After a month of begging phone calls, we finally got our hands on the 7280, the most mysterious member of Nokia's fashion collection. The glossy black-and-white phone is unlike anything you've seen before, with a mirror in place of the screen, a rotating dial where the keypad should be, and a fabric label on the right hand side. If it weren’t for the Nokia logo, you'd never guess it was a phone.
Despite applying the combined brainpower of six technology journalists, in the congenial setting of our local pub, we were unable to insert the SIM. We tugged, we pried, we attempted to lever it apart… to no avail. We had to slink back to the office and find the instructions, which revealed a secret drawer that pops out when you poke the phone with a special tool (although a bent paperclip will do).
The 7280 is full of surprises. It's amazing it works at all, given the strangeness of its design. It's surprisingly well equipped, with a camera, FM radio, infrared, Bluetooth and GRPS. It's also strangely desirable, despite all its foibles. We particularly like the accessories, which include a matching wrist strap and a bizarre case that wraps around it like a black leather corset. When Nokia does something odd, it goes all the way.
As we worked out how to dial numbers and enter text, we were reminded of the Native American tradition of the talking stick, a sacred object that was passed around during important discussions. Whoever held the stick had the right to speak, and no-one else could interrupt. The 7280 gives you that same feeling of mystery and power, even if you're only special because you've read the manual. -ML