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Review GSM phone Nokia 7260
Nokia has announced three new models at the same time, they are Nokia 7260, Nokia 7270, Nokia 7280. This mass renewal in fashion class tells about the fact that the manufacturer doesn't account on each of the products individually but on the whole line in general. Here is the same idea as in the case of the 40 platform and mobile phones based on it. The phones may be similar functionally except one or two functions but due to different design and positioning total sales will be higher. Let's remember the examples of Nokia 6610, 7210 that are functionally copies of each other. The first one was sold in higher quantities and as a Business solution (6000 series) and the second one had rather good but not excellent sales (Fashion).
Nokia 7260 is not intended for a mass market, this phone is for those who love fashion stuff and stylish appearance. Just like the majority of the last phones the body resembles a splay drop. The company representatives say that the appearance is designed in a retro style of 1920-th. And it is not hard to guess that the designers were inspired not by European History because the period was quite difficult for the majority of the countries but by the History of the USA. The 20-th were sensational in the country and the result was night clubs, elegant women clothes close to kitsch. The United States tried to get different from Europe and it succeeded much, it had been another country by the 30-th. The thrift of the first inhabitants might have been felt in the air, evenness of everyday life and prodigality of night clubs, bright signboards, eccentric clothes. The epoch combined different things and they lived quietly near each other. Today designer might see much in that era and that is the thing that was made by Nokia.
The design of Nokia 7260 represents something like a challenge in the appearance. That is seen in the contrast of different materials (the silver of plastic and black gloss of the body), a red backlighting hitting the eyes, that is a wish to distinguish the owner of the phone in any way. And if the company tries to produce its models in calm colours and not to make them look like a result of some researches in design then this model is a complete opposition. And the choice of black and white colours for the body is not accidental. The company is like playing with words and hiding some more sense in a banal specification. The cue is evident, if plain and clear models exist then phones with extraordinary design must exist also (no any half-tones, only black and white and only a concentrated idea without any allowance for the mass taste). It is surely true that the design of Nokia 7260 won't be up to everyone, it is too different from many other models. But in a small niche the phone will be quite a success, this model is for those who pays much attention to fashion and works in the field also. Average men may hardly understand why people of Fashion (not stylish ones but those who make the preferences of the masses) like to distinguish with new accessories. Their subordinates and people working with them try to copy those people (wishing that or against their wish). And on the other hand many of them are not rich and represent the middle-class society. And Nokia 7260 is intended for them. A user of this device doesn't need the majority of the modern functions, they need to call, have a not bad phone book, organizer and a couple of games for good pastime. Extra price for the device is explained with the design and a trade mark. For example, if a similar model by a company of the second echelon (the same design but a bit worse materials) appeared then the majority would have called it a cheap and tasteless fake. And many things are forgiven to Nokia because of the brand and popularity among users.
The dimensions of the phone are 105x45x18 mm, the weight is 92 grams. These are typical dimensions of the modern phone by Nokia and as a result no any problems appear when working with it.
Technologically Nokia 7260 is a typical model based on the 40 platform version 2. For instance, a youth phone Nokia 3220 is different only in the absence of the radio and the devices are similar in functions.
The screen is 65K and has the resolution of 128x128 pixels (27.5x27.5 mm). In the quality of the screen the model is similar to Nokia 6230. Preset colour schemes, sets of pictures and the appearance of the menu are not very bright and use the possibilities of the screen partly. The screen looks unusual for this class because users of fashion phones are used to the resolution of 128x160 pixels and even higher.
. If choosing a standard picture tips for soft keys may be hardly viewed (the font is too thin). At the same time there are some improvements, a white background appears when dialing a number, battery charge and signal indicators are relief and this improves the readability. As in the majority of the phones the manufacturers select preset images, themes, melodies very carefully, make a complete image of the phone.
The screen may be read well in the sun.
The keypad is made of plastic and digital keys are chrome-plated. The keys have a little motion and that makes some troubles when typing in messages quickly. I didn't like the way the soft keys are separated in a black swing-like block. It happens very often that you miss and press a call or end call button (they are silvery). It looks like the manufacturer has hidden functional keys from a user. It is hard to get used to and sometimes one has to concentrate all the attention on the way he presses the buttons. In general the comfort of the keypad is average and all the attention was paid to the brightness in appearance but not ergonomics.
