Nokia 7280 (Unlocked) review: Nokia 7280 (Unlocked)

The 7280's quirky form factor had its drawbacks. The SIM card is inserted into a tiny drawer that can be opened with only a paper clip or a supplied tool. As a result, changing the SIM card was a pain, and we were constantly worried we'd lose the tool, the drawer, or both. If you never take out your SIM card, it may not be a worry, but even then, it isn't ideal. And on a more sobering note, the 7280 does not have a user-replaceable battery. If it conks out, you'll have to take it to an "authorized service facility," wherever that might be. We wonder if it would be worth the trouble.

The Nokia 7280 has a healthy 1,000-name phone book with room in each entry for five phone numbers; Web, street and e-mail addresses; and notes, while the SIM holds an additional 250 contacts. You can add voice tags to your contacts and organize them into caller groups or for caller-ID purposes, as well as pair them with a picture or any of 50 polyphonic ring tones. Other offerings include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, an alarm clock, a calendar, a to-do list, a notepad, and a voice recorder. Workaholics can choose from a speakerphone that's activated after you make a call, Bluetooth, an infrared port, and PC synchronization. You also get a WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser, but it's hardly viewable on the tiny display.


Hideaway: The 7280's camera lens is exposed by pulling the phone apart.

The 7280's VGA camera takes photos in only 640x480 resolution, but you can make other adjustments, such as choosing between Standard, Portrait, and Night picture modes and High, Normal, and Basic image-quality settings. You also can use the self-timer and a zoom, as well as elect to use the shutter sound or a silent option. Shots were about what we expected for a phone of this caliber--nothing you'd want to display but good enough for on-the-go snaps. When finished with your pictures, you can send them to your friends or save them to the phone's generous 50MB of shared memory. Disappointingly, you can play videos you download to the mobile, but there's no recording capability.


The 7280 had average picture quality for a camera phone.

An expected bonus on the 7280 was the integrated FM radio. To listen, you need a headset that also acts as the antenna; you also get 20 presets. The handset can be personalized with a variety of themes, screensavers, wallpaper, color schemes, and sounds. If you get bored with those, you can download more options. You don't get any games, but they wouldn't be worth playing on the diminutive display; more to the point, there's no Java support.

We tested the triband (GSM 850/1800/1900; GPRS) Nokia 7280 world phone in the San Francisco Bay Area. Call quality was very good, with crystal-clear conversations and full volume. Speakerphone quality was muffled a bit, which is to be expected, but calls and radio through the included stereo headsets were satisfactory. We successfully paired the phone with the Logitech Mobile Freedom Bluetooth headset , which also gave us solid call quality.

Battery life was satisfactory. We got 4.25 hours of talk time on a single charge, compared with the promised time of 4 hours. Though that's not bad, it's much less from what we're used to with Nokia. Standby time was 9 days, compared with the rated time of 11 days. According to the FCC, the 7280 has a digital SAR rating of 0.83 watts per kilogram.

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    Nokia 7280 (Unlocked)

    Part Number: 7280
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Technology GSM
    • Service Provider Unlocked
    • Weight 3 oz