Nokia C5-03 review: Green cadet

Green cadet

GSMArena team, 17 December 2010.

Unboxing the Nokia C5-03

The Nokia C5-03 comes with a standard set of in-box items – no surprise given the phone’s low price. The list of accessories includes a compact charger (which ends on a 2mm plug), a short microUSB cable and a typical Nokia one-piece headset. Manuals and user guides are supplied as well.

Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03
The Nokia C5-03 retail package

We we’re glad to see that Nokia didn’t skimp out on the memory card – you get a 2GB card, which is enough for photos and a few music albums. You can use cards up to 16GB if you really need the space.

Nokia C5-03 360-degree spin

At 105.8 x 51 x 13.8 mm, the Nokia C5-03 has almost the same footprint as the C6-01 but it’s considerably lighter. The weight of 93g actually makes it one of the lightest touch smartphones around. The phone is very compact, with little in the way of a bezel around most of the 3.2” touchscreen.

The wide selection of color combos is also a welcome break from predominantly white-grey-black-colored smartphones. The glossy piece of plastic at the back is a chronic fingerprint magnet though (especially the black one).

Design and construction

The Nokia C5-03 values compactness over screen size and wastes as little space on bezel as possible. It’s painted in two colors – primary color for the back and around the screen and an accent color for the bottom part of the phone.

There are two primary colors (graphite black and white) and five accent colors (graphite black, lime green, petrol blue, aluminum grey and lilac). That makes for a total of 10 color combos – the C5-03 is one of the most colorful phones around (note that color availability varies by region). Throughout our studio shots, you will see two of the variations - black with a green accent and black with a gray accent.

The screen on the Nokia C5-03 is nothing fancy – a 3.2” resistive TFT LCD unit. Even by LCD standards it leaves a lot to be desired – it’s not too bright, viewing angles are inadequate and it gets pretty bad in direct sunlight (the topmost layer is highly reflective).

Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03
The Nokia C5-03 screen is not very good

Just below the display, there’s a plastic strip holding the three hardware controls – the usual red and green receiver keys with the menu key between them. The keys are big enough but they are a little uncomfortable to use being placed pretty low on the phone’s front.

Nokia C5-03
The three hardware keys on a single strip of plastic

It’s pretty barren above the display – there’s just the earpiece. There’s no proximity sensor, so the Nokia C5-03 always locks the screen during a call and you need to manually unlock it.

Nokia C5-03
Just the ear piece above the display

There are two controls on the right side of the phone – the volume rocker and the lock key. The volume rocker sits pretty flush against the side of the phone and the press feedback isn't very good. The same holds true for the lock key but at least accidental presses are rare.

Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03
The volume rocker and the screen lock key on the right-hand side • nothing on the left

The left side is of the Nokia C5-03 is left bare.

The top and bottom feature the wired ports of the phone. On top, there’s the 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB port (both left exposed) and at the bottom, there’s the 2mm charger plug. The microUSB port can be used for charging too.

Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03
The microUSB port and 3.5mm audio jack on top • Charger plug and a mouthpiece at the bottom

The mouthpiece is placed at the bottom, right next to the charger plug.

Around back we find the usual suspects – the camera and the loudspeaker. The camera lens is left unprotected. It’s slightly recessed but that’s the only thing keeping it safe from scratches and there’s no flash to help out in low-lit scenes.

Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03
The camera lens flash and the loudspeaker grill

The loudspeaker is on the opposite end of the back and the well-designed curve at the very bottom does an excellent job: the speaker never gets muffled if you place the phone flat on a table and you can enjoy rich vibrant sound.

Opening the back cover (two slits at the bottom to lift the lid up) reveals the 1000mAh BL-4U battery, which is quoted at 576 hours of standby and 4 and a half hours of talks in a 3G network.

The SIM compartment is under the battery, while the microSD card slot is on the right side. It’s hot-swappable as usual, you’ll just need to remove the battery cover every time.

Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03
The battery, SIM bed and microSD card slot

The glossy plastic at the back seems pretty scratch-prone and it will quickly lose its luster if you don’t take good care of it.

The Nokia C5-03 is clearly targeted at a younger audience and the great choice of lively paint jobs makes sense. The color accents are subtle enough though to appeal to more conservative tastes as well.

The phone is very compact, light and easy to handle, plus it will fit into pockets trouble-free. The screen is not the best you can get but a typical choice for the price range.

Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03 Nokia C5-03
Nokia C5-03 held in hand

Reader comments

  • Sonu

Is it suport whats app

  • Anonymous

hi,my nokiac5-03 dont work good.just send and call public,in web working like a shet.im good in making new machine ofcource just mecanicall,good with the anything with wood and perfect in bilt with the simpel tooles and damages mashin meny kind of we...

  • ram

nokia c5-03 wifi connected or not