Nokia 6500 classic Review


The numerous multimedia capabilities of contemporary phones have called for increasingly bigger displays, which quite often take up more than half of the phone’s front part. This peculiarity has forced designers to extend the length of the devices, in order to fit in the screen, at the same time keeping the buttons handy. It was then that the idea was born to make the devices thinner, instead of looking for ways to make them shorter. We all remember the success achieved by Motorola’s V3, which was the first model of the RAZR series and its launch marked the beginning of the phones’ ‘slimming’.

Just like most other manufacturers, Nokia have been influenced by this development and so here comes a typical representative of this trend, i.e. Nokia 6500 classic. This is one of the two devices from the company’s 6500 series; recently we brought 6500 slide to your attention. Unlike the latter model, classic is a traditional candybar, but it nevertheless preserves the style and the aesthetics: metals were used in its make.

Sales package contents:

  • Nokia 6500 classic handset
  • Nokia Stereo Headset HS-82
  • Nokia Charger AC-6
  • Nokia Battery BL-6P
  • Micro USB Connectivity Cable CA-101
  • User guide
  • Contemporary leaflet
  • CD-ROM

The already-standard package is available here, too, and you have everything necessary so that you can use the device and transfer data between the device and a computer.

PhoneArena's video review of the Nokia 6500 classic


In the case of this model by Nokia, as well as in the case of 6500 slide, a trend makes itself noticeable of using metals instead of plastics for some of the details; the part around the display and the camera is made of polished aluminum, that feels cold when first touched. It’s a pity that the battery lid and the phone’s upper part are made of plastics, rather than metal. No matter how shiny the plastic is, it cannot compare with the sensation that the black-colored aluminum creates. Black is a color that is never out of fashion and it is not a color that is in and out; black is a color that is always considered stylish. This is exactly the intended look of this phone: austere and classic, without superfluous colors and lights.

Nokia 6500 classic has dimensions of 109.8 x 45 x 9.5 mm and it weighs 94 g. It is so slim, you can hardly feel it in your pocket.

ModelDimension (Inches)Dimension (mm)Weight (oz)Weight (Gramms)
Nokia 6500 classic4.30" x 1.80" x 0.40"110 x 45 x 9.53.3094
Nokia 63004.20" x 1.70" x 0.50"106.5 x 43.5 x 123.2091
Sony Ericsson T6504.10" x 1.80" x 0.50"104 x 46 x 12.53.4095
Nokia 75004.30" x 1.70" x 0.60"109 x 43.9 x 14.42.9082

The device is equipped with a 2" (240 x 320 pixels) QVGA display supporting up to 16.7 million colors. We can’t help noticing that Nokia use this type of display in most of their recent models, the only difference being in the size. This one also ensures a very good quality of the images, the colors are realistic and saturated with terrific contrast and sharpness. You won’t have a problem working with the menus, writing messages, etc. even in broad daylight. Classic features another peculiarity, i.e. the screen has no protection, so that what you see and feel is the LCD itself. You can enjoy the colors directly, without them being filtered through protective glass, which otherwise would have impacted the quality of the images, no matter how thin this glass is. Nokia claim that, in spite of the lack of such protection, the display is scratch resistant, so that you needn’t worry about this. Anyway, we do not recommend that you carry the phone together with sharp-edged objects, because even when you press the display lightly with a nail, traces remain on the liquid crystals. Pressing harder on the display or impacting it might result in defects on the LCD matrix, even if no scratches are visible on the display.

Under the display are all buttons, arranged so that there is no space between them whatsoever. In the lower part of each of the keys from the numeric keypad there is a slightly raised silver line, which, part from being rather pretty, also helps tell the keys apart. The navigation button is similarly made and its silver oval contour makes it easier to press. Around it are grouped all the other navigation keys: the left and right soft keys, and the call and end keys. In order to make them stand out, these keys are made in blue, green and red, respectively, and when backlit, they do not shine in white, like the other keys, but in their respective colors. As a whole, the keypad is handy and we did not come across any inconvenience during the time that we used the phone. All keys are easily pressed with the finger tips and, when pressed, a characteristic click is heard and a good tactile feedback is felt.

You will not be able to find any other keys on the phone; its design is so simple that there is only a microUSB connector in its upper part that can be universally used for charging and for connecting to a computer or to additional devices (e.g. a handsfree). Unlike 6500 slide, this phone’s connector is covered with a rubber lid, which, apart from protecting it from dust and dirt, also prevents it from contrasting with the phone’s ‘empty’ sides.

The 2-megapixel camera, the LED flash and the loudspeaker opening are located on the phone's back. Their location has been dictated by the way the phone is held when taking pictures and therefore they are to be found it its upper part.

Just a little bit lower is the battery lid, which is easily removed by sliding it down. It moves along channels made on the device’s both sides and, unfortunately, it often happens that it leaves the rut, which is inconvenient and therefore you’ll have to get used to press it down towards the battery when sliding it. On the whole, closing it is not a great experience and using extra effort might put you off.

