If you're overwhelmed with all the large touchscreen phones coming out at the moment and yearn for something a little smaller, Nokia might just have what you're looking for. The Nokia 6600 Slide is an attractive compact slider, but is it a fashion phone with nothing to offer or is it a tiny titan ready to take on all your needs? It's available now for free with a contract on several mobile networks.
The seductive Nokia 6600 Slide looks like a polished pebble and feels reassuringly heavy. Although it's a small phone it has a relatively large screen that displays text messages and pictures well. A few blue details, such as the blue navigation key, add a little flare to the already stylish phone.
Slide open the smooth mechanism and out pops a small but well-designed keypad. It's not the best we've ever used but it's good enough to write text messages on comfortably. Slide the phone shut and it will fit very easily in a handbag or stuffed in a pocket -- something you can't say for many phones.
If you're looking for a phone that can do everything, stay away -- but if you want something that does the basics well, this could be it. Calling and texting are straightforward and Nokia's S40 interface is easy to understand, especially if you've used a Nokia phone before.
Built-in 3G means you can browse the Web at high speeds. The 6600 Slide comes with Opera Mini pre-installed, which lets you look at full Web pages in a similar way to the iPhone's browser. You can also use 3G to make video calls, but who are we kidding -- has anyone made a video call since the service came out?
A 3.2-megapixel camera on the back will satisfy your basic MMS and Facebook photography needs, and we were surprised to see how well it performed in low light. While the dual LED photo lights aren't as illuminating as a xenon flash, they did pump out more light than we expected, making night shots turn out fairly well.
A useful and unexpected feature is Nokia Maps, which comes pre-installed and allows you search for directions. The 6600 doesn't come with GPS so you can't pinpoint your location without using an external Bluetooth GPS receiver, but we still found Nokia Maps to be useful without it.
The Nokia 6600 Slide is a snappy performer that sounded good during calls and performed well when connecting to 3G. We didn't encounter any notable performance problems. Similar to the Nokia 6300, which we awarded with an Editors' Choice award, the 6600 Slide does what it says on the tin without causing any trouble.
All told, this is a simple phone with simple ambitions. While smart phone-users may scoff at its simplicity, we really liked it -- especially its style. A solid case combined with an easy-to-understand interface make this an understated gem that will deliver an enjoyable user experience.
Edited by Marian Smith