Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:48:31 PM
There's a lot here to encourage you, not least its stunning display, music playing expertise and smart camera.
Video calling did falter but if you don't demand this feature, this flaw won't be too much of an inconvenience.
Nokia threw us a couple of 3G beauties last year: the handsome 6680 and the swanky N70. These Symbian-powered candybar handsets expertly combined the virtues of a smartphone with 3G technologies to great effect. Next up, the Symbian Series 40-run slider, the 6280.
In appearance, the Nokia 6280 appears quite sober. When you compare the 6280 to other sliders phones, its box-like chassis seems quite formal. Handsets like the Samsung D600 employ subtle curves whereas the 6280 is all straight lines. The dimensions of the two sliders are almost identical, though, although the Nokia 6280 is longer, no doubt to house its 3G trickery. It may look cumbersome but it's easily pocketable for a 3G phone. Spend some time in its company and you'll find the Nokia 6280 an incredibly capable phone. Its first noticeable decent attribute is the slide action, which is as smooth as the best in the business like the Samsung D600.
Four king-sized keys adorn the front fascia. These soft and call buttons have a generous footprint and make handling the phone a doddle. The square five-way navigation pad that dissects these keys is malleable and highly responsive. Integrated into the key quartet is a slider grip for a good purchase when propelling the façade open and shut while just above is the stunning 2.2-inch, QVGA-quality display. A top-notch screen is important to realise 3G's video potential, and Nokia has certainly obliged. The colours are vivid with rich detail and dazzling luminosity.
When it comes to its 3G performance the Nokia 6280 starts to wobble. The worst culprit was video calling. A VGA lens is embedded discreetly in the top-left corner at the front and we made a two-way call to a Sharp 903 handset with disappointing results. The 6280 couldn't handle the reception and it suffered from digital noise and pixelation.It fared better with video streaming but occasionally struggled with fast- moving footage such as Premiership goals. You could make out proceedings but it wasn't as coherent as top 3G artists like the Sharp 903, Motorola V3x and Sony Ericsson W900i.
The Nokia 6280 plays the MP4 format, which is even more compressed than MP3 files and near CD quality. You can use the PC software to transfer your digital music files onto the phone. It also offers equaliser settings like Rock, Pop, Jazz and Classical, and you can manually set your own sound equaliser. Lodged in the side of the phone is a small speaker that pumps out fine audio whether listening to music, video audio or conversation during a video call.
The Nokia 6280 adopts the dual-front camera pose famously pioneered by Sony Ericsson, which lets you handle the phone like a standalone digital snapper. The handset's size and weight lend lend themselves nicely to this operation. The two-megapixel camera can be fired up by a dedicated side key and shoots photos in a 1600x1200 resolution. In capture mode, you can easily delve into the settings menu to change modes. It really is one of the simplest camera phones to manage. The photos themselves are of consistent quality, showing good detail, but can be prone to overblown highlights and a lack of focus around the periphery.For a 3G phone the 6280 has a lot going for it but in design stakes lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. Of course it will appeal to some but if it came down to a choice between this and the N70, which one would you plump for?