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Nokia C3 Touch and Type hands-on

Chris Ziegler
09.20.10
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Nokia continued the precedent set by the X3-02 at Nokia World last week by rolling out the C3 Touch and Type, its second Series 40-based handset to make use of that pretty unusual touchscreen / numeric keypad combo. Unlike the X3-02, the new C3 variant features a more traditional keypad layout by dropping the *0# row down below the 789 row, but since T9 only makes use of the first three rows to do its thing, it shouldn't make much of a different in practice for typing usability. Besides a 2.4-inch QVGA display, you get a 5 megapixel camera, full HSPA, microSD support up to 32GB, and 802.11n (yes, n!) WiFi, making it a surprisingly well-equipped device considering that it falls toward the bottom end of Nokia's budget-themed Cseries.

We played a bit with the diminutive candybar at Nokia World, and though you can't really tell from the pictures, we know where Nokia's saving the money on this one: the build. Put simply, it feels like a pretty cheap phone all the way around with flimsy plastic, a so-so display, and a resistive touch layer with plenty of give. Trust us when we say that's not a knock -- at €145 ($189) fully unlocked and subsidy-free, you're getting a lot of capability -- but would-be buyers should be warned that this doesn't have anywhere near the premium feel of the N8. That said, it's extremely thin, light, and small -- and the on-screen controls are all plenty large for fat-fingering your way through the UI -- so we could see it making a serviceable backup phone even in the developed markets where Nokia doesn't plan to push a lot of these. Check out the gallery!

Gallery: Nokia C3 Touch and Type hands-on | 14 Photos

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