Nokia launches low-cost social networking phones

Nokia has announced three new low-cost handsets with full Qwerty keyboards aimed at social networking applications.

The Nokia C3, Nokia C6 and Nokia E5 handsets feature full QWERTY keyboards, and enable access to a range of different email accounts, IM communities and social networks.

“Services that provide easy access to the world’s consumer and corporate email and instant messaging are really popular on our Qwerty smartphones such as the Nokia E71 and Nokia E63,” said Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s Head of Markets.

“People want the best messaging and social networking experience on an affordable device, whether it’s sending a simple text or instant message, an email, or a direct message from their Twitter account. The Nokia C3, Nokia C6 and Nokia E5 are made for just that.”

The EUR90 Nokia C3 is the first of the company’s Series 40 devices to sport a full Qwerty keyboard and enable access to social networks directly on the homescreen. People can view, comment, update their status and share pictures to their favorite social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

It also comes with Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat. Other features include Wifi connectivity, a two megapixel camera, color 2.4-inch screen and support for up to an 8GB memory card.

The Nokia C6 is a Symbian-based smartphone with a 3.2-inch touch screen and full slide-out keyboard. With a suite of email and social networking capabilities, it will cost EUR220 and comes with a five-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash, and Ovi Maps with free walk and drive navigation.

Finally, the EUR180 Symbian-based Nokia E5 combines business features such as Mail for Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes Traveler with  personal networking and entertainment capabilities.

The C3 and C6 are epxected out this summer, with the E5 to follow in the third quarter.