Nokia 6280 review: High-class slider

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

System and interface: new Nokia Series 40

Pros: very fast performance • Nokia 6280 gets started without SIM card as well • new user interface • great customization options • active stand-by mode • graphic themes

Cons: little internal memory • poor graphic elaboration of the active stand-by mode • settings buried deep down in the menu structure

After the disappointment of Nokia 6230i, which reacted slower than its forerunner, Nokia 6280 does please with its high speed. Main menu, phonebook, SMS editor, calendar… all applications get opened immediately, without any sign of delay. The same is still true for the work of the gallery with 2 megapixel pictures. The only moment when I experienced a certain slow down was when I inserted the memory card. Basically, Nokia 6280 is unusually fast and stable mobile. It didn't get jammed even once.

The fact that it is possible to start Nokia 6280 without using a SIM card is quite interesting. When you choose this option, the phone permits you access all functions, which work does not require the use of a mobile network.

On its official website Nokia states that Nokia 6280 disposes of 10 MB of internal memory, but we have reckoned that in reality the end user obtains no more than 6.5 MB. More free memory can be gained through deleting certain pre-installed games and applications. In other words, there is too little memory. You won't make it without an additional memory card, that's for sure. The whole matter is a definite drawback for Nokia 6280, especially considering how slow the access to the memory card is. Internal memory is shared by gallery, messages, applications, and bookmarks.

Memory info

All objects not protected by copyright laws and the DRM (Digital Rights Management) system can be easily sent through Bluetooth or the infrared port. Of course, non-protected items can be received as well. If you have a USB cable, use the USB Mass Storage feature. Once you have plugged in the cable, you will be prompted, which mode you are interested in work with: a standard connection (for work with PC Suite, for example), data storage (Mass Storage), or print. The PC Suit program lets you get into the memory of the phone straight from a PC (by means of all three modes). As for mass download of pictures, use the "Save pictures" program.

New Series

Nokia 6280 is based on the Series 40 platform of the last, third generation. It seems to be totally different form the first version as seen in the 7210 model, for example. The graphic design of Nokia 6280's user interface reflects this change pretty well too and can still be considered an innovation, no matter the fact that we have already seen it in the slider Nokia 6111.

At all events, the hottest innovation in Nokia 6280 is its active stand-by mode. It shows upcoming events and facilitates radio and MP3 player control. In the top part of the display you will see the icons of the quick-start applications, while in the very bottom part there is space for a text note. To change this type of functional and image distribution you will have to find the setup option for the active stand-by mode, which is successfully buried in the menu structure. Here is a range of items which can be used in the active stand-by mode: icon bar, indicators (info about network etc.), calendar (days can be switched straight on the main display), countdown timer, note, My presence, sound applications.

Active stand-by mode 

In my opinion, the active stand-by mode is a very useful application in any smartphone. However, in the case of Nokia 6280 I was forced to eventually deactivate it, because of its inappropriate graphic elaboration, i.e., too large font bordered with white line, unordered blocks...

The cross of the functions that have been assigned to the main control button can also be viewed on the display • or simple wallpaper if you prefer

I highly appreciate the fact that Nokia 6280 allows for a detailed setup of the font size. On the phonebook you can choose between two font sizes, while both in the messages and the internet browser you can pick up out of three different size options. The biggest font available is truly impressive. The smallest one, on the other hand, is so small that an entire message can fit on the display.


The main menu can be organized in four different ways: as a list, as a simple table, as table with legends, or with horizontally organized tabs. If you need to save as much space as possible, you may want to select the table-without-legends option, which allows for 12 icons to be viewed en block. Alike other image types icons can be additionally reorganized too. All icons in the menu are well depicted, but when animated, they partly lose their details and evenness.

Four possible views of the main menu

Nokia 6280 supports graphic themes, which change not only the wallpaper on the main display, but also the graphic image of the rest of the pages. The phone offers a font color change option, which helps make font visible on darker background.


The simpler the graphic theme, the more practical it is

Each way of the main four-way button can be assigned a certain application. In Nokia 6280 you will find a "Go to" menu, in which you can place your preferred and most frequently used functions. More functions can be located in the icon bar of the active stand-by mode. If there is anything to complain about here, then this is the complicated location of certain settings, which seem inaccessible, unless you read carefully the corresponding manual.

User "Go to" Menu

It is quite interesting that Nokia 6280 - unlike smartphones of the S60 line- permits using the active stand-by mode simultaneously with key shortcuts. While in S60 the user is obliged to select one single option, here one of the four ways looses its function only to be able to consequently activate the active stand-by mode.

Customization: various views of the gallery

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