Nokia 6600i slide review: I slide, you slide
Design and construction (continued)
The battery cover is made of the same brushed metal used at the front. On the rear there's a dual LED flash right next to the 5-megapixel camera lens. The lens deck is slightly raised, which means the phone rests on it when you put it down - that makes it prone to scratches.
Dead center at the bottom is the loudspeaker grill, aligned to an etched Nokia logo. One complaint we have here is that sound does get muffled when the phone is lying on a flat surface.
The battery cover is firmly locked in place and released by a latch. Below it you'll find the Li- 1000 mAh (BL-4U) Li-Ion battery, the SIM compartment and, unfortunately, the microSD card slot (making hot-swapping cards a no-go).
The tiny Nokia 6600i slide is a real treat to use. The elegant rounded lines and fingerprint concealing brushed metal do make the compact handset a rare gem. The sliding action is smooth and solid, but you have to put your thumb on the screen, which isn't as fingerprint resistant as the rest of the front surface. Sliding up by putting your finger bellow the D-pad is quite uncomfortable because of the small size of the phone and also might cause the top part to rub against the keypad deck.
To give you a better idea of the size, here's the 6600i next to the Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH.
User interface - typical Series 40 5th ed.
The Nokia 6600i slide employs the Series 40 5th edition user interface. The environment is well familiar and all, but we wish Nokia used the 6th edition. The differences aren't that many but some are vital - like the vastly improved browser. The 6600i slide offers good Ovi integration though.
But no matter 5th or 6th edition, S40 remains lagging behind the feature phone interfaces offered by the major competitors. There are quite some contemporary features missing such as smart dialing, officer document viewer, a nice image gallery (possibly one with screen auto rotation), some motion-based gaming and especially, multi-tasking. Most competitors already allow user to minimize Java applications in the background - Nokia still doesn't. For more than a year now, Nokia S40 UI still remains in hard need of an update.
The confirm key launches the main menu, while the context keys can be assigned a function of your choice. The D-pad directions can be set up as shortcuts too - by default, left brings up the new message menu and right the Calendar. The font on the main display can be of any color you prefer.
Active standby mode is available. It consists of four sections that can be edited or relocated as users see fit. In the most common case, the top area is reserved for instant access to favorite functions denoted by their respective icons. The second section displays today's events from the calendar.
A double tap on the phone surface brings up the time and date as well as any missed events. A double tap would also silence an incoming call or ringing alarm. The alarm is just silenced and not snoozed and unlike some other phones, turn-to-mute is not enabled for the 6600i slide.
The icons can also be freely reordered within the grid, should the user find their original order inconvenient.
There were times when the interface would lag or and even freeze - not too often, but enough to spoil the experience. At the time of writing this review, we used the latest available software on a fully retail unit taken straight from the store.
There are six predefined ringing profiles on the Nokia 6600i slide. These should be enough to cover virtually any scenario. They can be set to expire at a given time, returning the phone to the previous profile. Flight mode is on hand too, turning off all transceivers and rendering the phone usable without a SIM card inserted.
The Nokia 6600i slide comes with a good deal of Ovi integration - there's Contacts, Share and even Maps. We'll check them out later on in the review.