The Nokia C3: the budget buy for social butterflies

By Naomi Mackay,

The wait is over… we now know that the Nokia C3 will be coming our way in June as an exclusive pay-as-you-go phone on the Vodafone network.

Targeted firmly at those who use their phone to access Facebook et al more than they actually speak to their friends, the C3 offers Multi IM, which enables you to log in to one service to chat via Messenger, Google Talk, Ovi Chat etc, while social networking sites are just a click away, with all your mates’ updates, tweets, pokes and more appearing on your home screen. It also uses conversational SMS so you keep track of the flow of your text messages.

Nokia-C3

The Blackberry-style device boasts a 2 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, and a full QWERTY keypad. This split screen/keyboard design should make it easy to use for emailing, messaging and typing updates.

And how much does it cost to keep in touch? Well, the price for the handset has yet to be revealed, but it sells for $90 in the US. And customers will be able to pay for one of Vodafone’s pay-as-you-go mobile internet deals, at £7.50 for 30 days, which is enough to read 5,000 emails, download 12 Google maps and read 4,000 BBC News stories – apparently.

Occasional users can take advantage of Vodafone’s daily pay-as-you-browse deal, which gives 25MB of mobile data for just 50p – that’ll get you a couple of YouTube clips, up to 90 BBC News stories and let you read and reply to 100 emails.

And I’m not a particularly girlie girl, but even I was pretty taken with the handset, which comes in hot pink – as well as a rather less Barbie slate grey. While there’s a host of more expensive phones that offer better cameras, 3G and so on, this looks set to be a cheap and cheerful way to keep in touch, holding particular appeal for the teenage market.

Sign up for updates on the Nokia C3 here