Design & Build Quality

design build  Nokia 6500 Slide Review

The initial thoughts we had when we received the 6500 Slide was that it was replacement for the Nokia 6288.  The Nokia 6500 Slide features the same slider form factor but it exuberates elegance owing to its brush-finished stainless steel body and sleek outline. Even the buttons on the facade are crafted from stainless steel! In terms of build quality, there are no complaints as the weight of the phone coupled with the cool touch of metal makes it feel solid in the palm. Furthermore, Nokia has coated the steel with a scratch resistant coating to prevent marring of the surface from regular use that often plagues other mobile phones. The sliding operation of the phone is smooth and neither sides of the phone move unnecessarily which is a lot more than can be said for many other slide phones.  A large 2.2" QVGA LCD screen offering a wide gamut of 16 million colours completes the package that is the Nokia 6500 Slide.

Ergonomics

keypad  Nokia 6500 Slide Review
Nokia 6500 Slide (Left) & Sony Ericsson K800i (Right)
vol cam  Nokia 6500 Slide Review
Volume adjustment and quick access to the camera functions

What good is a looker if the phone cannot be used easily? Many users with large thumbs find many phones hard to use due to their diminutive buttons. More often than not, grief is caused when the wrong buttons are depressed. On the 6500 Slide, that is not an issue as the Navi pad and keypad buttons are larger than the norm. Perhaps the only quirk is that the keylock does not automatically activate after the closing the slider.
Easy access to commonly used functions are also a plus with phones of today offering more than just the regular phone and messaging services. One of the main features most used on mobile phones would have to be the integrated camera allowing users to document their lives. Here, we find the button to enter the camera mode on the right side of the phone, along with the volume adjustment buttons.  The volume adjustment buttons also double up as zoom buttons for which the phone offers a whopping 8x digital zoom.

Camera and Expansion Options

carl zeiss  Nokia 6500 Slide Review
Camera on the rear of the phone featuring Carl Zeiss optics!

Unlike the older models that feature regular integrated cameras, Nokia has forayed from the norm with the 6500 Slide.  The camera on the phone features an autofocus Carl Zeiss Tessar lense normally only found on their flagship N-series phones. Under low light conditions, the camera uses a twin-led flash system to provide additional illumination. Picture quality from the phone is very good and very much improved from the likes of the Nokia N95.  The camera’s picture quality easily matches the Sony Ericsson K800i but does so with noticably faster and more accurate autofocus. Aside from just taking pictures, the phone is capable of taking videos at 15 fps, VGA quality (640 x 480) or 30 fps, QCIF quality (176 x 144).  That is 12 times the video resolution of the K800i at the same framerate (15 fps) or double the framerate at the same resolution!

Storage, Video Calls and Light Sensor

sim sd cam  Nokia 6500 Slide Review

Left to Right: Front camera & ambient light sensor, MicroSD (TransFlash) card placement and SIM card placement.

Unlike previous models where the backlight is manually adjusted, the Nokia 6500 Slide features an ambient light sensor on the front beside the speaker.  This allows the phone to automatically compensate the screen brightness according to lighting conditions. It certainly is an interesting feature to incorporate on a phone although not all users may appreciate it.  On the other side of the speaker, we can see a small lens unit.  This is for the front camera that allows a user to make 3G video calls as well as TV conferencing (more on this later).
Once the rear cover is removed, the SIM card as well as the MicroSD (TransFlash) card slots can be accessed.  The phone comes with 20MB of internal user free memory and allows for an additional 4GB of expansion via the MicroSD slot. A hinged metal flap holds the card and can be slide-locked in place after it is flipped back down. For access to the SIM card, the battery needs to be removed and a small metal tab beside the memory card slot needs to be pushed to remove the card.  Unfortunately, users without long fingernails may have to look for a toothpick or paper clip when they wish to replace the SIM card.