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REVIEW : Review of Nokia 7260
N/A
Intense StrikingDesigned for the daring. That''s obviously what Nokia had in mind when they designed the Nokia 7260. I must say, they have done a pretty good job at it. Sporting either a glossy white or black body, with silver serpent-like style, this phone will definitely attract attention. It is a triple band (900/1800/1900 MHz) GSM phone with support for GPRS and EDGE data.

Physical Aspects

The first thing that screams for your attention is the silver, art deco style up front. It reminds me of those ancient Aztec designs, and it looks like a silver serpent. Each number on the keypad is cleverly integrated within this serpentine design. The keypad is flush with the body, which can make tapping on it a little difficult. The irregular shape of each key also requires some getting used to, and I found that I had to press each key rather forcefully, which resulted in some mistakes when typing SMS. The keypad''s backlighting is bright and is orange in colour.

The screen has a 128 x 128 pixel resolution and can display up to 65K colours. The display is bright and viewable under sunlight. Not great, but usable. Just below the display are 2 soft keys and a 5-way joystick. I found the joystick easy to use. The end call button is much bigger in size than the rest of the buttons. There were a few times when I accidentally pressed it instead of the right soft key, resulting in the phone exiting all menus and going back to the standby screen. It was annoying because this usually happened when I was in the middle of typing a text message.


Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)
Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)
Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)


On the left hand side of the phone you can find the volume keys and an eyelet where you to attach a wrist strap or lanyard. On the right, you can find the speaker and the infrared port. The top of the phone houses the power button and also another eyelet on the top right. On the bottom you will find the connectors for the charger and the pop-port cable connector. The silver serpent deco continues on the back, where the integrated VGA camera lies. There is no self-portrait mirror, meaning potentially a lot of trial and error when taking self-portraits.

Overall, the 7260 measures 105mm x 45mm x 18mm (4.13 x 1.77 x .71) and weighs a mere 92g (3.24oz). It is comfortable to hold, but the glossy finish of its casing makes it a magnet for fingerprints, so frequent cleaning is required for it to look its best. It is not just stylishly designed, but also solidly built, too. The battery cover attaches quite securely, and there were no squeaks or creaking found anywhere on the phone.


Phone Functionality

The Series 40 UI has been around for quite some time, but now, with the 5-way joystick, most of the selections are made by pressing on the joystick itself, and not the left selection key. The 7260 has three different memories. The first memory is shared among contacts, text messages, email and voice tags. You can save up to 1000 numbers in your phonebook. The second memory, a measly 1.3mb, is available for storing pictures, themes, and ringtones. This would definitely not be enough if you were the kind of person who likes to snap pictures with your mobile phone. The third memory, roughly about 1mb, is for applications, such as games and java applications.

The 7260 delivered excellent audio quality during calls. I did not experience any dropped calls or poor reception, and calls were loud and clear. The speakerphone worked as expected, but the sound should have been clearer at louder volumes. The audio was too distorted when I increased the volume, which made it almost impossible to hear what the other person was talking about.

As is the case with most recent Series 40 Nokia handsets, the main menu can be displayed as a list or as a 3 x 3 grid of icons. Sub-menus are always displayed as a list.


Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)
Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)
Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)

Moving the joystick down in standby mode brings you to your list of contacts. You can choose to view all the details of each contact by clicking on the joystick or you can call that particular contact by pressing on the green call key, causing the phone to dial the default number for that contact. The contact search is pretty simple too - just tap out the first few letters of the name you are looking for. Moving the joystick right when at the standby screen brings up the calendar, moving it left lets you create a new text message, and moving it up starts the camera. The left soft key in standby mode works like a shortcut key, and you can allocate phone functions from a predefined list. The right selection key is also customizable, and by default it is allocated to the phonebook.

