The Nokia 6000 Classic harks back to a simpler time, when life was easy and phones were shiny. Like a trustworthy friend, you won't receive any unpleasant surprises from this well-made, attractive and affordable phone.
The 6700 is available for free on a £20-per-month contract, or you can plump for it on pay as you go and pay £220.
The 6700 is shiny -- our chrome model was glossy enough to signal rescue helicopters. The heavy stainless-steel case and gentle curves make the 6700 a lovely object to hold, although it attracts fingerprints instantly.
The flat, chrome-covered keypad is guaranteed to sport more fingerprints than an episode of CSI. The keys aren't raised, but they're easy to press and give a satisfying click. The bottom row of buttons is slightly less clicky than the upper rows, so we occasionally hit the wrong key when we started out, but we think we'd get used to it over time, and it isn't a terrible problem.
The 6700 runs on the tried-and-tested Nokia S40 operating system, but it's been refreshed slightly. You can customise the home screen with alerts and shortcuts to your favourite applications, and the user interface is clear and easy to use.
There are a few little quirks in the UI, though. For example, the progress bar for downloads and so on whizzes back and forth merrily, rather than progressing from start to finish, as we'd expect. The UI also betrays Nokia's obsession with useless messages, like the one that pops up to tell you that you've got voicemail turned on every time you make a phone call. But none of these are deal-breakers for an otherwise straightforward phone.
All things bright and beautiful
The 56mm (2.2-inch) screen is small, but gorgeously bright and vivid. Photos look stunning and icons are clear and readable.
We were also impressed with the 5-megapixel camera, which takes good shots in bright light. As with most cameras on phones, the colours are slightly washed out and, compared to a compact camera, you have to keep a fairly steady hand, but the 6700 performs better than average. The shutter lag is reasonable. It took less than 2 seconds from the time we pressed the shutter to the photo being taken.
In low light, the LED photo light does a very good job of brightening up nearby objects. Although photos are noisy in low light, the results are still impressive, and images tend to be in focus as long as you keep your shooting hand reasonably still.
One drawback is the camera shutter button on the side. We found it too tiny to press easily. Happily, the centre of the five-way button on the front of the phone also works as a shutter button, and it's large and easy to press. The volume buttons also suffer from the same problem as the main shutter button, and they're slightly out of reach, towards the top of the phone.
Expand your mind
We were happy to see that we could access Nokia's Ovi Store on the 6700. It didn't come pre-installed on our sample -- although we did get a shortcut to the Ovi photo-sharing site -- but it was easy to download and install.
Unfortunately, the Ovi Store still only has a handful of good apps, but some are worth grabbing. For example, the Facebook app is better than the shortcut that comes pre-installed in the 6700's applications folder, which just opens a link to the Facebook site in the phone's browser. Although it's not quite as glamorous as the touchscreen versions you'll find on much pricier phones like Apple's iPhone and the HTC Hero, everything's where it should be and it'll easily keep you connected to your social circle. Google Maps is also on board, and there's GPS for pinpointing your location.
Connected, but only so far
The 6700 connects to the Web quickly and easily over 3G, thanks to HSPA, but it doesn't have Wi-Fi connectivity.
We like the default Nokia Web browser, which makes it easy to navigate around a big page on a small screen, with the help of a zoomed-out mode. We were also thrilled to see the Opera Mini Web browser on board. It's been elegantly optimised for mobile browsing on such a teeny screen. For example, it makes it easy to find and subscribe to RSS feeds on Web pages by showing the link at the top of the page automatically, so you don't have to hunt around for it.
The 6700's media player looks good and is easy to use, but the phone doesn't have a standard headphone jack, or even an included adaptor, so you have to use the flimsy earbuds that come in the box.
The headphones plug in to the micro-USB socket, which is a fantastic change from the huge, breakable, proprietary socket that's often found on Nokia phones. You can charge the phone with the included charger or via a USB cable. The USB cable may help when you're caught short without the charger, and it means that you can travel with one less beast of a power adaptor in your bag.
Syncing your tunes or files via USB is pretty straightforward using Nokia's PC Suite software, which also works well over Bluetooth. PC Suite isn't the most elegant software, but Nokia releases frequent updates, and it has a few great features. For example, you can use it to type SMS messages on your full-size computer keyboard and send them on your phone. You can also back up your phone and update its software. Sadly, Mac users aren't invited to the syncing party -- PC Suite only supports Windows.
There's a very respectable 1GB microSD memory card included, and the 6700 supports up to 8GB, so there's plenty of room for storage. If you can't be bothered to sync all those tunes, there's also an FM radio to keep you entertained.
Can you hear me?
The 6700 claims to have noise-cancellation technology. We gave it a test in a room full of geek tech -- that means noisy fans, robotic buzzing and loud, protracted arguments about whose phone is the best. We found the background sound didn't differ that much from a phone without noise-cancelling technology, but the microphone was good and loud.
If the touchscreen smart-phone frenzy leaves you cold, the Nokia 6700 Classic could be the phone to raise your temperature. The shiny chrome may be too blinding for some, but the metal case feels solid in your hand and looks elegant.
The 6700 handles the basics well, with good call quality and an easy-to-use, attractive user interface.A few quality bells and whistles, like the good 5-megapixel camera, customisable home page and Ovi Store access, are the icing on top.
The combination of low price, lovely looks and solid quality make the 6700 a classic by name, and a classic by nature.
Edited by Charles Kloet