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Review: Nokia C3-01 Touch & Type

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The C3 supports most forms of messaging out of the box. It has Ovi mail on board, with pre-installed settings for Gmail, Windows Live, Yahoo and other popular POP3 account types. Set up was as easy as signing in. The client is a pull- rather than push-client, however. You have to actively seek out your inbox; it doesn't automatically pull emails from the cloud and alert you to their presence. I found the client to be good enough for casually checking messages, but with a 12-key dialpad, there's no way I'm typing long missives. The Gmail client has built-in support for Google Talk, but I'll be darned if it isn't clunky. Really, it only lets you interact with one service at a time, as switching back and forth between Gmail and Google Talk takes too many steps.

If you want to use other chat services, you have to go through Nokia's Ovi Chat. Ovi Chat will let you access AIM, Yahoo Messenger, and Windows Live, but it's not very good.

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The SMS app has (thankfully) been updated a bit. It now offers real threaded messaging, allowing SMS messages to be read in a conversational format. The text bubbles separating sender from receiver aren't as distinct as I'd like, but they're much better than anything Nokia has offered before. Users can insert text or media into messages, as well as emoticons.

All the messaging services have an improved composition screen, and have ditched the crummy UI found on Nokia handsets stretching back for nearly a decade. The screens are cleaner and less cluttered, and the steps are fewer.

As for social networking, there's nothing included on the C3 out of the box. You may choose to go to the Ovi Store to find and download applications that let you access Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, and other sites. Snaptu was a pretty good one that I found, which works with all four of those services. Dedicated apps for Series 40 are unavailable, based on what's in the Ovi Store. (Gravity, the excellent Series 60 social networking app, isn't available to Series 40.) This is one weak spot.

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