If you thought Nokia and thin simply cannot go together, then it's about time you reconsidered. Nokia 6500 classic is as thin as 9.5mm, which just makes it the slimmest Nokia to date. There are very few handsets from the competition, that can beat it, as well. Well, the sole existence of Samsung U100 is enough to compel humility in any slim handset, but that's another story. Anyway, Nokia 6500 classic is truly adorable for its stunning design and slim body.
Nokia 6500 classic comes in two color versions - black and bronze - and both do the handset justice in our opinion. Both color versions look much better than Nokia 6300 but, as you know, there is nothing more subjective than taste, so everyone should judge for themselves. In any case, the almost completely smooth sides of the handset benefit the design tremendously. There are no controls, and even splits between panels are hardly noticeable. In terms of dimensions, besides the already mentioned inspiring 9.5 mm thickness, the Nokia 6500 measures 109.8 mm in height and 45 mm in width - both falling within the golden mean.
Examining the handset's body, one thing is strikingly noticeable: the absence of quite a few controls that we're used to seeing in mobile phones. But, one thing at a time, let's now start with the face of Nokia 6500 classic - the front panel. The earpiece is placed at the top, dead center, with the 2" display right under it. The display itself is of praiseworthy quality but we'll come back to that later in our review. Let us now pay due respect to the keypad. A few things ought to be mentioned here. Beginning with the good news, we have to say that the D-pad is among the best we have ever touched. Not so with the rest of the keypad though - the keys are far too tightly packed and may prove quite a trial for users with larger fingers.
Furthermore, the alphanumeric keys are utterly flat, with only a thin metal ridge marking the end of each row. It doesn't do touch orientation any good, so typing without looking at the keypad is nearly impossible with this handset.
|Examining the handset's body, one thing is strikingly noticeable: the absence of quite a few controls that we're used to seeing in mobile phones.|
Looking at the handset's sides, we find nothing but a microphone pinhole at the bottom and the microUSB port at the top. No other functional elements are to be seen. The USB port is used for everything from charging and transferring data, to connecting a wired headset. This has both its pros and cons but we somehow feel the advantages are more. It allows charging the phone while transferring your data to and from PC, which is a feature we missed with most of the Nokia phones we have recently reviewed. On a different note, this layout makes it impossible to connect a headset and listen to music while charging for example, but this is definitely a thing we can live with.
Turning to the phone's back panel, we come upon three functional elements - the camera lens, the dual LED flash and the loudspeaker grill. Further details on those are to follow later on in the review. We will only mention here that the camera lens is unprotected and is therefore prone to scratches and fingerprints. The fact that it is slightly embedded in the surface should probably ensure some protection but still isn't quite enough in our opinion.
Opening the battery cover is not as easy as it might sound. According to the manual, all you need to do is push the bottom part of the back cover downwards. The problem is the cover itself is so tight that removing it requires quite an effort. And this is further complicated by the fact that the phone is so light, you cannot help worrying you might break it. Furthermore, you will probably have the same difficulties closing the phone after that. The cover can only be slid back in a very specific position you will need time finding. Not that you will have to do that very often but it can be quite annoying. Anyway, under the cover lies the 830 mAh battery. It is supposed to provide 300 hours of standby or five and a half hours of talk time. In reality these times are hardly achievable but it will give you good three days of battery life under moderate usage (15 minutes of telephony plus about 45 minutes of using the other phone features a day).
To wrap up inspecting the phone's hardware, we have to say that we are generally very pleased with its build quality. Materials of very high quality have been used and that contributes to both the handset's looks and sturdiness. The weight of the handset however is distributed rather irregularly to the top, so when you hold the 6500 in your hand at the base it can easily flip over and find itself on the ground.
On a different note, the backlighting is even and strong enough to facilitate usability both in daylight and in dark conditions. The display is bright enough, so nothing to worry about if you use your phone in dark environments frequently.