If you think everything has gone touchscreen crazy and you’re not really after something with a huge screen, large footprint or the need for pinpoint accuracy, you can still get normal phones that won’t mean missing out on all the features. There are still traditional candy bar handsets offering up the goods, which is certainly the case with the 6700 classic, the real successor to the immensely popular 6300 (as against the rather disappointing 6303).
The 6700 classic retains the simplistic design of the 6300, but brings things bang up to date with the addition of GPS and Nokia Maps, 3G (with HSDPA) and a 5-megapixel autofocus camera. There’s also a tiny little LED that is unexpectedly bright.
Unlike most of the handsets on sale today, this isn’t a smartphone and so it makes do with Nokia’s far more simple to use Series 40 user interface. This is a tried-and-tested UI that has been keeping Nokia owners happy for many years, although it now has a few enhancements and menu tweaks. You can even customise it to retain the original look if you’re not one for big changes or surprises.
When you take the phone out of its box, you’ll get the usual power supply, USB cable and a manual. What you don’t get is a lint-free cloth, which is as essential to this phone as having a SIM-card. Every single part of the chrome case picks up fingermarks, including the screen. In fact, if you’re not fiddling around playing a game in your dead-time, it’s more likely going to be filled with you trying to wipe it clean with your thumb, thus making it even more greasy.
But such is the price of having something so incredibly shiny and sure to attract nothing but positive attention. It feels rock solid too, more like an 8-series model, with a responsive keypad and well-spaced buttons. At the base of the phone, you’ll find two sockets for charging; the traditional Nokia mini-DC connector and a now standard Micro-USB one, which also handles the data communication or a headset.
If you’re assuming that a phone like this isn’t going to be too hot in the imaging stakes, you’d be right to think so (the 6300 only had a pretty lacklustre 2-megapixel camera, the 6303 a 3.2-megapixel one), but also completely wrong. Tap the camera button and the near instant start-up time makes this phone better than most digital cameras. You don’t have many camera controls or settings to play with, but for a simple point-and-click camera that works even in low light, thanks to the super bright LED, the 6700 is fine. It even records VGA resolution video too.
It’s a shame then that the Series 40 user interface is quite long in the tooth. The QVGA resolution screen is par for the course these days on all but the top-end smartphones, but Nokia’s ageing user interface fails to make the best use of it. The menus aren’t complicated, but when it comes to finding content on the phone memory or a memory card, you have to negotiate through folders, sub-menus and even drives if you’re using both phone and external memory for content.
Animated icons and new transition effects try in vain to make the phone look more like a snazzy Nseries phone running on a Series 60 interface, but it’s mostly an illusion.
Keep it simple
Most importantly, the phone is simple to use and doesn’t run out of juice after just one day. There are clearly some advantages for those who decide to steer clear of the handsets that promise the world, but need re-charging by the hour.
Keeping this phone smear-free is going to be the biggest problem you’ll have, but if you’re looking for something high-end, without having to sign your life away on a massive contract, the 6700 is probably the best looking Nokia that the company has produced for some time.
In fact, while Nokia has been producing a few disappointments in the Nseries range, they’ve been able to come up with the goods in their ‘ordinary’ phone range.
We’re sure the 6700 is going to be another hit for Nokia, and 6300 owners now have their perfect upgrade phone. For everyone else, just remember to order it with a lint-free cloth.
The Nokia 6300 was a massive success for Nokia, and deservedly so, but although it looked the part it didn’t exactly offer much in the way of functionality. Perhaps a lot of people weren’t bothered, but there’s hardly any harm in giving users more than they expect and the 6700 isn’t going to disappoint at all. The camera is a surprising gem, for a phone that isn’t pretending to be a cameraphone, with a stunning start-up time. The phone also looks stylish, has a vivid display and is easy to use, but you’ll be hating the need to keep polishing it every time you look at it.