Two years ago, Nokia struck mobile gold with its 6300 Classic handset. This mid-range candybar sold by the truckload; its clean lines, slimline stainless steel design and ultra user-friendliness were, rightly so, a smash hit with the everyman.
But instead of basking in the success and slacking off, Nokia has gone to work on its follow-up, the 6700 Classic, considerably boosting the feature set and taking design inspiration from the manufacturer’s more luxury handsets like the 8800 Sirocco.
Full metal jacket
Where the 6300 was only part metal, the 6700 is completely wrapped in a quality stainless steel suit that gives it a premium heft light years beyond its mid-range ranking.
Unfortunately, there’s a downside to its burnished armour – it’s vulnerable to finger print smears galore. However, a quick polish on the shirtsleeve gets it shiny and new again.
Its predecessor’s edges and corners have also been smoothed out while the new sleeker profile makes it an incredibly attractive handset to both ogle and handle.
The 6700’s slimmer frame is the result of the new look keypad. The traditional square buttons have been replaced by a flat pressure pad arrangement that’s equally lucid to thumb. This phone really is a joy to use.
Sadly, Nokia hasn’t promoted the 6700 Classic to smartphone status but it does run off the Series 40 platform. While it doesn’t have the versatility and app download range of the Symbian S60 OS, it’s still highly customisable on the homescreen front.
Four homescreen panels can each be filled with a one of ten content choices including an indispensable shortcut bar that delivers access to more specific features and functions like direct weblinks and embedded apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Share on Ovi or MySpace.
Of course, you can keep or remove as many zones as you desire or just opt for a standard wallpapered homescreen if you don’t like the clutter.
The 6300’s feature line-up was in desperate need of a refresh and Nokia has duly obliged, swapping its languid GPRS download speeds and outmoded 2MP camera with HSDPA, support for A-GPS and a 5MP snapper.
Despite the camera set up lacking any compelling photos mods and a lacklustre LED flash, this lens is surprisingly up there with the best 5MP shooters. Picture quality is fantastic, displaying vivid colours and a good level of crisp detail. And even without a macro mode, autofocus handles close-ups with aplomb.
The music player is also missing some key features, including an integrated 3.5mm headphone jack. You don’t even get a bundled adapter and although the audio quality is listenable through the supplied earphones, it would certainly sound better via your own pair.
Loss of connection
The latest HSDPA speeds may be at our disposal but we’re a bit miffed to see Wi-Fi missing. That said, web pages still load swiftly via Nokia’s own capable MiniMap toting browser, although we preferred using the more effective and efficient Opera Mini for web surfing on a small screen.
The features on Nokia Maps have been diluted, we suspect, to make navigation on its smallish 2.2-inch display more seamless and less untidy.
There’s no 3D or satellite view, just your 2D layout and this format suits personal rather than in-car navigation much better. And with support for A-GPS, getting a sputnik fix proved very quick from a cold start.
The 6700 has certainly got all the right ingredients to emulate the 6300’s success story and then some. It’s a handset that looks good and plays good and although Nokia could have weighed in with some sharper features, it’s still a phone destined for classic status. Smartphone refuseniks and touchphone rebels will love it.