The red backlighting is very bright and the characters on the keys look a bit degraded.
There is an on/off button on the top part of the phone. And a coupled volume adjustment button is on the side surface, it is made of plastic and is comfortable. An IrDA gap may be seen on the right side surface and a loud speaker hole the call melodies are heard from is also here.
A strip may be fixed either on the upper top or left side surface. There is a connector for a battery charger and an interface Pop-port connector on the bottom.
A VGA-camera is on the back panel and a silvery insertion that may serve as a mirror is near it. The panel is fixed only in the bottom and that makes a slight vertical backlash. It is not seen in everyday life and rouses no any negative emotions.
A battery (BL-5B, Li-Ion, 760 mAh) is hidden behind a back panel. According to the manufacturer it works for 3 hours in the talk mode and up to 350 hours in the standby mode. In Moscow it worked for about 5 days in case of 45 minutes of talk time and up to 25 minutes of using other functions. The results are not very bad for the device of this segment. Full charging time is about 1.5 hours.
A SIM-card holder is traditional and there are no any peculiarities.
As it has been already said Nokia 7260 is a complete analog of Nokia 3220 in functions. The difference is in other themes, preset games and applications and in the presence of FM-radio. And that is why the reviews of these models are so similar in the main part.
Nokia 7260 is built on the 40 platform version 2 and correspondingly has the same interface possibilities as the top representative of the line - Nokia 6230. Thus, there is a possibility to set different ways to display all the lists. By default it is a standard list with names, then it is possible to choose is a simple list and icons. The last mode is the most interesting, it is ideal for graphics and photos. Here the names of the files are not as important as the images. In some kind the folders with photos look like the ones you may see on a desktop PC.
A possibility to switch from this or that function to other capabilities of the device may be referred to the advantages of the interface. For example, when choosing a picture as a wallpaper, you look through the folders and then you may set the picture or adjust its contrast from the Option menu using the left soft key. It is pleasant that the additional possibilities appeared, but we are disapointed that many actions that were committed with one touch earlier are to be confirmed now. The phone is controversial, on the one hand the number of possibilities grew, on the other hand the time of making different operations also became longer, not all the menus are logical and that also makes troubles for unprepared users. I often caught myself at the thought that the phone lacks for Fast or context menu similar to the one that is used in the phones by Sony Ericsson.
And the last thing that will seem unusual to Nokia's worshipers. A possibility to choose this or that item or function is assigned to a joystick but not to the left soft key. Sometimes the hand reached for the left key automatically but there is nothing there, only a blank field. Taking into consideration the saturation with functions I see no sense in keeping different items in the menu without using free space.
The menu may be called by pressing the main key and the rows of icons may be seen in the main menu. Up to 9 icons may be displayed on the screen at the same time and if there are more of them (for example, SIM - Menu) you may use a scroll bar.
Moving the joystick in different directions calls this or that function quickly and that make the work with the phone easier. Any function (from the list) may be assigned to the left soft key and a list of the most frequently used menu items may be composed. Before considering separate functions we'd like to draw your attention to the distribution of memory. The total memory size is 0.7 MB and 900 KB are available to a user. The limit on the size of an application in the phone is 128 KB.
Phone book. It is possible to keep up to 1000 names in the internal memory and it is the maximum number of entries. It is achievable if you enter not much information for a name, just one or two fields. And with medium filling, that is 6-7 fields for a name you may keep about 300 entries but not more. As it have already become clear it is possible to enter up to 5 numbers for a name and choose a type of the number (primary, mobile, home, office, fax). The first entered number becomes a default one and may be changed later if you wish. When entering the number for the first time, you type in only a name and one main number, all the other things are committed later from the edit menu. One may consider this not very comfortable, one will on the contrary say that keeps only one number for a name. Both will be right. Considering that similar input is realized in all the phones by Nokia, we'll surely say that it makes no troubles.
E-mail address, site url, post address and text note may be set as extra information to a number. The one new function should be pointed out, that is USER ID and it is user indication for the presence service. In general it is like an ICQ and signals that this or that user from your list is present or not at the moment. How interesting it will be is not still clear.
