Nokia C2-01, X2-01 Handsets Are for Social Networkers, Cost-Conscious

Nokia introduced two new inexpensive, candy bar phones, the C2-01-its cheapest 3G phone to date-and the X2-01. The X2, with a full QWERTY keypad, arrives this quarter.

Nokia introduced two new mobile phones Nov. 22, including its most affordable 3G phone to date, the Nokia C2-01.

"Both [phones] aim to offer maximum functionality for the lowest price possible, but with a different emphasis to each to provide a fit for the needs of as many people as possible," Nokia blogger Ian posted to the Conversations blog.

With the C2-01, Nokia is looking to bring "fast data services to millions of people who've never had them before." A feature phone, it measures 4.3 by 1.8 by 0.6 inches, runs the Series 40 operating system and features a 2-inch display and a traditional (numeric) keypad. A 3.2-megapixel camera is included, along with an FM radio, Bluetooth connectivity memory card support for up to 16GB of additional storage.

The simpler of the two, it nonetheless supports Nokia Messaging for e-mail and instant messaging, SMS and chat messages, displayed in a threaded view. Users can also access the Ovi Store to download apps and Ovi Music for songs. In some markets, Ovi Life Tools will also be available.

The C2 will arrive during the first quarter of 2011, priced at about $95.

The X2-01 is not so much for newbies as social networkers. There's a full QWERTY keypad here, with a 2.4-inch display and Facebook integrated directly onto the home screen-through an app called Communities-for quickly posting and staying updated.

A quick refresher on Nokia's naming conventions: X devices are for the youth market, C for the cost-conscious, E for business users and N for the super hardcore; or, as Nokia calls them, "connoisseurs." The X2, then-as youths are rarely seen without wires cascading from their ears-includes one-click access to a media player, as well as Ovi Music, for downloading new tunes, plus support for an 8GB memory card for storing them. There's an FM radio, Bluetooth, a VGA camera and GPRS/EDGE data-though no WiFi. It measures 4.7 by 2.4 by 0.6 inches.

The X2 will arrive this quarter for-before taxes and possible subsidies-approximately $110. Nokia is the worldwide handset market leader, as well as the smartphone market leader-though it continues to cede shares to the iPhone and Android-running handsets. As these latter two grew in popularity and worked to crank up smartphone sales, Nokia continued to cater to first-time users and those in the market for inexpensive handsets. More recently, however, it released a number of smartphones, looking to get back into the high-end game. In a first for the handset maker, during the third quarter, 50 percent of the phones it shipped featured touch screens.

By a similar token, several inexpensive Android-running phones have recently come to market, biting into Nokia's low-end territory.

In October, for example, T-Mobile introduced the LG Electronics Optimus T, which it's offering for just $30 with a new service contract and after rebate. At Sprint, the Optimus S-very nearly the same phone-is available for $50, after rebate and with a contract. Both phones run Android 2.2 and feature 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen.

Through Nov. 22, it's even possible to get the Motorola Droid 2, Motorola Droid Pro, Motorola Droid 2 and HTC Droid Incredible for just a penny, thorough