
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Including-
  • A couple of guides
  • A “cheap” pair of ear-ins. I call them cheap because they don’t do justice to the multimedia capabilities of this device.
  • A 2GB micro SD card
  • Nokia Ovi Suite mini CD
  • A PC connectivity cable of decent length ( not the usual short ones)
  • And yes there was a charger too, the Nokia propriety 2mm charger

Looks and Hardware

Nokia designers are one of the best and they never fail to give every phone its own special look. This one is no exception and looks simplistic yet nice. Curve back fits nicely in palm. Build quality falls short of nothing and the weight gives a very solid feel while handling.

Front of the device features a brilliant 3.2 inch AMOLED display with clear black technology (one of the best technologies out there). Display is vibrant and awesome for watching movies. CBD ensures perfect sunlight legibility. The colour reproduction is good so pictures look vibrant but not oversaturated. Screen resolution of 360×640 really looks crisp on the 3.2” screen


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There are three hardware buttons below the display Menu, Call and Ignore.

 

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Earpiece, proximity and light sensors lie above the display along with a VGA front camera for video calling.

 

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The back of this devise is clad in metal and featured a 8 megapixel full focus camera with dual LED and a speaker grill beside it.
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Opening the back cover reveals a rather “smallish” battery and a Micro SD card slot on the right side. The sim card slot is beneath the battery. I would like to mention that the battery is user replaceable. The battery sits firmly because of some jigsaw like lock mechanism. The back cover locks firmly giving the device a pretty solid and premium feel.

 

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The top and right sides of C6-01 are clean

 

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Bottom has a 2mm charging port with LED indicator, a 3.5mm standard headphone jack and a micro USB port. Oh yes there is a microphone too.

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Right side has volume keys, a dedicated camera key and a lock slider (which was quite hard to move, it may loosen itself over time)

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Overall the externals are pretty good and the only thing missing are the HDMI port and probably a hardware QWERTY (I know I am expecting too much)

 

Internals and Connectivity

The C6-01 is powered by a 680MHz processor. The processor is not as slow as it sounds and the phone is quick and responsive most of the time. There is a powerful dedicated GPU too to cater your gaming needs. 256MB of RAM means you can moderately multitask without any lag.

Connectivity is where this phone shines. It has

  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • 3G(HSDPA, 10.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 2 Mbps),
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
  • USB 2.0 with On-the-go support

You get quad band GSM and pentaband 3G radios which means it will work on any network worldwide

As you can observe the C6-01 has all the popular connectivity options available. HDMI would have been a welcome feature though. We don’t expect technologies like NFC to feature in phones of this category.

Battery is a meagre 1050mAh so you’ll probably have to charge it every night. The battery life of our unit was to poor to believe. It could not last even 3 hours of heavy usage. The phone sometimes got too hot even in standby so we suspect some fault in our review unit.

Symbian OS and Apps

We have already done the detailed Symbian review. Here is a recap

C6-01 alike all its Symbian^3 brothers has 3 customizable homescreens. There are moderate number of widgets to choose from. Setting them is also quite simple. Keeping widgets in online mode does drain the battery faster. Scrolling through the homescreens is smooth.

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Menu is the same “old” grid view in folder and subfolder hierarchy manner. I personally like this kind of menu view

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Calls and Contacts

We don’t expect anything but excellence in  this department. Calls quality is pretty good and there are no call drops even in low network situations. Audio from loudspeaker is loud so that you wont miss your calls even in noisy environments.

The contacts application is decent. You can create groups, sort out contacts, sync them with PC or Ovi Sync. I would have liked a bit of Social networking integration though.

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Messaging and Email

Messaging app looks pretty much the same as in earlier editions of Symbian. One big and rather welcome change is the inclusion of Conversation view for messages. The qwerty keyboard in landscape view is pretty decent. I am pretty much satisfied with alphanumeric keyboard in portrait view as because of small screen size portrait qwerty isn’t that much fun to use on this particular phone

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Email application is easy to setup. You just have to enter your username and password. Once you except the Nokia Messaging terms and conditions, Emails start syncing to your mailbox. You can also add additional folders that you might have created on Gmail etc. During the review period it was a very pleasant experience with emails being pushed without delay.

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Web Browser

I don’t want to humiliate the web browser by posting benchmarks results but the browser is for mild browsing only and is not meant to replace your desktop browser. It is a shame that it even failed to load the first test page properly which was our own blog page androsym.com in desktop view. Surprisingly even opera mini was able to load the page in a better manner.

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It is not just about loading heavy pages but the experience that matters. The web browser is a pain to use. I would have liked a split screen keyboard, search suggestions better download manager… and the list continues. My recommendation is to use Opera mobile which is pretty good

Camera

As I have already mentioned C6-01 packs an eight megapixel EDoF camera. I would like to tell the readers that EDoF does not mean inferior quality camera. Nokia has introduced EDoF as most people find it difficult to capture good photographs using Autofocus cams. if you are a good photographer, it is very easy to bash EDoF saying that it lacks “this” or “that” particular feature but the overall experience and ease of use is were EDoF outshines. You don’t have to dig deep into the settings to produce quality images. I would rather say that EDoF is another way to express the term “Point and Shoot”

Camera interface is nice and easy to use. There are some advanced options like ISO also available.

Beginning with the samples, I would rather start in a negative way. If you want to buy this phone as you think you’ll click some good macro shots please change your decision. EDoF cannot focus anything within 50cm from the lens so say goodbye to Macro shots. As an example I’ve included two images below

Nokia C6-01 Sample

The  one from C6-01 focuses the background making the main subject blurred. There is a similar shot from an 8MP autofocus cam for comparison.

Apart from this EDoF produces great results in almost all situations. The photos through EDoF camera may lack complexity of professional photographs but are very good for landscape shots and group photographs. Have a look at the gallery below.


The C6-01 also records video at 720p and is very good in doing so.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_MZM57XHjM

Maps and Navigation

C6-01 comes with a free for lifetime Ovi maps subscription. The GPS is quick to lock your position. Maps have a simple interface. There are many options like 2D/3D view etc to choose from. Voice guidance is also available. One good feature is that you can download the maps and can use them in offline mode too. Ovi maps will ensure that you never get lost.

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Music and Multimedia

The Music player app is simplistic and minimalistic. It supports popular formats like MP3, WMA, WAV, eAAC+. The cover flow view in landscape mode looks good. The most important features missing are a customizable equalizer and metatag editing.

 

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The music output is good through the loudspeakers. I would suggest to buy some good ear-ins as the one supplied with the retail package are not so good for music.

Video player supports all major file formats. Video playback is smooth even during moderate to heavy multitasking. The video player is simple yet powerful. Subtitle support really deserves admiration. Videos are crisp and look gorgeous on the CBD display. The resolution of 360×640 is decent considering the price of this device. Size of the screen (3.2 inches) is the only thing that might take hamper your multimedia experience. Overall a very good device for movies.

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The photos app provides a combined thumbnail preview of all your photos and videos.

Conclusion

Nokia  offers some of the best features like 8MP camera, free navigation services, a brilliant display and great device. Although it is not the best smartphone out there but is the king when compared to other phones in its price range (sub 15K). It is the best value for money smartphone for people not willing to spend those extra bucks for a high end device.