Arriving at the same time as its sleek and funky 6600 Slide range-mate, the Nokia 6600 Fold is a more fashionista-friendly elegant sort of design.

The 6600 Fold makes no bones about the fact it's selling itself primarily on looks rather than stacks of high-end technology.

Its regular clamshell design is spruced up by the use of bold colours (two-tone purple and pink or a shiny black for the more conservative) and a botox-smooth mirror finish, complete with hidden screen for added exclusivity.

Basic spec

It's a 3G handset with standard issue Nokia Series 40 software onboard, including music and video players and a decent sprinkling of web-based applications and organiser functionality.

It's also equipped with a 2-megapixel camera, plus a secondary video call camera beneath the flip.

But the 6600 Fold also has incorporated some stand-out design features to grab attention.

Sleek design

Tap the mirrored front twice, for instance, and an external display consisting of a clock (analogue or digital – your choice) along with any missed calls or received messages glows through alluringly. It also serves as a way to mute incoming calls or reject them altogether.

Furthering the 6600 Fold's design credentials, a side button activates an electromagnetic flip so there's no need to break a nail opening the handset. It's not exactly new technology, but there's still something satisfying about it nonetheless.

The action is smooth enough, but you get the feeling that it's not built to last and we regularly got the message "Open fold manually" appearing through the opaque glazed front.

Another area of concenrn is the back panel. Achieving a seamless look has its drawbacks, one of which being there's no discernable way to remove the back so you tend to resort to brute force.

Generous keypad

Open up the handset and it's a far more standard, conventional clamshell affair. But if it ain't broke don't fix it, because the large buttons and generously spaced keypad are a delight to use.

Our only criticism would be that the central select button of the D-pad could be a bit bigger – but being a bright metallic purple on our review sample it stands out like an embedded jewel, so is not that easy to miss.

The 2.13-inch QVGA screen is similarly eye-catching, with its 16-million colours and OLED technology making for excellent menu legibility. Like most Nokias, the menu itself comes with a choice of views depending on whether you prefer the grid or list layout, as well as the quick-access Active Standby option.

Back to basics

A standard Series 40 interface means the 6600 Fold isn't graced by the presence of an extensive high-end feature-set – there's no Wi-Fi or GPS recever, for instance - but getting around the decent standard set of features is nice and speedy.

Among the familiar mid-tier menu options ia Nokia's Maps app, which allows you to find your location by postcode, search for addresses and services, and get route information. But with no built-in GPS it isn't capable of integrated satellite navigation.

Opera Mini is another pre-installed app we're getting used to on Nokia Series 40 phones, and is likely to be welcomed by fans of mobile web surfing.

The browser reduces the size of web pages making them faster to load, and combined with 3G makes the whole process more bearable. It's no HSDPA, but still quick enough to avoid a frustration-induced meltdown.

Disappointing photos

Multimedia features are rather sparse, with a basic 2-megapixel camera putting in a disappointing showing.

Photos are grainy and colours muted, with the added problem of the lens being too close to your supporting finger – which often makes a guest appearance as a result. There's also no dedicated shutter button. An 8x digital zoom and double LED flash make the specs sound more healthy, but the overall effect is unchanged.

The poor quality of the camera is particularly frustrating given Nokia has pre-installed a Flickr app to make uploading images to the site quick and easy. But this handset simply isn't geared towards imaging, and video fares similarly badly.

Impressive music player

Music is a different story, and Nokia's adeptness in this field shines through with a decent player and FM radio including RDS.

Good all-round functionality is enhanced by comprehensive format compatibility, including MP3, MIDI, AAC, AAC+ and WMA. There's also a graphic equaliser to tinker with the bass and treble, a stereo expansion feature and A2DP support for Bluetooth stereo headsets.

Nokia includes as standard a 512MB MicroSD card, as the 15MB of built-in memory won't get you far. Naturally, higher capacity cards (up to 4GB) can be slotted in.

Reliable performance

Nokia is a pretty safe banker – even in the current rather chilly economic climate – when it comes to phone performance. Yes, the 6600 Fold may not be bursting at the seams with high-end features, but what it does it does well and ultimately what's more important?

Call quality is great tonally – if occasionally on the quiet side – and gaining a decent 3G signal was never a problem during our time with the phone. Messaging options are plentiful and well laid out, with an email client, Yahoo Instant Messenger, Voice messages and Video messages all on offer.

If it's an eye-catching, reliable handset you're after and you don't care about the latest business apps and high-spec functionality, the 6600 Fold is definitely one to add to the list. It'll get you noticed and won't let you down when you need it. Job done.

Network availability: 3, O2, Orange

Looks: 8/10
Ease of use: 9/10
Features: 6/10
Call quality: 9/10
Value: 7/10