On Friday, a touch-qwerty hybrid from Nokia’s Cseries surfaced. The Nokia C6.
I wasn’t expecting anything like this from the core series. I thought they’d at least be non-touch like the recent C5.
The C6 seems like a QWERTY/Touch hybrid for the masses. This is exactly the reason why Nokia’s range of smartphones might have a significant proportion that’s technically ‘underpowered’ compared to the competition. (I’m assuming it doesn’t have 1GHz processor)
But because Nokia is catering for mid-low end consumers who may want a piece of the smartphone pie but can’t or don’t want to pay high end prices. (Eventually those high end features trickle down, take the 5800 – Nseries grade circa 2008). This might be big if it hits 150-240GBP range.
Superficially, the C6 appears to be one of Nokia’s 5800 with a side slider QWERTY keyboard. However, it has the tiled homescreen interface reserved for Nokia’s N97/mini/future Symbian^3 devices.
- Is it Symbian^3? It’s using the Symbian^3 style theme/wallpaper (and some other slight changes).
- But to have Symbian^3, it would need to have processing power much higher than the N97/mini right? (If not, great news for N97 users if it means you might get S^3).
- So could this be the first 600MHz Symbian touch phone from Nokia and NOT the fabled X10?
- That dialpad is more reminiscent of S60 5th Edition rather than having those “dot indicators” of which homescreen you’re in.
- Most likely, it is S60 5th.
Anyway, onto the keyboard. It seems a standard Nokia fare at first but there are some marked improvements.
- Love it or hate it, the C6 has a D-Pad which eats a lot of space that could have been better served by having more keys. (Potentially 8 more – see crude paint job below)
- I don’t know what Nokia has against having a dedicated numbers row.
- When they have a 3-row, an extra row would bring numbers row with secondary symbols as standard keyboard layout, but no.
- However, Ignoring the dpad/arrows, C6 has the most buttons on a Nokia touch/QWERTY hybrid keyboard.
- More than the N97 (33), N97 mini (34) and N900 (34) as C6 has 39 buttons!
- It has two shift buttons for toggling caps lock, one on the left, the other on the right.
- It retains the symbols button to get additional symbols (easier than maemo 5’s silly 2 button combination)
- There’s a Control button. It seems it can also put the phone into silent mode. Control might be for easier copy and paste.
- Function button. The diagonal arrow suggests this is for secondary keys (like N900).
- Basic punctuation keys have dedicated buttons so you won’t need to press a button first to activate full-stop, comma or apostrophe .,’ This was a silly flaw in the N97, slowly improving with the N900/N97 mini (though it was still stupid to have apostrophe on the M)
- The Spacebar is in the middle (technically) when you’re holding the C6 (again see crude paint job below)
The only uncertain thing is the tactile feedback which I can’t glean from images alone. But if it’s on the same level as the N97 mini or N900 (fingers crossed, better) the C6 might potentially have the best keyboard from a Nokia Touch/QWERTY hybrid.
That’s not to say it’s the best out there (hello Touch Pro 2). Nokia is slowly getting the idea that if it’s worth putting a QWERTY keyboard, there should be investment in making a really good one (as opposed to just ticking a box). Ideally I’d have something like the N920 concept keyboard – or this N900/n92o keyboard mashup but that’s just me.