Nokia launches its cheapest QWERTY phone yet

The €90 C3 is joined by the C6 and the E5

Nokia has launched three new phones that all come with a physical QWERTY keyboard, including its cheapest QWERTY phone yet.

That model is the C3, which costs €90 (US$120) before taxes and subsidies. The phone is based on Nokia's Series 40 platform, and comes with Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat. Above the QWERTY keyboard the phone has a 2.4-inch screen. Users can surf the web with Opera Mini and a Wi-Fi connection, listen to the radio via a 3.5 millimeter audio jack, take pictures with the 2-megapixel camera or update their Facebook and Twitter pages. Data can be stored on an 8GB memory card, which is optional. However, users will have to live without 3G and A-GPS (Assisted-GPS).

Customers who want those features will instead have to buy the E5, which will succeed the E63. The phone is based on the third edition of Symbian S60 and costs twice as much at €180 before taxes and subsidies. For that users get a faster mobile Internet connection using HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) and A-GPS navigation. There is also a 5-megapixel camera, but the screen still measures 2.4-inches. Data can stored on a 250 MB internal memory and up to another 32 GB on a microSD card. The phone ships with a 2GB card.

The E5 comes with an extensive list of e-mail and instant messaging services and platforms built in; not only from Nokia itself but also Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and IBM.

The other new addition to the Nokia portfolio is the C6, which is the most advanced of new phones.

The C6 combines a resistive touchscreen with a QWERY keyboard that slides out from beneath the screen. The phone will cost €220, before taxes and subsidies, and is based on fifth edition of Symbian S60. It has 3.2-inch screen with resolution of 640 x 360 pixels, compared to 320 x 240 pixels for the other two new phones.

The C6 also includes an FM radio, a 5-megapixel camera and A-GPS. Data can stored on a 200 MB internal memory and the 2GB microSD card the phone ships with can be replaced with on holding up to 16 GB.

E-mails are delivered to the homescreen and an IM client can be downloaded from Nokia's application shop Ovi Store

C6 users can surf the web using Wi-Fi or HSDPA (High-Speed Download Packet Access). However, unlike the E5 it lacks support for fast uploads using HSUPA (High-Speed Upload Packet Access).

The two new members in the C family will start shipping during the second quarter, and the E5 will arrive during the third quarter.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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