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Sunday, 13 June 2010

Nokia Unveils Three New Handsets: C6, C3, and E5

The Nokia C6, C3, and E5 will transform you into a social  butterfly.

The Nokia C6, C3, and E5 will transform you into a social butterfly, unless you're a loser. Then you're stuck.

That’s two new smartphones and 1 new dumbphone. Today, Nokia released the C6, C3, and E5 – three phones aimed at the “social networking crowd” – and we’ve got the lowdown on them.

First up is the Nokia C3. As you might expect, the C3 is the token budget phone of the three, clocking in at 90 euro ($122 USD). It’s the first Nokia Series 40 phone to feature a full QWERTY keyboard, and besides the 2 megapixel camera (really, Nokia?), its feature set ain’t half bad: Webkit-based browser, wifi/WLAN, 7 hour battery life, microSD slot (up to 8GB supported), and hell, even a 3.5mm stereo jack. The main draw here might be the Communities client, which I’m hoping isn’t just a crappy Java app – it’s supposed to allow users to update status and post photos on popular social networking sites.

And now that we’ve gotten the dumbphone out of the way, let’s check out the C6. It’s the most expensive (220 euro, $229 USD), and looks like a shinier 5800 XpressMusic. And it runs Symbian Fifth Edition! That, of course, means we’re talking touch-screen handset (probably resistive), and in the C6’s case it’s also got a sliding QWERTY more similar to the N900 than the N97 (straight slide vs. angled). It also looks like Nokia’s made yet another attempt to find the perfect QWERTY keymap: we now have shift keys on both sides (good), four rows of buttons (good), a backspace key under the P key (bad), the enter button under the backspace key (really bad), and what appears to be a five-way navigation button (neutral). I declare this new keymap a failure.

Other cool options on the C6 are A-GPS (along with free Drive + Walk Navigation for Ovi Maps, don’t forget about that), 3.2″ TFT widescreen, 5 megapixel camera with autofocus/flash, microUSB, WLAN, 3.5mm jack, up to 16GB microSD support, and 7 hours of battery life. Interestingly, I believe this is also the first time I’m seeing a quad-band 3G WCDMA handset by Nokia: it has 850/900/1900/2100 3G bands. All you can eat baby!

And now we’re on to the Nokia E5. Reminiscent of the Palm Centro (maybe a little more rectangular), the E5 isn’t just for the kiddies – it’s technically an Eseries device running Symbian S60 Third Edition, and it has to have the highest talk time on any Nokia phone: 18 hours, 30 minutes on GSM and 5 hours, 30 min on 3G. I know that got you excited, but it’s probably a typo. I’d assume 8 hours on this baby.

Not a whole lot to say about this smartphone either. QWERTY keyboard, GPS/free drive and walk, yadda yadda yadda. 5 megapixel “full focus” camera, mobile VPN, data encryption, tri-band WCDMA. Pretty much standard fare for the Eseries, and not too much that really stands out except for HSDPA cat9 + HSUPA cat5, meaning 10.2 Mbps down and 2Mbps up. Sweet. This one’ll sell for 180 euros ($244 USD).

Expect the C3 and C6 in the second quarter of 2010, and the E5 in the third.

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