A photo may be added to a number (only portrait mode, changing the photo automatically to a corresponding size). When viewing the information on the name you won't see the photo automatically, you'll have to open a corresponding menu item for that. On the other hand, it is possible to set the view of a name and a corresponding image in the list. In that mode the icon is not large and doesn't give a good notion of the photo. Other modes of viewing the list are traditional - only names, names with the primary number. Numbers from both internal memory and SIM-card memory may be displayed in the main list.
There is a possibility to assign up to 10 voice tags for names from the phone book. The function works well even in the street. And traditionally the keys for speed dialing are from 2 to 9.
There is a possibility to assign up to 100 photos to names. During the incoming call the number and the photo of the caller are displayed. The picture is a bit larger than the one you see in the list but still smaller than it is necessary. You'll have to use your imagination to finally understand who is in the picture because a reduced photo has extra artifact. In general a photo takes a very small part of the screen and it is not explicable logically. At the moment realization of this function is the worst by Nokia among all the manufacturers and we hope that in future it will improve.
There are only 5 users' groups in the phone that is not typical for the phones by Nokia. And a special call melody may be set for a group.
Assessing the whole comfort of the phone book it is possible to say that it is average. On the one hand, there are a lot of fields in it, on the other hand its input capabilities are more convenient for working with a PC and not for the phone. I'd like to stress that the phone book in general is typical for the devices by Nokia and there are no any principal changes that means improvements. The widest possibilities of the phone book are represented in the phones by Siemens, then follow the devices by Sony Ericsson and only then Nokia.
Messages. The device supports Nokia's standard - Smart Messaging that allows sending and receiving melodies and simple black-and-white pictures from the compatible phones. Also the same standard is supported by Samsung, LG and some new devices by Motorola. There are up to 10 graphical templates in the internal memory specially for such messages. Unfortunately, the company's standard limits users because the alternative EMS standard, which is spread wider today, allows not only to send melodies and pictures but also format texts. In European countries EMS standard is very popular and ignoring it in the products by Nokia may be considered as a big disadvantage. In Russia only the most popular operators provide the technology and in the regions the presence or absence of this standard is not so critical. This may be disputable but the absence of EMS is still a minus for the phones by Nokia.
The company considers MMS possibility a complete substitute of EMS. And really this technology becomes ordinary and more interesting messages containing photos, colour images, melodies and so on may be created with its help. A message may be up to 100 KB in size. The realization of MMS in the phone is rather good, no any troubles appear with it.
The device has an integrated mail client that works with POP3/SMTP protocols. Its capabilities are extremely poor, attachments are not supported and the device accepts only one Russian coding. Due to the absence of any other alternatives one may use this mail client but we'll hope that a Java-application with more capabilities will appear for the 40 platform. It is rather good that this mail client is also a Java program.
Also a Flash message function appeared in the phone, that means you may send a message that will be displayed on the screen of the addressee's device but not saved in the memory. The same function is available from any phone with a help of codes and here it is realized with the help of a program.
Call lists. There are three lists in the phone. Every list may contain up to 20 entries. And what is convenient that the date and time of the call are displayed in the list. Pressing the Call button in the standby mode, you get the list of the last dialed numbers.
Settings. Profiles may be activated from this menu or switched quickly by pressing On/Off button. Every profile may be activated for a period of time and then the phone turns to the default profile. Sound alerts may be set for all the events, incoming call for all the calls or special users' groups. Realization of profiles in Nokia is one of the best on the market.
The screen settings allow to choose its color scheme, wallpaper and a screen saver. The screen saver is a picture that is displayed in the standby mode when the backlighting is not active. It is worth choosing one of the preset pictures, they are seen better in this mode than loaded full colour images. The interval may be set for the screen saver and then standard digital clock will take its place.
There is an automatic key lock in the phone, you also may set a special security code in order to nobody could use your phone. A possibility to set the behaviour of the phone from the beginning appeared for accessories, for example, to choose a profile that becomes active when connecting a handsfree headset or a charging device. It is an interesting possibility that allows to adjust the device according to your idea of the necessity.
Gallery. Here all the folders that contain different files are gathered, they have corresponding names. There is a possibility to view the folders as a list, a list with names or icons. You always may create your own folders, sort files.
