Nokia 7280 review: A toy for the rich

David Polesný, 17 January 2005. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Tags: Nokia, Fashion

Nokia 7280 is the king among all stylish phones. The little oblong black brick provokes a mixture between astonishment and curiosity never mind the fact that handling its functions is confusing. Its equipment does not fall behind though either: feel free to enjoy a huge address book, 50MB of memory, MP3 ringtones, a camera, a radio, Bluetooth…

When Nokia 7280 appeared on the first published pictures, we could not believe our eyes. Is that meant to be a mobile phone? After having experienced stylish creatures as Xelibri we eventually believed. Nevertheless the rich equipment announced earlier turned out to be quite surprising for design freak phones of the type have not proved to be rich in functions.


Nokia 7280 official pictures

Nokia apparently decided, however, to offer its customers originality and elegance combined with maximum functionality. That is how three exceptional models: 7260, 7270 and 7280 were brought to life. The first one is a mobile phone constructed in a classic way, but dressed in an extravagant coat with underlined marginal. It is the cheapest of the group but nevertheless disposing of very sophisticated equipment. Speaking of qualities, the clamshell 7270 has even more to show off. With it the manufacturers have dared experiment more. The outer covers are made of metal additionally protected by leather covering. The inner part of the phone has also been planned untraditionally - it is black with colorful lines. The 7280 model is the top of the ice-cream within the mentioned class of phones in the sense of both functions and design.

Key benefits

  • Design
  • High quality active display
  • More than 50 MB of memory, 1000 entries in the address book
  • Bluetooth
  • 40-voice and MP3/AAC sound of ringing
  • Embedded VGA camera
  • Embedded radio
  • GPRS class 10 and EDGE

Key drawbacks

  • Lengthy method of character input
  • Squeaky construction
  • Small display hardly visible in direct sunlight


What is this box?

In terms of design Nokia 7280 is an exceptional phone; you would not find another one of the kind on the market. No matter where you go, picking it out will inevitably attract others' attention. Not only is its outlook unusual, but also the overall construction idea and the operating system attached to it.

Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom
You have not seen such a phone yet.

While I was testing the phone I showed it to some friends. Each of them would start looking at it with interest trying to guess its functions. Most of them agreed on the device to be a MP3 player. After having put the phone into their hands they would keep on being overwhelmed with confusion trying to find a visible keypad. When failing to find one they would slowly start moving the scroll button sideways and the phone would gradually get under their skin. Regarding different opinions about the new Nokia 7280 people generally fall into 3 main categories. Some of them curse it, the majority like it, but only few of them would feel comfortable using it in every-day life.

Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom
It will represent its owner with style

The form of the phone sticks to the square. It is only the size that differs from what we are used to. It is 115 mm long, 32mm wide and 19 mm high. We have also found out that the square is slightly sloped. Nokia's designers have chosen black as a main color. No alternative colors are going to be offered on the market. The phone's surface is glossy and that is why unpleasant smudges and prints remain evident on it. The phone weighs some comfortable 84 grams.

Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom
The square lies a little bit sideways • this phone's design reminds you of a chocolate bar • the display is hidden behind a mirror surface

The outlook is brightened by white lines, which zigzag all over the surface and - to say the truth - they suit it very well. Black and white colors in the design are supported by glossy accessories and a mirror of a similar impression that covers the display. Nokia is known for not being afraid of using untraditional materials in its stylish phones and the 7280 model is not an exception. On its surface you will find plastic parts, leather pieces or more precisely fur - as well as a tiny piece of fabric. The latter protrudes out of the very end of one of the phone's edges and reminds of a printed patch on a T-shirt. The manufacturer's logo - Nokia is placed on this piece of fabric - just like it works with T-shirts.

Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom
White lines zigzag all over the telephone's surface • leather areas • label as on a T-shirt

The big black button is crying for a constructional change. I have probably never seen a squeakier mobile phone, which puts a big shame on Nokia. It squeaks whenever touched or moved and while I was "cruelly examining" it, I had the feeling I was putting together the Rubik's cube. Speaking about a telephone which costs more than 600 Euro it is a real shame.

For right-handed only

Looking at phone's front cover your attention would inevitably focus on the big mirror placed on it. This is nothing else but the display being effectively hidden. Here you will also find a scroll operating button surrounded by two pairs of functional buttons. The latter consist of thin white doubled keys, which are part of the decorative lines. Above the display you will also find the ear-phone covered by a penetrated piece of leather.

Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom
Five buttons should be enough • mirror, mirror, tell me... • leather cover of the ear-phone

It is hard to say which edge of the phone we should name as a bottom one. The phone is put to the ear in a typical manner - in a vertical position with the display in the upper part. The displayed picture is however horizontal in order that its full width can be used and therefore when operating it is necessary to hold the phone in a horizontal position as well. Unfortunately there is no way of moving the pictures upside down, so left-handed are in a great disadvantage. The operating buttons are placed right from the display, so holding the phone in your left hand makes no sense.

Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Holding is untypical, but comfortable

Let's hold the phone in a vertical position as if we want to make a phone call. On its left upper side you will find a narrow slot where a loud speaker is placed. Under the slot is the big infrared port window and at the bottom there is a silver cover of the SIM card drawer. The latter has a little crevice in one of its corners, in which one has to stick a sharp object in order to open the drawer. For this purpose a small metal roller comes enclosed in the original packing. There you will also find a spare drawer for the original one is fully extractable and may get easily lost. On phone's right side is the already mentioned label with the manufacturer's logo and above it the small leather-covered area is placed.

Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom
SIM card is hidden in a drawer • the device opening the drawer

Nokia 7280. Click to zoom Nokia 7280. Click to zoom
Loud speaker • leather-covered parts both on the side of the phone and the speaker

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