The "1-Minute" Review
A Phone-PDA hybrid with excellent corporate e-mail support. Research In Motion's BlackBerry 6280 features a large monochrome display, an integrated and backlit QWERTY keyboard and a thumb-operated trackwheel in a unit that is a bit wider and heavier than a newer-model cellphone. Voice transmission does not require a headset: users can put the 6280 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 6280'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 6280 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 6280 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 included mini-USB cable.
Prices (Where to Buy)
BlackBerry released the 6280 on February 25, 2004.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the BlackBerry 6280 user manual here.
BlackBerry backs up the 6280 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your 6280 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.
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