With the 6500 Classic, Nokia is aiming for the style conscious, whereas with this phone they're targeting those who are looking for lots of features. The 6500 Slide certainly seems to deliver on this front thanks to its TV output, 3.2-megapixel camera and impressive media player.
The handset is available for free on most contracts or can be bought for around £260 SIM-free.
The Slide may share the same model number with the 6500 Classic, but the two handsets are miles apart in terms of styling and functionality. Whereas the Classic is a slimline fashion phone with relatively basic features, the Slide is a chunkier beast that's stuffed full of cutting-edge technology.
There may only be 20MB of memory on board, but Nokia supplies the phone with a 256MB microSD card that sits in a slot under the stainless steel battery cover. The slot can actually accept cards of up to 4GB in size and you'll certainly want to add some extra storage space to take advantage of the phone's music player.
It's the same updated player that's found on the 6500 Classic and it's certainly a big improvement on the older version. The interface now looks much more attractive and it also feels a good deal more responsive to use.
The headphones that Nokia supplies with the phone sadly aren't sound isolating like those you get with Sony Ericsson's range of Walkman phones, but they still produce good sound quality and are comfortable to wear.
As this is a 3G handset, it has twin cameras for video calling. The one on the rear is actually very impressive. Not only does it have a 3.2-megapixel resolution, but it's also got autofocus and a Carl Zeiss lens. The shots it takes are a serious step above the usual camera phone fodder and good enough to print at standard photo size. However, they're not quite as sharp or detailed as the photos you'll get using some of Nokia's N-series phones.
Although the music player and camera are good, the most surprising feature of all on this handset is perhaps its TV output. In the box you'll find an AV lead that connects to the headphone socket at the top of the phone. Hook it up to your TV and the phone's display will be mirrored on your telly. You can then use your TV to view photos and videos or to listen to music. It's a cutting edge feature and works surprisingly well.
The phone's battery life is also good as you can get around six hours of talk time from it and the reception and call quality are also very impressive.
Unlike its namesake, the 6500 Classic, the Slide is quite a chunky handset and also feels very heavy. The brushed metal panels on the front and rear stop it from looking like a complete brute, but it still falls somewhat short in the desirability stakes.
Also, although the TV output is a neat feature and certainly useful for viewing photos or listening to music tracks through your TV, watching videos taken with the phone's camera on the big screen just highlights how blocky and jerky they really are.
We would have also liked to see more brightness from the screen. We wouldn't exactly describe it as dark, but sometimes when using it outside in direct light it can be a tad difficult to read.
The 6500 Slide, available free on contract or for around £260 SIM-free, is not going to be a mainstream handset, but the good camera, excellent music player and innovative TV output feature will definitely gain it a cult following. However, we can't help thinking it would have had much broader appeal if Nokia had managed to squeeze these features into a less chunky design.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire