Just a week after we got the Nokia 6500 Slide in our hands, the Classic version arrived bearing an elegant twist. Materials and build feels the same, the only difference being the weight and the size. The first slim phone from Nokia, the 6300, was popular among the masses, giving Nokia the confidence to push out another from the same mould. Following the recent Nokia 2630 and the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic, this is the next promising mobile which manages to include the latest technologies like 3G within a slim profile.
With a slim form factor of only 9.5 millimeters, the 6500 Classic could easily rival all others in the market. It is also a breakthrough for Nokia as the previous slim Nokia mobile, the 2630, comes in at 9.9 millimeters. We liked the material used on the Nokia 6500 Classic: anodized aluminum, which had a solid and durable feel. The unit that came into our labs for review is generally black all around, with a glossy finish for the lower frame that slides out to reveal the battery and SIM card. This is however, mainly made of cheaper plastic, which in turn attracted fingerprints. That point aside, the keypad is reasonably flat for text messaging and with a little help from the silver linings on each key, we could blind type quite well.
However, there were two major drawbacks for this Nokia 6500 Classic. Firstly, there is a lack of an expandable memory slot which explains the really good looking, minimalist exterior. Although the design is nice, consumers may wonder where the dedicated volume control went. While we liked the idea of a universal micro USB port on the Nokia 6500 Classic, we are unable to do two things at a time, for example, charging the mobile and listening to music at the same time with the provided wired hands-free headset, there being only one such port.
Aside from that, one of the biggest issues that we found is the lack of a front camera for video calls. Which led us to wonder how Nokia can justify the 3G tag as the absence of a secondary camera implies that it would not be possible to perform decent and reasonable 3G video calls. The only conclusion that we can gather is of course, the ability to roam in countries with 3G exclusive networks like Korea and Japan.
As mentioned, the Classic and the Slide versions of the 6500 are essentially different mobiles. Although both mobiles utilize the same Series 40 5th Edition platform, the bulkier Nokia 6500 Slide is justified by the numerous features available within.
For the Nokia 6500 Classic, it has a 2.0-megapixel camera and 1GB of onboard memory which is probably sufficient for the average user who will regularly transfer the contents over to a PC. While the Classic lacks the Carl Zeiss lens found on the Slide, its camera is decent enough for most, though for the avid shutterbugs, it is definitely a no go.
The Nokia 6500 Classic has a 24-bit color vibrant and sharp QVGA display, along with the usual hands-free speaker, Bluetooth capabilities and dual LED flash lights. However, to our disappointment, there is no FM radio included so bring your own songs for this mobile.
Despite the various drawbacks that we have mentioned, the Nokia 6500 Classic is undeniably elegant and sleek. Considering its design and slim profile, it is relatively value for money. The lack of expandable memory though could be a deal breaker and we're keenly observing how consumers would rate this slim phenomena.