A basic handset that's well designed, the Nokia 6700 classic's stainless steel casing and simple user interface will impress users only interested in calls, text and the occasional photo - which, believe it or not, is still a fair chunk of the population.

A mid-range mobile phone, the Nokia 6700 classic won't appeal to social-networking buffs, business users or those who are interested in the latest and greatest touch-screen smartphones.

The highlight of the Nokia 6700 classic mobile phone is its stainless steel casing. In a day and age when mobile phones are often made of lightweight plastic, the 6700 classic feels sturdy and well built.

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Our review unit was emblazoned with a shiny chrome finish, but the Nokia 6700 classic is also available in gloss black. The chrome surface is attractive and will appeal to fashion buffs, but it's near impossible to keep free of fingerprints and smudges.

The Nokia 6700 classic's display is bright and clear. Viewing angles are quite good for a display this size and it performs well in sunlight. Unfortunately, the glossy screen surface means light in an office environment reflects off the display.

The controls are straightforward and consist of a five-way navigational pad, two selection buttons and answer and end call keys. The Nokia 6700 classic also has external volume controls and a dedicated camera button on the right side, but the volume controls in particular feel stiff to press and are positioned too high to comfortably access with one hand.

The Nokia 6700 classic's keypad is almost completely flat, but is quite roomy considering the small size of the handset. The reflective chrome finish matches the rest of the phone facia, but greasy fingers aren't kind to the surface. The last row of keys (*, 0 and #) is a little too close to the bottom edge of the phone.

The Nokia 6700 classic runs the basic Symbian S40 operating system, so users familiar with Nokia mobile phones will have no problems using this handset. The familiar grid style main menu and basic list style submenus remain easy to use and most options are clearly labelled and easily identifiable.

A new addition to the interface is the home screen mode. When switched on, the Nokia 6700 classic allows you to personalise the home screen with a number of shortcuts and notifications. These include a customisable shortcut bar, a search box, links to commonly used applications and a notifications tab for missed calls and messages.

A 5Mp camera with autofocus and flash is perhaps the Nokia 6700 classic's most appealing feature and it takes reasonable photos. Unfortunately, the flash is just a single LED - it's tiny and therefore struggles to adequately take photos in dim lighting. Built-in GPS takes advantage of Nokia's pre-loaded Maps application.

Surprisingly, Nokia's Ovi application store is compatible with the Nokia 6700 classic, though it's not preinstalled. Although it pales into insignificance when compared with Apple's App Store for the iPhone, there are a few free apps that are definitely worth a download, such as the Facebook application. Flickr, Messenger and the Opera Mini browser are three preinstalled apps, but Facebook, YouTube and MySpace shortcuts are merely links to the mobile Web sites.

The lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack means the Nokia 6700 classic isn't going to win any awards for multimedia playback. An FM radio, voice recorder and media player are nice inclusions, though, as is the microSD card slot for extra storage.

The Nokia 6700 classic is a HSDPA-capable phone and, interestingly, it is rated at 10Mbps - the fastest 3G phone we've seen. Of course this doesn't mean much in terms of real world 3G speeds as the 6700 doesn't operate on the 850MHz network band. Wi-Fi is a notable omission, but Bluetooth and a standard mini-USB connection are included.

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Nokia's 6700 classic doesn't come with all the bells and whistles of the latest touch screen smartphones, but if you're after a solid mid-range handset that won't break the bank, you may be impressed.

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