Nokia’s ability to churn out five new phones per day makes already makes things a little confusing for the phone buyer, but now it’s recycling its old phone names. Back in 2003, the 6600 was the Finns’ flagship mobile thanks to its astonishing VGA camera. And now, five years later, we welcome the 6600 Slide – a fashion phone with very different ideas.
The 6600 Slide isn’t the brainiest Nokia we’ve seen. Like its sibling, the 6600 Fold, it’s a Series 40 handset, so lacks the IQ of the forthcoming N96. But it crams a lot into its tiny, gleaming steel case, including a very high-res screen and a 3.2MP camera.
The camera is proficient, as you’d expect from Nokia, and handily packs autofocus to improve image quality further. There are limited special effects and video recording too, but otherwise it’s a straightforward, point-and-shoot snapper.
It’s also a quad-band phone with dual-band 3G and, like most high-end Nokia phones, packs an FM radio. Since this is a Nokia Series 40 operating system, everything is very speedy and responsive too.
The banana-fingered may find the keys a little too diddy for comfort, but at least they’re regularly shaped, if not widely spaced. The 6600 Slide has a great, smooth sliding mechanism, and its size, though small, fits in the hand perfectly.
Direction pad woes
The keys on the front of the phone are two rocker switches, which work well, and an aluminium direction pad, which is less successful. You’re fine when you want to push up, down, left or right but pressing in to confirm a selection is less reliable.
This is far from the only phone direction pad to suffer from this and you get used to it, but it’s not ideal.
Still, there are neat extras on the 6600 Slide to make up for this, such as the accelerometer. In other phones this is used to tell the phone which way up it is, so it can display photographs in the best format. Here, it means it can tell if you’re tapping the screen.
Knock on it twice and the phone vibrates and displays the time. Tap it when a call’s coming in and it will mute the ringing. It’s handy in, say, a meeting, when rejecting the call seems too brutal.
The excellent Opera Mini browser is also on board and, although the small, 2.2in screen isn’t the best for web browsing, Nokia’s maps are on hand to compensate for the lack of GPS. If you need to fill up that train journey there’s also Nokia’s music player, accompanied ably by a microSD slot so you can add to the paltry 20MB internal memory.
The 6600 Slide certainly won’t blow you away with its features, but it’s capable and reliable, and looks sleek enough for you to convince onlookers that you’re the proud owner of an N96.