The mic hole is located in the phone’s lowest part, ensuring that it is closest to the mouth during conversation.


Nokia 6500 classic uses Series 40 5th Edition user interface.When the phone is at standby, in the upper part of the display, information appears about the signal strength, battery status, the clock and the mobile operator. In the lower part, the functions, related to the left and right selection keys, appear, which are „Go to” and “Names” by default and you can adjust them, as well as the functions of the menu key to your liking.
The icons in the main menu are animated and are located in a 3x3 grid, as you can displace as you wish to ensure your own convenience. You can also set them to appear as List, Grid, Grid with labels or with Tabs. Working with the phone and menus is very easy, the order is intuitive and logically connected and will hardly be difficult for you.

Except for changing the main menu view you can also personalize the whole view of the phone by choosing one of the 7 themes. You have at your disposal 7 profiles that you can adjust at your own discretion; the flight profile excludes the tones and the connection with the operator, so that you can use the other functions of the device.


The Phonebook is visualized as a list of names, but there are two other options: name and number and name and picture. When you introduce a new contact, you can enter two names and a number, but in order to add more information (ringtone, picture ID, etc.), press ‘add detail’ from the options menu. During an incoming call, the picture associated with the contact, appears and takes almost the whole screen, but when you dial, the picture is very small. Except for a picture, you can add to the contact a video clip, as its sound serves as a ring tone, while the video plays on the display.

An important drawback of the phonebook is the fact that you can look for the contacts only by the first name, you entered, which can cause major inconvenience when working with the phone.


The organizer includes the following: аlarm clock, calendar, to-do list, notes, stopwatch, countdown timer and calculator. The alarm clock offers the following settings: alarm time, alarm tone and snooze time out, and except for a single alarm, you can set the phone on an alarm, which goes off on certain days of the week. The calendar can be viewed by months and weeks, as you can add new notes with options for meeting, call, Birthday, memo and reminder. You have at your disposal also a standard, loan and scientific calculator. The rest of the organizer’s options are the standard ones and are not going to be discussed.

You can use voice commands for some of the functions, as well as a voice setting for the contacts in the phonebook. For this purpose it is not necessary to record them with your own voice because the text can be recognized as speech and it is necessary only to press and hold the right selection key in order to make the voice settings/commands active.

Nokia 6500 classic has a 1 GB in-built memory and the designers have not included a slot for expanding the memory. The memory is divided between the PIM (Personal information manager) memory and the Media memory, respectively 25MB and 940MB. The first one is intended for storing messages, organizer and applications, and the second one is reserved for multimedia. 940MB are enough to store about 100-120 tracks, depending on their length and quality and the manufacturer obviously figured that this would satisfy most consumers.


Themessaging menu is exactly what you can expect from Nokia. T9 helps youenter text faster and there are a few templates by default in thephone. You can create text, multimedia, flash and audio messages.Additional features are Instant Messaging and Email Client.


Nokia6500 classic is a quad band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and dual bandUMTS (850/2100 MHz), which allows it to be used anywhere in the world.Our US readers should be pleased to know that they would be able to usethis phone both in 2G and in 3G networks, which is an advantage thatmany people would appreciate.

The internet browsersupports HTML/ XHTML and WAP 2.0 and a status bar shows in thedisplay’s lower part during loading, indicating what percentage of thewebpage has already been loaded, which is a very convenient feature,especially when loading web pages containing more information. Ourattempt to load failed, because our web page provedto be too big and so a “memory full” message appeared on the display.We tried to load YouTube, and the phone managed to open this web pagewithout overloading the memory. Unfortunately, the browser was not ableto deliver it correctly: there were overlapping texts, wrong backgroundcolors or missing colors and all these defects were evident in allthree possible choices of fond size. Since forums are quite popular andfrequented places in the web space we decided to check whether classiccan be used for that purpose. We made this test also in order to findout how the browser can handle more complex pages, where you have toclick in checkboxes or to type in texts. Unfortunately we cannot reporton the successful performance of this task: the texts were so mixed upthat it was impossible even for us to find our way round. The forum isin the vBulletin Version 3.6.0, which means that the phone’s browserwill not visualize correctly all forums in this version.

Forlocal connectivity you can use both the Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR and themicroUSB port. The transfer speed via Bluetooth reaches 75 KB/sec,which means that it’ll take about a minute and a half to transfer a 7MB track.


Nokia 6500 classic is not intended as a dedicated multimedia phone but it is not lacking such capabilities altogether.
The device is equipped with a 2-megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom, which can be activated either from the menu or from the home screen by pressing the navigation button upwards. It takes about 3 secs to turn the camera on. You can choose between resolutions from 160 x 120 to 1600 x 1200 pixels, as well as between three quality modes: high, normal and basic. You can make use of options for using effects, white balancing, night mode and LED flash.

