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.