Nokia 6500 slide review: Slide over slim

GSMArena team, 17 December 2007.
Pages: 12345678

Tags: Nokia, S40

Boxing OK

Nokia 6500 slide offers the usual box contents topped with some extras. In the slim package, which quite resembles the 6500 classic box, we found a charger (AC-4 Nokia Charger), a wired handsfree (HS-47 Nokia Wired Stereo Headset) and a microUSB cable (CA-101). Much like in the slim 6500 classic, the not-so-popular microUSB format is used. Currently, spare cables are somewhat hard to be found.

The extras we mentioned are the TV-Out cable (CA-92U Nokia TV-Out Cable) and the pre-bundled 256 MB microSD card. Leaving that aside, the box reveals a CD with the required PC sync software, a manual and, finally, a quick start guide.

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The slim box unboxing voila

Nokia 6500 slide 360-degree spin

Stylish slide

Well, there is no point comparing the slender girth of 6500 classic with the 6500 slide. Almost as thick as most normal bar-shaped handsets, the real strength of Nokia 6500 lies in the stylish design that we are really like.

The solid feel and superior materials and the large and tactile keys and controls are just the right beginning of the user's relationship with the 6500 slide.

Here is how 6500 slide stacks up in the dimension scale - compared to the truly thin and compact Samsung Armani phone and another Finnish slider, the Nokia N95 8GB.

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Nokia 6500 slide compared to the tiny Samsung Armani phone

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Nokia 6500 slide alongside Nokia N95 8GB

Being of two minds about choice of appearance isn't the case with Nokia 6500 slide, as it only comes in silver, unlike Nokia 6500 classic, which has a black and a bronze outfit to choose from.

Examining the handset's body, one thing is strikingly noticeable: the crowded top side is not something we're used to seeing in mobile phones. But, one thing at a time, let's now start with the face of Nokia 6500 slide - the front panel.

The earpiece grill is placed dead center at the top, encompassed by the ambient light sensor and the secondary QCIF videocall camera, with the 2.2" display right under it. The display itself is of praiseworthy quality but we'll come back to that later in our review.

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2.2" display, earpiece, ambient light sensor and the secondary QCIF video-call camera on the front

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 and the surrounding Call, End and two soft keys are among the best we have ever touched.

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The D-pad and the surrounding keys, as well as the keyboard are ample and comfortable

This applies to an even greater extent to the standard alphanumeric sliding keyboard. Each key is big enough and the topmost row of keys enjoys a sufficient amount of headroom to ensure hassle-free usage. The tactile feedback is great.

"...The sliding mechanism ruins the good impression. Generally, it is quite rigid and requires a hefty push halfway up until the spring steps in to finish off the sliding. Other than that, we spotted visible marks on the keys left by the sliding part that would potentially develop into more distinct grooves upon intensive usage...."

The sliding mechanism ruins the good impression. Generally, it is quite rigid and requires a hefty push halfway up until the spring steps in to finish off the sliding. Other than that, we spotted visible marks on the keys left by the sliding part that would potentially develop into more distinct grooves upon intensive usage.

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The nice keyboard and the awkward sliding mechanism

The left side of the phone houses only the eyelet for attaching a neck or a wrist strap. The right side sports the dual volume rocker key and the camera key all the way down the bottom. The two-stage shutter key has very little elevation, but offers soft tactile response. Overall, it's one of the best we've tested lately. The volume rocker is also quite comfortable.

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Nokia 6500 slide left and right

The bottom part is totally bare but the crowded top makes up for that big time. Topside we get the charger connector, the battery cover latch, the microUSB port and, finally, the 2.5mm AV connector for headset and TV-Out. With Nokia 6500 slide, the End key also serves as a Power button.

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Bottom and top are miles apart in terms of keys and parts

Turning the phone over, we come upon three key elements - the camera lens, the dual LED flash and the loudspeaker. 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 sunk in should probably ensure some protection but still isn't quite enough in our opinion.

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The back panel reveals the Carl Zeiss lens, dual LED and a loudspeaker grill

The battery cover gets easily removed once the arrow-labeled key on the top is pressed. The Nokia BP-5M battery with a capacity of 900 mAh is under it . It is supposed to provide 320 hours of standby or up to 6 hours of talk time.

In reality these times are hardly achievable but you can still count on a good four days of operation under moderate use (15 minutes of calls plus about 45 minutes of using the other phone features a day).

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Removing the battery cover reveals the 900 mAh Nokia BP-5M battery

The memory card slot is placed near the camera lens. It is not that effortless to release the metal hinge and remove the card.

The SIM card slot is only accessible after removing the battery. Next to the memory card slot there is a sliding holder that ejects the SIM card. We have no complaints with that, but we do prefer the push-to-eject mechanism.

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Both the memory card slot and the SIM holder require special attention

As you already guessed, we love the build quality of Nokia 6500 slide. Materials of very high quality have been used and that makes it both a solid and elegant handset.

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Nokia 6500 slide offers a comfortable and stable fit in hand

On a different note, the backlighting is strong enough to facilitate usability both in daylight and in the dark. The ambient light sensor optimizes the screen brightness according to the environment.

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Nokia 6500 slide's backlighting is strong and usability is not compromised

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