Unfortunately, classic is rather slow when used as a camera and taking and saving a picture takes about 10 seconds, so that you should be prepared for that. The interface is portrait-oriented with the option to be set also in landscape, depending on what is more convenient for you or what you’re used to. Information about the current mode (video or pictures), the current settings, the quality and the resolution of the images, as well as the remaining shots before the memory is filled up is shown on the display.

As you can see, the pictures are of particularly poor quality and what can be noticed is the lack of detail, a lot of noise and purple fringing, which means that the contrast zones are colored in purple. Taking pictures indoors produces even worse results, the noise increases with the decrease of light and the picture taken in a dark room can be compared to a snowstorm. The phone has a flash, which can light close-by objects, but does not contribute significantly to the final result, which is still unsatisfactory and full of noise. On the whole, if the camera is one of the main features you look for in a phone, you’d better not buy the classic.

In filming mode you can choose from two possible resolutions (128 x 96 and 176 x 144 pixels) which are both so low that they are only usable for multimedia messages.


The classic supports MP3/AAC/eAAC+/WMA formats for reproducing of audio and the strength of the sound is little above the average. While playing music the display shows name of the song and album and album cover art if there is one. You can break the monotony of the player by choosing from 3 other themes apart from the standard one. Also, if you want you can play with the settings of the equalizer and the stereo widening, to look at the music files, arranged by artist, album and genre, as well as to add and manage playlists.

The phone does not pretend to have the options of the full functional music player, but nevertheless you can listen to stereo by the headphones in the set or by wireless, by the use of the Bluetooth A2DP profile.

Reproducing video files proved to be a very difficult task for the classic; according to official data the supported formats and codices are H.263, MPEG4, and 3GPP. We tried a few files with different resolutions, coding, framerate and bitrate, but the phone managed only QCIF (176 x 144 pixels) resolutions of H.263 coded video. Although H.264 videos are not officially supported, we decided to check them out and it proved that there was no problem to watch videos, provided that their resolution is not above the QCIF resolution.
To say the least, it is strange to have a QVGA display, and to be able to watch only QCIF on it, but this only comes to show once again that 6500 classic is not intended as a multimedia phone, although it is equipped with basic capabilities for video playback.


As most of the phones of the series 40, Nokia 6500 classic comes with several preloaded applications: Converter, Download, Opera Mini, Search and World Clock.

Nokia has taken care that you are not left without an entertainment in your free time, as for this purpose five games have been loaded: Backgammon, Golf Tour, Highroller Casino, Sudoku and Snake 3*. The names of the games are indicative of their content. Nokia have loaded games from different genres in order to satisfy the consumers’ tastes and wishes. The phone supports Java MIDP 2.0, so that you can install all kinds of additional applications at your need and discretion.

*Games may vary according to region


As you know, this part of our reviews is dedicated to the results of tests that we carry out with the phones. It was interesting to find out whether the two phones from the series (i.e. 6500 slide and 6500 classic) would show identical or, at least similar results, when compared directly.

We have found that the classic works a little slower than slide, and sometimes it stops to think when opening folders from the main menu and even shows a status bar when loading. We made another experiment, loading the same games on both phones. In order to achieve more reliable results, we did a number of tests and they all showed that the classic is almost a second slower than the other phone.

We went on with a test, intended to find out whether the phone can be used in places with weaker coverage without impacting the quality of the connection. Here, too, 6500 classic is lagging just a little behind the other phone with performance below the average that we have evaluated at 4 out of 10. Let’s remember that slide outperformed 6500 classic insignificantly and was evaluated at 4.5 out of 10.

The classic performs comparatively well during conversation; voices are a little monotonous and without high frequencies and sometimes a little muted; the volume is slightly above the average, there is a slight background noise. Your voice sounds loud and clear at the other end and we are rather happy with the quality of the sound.

Nokia 6500 classic comes with a BL-6P (830 mAh) battery. The official data here, too, is rather contradictory: once they quote 3.5 hours of talk time and 9 days of standby, and then it’s 5.5 hours and 12.5 respectively. The truth is somewhere in the middle and the phone has demonstrated results of 4.2 hours talk time. This test, too, has proven that the two 6500s are rather similar, with classic being slightly ahead of the other phone with an insignificant advantage.


We are rather convinced that Nokia 6500 classic is not the phone you can use to make the perfect picture or to watch a superior-quality video. The device is not completely deprived of such capabilities, but it is not intended to impress with such features. What is special about this phone is seen when you first open the box: you’re struck by its classic style and design. Austere and stylish look, emphasized by the feeling, inspired by the touch of the cold black aluminum.

We believe that 6500 classic would appeal to people who are interested in a phone’s looks and design, rather than in its functionality.


  • Slim design
  • Good display
  • Quad band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and dual band UMTS (850/2100 MHz)


  • Does not manage to reproduce standard video formats and codecs
  • Mediocre camera
  • No slot for an additional memory

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

5 Reviews

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