Nokia 6500 Review

Welcome to the Nokia 6500 (Slide) Review. Although we’ve been using this phone for a while other newer models have taken away out attention from writing up a decent review. It shouldn’t be that way since we often use it to test the various screen savers that we make on the phone before release!

Anyway the 6500 is on of the newer phones in Nokia’s lineup being less than 12 months old (2008). It’s distinctly mid-range functionality and construction so we and you, shouldn’t expect every option but expect at least decent construction. It meets it’s target perfectly, the phone look s and feels great in the flesh and using it was like any other Nokia phones running the S40 5th Edition operating system.

There are two versions, the 6500 Classic and the 6500 Slide. Both use the same OS and have the same features but differ in terms of physical construction. Ie. One is a slide and one is a standard candy bar.

Construction of the phone uses real brushed stainless steel for most external surfaces including black coated ends. Only the keypad is plastic. We loved it. There are some nice details like the headpiece and flash coverings, etched and colored Nokia branding around the phone. It’s not a cheap phone and you should expect detail like this! The slide mechanism is very smooth and sounds and feels solid. After many slides over the last few months the slide still works perfectly. The downside of all this metal is that the phone feels solid and heavy. The ear piece occasionally catches your hair and the back cover occasionally moves out of alignment are notes we have to make. Overall we didn’t mid one bit because it does look good.

The screen

The 6500’s screen is again one of the best, nice and clear, sharp and the backlight bright. You should not have any complaints about the quality in this regard. The screens on other phones may appear better but that’s because they’re smaller in terms of physical size.

Battery Life

The battery life of this phone is good. With normal use and roaming on GSM networks you can get at least 5 days of standby time. On 3G networks its about 4 days. Left on purely on stand by your looking at 7 days. Since everyone’s definition of normal is different the we feel that the pure standby time is the best measurement.


The phone is fast but not the fastest we’ve used. It activates all functions except JAVA based programs with minimal delay of about 1/2 a second. Menu navigation and activating messaging function is as fast as any other reasonable phone.


The 6500 does everything you could want on a regular phone. Since it is also 3G capable you shouldn’t be wanting for anything that you can’t download. There aren’t any work type programs like Word or Excel editing but then that’s not what this phone is about. Making and managing calls and text messages a bit of internet, music and of course pictures is what the phone is all about. No specialization, just good at everything.


The 6500 now uses a micro USB connector, Bluetooth, RGB output but unfortunately no infra-red or Wi-Fi.

All those who derile infra-red are just following the leader or just plain stupid because infra-red is a very useful feature! We made a fantastic infra-red program that can control various TVs, DVD players, Stereo system and the computer of course. We may release it for free one day. ‘One remote controller to rule them all’!

MP3 and video/sound

The sound quality and volume coming from this phone is very good but no where near the 6233 bench mark. Though the head piece, it sounds acceptable for a non-dedicated music phone. Video playback works fine.

Web Browser

There are 2 browsers on the E61i one for WAP sites and one for normal internet pages. Both work well with CSS and BLOG sites. However like all mobile web browsers Flash based content or Youtube videos are not capable of being displayed with in the browser. If a website has streaming content the RealPlayer is activated to view the content.

The camera/video/voice recorder

The 6500 has a decent camera lens by Carl Ziess with auto focus and digital zoom but good pictures are more than just the lens. Overall the pictures at the maximum 3.2 megapixels is very good by mobile phone standards. Apart from lots of ‘noise’ that can be cleaned up by various photo editing software the pictures are acceptable. Close up pictures are almost macro like and surpisingly good for a mobile phone camera. Easily better than the soft an fuzzy K800i pictures. The flash is a standout being very bright so when taking picture you don’t need to stand too close to your subjects. The autofocus and zoom works well. Picture to picture time is about 5 seconds which is that same as most camera phones. Overall just make sure the pictures are in focus and you be happy enough.

The video camera like the pictures is quite good for a mobile phone – same comments as above. You view either camera or video without cringing at them too much. That said it only helps if you knew how bad other camera/video phone images are. Note that the auto focus does take a few tries before it finally locks on to the subject you want.

The Voice recorder works well since you don’t have to shout into the phone to make it record. Playback quality is also surprisingly good.

Call quality and network reception

Very good voice quality on both GSM and 3G networks. The quality of the loud speaker really helps. It can also do video calls but you have to turn the phone around which defeats the purpose of video calls. Mind you very few people make video calls so its not exactly something to complain about. However you must be is a high reception area for the best results.

Network reception capabilities is poor by Nokia standards. The 6500 seems to have trouble with maintaining a strong signal. However this could be due to outdated phone operating software.


Not many real issues to complain about. If pushed to write something bad it would for Nokia to improve quality control on the rear battery door and memory card holder.


Most networks sell the phone so look for a network free version on a plan if you can.


It’s a good mobile phone period! It does everything – if your life involves phone calls and text messaging. If you plan on using 3G content it works as well as any other model. The browser is as good as on any other phone except on the S60 based Nokias or iPhone.

It has a good camera and video recorder lovely screen and lots of various programs to try out. Bluetooth connectivity works with almost any enable computer

Like all Nokia’s there are plenty of customisation options – some are hard to find – but read the manual and virtually the entire interface can be changed.

It’s physically a good looking phone and feels expensive too which helps the ownership experience.

Price history

$450-549 AUS 2008

Manufacturer : Nokia
Model : 6500
OS: Nokia S40 5th Edition Feature Pack 1
Network : Tri-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
3G WCDMA 850, 2100 MHz
Design: Slider/Candy Bar phone
96.5 x 46.5 x 16.4 mm
109.8 x 45 x 9.5 mm
Weight 125/94 grams
Display/s : 16Million 24-bit colour TFT – 320 x 240 pixels
W5.8cm x L4.8cm
Main Camera : 3.2MP Camera with auto focus, 8xzoom and dual flash
Main Video Camera : up to 640×320 auto focus, 4xzoom, 15 FPS
Video phone Camera: 176 x 144pixels
Video capable MP4, WMV, 3GPP, RealMedia, Flash
Connectivity : Bluetooth, USB
Memory : 20 MB internal memory
MicroSD memory Hot Swap Up to 2 GB
Ring tones : AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, MP4, WMA, AMR-NB, Mobile XMF, SP-MIDI, MIDI Tones (poly 64), True tones
Animated wallpaper and screensavers Flash Lite 2 capable
Modem for PC
Web browser (WAP 2.0 – xHTML)
Mono Speaker Phone/Hands free
Media player with 2.5mm RCA socket.
GPS connectivity via Bluetooth
Speed : Vs Nokia 6230
Navigation 9/10
Battery Life : BP-5M 3.7V 900 mAh
Claimed operating times:
Standby 13.3 days
Voice 6 hours
Sample camera :