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Nokia 8265 review: Nokia 8265

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The Good Downloadable ring tones; analog roaming; good battery life; changeable faceplates.

The Bad Not compatible with next-generation networks.

The Bottom Line The update to the popular 8260 isn't packed with features, but it delivers decent call quality in a slightly larger form factor.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.3 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 6
  • Performance 7

Review Sections

When Nokia introduced the 8260 two years ago, we knew it would be a runaway hit--and it was. It's a tough act to follow, but some phone has to do it, and that phone is the 8265, which offers such enhancements as changeable faceplates, better buttons, and picture messaging. Its performance is solid, but some may prefer the more compact design of its predecessor. At $130 with service, the 8265 isn't a real bargain. But despite a few drawbacks and the lack of extras, it's a good mobile for those who want a phone that's just a phone. As noted, the candy bar-style Nokia 8265 is bigger (4.2 by 0.9 by 1.9 inches) and heavier (3.8 ounces) than the 8260. However, some users will appreciate the larger size, as it feels more comfortable in the hand. We weren't wowed by its new keypad layout and silver trim, but it's sleek enough. Our review model is a two-tone gray, but optional faceplates are available to change the look.

While the backlit keys are larger and roomier than those on the 8260, their triangular shape takes a little getting used to. We did like the new buttons for menu control and talk time. Since they are slightly raised, these buttons help keep the six-line, backlit screen from picking up the natural oils from your skin. Another design improvement is the raised on/off button, which is much easier to access and use than the 8260's. The 8265 may not be loaded with features, but it has all the basics, including e-mail, text and picture messaging for up to nine images, a 250-name phone book, a calendar, a calculator, an alarm clock, two-way SMS, and three games (Snake II, Space Impact, and Pairs II). There are also 35 ring tones and a vibrate mode. If you don't like any of those tunes, you can download 10 more to the phone. We tested the trimode (TDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) phone in San Francisco using AT&T Wireless service and generally got a good connection. We could hear callers just fine, and they said they couldn't tell we were speaking from a cell phone. While the 8265 has analog roaming, it is still a TDMA mobile and, as such, isn't compatible with next-generation networks.

As for battery life, the 8265 lives up to its manufacturer's impressive reputation in this area. We managed to get 7 days of standby time, compared to Nokia's claims of between 5 and 6.5 days, and met the 3.5 hours of talk time.

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