Nokia C5-03 Review: Specifications, Design and OS

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Nokia C5-03 Review


With the advent of Android as a mobile OS, Symbian has been totally ignored by the press in the past year. Nokia, though, hasn’t given up and is still trying to keep its hold over the budget smartphone market.

With the Nokia C5-03, it has launched a very well priced budget smartphone with almost everything you would need in a smartphone. It sports the older Symbian OS 9.4 though, not Symbian ^3 or MeeGo.

In this review, I will tell you everything you need to know about the Nokia C5-03.

Nokia C5-03 Specifications

  • Dimensions: 105.8 x 51 x 13.8 mm
  • Weight: 93 gms
  • Display: 3.2 inch TFT resistive touchscreen display, 360 x 640 pixels
  • OS: Symbian OS 9.4
  • Processor: ARM 11 600 MHz
  • RAM: 128 MB RAM
  • Memory: 40 MB internal storage
  • Camera: 5 MP camera, 2592 x 1944 pixels
  • Connectivity: GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g with UPnP, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP
  • GPS: GPS transceiver with A-GPS
  • Battery: 1000 mAh Li-ion battery

Design (4 out of 5)

The Nokia C5-03 is quite similar to the Nokia C6-01 in terms of design. It has similar dimensions at 105.8 x 51 x 13.8 mm but is lighter at just 93 gms. It is very compact, but not very slim.

The body is composed of plastic and has nice build quality and feels quite durable. It comes in a lot of colors and is aimed at a younger crowd.

It sports a 3.2 inch TFT resistive touchscreen display with a resolution of 360 x 640 pixels, the Symbian standard. The display is quite good for a budget phone with nice brightness and contrast. Below the display are the three keys - Call, End and Menu.

On the right of the phone is the volume rocker and the lock button. On the top is the audio jack and the microUSB port while the charger slot is on the bottom. The 5 MP camera is on the back of the phone with the battery compartment.

OS and Hardware (3 out of 5)

The Nokia C5-03 comes with the Symbian OS 9.4, or Symbian ^1. It’s probably used instead of the newer Symbian ^3 because then the C5-03 would cannibalize the higher priced Symbian ^3 phones.

Symbian ^1 is very usable, but stands nowhere compared to Android, iOS or even MeeGo. The least Nokia could have done is bundle Symbian ^3 with the phone, but they have valid reasons not to.

The Nokia C5-03 comes with a 600 MHz ARM 11 processor and 128 MB RAM. It has 40 MB internal storage and supports up to 32 GB microSD cards. It is quite fast and responsive.

The resistive touchscreen works well, but isn’t as good as capacitive touchscreens. The UI is quite good, but was ported from non touch phones to touch phones, and that is quite evident.

Still, in this price range, I have nothing to complain about. Android cell phones in this range offer similar hardware specs and there should be many options soon.

Multimedia (3 out of 5)


The Nokia C5-03 comes with a 5 MP camera which can capture images at a maximum resolution of 2592 х 1944 pixels. It has neither autofocus nor flash but captures nice images. It has a decent camera interface and offers access to all the standard settings.

It can capture only VGA videos which aren’t much to speak of. If you can, avoid recording video with this phone.

It has a nice image gallery app which is a bit slow. The music and video players are good and support most of the common mobile formats. The 3.2 inch display isn’t very good when it comes to watching videos, especially when compared to 4.0 and 4.3 inch displays.

It also has a stereo FM radio with RDS. The audio quality is superb, especially when coupled with good headphones. It is one of the best music phones in this price range.

Connectivity (4 out of 5)

The Nokia C5-03 comes with all the standard connectivity options. It has GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA as well as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g with UPnP and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP. It also comes with a GPS transceiver with A-GPS support and Ovi Maps.

It is powered by a 1000 mAh Li-ion battery which lasts for about 2 days with moderate usage. It also comes with the Ovi Store which has improved a lot since it started.

The Verdict (4 out of 5)

The Nokia C5-03 is a very good budget option, one of the best Symbian smartphones in this price bracket. It has everything you would need in a smartphone. I have nothing to complain about, except for the OS. When good Android phones start populating this budget range, I don’t think this phone will stand much of a chance. Still, a very good buy. Definitely recommended.

Also, do check out this list of the best budget Android smartphones before you make a final decision.