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Hands on with the Nokia C3 and C6 and the Nokia E5

OMG I’m actually writing about gadgets again! It’s flattering that the hardware companies have actually noticed that recently, diving > gadgets. OK let’s go!

Today I give you an actual hands on with three new Nokia devices. The really affordable C3 and C6 and the E5 business phone. All of these have a QWERTY keypad with the C6 resembling a Nokia N900 but running Symbian (S60) while the C3 and E5 resemble the classic Blackberry candybar that we’ve come to love. All of these devices come with WiFi, but the key message of Nokia for these three devices is for connecting with friends in social networks and chat. Wait! Aren’t they a bit late in the game for this? Back in 2009, LG and Samsung launched the same “messaging phones” that have IM and email. Nokia announces the release of their line for Q3.

Before we start, I asked Nokia about the new nomenclature of phones — there is no longer an XpressMusic line, simply “X” like the X6 which stands for music and entertainment. The “N” series is still there and I predict that all future N devices will be running the new Maemo Meego platform, with the N900 and its previous Internet Tablets being the experiment into this realm. Now, the new “C” line. The room guffawed that “C” stands for “Cheap” (LOLZ) which is in a way true. The C series replaces the 6xxx line of Nokia, the main bulk of all classic phones such as the 6630, 6210, etc. “C” stands for “connectivity” or “community.” All these devices have threaded messaging, quick access to “communities” via Facebook, Twitter, IM etc. and the integration is well thought out to some extent: For instance when you get a Facebook event invite, you can save the invite directly into your phone’s calendar. All have 3.5mm jacks for standard earphones.

Nokia has a habit of churning out variations of its previous models and calling it by an entirely new line. The new C3, C6 and E5 can be called as such, but there are still really cool differences. Let’s go over them one by one.

The C3 (as seen here in HOT PINK), as I predict will be the top seller in Q2. Why? Not only does it run on a faster S40 platform (no multitasking but that’s actually a GOOD thing for UI speed), it also has WiFi (AMAZING! When was it such that S40 could do WiFi??) and it will retail for an estimated SRP of 90 Euros. That’s a killer price right there for a great phone with WiFi. It comes with an 8GB memory card.

The C6 is probably the new N97 mini with a full 3.2 inch touch screen and slide out QWERTY keypad. It slides out parallel to the device, and thus resembles a N900 in form but a N97 (mini) in philosophy. The price: suggested retail is 220 Euros.

Finally we have the new enterprise phone, the Nokia E5. Here’s a photo comparison of all the Eseries phones that we had on the table that day. That’s the E71 and E72, E63 and E61i! The philosophy behind the new Eseries is an improved home screen, which is really the main selling point of these enterprise devices alongside access to corporate email. It makes little sense to highlight this though as all these devices have WiFi and email access anyway. If you’re on SMART, there’s always Nokia Messaging. The price? 180 Euros.

From four shortcuts, the new E5 is now down to two menu buttons and two shortcuts. Honestly, I never used the shortcut keys on the hardware side.

All these goodies are coming out this Q3 2010!