Nokia 6500 Classic in-depth review -

Look and feel

Until now, Nokia has tended to shy away from ultra-slim handsets. But, the Nokia 6500 Classic remedies that by measuring just 9.5mm thin. Available in either black or bronze, both colours look stunning. Although svelte, we were surprised as to how solid and sturdy it feels. So it should, as it's crafted from anodized aluminium, which is one of the most durable, yet lightweight materials around. What's more, the handset is individually diamond-polished, meaning no Nokia 6500 Classic is exactly the same.

Ease of use

The keys are a little fiddly to press because they're rather small, but the user interface is simple to use.

Features

Features are solid for a mid-range phone, with 3G (but no video calling), a reasonable two megapixel camera, good music player, stereo Bluetooth and 1GB of internal memory.

Performance

Despite boasting 3G we found the internet experience to be slightly sluggish with the screen struggling to fit in content. Meanwhile, the camera is capable but not awe inspiring, but the music player is excellent.

Battery life

We found the battery life very acceptable for a mid-range phone.

 Nokia 6500 Classic Review -
4

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:50:19 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

10

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

6

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

The Nokia 6500 Classic looks and feels marvellous.

Cons:

The camera isn't as good as that on the 6500 Slide.

There are two Nokia 6500 handsets. After last month's review of the Slide, we've now got our hands on the sleeker, more slimline Classic.
As anyone who read last month's review of the Slide will know, the Nokia 6500 range share little in common beyond the fact that they're both well designed, very well put together handsets, with a similar price tag.. The candy bar style Classic is the slimmer of the two, so, you could argue, the more aesthetically appealing.

Unique design

Until now, Nokia has tended to shy away from ultra-slim handsets. But, the Nokia 6500 Classic remedies that by measuring just 9.5mm thin. Available in either black or bronze, both colours look stunning.
Although svelte, we were surprised as to how solid and sturdy it feels. So it should, as it's crafted from anodized aluminium, which is one of the most durable, yet lightweight materials around. What's more, the handset is individually diamond-polished, meaning no Nokia 6500 Classic is exactly the same. To be honest, when comparing the two side by side, this may not appear obvious, but it's good knowing that your phone is an individual; a one off.

The front of the handset has a symmetrical feel to it, with both the screen and the keypad being of equal shape and size. Nokia has opted for a basic keypad that only enhances the simplicity of the Classic. As well as having two soft keys, there are the mandatory call and end buttons flanking a D-navigation pad with an OK button in the middle of it. This method of navigation is a joy to use, but we do have some issues with the numeric keys. Each number key is underlined by a thin raised metal bar. Whilst this adds to the aesthetic appeal, it reduces the actual area of the keys, which makes them a little fiddly.

Two-megapixel camera

While the 3.2-megapixel camera is one of the Nokia 6500 Slide's key features, the Classic houses a more modest two-megapixel camera. There's no autofocus and, while the Classic does have an LED flash, we found the camera struggled to capture shots taken in darker surroundings. By pushing the top of the D-pad, you can access the camera without having to go through the menu. Despite being 3G, there is no video calling function. However, video footage can be recorded, with the maximum time length being just under 16 minutes. Video clips (depending on size) can be sent as attachments via text, MMS or email, as can images, sound clips, calendar notes and business cards. All of these options are laid out in a simple "insert" interface at the bottom of the screen when typing a text or email.

Despite the phone boasting 3G capabilities, we found that browsing the internet was somewhat sluggish. What's more, the phone's screen struggles with the content of some web pages meaning you have to scroll down and across, proving to be both tedious and time consuming. Changing the settings of the font size to small can help combat this. There's nothing wrong with the screen itself. In fact with a 16.7 million colour display, the two-inch screen is both vivid and sprightly. What's more the Series 40 user interface the Classic operates on only enhances the reputation Nokia has earned as producing some of the most user-friendly handsets.

Internal memory

Considering its size, the Nokia 6500 Classic manages to fit in an impressive 1GB of internal memory. While some may argue that the lack of expandable memory is disappointing, for a phone that is more focused on fashion than music, 1GB of internal memory is very reasonable. The music quality when played through the loudspeakers is impressive and can reach a decent volume. Hold the phone in the palm of your hand and you can actually feel the sound vibrations.

Due to the Nokia 6500 Classic having a solitary microUSB socket, there's no option of plugging in your fancy Sennheiser or Bose headphones unless you purchase an adaptor. Instead you'll have to settle for the provided Nokia Stereo Headset HS-82. At least Nokia has placed the microUSB socket on the top of the handset meaning you shouldn't get yourself in too much of a tangle. In fairness the inbox headphones are actually pretty good with a volume switch and last number dialled function all built-in. The Classic does however support Bluetooth stereo. Pairing our i.Tech BlueBAND headphones was instant as was pairing other handsets to the Classic.

The media player, which supports MP3/AAC/AAC+ formats includes a number of options to enhance the experience. Along with a shuffle and repeat mode, you can also change the image that appears whilst playing your music, as well as an equaliser setting that allows you to select the level of bass and treble you desire. Music can be managed in a variety of categories, including artists, albums and genres. You can also play DJ and create your own playlists.

The Nokia 6500 Classic comes with some neat additional applications that help you get the most out of your handset. Found in the "Collection" folder, the 'Download!' application takes you directly to the Nokia download center, where you can find all manner of downloadable content to your phone. 'My Nokia' is a free service designed to help you get the most out of your device. Once you've registered you will start to receive tips and tricks, and offers and competitions specific to your mobile.

Conclusion

The slimline Nokia 6500 Classic looks and feels great. For storage of music and multimedia, the 1GB of internal memory is generous, but there's no slot for an expandable memory card. Finding yourself around the array of features is a doddle and, while the 3G capabilities weren't electric, it's a welcome addition, nonetheless. As a mid-tier 3G phone that looks the business, the Nokia 6500 Classic is true to its name.