At only 89g (3.1oz) in weight and measuring 110mm x 45mm x 10mm (4.3" 1.8" x .4") in size, the Nokia 6500 Classic is quite a compact little candy bar handset. The Classic's design, reserved and elegant, makes use of simple lines and curved surfaces. The 6500 Classic's 16 million color display may only be 2" in size, but its QVGA resolution makes for some very sharp looking images. The display is also brighter than that found on the 6500 Slide, and is also quite readable even in harsh sunlight conditions.
The small d-pad on the Classic works quite well thanks to its easy to find and raised silver edge that surrounds a large central select button. The two softkeys and the red and green call control keys are also small, but work well. The alphanumeric keypad takes some getting used to, though. The raised silver bars on the keypad separate very small keys. The silver bars can not be pressed, but act as guides for the pad of the fingertip. You can use a fingernail to press the hard and somewhat stiff keys, but most people will find that a fingertip works best. All of the keys and buttons are backlighted well.
Apart from the camera, flash, and speaker on the back of the 6500 Classic, there is little else to talk about. The phone's design is that simple. Charging and USB data connections are handled by the covered micro-USB connector on the top of the device. A small hole on the bottom allows access to the microphone. That's it. The curved sides of the 6500 Classic have no volume or camera shutter keys. Volume is controlled by using the d-pad.
The most interesting physical aspect of the Classic to me is how solid it feels. This phone feels very, very sturdy. It feels like the kind of phone that you could open beer bottles with, or use to break through a car window in an emergency. In fact, when the bottom cover is slid off to expose the battery, the 6500 Classic's metal frame is easily seen. It is a tough little phone, and a pretty one at that.