The retail package of Nokia 6600i slide does well to cover the basics. In the box you'll find a charger, a shortish microUSB cable and a microUSB headset and a BL-4U battery. The headset is one piece, which makes finding a good alternative quite hard. There's a user manual of course, and a 1GB microSD card to get you started.
Nokia 6600i slide measures 93 x 45 x 14.2 mm for a volume of 52 cc. The handset is remarkably compact with very clean and simple styling. The 6600i slide is a real tiny slider with a pleasingly solid feel and extra friendly handling. The weight of 110 g is mostly attributed to the metal body.
The Nokia 6600i slide stays very close to the original. The front has changed just a bit reinforcing the minimalist design of the lineup. The rocker style keys gave way to discrete little knobs, while the gloss of the predecessor was replaced by sedate brushed metal. The overall styling is absolutely intact though and the upgrade is just as sweetly compact as before.
The notch of an earpiece is centrally placed right above the Nokia logo up front. The 3G-enabled handset sports a video-call camera in the top right corner, right next to an ambient light sensor.
The 2.2" screen follows, which enjoys most of the slider estate. Instead of the glossy front of its predecessor, the Nokia 6600i slide sports brushed metal, which looks and feels better - and sure deals with the fingerprint issues of the original.
The display of the 6600i is different than the one of the original Nokia 6600 slide, which raised the bar quite high. There is only one improvement perhaps - and it's the display is now totally flat as opposed to the convex screen of 6600 slide. That way, it sees quite less prone to scratching. And it also keeps the impressive side viewing angles.
On the negative side however, the backlight brightness is really not on par with what we're used to on Nokia handsets and thus screen legibility suffers to an extent. Nokia S40 interface traditionally doesn't provide any means for user control over the backlighting levels so we really hope Nokia would fix that with a future software update.
By the way, we had the same grudge with the Nokia 6720, so it might be some new manufacturer's strategy to help battery life. Whatever the reason, we hope we don't see it in future Nokia phones.
Beneath the display are the D-pad, the soft keys and the Call and End keys. The navigation frame of the D-pad is nicely projecting over a very spacious and responsive confirm key. The soft and call keys are on the thin side too, though they fair better in usability.
Sliding up unveils the alphanumeric keypad, which takes the entire lower deck of the phone. The plastic keys with pleasant metallic finish are amply sized, well defined and solid to press. Mistypes are quite unlikely, and we are very happy with the build quality and the comfort of use. Even the long-standing slider issue of insufficient headroom for the top row of keys is partly dealt with by the oval contour of the sliding bit.
The white backlighting is strong enough to make using the handset easy enough.
On the top side of Nokia 6600i slide you'll find the microUSB data/headset port under a neat plastic cap and the battery cover latch. The lanyard eyelet is on the right. The bottom part is a solid deck of matt plastic, which is completely clean.
The right and left side of the handset are pretty bare, featuring only the tiny charger plug al the way up on the right.