Nokia's inspiration for its latest fashion phones, the 7260, the 7270 and the 7280, is the "glamour and elegance of the lavish 1920s". We can certainly see some art deco traits in the line-up but do the phones have anything else to offer?
Designers at Nokia headquarters in Finland have adorned the three handsets with bold colours and striking elements, such as the silver contoured lines found on the 7260. These sleek lines make up the four rows of the keypad and sweep around the edge of the display, which supports 65,536 colours within 128 x 128 pixels. The phone itself isn't exactly tiny, measuring 45 by 105 by 18 millimetres, which makes the screen seem a tad small in comparison.
The colour scheme and shape of the phone is reminiscent of the Symbian-based 7610 smart phone; black, red and silver. However, you won't find a megapixel camera on the 7260, and its keys are much easier to use than the irregularly-shaped layout of the 7610.
While not all of the 7260's keys are exactly the same shape, they are roughly the same size. The rows of numbers are separated as well, which gives large fingers adequate room to navigate. Similar to many Nokia phones, the volume keys and infrared port are on the sides, with the power button up top. There are two shortcut keys directly below the screen and a 5-way navigation joystick (up, down, left, right and push to select). We found the joystick a little small, but still easy to use.
Nokia provides a handful of extras with the 7260. First is a matching black and red wrist strap. Next is a black and red leather carry pouch, which has a hole for the wrist strap and a magnetised strip on its front to seal the pouch and secure the phone in place.
Even the phone's charger bucks the trend of insipid power supplies. It looks like a little black pod with a rubberised section that pops out to release the cord. At first it might appear gimmicky but it tucks away the cable while providing a stable base to prop the phone up in as it charges.
Although many mobile phone manufacturers are going down the path of creating 1 or 2-megapixel camera phones -- Samsung recently announced a 7-megapixel handset -- the 7260's camera supports a humble resolution of 640 x 480 pixels (VGA). Portrait, landscape and night shots can be taken and there is a 10-second timer for self-shots. Videos up to 50 seconds in length can also be captured.
The infrared port on the side of the 7260 allows you to connect to a PC and copy business cards, graphics, images, sound clips, videos and calendar notes.
Personalising the 7260 via the themes menu is simple. Each of the five pre-installed themes includes a screen saver, ring tone, wallpaper image and colour scheme to match your style or mood.
In line with its fashion phone premise, the 7260 has a shoe and clothing size converter pre-installed. However, this didn't always work as expected, throwing up "out of memory" errors occasionally. Other applications include a world clock, a unit converter and two games: Backgammon and Glamour Pinball. Backgammon didn't hold our interest for very long but we found pinball to be quite good for killing time when waiting for a train. Extra themes, games, ring tones and graphics can be downloaded via GPRS.
We are impressed with the quality of the 7620's built-in FM radio. During our tests we had excellent reception around Sydney using the supplied headset. While the 7260's loud speaker sounds tinny when listening to the radio, it works very well for hands free calls. You can also accept and end calls by pressing a button on the microphone section of the headset.
We found the 7620's battery life to be slightly above average. We managed to get about four days use before it needed recharging. Nokia states the maximum talk time to be four hours and standby time up to 12 days.
Compared to the outrageous design and lofty price its keyless sister, the 7260 seems a lot calmer and traditional in its approach. Being the least expensive of the fashion phones in Nokia's 'art deco' series should see it attract attention from a wider market too. Its tri-band capabilities will appeal to travellers, but what will really entice buyers is the touch of elegance this handset exudes.