Voice dialing is possible with the 7260, and it worked as expected. Just pre-record the voice tags and then when you need to call up a name, hold the right soft key, wait for the prompt, and say the name. You can also attach voice commands to certain functions, such as changing profiles, accessing your voice mailbox, starting the radio, and also checking your call register. The phone responded well to my pre-recorded voice tags in quiet environments, but was not as efficient when in noisy places.

Battery life was fair. The phone lasted about 3 days before having to be recharged. This was with roughly 30 minutes of calls each day and quite a lot of SMSing, picture taking, and GPRS usage.

GPRS and EDGE, but no Bluetooth

The 7260 does not have Bluetooth, but it does support GPRS and EDGE networks where available. Setting up for GPRS was easy, and the phone''s browser supports Wireless Mark-Up Language (WML) and extensible HyperText Mark-up Language (xHTML). Browsing on such a small display is not exactly comfortable, even though it works.

The built-in email application supports both POP and IMAP protocols. It was fast using T9 input when typing out emails, SMS, and MMS. As usual, the Nokia messaging system works well with no noticeable lag when typing out letters quickly. However, stiff keys and irregular shapes resulted in mistakes, as I mentioned earlier.


Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)
Unfortunately, the 7260 comes equipped with only infrared, and doesn''t support Bluetooth. However, I was able to send and receive pictures, videos, and contacts easily via IR. This is certainly good news since you can store your pictures elsewhere and not worry about running out of memory on the phone. To activate the infrared, however, you will have to wade through a myriad of menus. I would advise that you allocate one of the shortcut keys to the infrared function to spare yourself all the trouble.

Multimedia

The 7260 comes equipped with a VGA camera. Pictures taken were of average quality and appeared somewhat out of focus. Pictures taken in bright light sometimes appeared overexposed. The camera can take pictures in 2 different resolutions: 640 x 480 in standard mode, and 80 x 96 in portrait mode. You can attach pictures taken in portrait mode to contact records to enable picture caller ID. The camera is also capable of taking video recordings with a resolution of 128 x 96. You can choose the length of the video to be either default (15 seconds) or maximum (50 seconds).


Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)
Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)

Polyphonic MIDI ringtones are supported, although the 7260 can only play up to 16 voices. This pales in comparison with many other phones on the market that can play 48 or even 64 simultaneous voices. However, there are 31 included ringtones. They are loud and will definitely catch your attention - even when you''re in a noisy environment.

The 7260 also features an FM radio, but in order to use this feature, you have to plug in the included headset, which acts as the antenna for the radio. You can choose manual tuning or automatic tuning to find your favorite channel. Listening to music can be done via the headset or you can also set it to play through the loudspeaker.


Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)
Nokia 7260 (ZOOM)
The 7260 supports themes as well. It comes with 5 themes pre-installed. I noticed that the colours of the phone''s background pictures and themes consisted of mostly black, red and white. This made it look quite dull but I guess it was Nokia''s intention to keep within the same color palette as the rest of the device; even the box was black, red, and white. Animated GIF backgrounds are supported, but I noticed a bug in the 7260; when I set a GIF file to be its background, it will only be animated for the first time. After accessing the menus or receiving a call, the background will be static and will not be animated anymore unless I change the background again. Of course, this could easily be fixed with a firmware update in the future.

The 7260 also comes with support for J2ME Java applications, and ships with a currency converter, a world clock, and a unit converter pre-installed. I did not get to try out the converter as it kept coming up with a ''no memory'' warning whenever I tried to perform a conversion. Even resetting the phone did not help. The phone has 2 pre-installed games - Backgammon and Pinball. If you need more variety, Java games can easily be downloaded from the internet.

Conclusion

Our review unit is from Malaysia and runs firmware version 03.31, 27-08-04, RM-17The Nokia 7260 looks dazzling with its unique deco and glossy finish. Although such a design sacrificed the keypad''s usability, its feature set should be enough to satisfy users who are on the lookout for a fashionable phone. The exclusion of Bluetooth however, was sorely missed. That said, this phone is suitable for the fashion-conscious, if not techno-geeks.

 
Posted By : Jenny
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