While the Nokia 6500 Slide was neat, the latest model, the 6600, is much sleeker, slimmer and smaller. It’s a glossy, well-built metal-clad cutie, squeezing a lot into not much space.
If you fancy a small handset that will disappear into a pocket without spoiling the line of your suit or hide in the smallest section of a handbag, look no further.
At times you might wonder if it’s too small; even with the slide open you still feel the mouthpiece is some distance from your lips. Sound, however, is perfectly audible, although this also leads us to one of the phone’s disappointments. It’s so sleek, that there’s no place for any buttons on the phone’s edges or back. The only buttons are on the front and the keypad behind the slide. So that means there are no volume buttons.
Finding out how to increase the earpiece volume is not easy and it’s not immediately evident from the manual. As it turns out, it’s a matter of pressing the direction button on the front of the phone upwards. Simple enough when you know, absolutely infuriating if you discover you don’t know when you’re mid-call and can’t hear the other party.
And while we’re on the subject of minor grievances, the battery cover is annoyingly hard to remove. Chances are you’ll only have to do it once when you first get the phone, but it’s a fiddle nevertheless.
Looking beyond that, the 6600 Slide is a competent phone that grows on you. The slide mechanism is nicely sprung, the phone is well balanced in the hand and the keypad is easy to use with well-spaced, regularly shaped keys.
Keep it tidy
There are lots of neat features. If you want to know the time when the phone is in standby mode, just tap the screen twice. It’ll vibrate lightly twice in reply and the screen will light up with a digital clock. I’d have preferred analogue, but that doesn’t seem to be an option. This feature is also on the luxury 8800 Arte phone, so it’s nice to see it on a (much) more affordable model.
The Arte also allows you to silence a call by turning the phone face down. Here, you double tap on the screen again to silence it which is cool, although not quite as discreet. Once silenced, you can reject a call with a further double-tap.
If you don’t care for the sound Nokia phones make when turned on, you can silence it whether you’re in silent profile or not. This is a useful feature that should be standard on all models.
The camera is decent enough but a shutter lag is evident, and there’s no dedicated camera button (instead, pressing up on the D-pad takes you there). There’s little built-in memory either, so you’ll need to invest in a memory card for any media.
Like many Nokia phones, there’s a proficient FM radio on board, along with Nokia Maps. Don’t be fooled, though, there’s no GPS so you’re limited to planning routes and finding places on the maps only.
Size, we know, isn’t everything, but if you fancy something small enough to disappear in your pocket rather than weigh you down, the Nokia 6600 Slide is a great balance of form and function. Sure, the camera isn’t outstanding and there’s limited built-in memory here, so you won’t be choosing this phone if you need an outstanding snapper or a phone to carry all your tunes. But as classy, sleek, dressy phones go, this is pretty hard to beat. The biggest grievances I could come up with (volume control is hard to find, battery cover is stubborn) were easily outweighed by the dinky size, decent keys and cool looks.
RATINGS (OUT OF 5)