The Good Compact; color screen; nice built-in keyboard; real-time e-mail; Web browser; Java support (J2ME); compact travel charger and syncing cable; decent battery life.
The Bad Lacks speakerphone and memory-expansion slot.
The Bottom Line If you can find decent coverage in your area to support it, the BlackBerry 7280 is an admirable and functional smart phone.
RIM Blackberry 7280 (Cingular Wireless)
Research In Motion's (RIM) early attempts at mating its popular wireless e-mail device/PDA with a cell phone didn't turn out as well as the company had hoped. But the BlackBerry 7280, offered by AT&T Wireless for $449 and Cingular for $399 (with a two-year contract), is a different story. An upgraded version of the dual-band , it combines a GSM/GPRS phone, a PDA, and wireless e-mail capabilities in a slim, 4.8-ounce unit that doesn't require an earbud to talk on. The only potential drawback is getting service; if your carrier's GPRS coverage is not widespread in your area, you'll have a tough time accessing e-mail on the go.
Some jokingly refer to the 7280 as a BlueBerry rather than a BlackBerry because of its blue casing. A bit shorter and thicker (4.4 by 2.9 by 0.94 inches) than RIM's stalwart 957, the unit is compact for a smart phone; male buyers will probably wear it clipped to their belts using the included swiveling holster.
The high-resolution, 240x160-pixel display supports 65,000 colors and is the same width but a shorter length than the 957's screen. Though not as bright--even with the backlight on--as the displays found on Pocket PCs or Palms, the screen is readable and ideal for viewing in direct sunlight. As for the keys, they're slightly bigger and more raised than the 957's, making them more tactile. Either way, the 7280's minikeyboard is among the best available to date and certainly superior to the ones found on Handspring's Treo models.
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