Nokia C3, C6, and E5 try to smarten up the dumbphone market

The countdown is over and the mystery is solved. Nokia just let us in on the secret of its "everyone connect" teaser: a trio of new middling handsets. Yes folks, hardware, but not the N-series flagship many of you were hoping for. Instead we've got a handful of affordable QWERTY cellphones bent on bringing messaging and social networking to the masses. Naturally, these devices aren't going to compete for the attention of the N8-00 crowd -- that's fine, they're not meant to. Today's launch is part of Nokia's global strategy to push the smartphone experience down into the dumbphone market.

Let's start things off with the colorful C3-00 (available Q2 for €90 pre-tax and pre-subsidy) -- Nokia's first Series 40 QWERTY. The quad-band GSM candybar crams its social networking tools onto a 2.4-inch QVGA homescreen with Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, and 55MB of internal memory (and up to 8GB supported on microSD) coming along for the ride. It's also packing the Opera Mini browser in addition to the standard Webkit fare for browsing the mobile internet on the C3's paltry EGPRS data connection. But hey, €90. Moving on, we've got the more ambitious C6-00 (Q2, €220) 4-row QWERTY slider with quad-band GSM/EDGE and quad-band HSDPA/UMTS on the 850/900/1900/2100 frequencies. The familiar looking C6 runs S60 5th on that 3.2-inch nHD (640 x 360 pixel) touchscreen (resistive, we presume) with a 5 megapixel autofocus camera and flash riding the backside. Of course, it also features integrated A-GPS for free Ovi Maps turn-by-turn navigation as is the case for all new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones. Finally we've got the E5-00 (Q3, €180) for those in need of a S60 3rd device that's a bit more business-minded than the C3 but twice the price (but still cheap). That means tri-band UMTS, A-GPS, WiFi and another unfortunate 2.4-inch LCD. Full press release after the break.%Gallery-90347%

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Social networking and messaging brought to life with the Nokia C3, Nokia C6 and Nokia E5.

Espoo, Finland – Nokia has announced three new handsets – the Nokia C3, Nokia C6 and Nokia E5 – designed to put better messaging and social networking tools in the hands of more people around the world, at affordable prices. These new handsets feature full QWERTY keyboards, and enable access to a range of different email accounts, IM communities and social networks.

"Our messaging device range is very successful," said Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's Head of Markets. "Services that provide easy access to the world's consumer and corporate email and instant messaging are really popular on our QWERTY smartphones such as the Nokia E71 and Nokia E63. People want the best messaging and social networking experience on an affordable device, whether it's sending a simple text or instant message, an email, or a direct message from their Twitter account. The Nokia C3, Nokia C6 and Nokia E5 are made for just that."

The Nokia C3 is the first device to bring a full QWERTY keyboard to the world's most popular mobile phone platform – Series 40 – and is the first in the range to enable access to social networks directly on the homescreen. People can view, comment, update their status and share pictures to their favourite social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

At an estimated price of EUR 90, before taxes and subsidies, the Nokia C3 also comes with Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat, meaning first time users can set up email and chat accounts straight from the device, without the need for a PC. Other notable features are the Wi-Fi connectivity, a two megapixel camera, rich colour 2.4 inch screen and support for up to an 8GB memory card. The Nokia C3 is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2010 in a variety of appealing colours, including golden white, slate grey and hot pink.

The Nokia C6 is a Symbian-based smartphone combining the benefits of a 3.2 inch touch screen with a full slide out keyboard. The large screen provides a great Internet experience, as well as offering access to Facebook feeds directly on the homescreen. A full suite of email and social networking capabilities means the Nokia C6 is perfect for people who want to stay up to date while on the go.

Expected to be available in the second quarter of 2010 at an estimated price of EUR 220, before taxes and subsidies, the Nokia C6 has an impressive feature set including a high quality five megapixel camera with autofocus and flash, and Ovi Maps with free walk and drive navigation. In addition, thousands of apps – from games and videos to news aggregators and web services – are available in the Ovi Store.

Rounding off the trio is the latest addition to the Nokia Eseries range, the Nokia E5. Designed for those that want to be productive in both their professional and personal lives, the Symbian-based Nokia E5 follows the successful blueprint of devices such as the Nokia E72 and Nokia E63. The Nokia E5 combines high quality business features with all of the personal networking and entertainment capabilities that a busy professional expects from a smartphone.

The Nokia E5 is perfect for managing busy schedules with a variety of productivity applications available in the Ovi Store. And with direct access to over 90 percent of the world's corporate email through Mail for Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes Traveler, it's easy to keep in contact from anywhere.

Estimated price of the Nokia E5 is EUR 180, before taxes and subsidies, with expected availability in the third quarter of 2010.