The Nokia 6500 Slide is an attractive looking slider handset that is clad in brushed stainless steel with semi-gloss black plastic highlights. Due in part to its use of stainless steel, the 6500 Slide weighs a fairly hefty 127g (4.5oz) considering its otherwise reasonably compact 97mm x 46.5mm x 12mm (3.8" x 1.8" x .5") dimensions. Opening up the dual-sprung slider mechanism reveals the black plastic keypad and causes the 6500 Slide to grow an additional 30mm (1.2") in length.
Apart from being a bit stiff, the keypad is reasonably well designed. The stainless softkeys, call keys, and d-pad all work very well. The nicely raised edge of the d-pad is easy to find, and its center select button is so large that you would be hard pressed, no pun intended, to miss it. The volume control and the somewhat dodgy two-stage camera shutter key are located on the right side. The camera itself, along with its flash, are located out back. A simple release up top allows for the removal of the rear stainless panel that protects the battery. A mini Nokia charging port and normal 2.5mm headset port flank the new micro-USB data connector that is located on the top of the device. There is no dedicated power key - the red call key is used for powering up and down.
The 6500 Slide's display is capable of showing up to 16 million different color shades. I don't find it to be quite as bright as many other similar displays, though, and easily would have preferred a brighter 65k or 262k color display in its place. In its defense, the display is very easily viewed in direct sunlight since it is transflective. Above the display is a second camera that can be used for 3G video calls, something I was unable to test.
The only other thing worth mentioning is that the stainless steel finish gets very dirty looking, as any busy mom with a stainless fridge can attest to. Otherwise, the 6500's design is good, and the device itself is very solidly built.