The "1-Minute" Review
An upgrade to the Blackberry 6280 phone-PDA hybrid that adds a high-resolution color display, but is otherwise almost identical to the earlier model. The folks at Research In Motion, the Waterloo, Canada-based creators of the BlackBerry line, have done a careful job of minimizing battery drain from the color screen by ensuring that backlighting is only necessary in poor lighting conditions. The new display is clear and crisp, and the combination of bright hues, size and BlackBerry's intuitive menu-driven interface makes for a pleasant user experience.
Just like its predecessors, with the 7280 voice transmission does not require a headset: users can put the 7280 up to their head just like they would a mobile phone, although the unit may feel a little strange at first thanks to its size and shape. A hands-free headset is also included for those who prefer or need it. Most standard phone features are included, except for a speakerphone function and Bluetooth compatibility.
The 7280's data-handling and messaging capabilities are impressive, although potential users should note the differences between operating with BlackBerry Enterprise Server software installed on their company's servers, and operating with the BlackBerry Web Client Web-based interface. While either arrangement will give you the ability to check your MS Outlook or IBM Lotus Domino e-mail account, and open popular file attachment types such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPerfect, PDF and ASCII, only Enterprise Server users can browse Web pages in HTML (Web Client users are limited to WML browsing at present, although RIM has promised a downloadable update later this year).
Users should also be aware that for automatic wireless e-mail updating, you need to remain in a GPRS coverage area: this will vary by location and service provider, so you are well advised to do some checking before you commit. The 7280 also supports two-way SMS text messaging, and comes with a suite of the usual business software applications. Java (J2ME) is supported, so users will have a wide choice of downloaded mobile software. One limiting factor in using the 7280 as a mini-laptop is the lack of an SDIO slot for portable Flash memory: users will have to be contented with the unit's built-in 16MB of storage until they can synchronize with their laptop or desktop, using the mini-USB cable.
Prices (Where to Buy)
BlackBerry released the 7280 on February 25, 2004.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the BlackBerry 7280 user manual here.
BlackBerry backs up the 7280 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your 7280 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact BlackBerry support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find BlackBerry's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.