Nokia 6280 review: High-class slider

Marek Lutonský, 05 March 2006. Read the original review at
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Tags: Nokia, S40, MobilMania

One more piece...

Nokia's portfolio contains very few slider phones. There have been only two classical "sliders" in Nokia's history, namely, the 7650 smartphone and the current stylish Nokia 6111. We could possibly consider the luxury models of the 8 line as part of Nokia's slider family too, but it would be a rather exaggerated decision as the only sliding part in all mobiles from the 8 line is their keypad cover.

It is clear that anything that moves is a potential source of risk and problems. Rails will get worn out, the joint will start to play. Eventually, it is always the user that is off luck because damage caused from day-to-day use is not covered by any guarantee. Now let us take a closer look at the sliding mechanism of Nokia 6280 and make all relevant conclusions.

Nokia 6280 Nokia 6280
Careful with whatever moves

I need to say that my impression of Nokia 6280 was not as good as the one I had of Samsung D600 for example. Nevertheless, its sliding mechanism is fine and firm and works smoothly. I suppose that it has been designed in a way similar to Nokia N70, namely through the use of two opposing springs. After all, part of these springs is visible in the slot, once the handset is opened. They hold the phone in both dead points so that the display does not displace spontaneously. If you prefer to slide it out on your own, prop your thumb against the lug below the display and push. Tiny metal rails cover the guiding channel preventing it from early wear-out. Yet, I do not find this measure safe enough. The sliding cover seems rather "crank", which is a great disappointing indeed.

Nokia 6280 Nokia 6280
Rails support the sliding mechanism

A view of the device from outside: new memory card

Pros: possible control in closed mode • card hot swap • landscape picture mode

Cons: extremely rigid switch-off button • "Push to talk" key cannot be assigned any other function • new type of memory card

The sliding construction allows the display to occupy nearly the entire front cover of the device (for more information on the display, please see further on). Below the display you will see an assembly of functional keys, which is visible when the phone is closed. They are distributed in a standard way: two context keys are located right below the display, followed by the keys for call control. In the middle of the block, a four-way navigation button with a confirming middle part is located.

Nokia 6280
There is no need to open it

Since the outer functional keys manage a significant number of tasks, any operation, which does not require inserting numbers or writing, can be provided with a closed phone. Yet, you will find the day-to-day use of Nokia 6280 much more comfortable if you open it, because you will not have to curve your thumb that much.

Next to the receiver in the upper part of the front cover you will see a tiny camera lens, specially for video calls. The designers have even managed to insert a button on the top oval side, which merges into the front part of the phone. This button both switches off the device and helps the user select their preferred ringing profile. Unfortunately, it is quite embedded and thus somewhat difficult to press.

Nokia 6280 Nokia 6280 Nokia 6280
Camera located next to the receiver, main switch-off button

On the left side of the phone there is a rectangle button, which activates and controls "Push to talk". The pity is that in no way its function can be modified. Below it, the infrared port and the loud speaker grid are located. If you jam it, the phone messes up.

Nokia 6280
Push to talk, infrared port and loud speaker

A new memory card, have you asked for it?

On the left side of Nokia 6280 you will also find the tiny slot of the memory card held with a joint. Push the card until a click sound comes out - it is a sign that the card has settled in its right position. This is the first time that Nokia uses this type of memory card. The new miniSD format is not compatible with the RS-MMC format used in older models. I suppose that Nokia 6280 is going to be sold along with a 64 MB memory card, but we are not able to confirm to you this information, as we have not obtained the final package of this Nokia model yet. This is also why we cannot provide you with details about what will be possible to record in the memory of Nokia 6280.

Nokia 6280 Nokia 6280
Memory card slot • open slot

I used a SanDisk card of 256 MB during the entire process of Nokia 6280 testing. Do not try to install it following the instructions given in the manual, because it is displayed upside down. You can exchange memory cards while the phone is running, so there is no need to switch off the device. It happened several times that the camera would not find the big capacity memory, so I would have to set up a place for saving my photos from the very beginning. Fortunately, this problem does not seem to be a constant obstacle.

The bottom part of the phone is less sophisticated. Here you will find the Pop-Port connector and the slot for the new "narrow" charger, as well as a microphone and a strap eye-let. On the right side there is a volume control button and a key that serves as a camera release button. The latter is however rather rigid, so I ended up taking pictures by using the main control key. Anyway, the location of the release button makes it clear that picture should be taken with horizontal hand-hold.

Nokia 6280 Nokia 6280 Nokia 6280
Pop-port • volume button • camera release button

Another sign in favor of the horizontal hand-hold is to be found on the rear side of the device: you need to turn the phone in order to be able to read the manufacturer's logo. Here you will also see the 2 megapixel camera lens mounted in the middle of a light-color field, a tiny mirror for making self-portraits and a flash LED.

Nokia 6280
Camera is located on the rear side of the phone

When you remove the rare cover you will see a lithium-polymer battery of 970 mAh capacity. By the way, Nokia uses the very same type of battery in its communicators of the 9300(i) line. A battery of 1100 mAh is available too. Regarding the life of the battery, I am afraid I am not able to provide you with reliable estimation as during the testing process we tend to task the phone more than it is usual in day-to-day use. According to Nokia's official information, the 6280 model is supposed to guarantee 250 h of stand-by mode. The battery life in call mode depends on the net type: in GSM it is said to be 240 min, while in 3G - 180 min. The phone gets charged within a mere hour and a half. The SIM card is located under the battery and is tucked by a metal piece.

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A view under the back cover • SIM card bed

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