Media. In this part all the settings connected with multimedia capabilities of the device are gathered, let's start considering them from the Camera. The integrated camera allows to take photos with VGA resolution and in the portrait mode. (80x96 pixels). The quality of the pictures on the screen is average. After transmitting them on a PC they do not get worse but still not very good. The settings of the camera are ascetic, there is a night shooting mode, three types of quality and compression levels. The files are stored as JPG.
There is a possibility to record video using the device and these are 3GP clips with the duration of 15 seconds (the resolution of 128x96 pixels, with sound - AMR). You may set the maximum duration of a clip and then have a possibility to record for up to several minutes (0.7 MB and it is 2 minutes). The quality is average, the sound matches the pronounced words seldom. On a PC the clips look not very good also and it is more an entertaining function of the device.
A dictaphone allows to record up to 5 minutes of speech and works during the conversation. The number of entries is limited only by the free space in the memory.
FM-radio. The possibilities are standard for the devices by Nokia, there is an automatic and manual adjustment of FM-channels and a possibility to rename them. A handsfree headset is included into a standard kit, you may use it to listen to the radio and a loud speaker mode may be set then all around will be able to do it also (the headset serves as an antenna and that's why it has to be turned on). The quality of realization is rather high and rouses no cavils.
Organizer. You may keep from 100 to 250 entries in the memory and everything depends on their length, there is an automatic erasing of the old entries (by the time characteristic). There is a month and week view of the calendar, the last view has a division into hours, there is a quick switch to an entered date. There is a possibility to enter up to 5 different events (meeting, call, birthday, reminder, memo). A notification may be assigned to an event, they may be recurrent.
A to-do list allows to create events with three priorities (high, normal and low), and set a critical date for every event.
Every note may contain up to 3000 characters, in general it is more than enough even for the most fastidious user. Two different font sizes are supported like in messages.
An alarm clock allows to set both once or recurrent signal.
Applications. All the preset Java-applications are here, also standard functions as a calculator, countdown timer, stopwatch (with intermediate results).
A dictionary that allows to make translations for the following languages should be pointed out: English, French, German, Spain, Italian.
Electronic Wallet is the place where the most important information may be kept protected with a password. For instance, the data about your credit cards. On the other hand it won't be very difficult to get the information if you loose the phone and that is why you'd better keep there only the most necessary.
There are 2 games in the phone, they are Backgammon, Glamour Pinball (differs from the previous version only in the design).
Services. Wap browser version 2.0 is hidden here. The peculiarity of the phone is that there is only a possibility to set the access point in the GPRS settings and choosing it is possible from a profile for the wap-browser. All other settings have to be either loaded to the phone from the beginning or provided by the operator via a network. It is extremely uncomfortable thus the settings by our operator (order via SMS) for our device didn't come for 2 weeks and we didn't manage to use the browser in fact.
Productivity. According to the Jbenchmark 2.0 test the score for the device is 251. And this is a bit less than for Nokia 6230 but much more than for all the rival phones of the same class. The phone seems to be a champion in this parameter.
Synchronization with PC. The device supports working with a standard Nokia Suite even using an IrDA. The presence of EGDE doesn't seem necessary, for the moment of the commercial appearance of the service with an acceptable price the majority of people using Nokia 7260 will already have bought another devices.
As for the quality of the connection the model is typical for Nokia, no any troubles, everything is all right. The volume of the 16-tone polyphonic call signal is rather high and it may be heard in different conditions. The melodies are typical and there are no any improvements, the polyphony capabilities are inferior to the majority of the devices by different manufacturers in the market. There is no support for mp3 files but it is possible to set a dictaphone record (AMR file) as a call signal. The vibrating alert is average in power and may be either felt from the overcoat or missed as well.
The sales of the model are supposed to start in the middle of October and the price will be 260-275 USD for the first time. It is rather expensive considering the functionality of the phone (for comparison, a more functional model Nokia 6230 is not much more expensive). At the same time considering the design and a small niche the price may seem right. And in difference to many other reviews I won't say about the rivals because the design (the price is based on it) is extremely individual. The niche for the model is small and that leads to the stability of the price for it.
Also cases for the model should be pointed out, they are made rather qualitative and match the phone. Considering that the dimensions are standard it is possible to use the cases with Nokia 6230 also.
Published 28 September 2004
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