Review of Nokia 6280 on the Three 3g network in the UK.
This kind of got a bit longer than I was expecting, but I hope by
chucking a few keywords in here and there, I can help other people to
find solutions to things (like the phone root certificate problem) a
little quicker, and all in one place. This mainly applies to the UK
Three 3G network V5.92 software version of the 6280, but may apply to
other phones and networks.
Four main sections to this:
Purchase (how I found the phone)
The phone and its problems
When Things Go Wrong
I've blanked out the name of the store I bought it from as the netcops
seem to have so a ready kneejerk reaction, I don't want this to turn
into some kind of flame war accusing me of working for a mobile phone
company - I've seen it happen before so many times. Anyway....
My old Nokia 2600 was starting to die, and every time I went out, I
would take the mobile phone, a camera, an mp3 player and a radio.
I had a look on t'internet, but was rather wary of scams. And so it
was that I found myself trawling the high street playing hardball with
various tossy salesmen and girls.
Then I went into *******. The usual patter, the "pretend friend"
salesgirl who went all flirty and drew crap like hearts and x's all
over the "here's the deal I can offer you" bit of paper she was
writing out. Actually, it wasn't a bad deal, but when I got to the
"look, I'm going to think about it stage", she sent the manager over.
I explained that my reluctance was not the deal, it was the way the
refunds worked - having to remember to claim chequebacks in exactly
the right way - the claim form must arrive between 9 and 9:30 on the
third Tuesday after the last full moon, and be opened by a lady called
As had been perfected at so many other stores, I stood and said
"thanks, but I'm going to keep wandering, I might be back". At which
point, the manager pulled £60 out of his pocket and said "would this
I sat back down.
I'd already done the "what would it take" sums in my head. This tipped
Here's how I worked it out (probably wrongly)
Previously, I was averaging about £15 per month on PAYG.
The texts were 5p, the calls were 10p with Tesco. If I compare it to
the 18 month minimum contract, it would work out at: 18months * £15 =
£270...and no new phone.
With the extra £60, the contract worked out like this on paper:
6months*£4.99 = £29.94
6months*£17.50 = £105
6months*£35 = £210
Round to £345
If we ignore the "wow factor" of the fact that I get more minutes and
texts than I was using before, then we can look at it thus:
I would be paying £75 more over the 18 months than if I stuck with
A "sim free" 6280 is about £185 from a "proper" shop (ie:not stolen!)
So, £185 - £75 = £110. Therefore, the phone is "costing" me £110.
However, in spite of being appallingly bad build quality, and riddled
with bugs like "there's no way to make the backlight stay on > 10
seconds, even while playing a game", it's still not bad. It does all I
want it to.
The plan I went for is this: http://www.three.co.uk/personal/pric...=1124817779969
I get 400 minutes and 250 texts, 25 UK video call minutes, 25 UK
picture or video messages and £5 of downloads/internet/TV/whatever.
BUT if I look at it this way:
400 minutes @ 10p = £40
250 texts @ 5p/min £12.50
so that's £52.50/month *18 = £945
>From what people tell me, an MMS message is about 35p and a video call
is about 50p/min (trust me; it's not even worth it when it's free!)
Oh, and you get £5 a month to spend on whatever... TV (50p/day),
downloads, games (not worth it - tiny and unplayable) etc.
So if I add that:
£5*18 = £90
25 MMS * 35p =£8.75 * 18 = £157.50
25 video * 50p = £12.50 * 18 = £225
If I add the WHOLE lot together (which I didn't do when factoring it
all out as I'm not likely to use much of the last bits), for an 18
month cost of £345 I'm getting a grand total of £1602.50 of product
Which I declare to be an actual bargain!
D'ya think I spent too much time working all this out?!?! Found a
I checked my stats at the end of the first month
I've managed to get to 5-and-a-half hours from the end of the month
with the following left:
Voice minutes 14
Video minutes 0
Text messages 6
Inclusive video or photo messages 0
Not bad timing! And the packet data log says I've downloaded 39.11Mb
and uploaded 9.132Mb in the last month. That'll be the tv and stuff
probably. Not going to surf the net much
One bizarre thing - mobile phone insurance (wangled free from my bank
to stop me leaving) takes 21 days to kick in. And a coded keylock is
essential, then if someone nicks it, they can't even use the minutes
up. Annoying to unlock each time, but infinitely less annoying than
having a chav use your minutes!
The phone itself.
I don't need to tell you what it's got - the Nokia site can tell you
that. But here's how I found it in practice.
I once read someone asking "What is 3g"?
The answer given was "It's an effective way of reducing your battery
life by 40%".
Yes, yes it is. That's all I'll say on that! If you like a battery
life of under one day if you even think about doing anything remotely
3g-ish, even when the battery's fully conditioned, then 3g is for you!
The build quality of the phone is quite poor - I found myself back in
the store within 20 minutes as, the first time I tried to slide the
back of the phone off, the tacky silver coloured bit of plastic that
covers the camera pinged off.
Also, the phone doesn't feel like it slides open properly, and doesn't
leave enough room to press the top row of keys easily, so if you have
large hands texting is no fun.
It crashes. Lots. The screen blanks for a second, then it comes back
asking for pin code.
Nokia know about this - there's no fix.
The backlight only stays on for 10 seconds. There's NO way to fix
this, and Nokia say this is due to some bizarre EU law that they can't
tell me about and
no-one's ever heard of, about backlights being on for more than 10
seconds in case it's distracting in a car.
This is daft - you're driving along, the radio's on, the dashboard
lights are on, you've got your eyes open for bright yellow speed
cameras, other cars with lights on are whizzing by, your brain's
processing object and hazards...but somehow you're gonna crash because
the backlight goes off after 30 seconds instead of 10!?!?
Don't believe it for one moment - there's a bug they seemingly can't
fix, and this is a weak cover-up.
When you send an MMS to many people at once, each recipient can see
the other recipients when they do a reply via "reply all".
Potentially a security problem, or very embarrassing!
There's no documentation to tell you this and apparently no way of
If you create an MMS and add a sound to a slide via "new sound"
option, every other sound in that message will actually be the first
sound. In other words, you have to record and save all your sounds
first, and then add them to the message later. Definite bug.
The video player doesn't have fast forward or rewind, even though
there's a setting for fast forward and rewind interval.
The Audio player has fast forward and rewind, even through there's no
setting for the fast forward and rewind interval.
I learnt that an MMS can contain as many object as will fit in 267k.
I sent 6 pics and a sound clip to several people. Works fine.
Although, one time when it fell back from 3g to "normal", it took
nearly 3 hours sending the MMS as a series of texts! Of course, it
doesn't use the text allowance, but it's annoying having the "me me-me
me me-me me" sound that radios pick up, all that time!
It seems totally random as to how much will arrive at the other end
before it gets cropped - mostly, people get the first few pics, then
something telling them to visit a website to see the rest.
You can't save MMS messages to the PC.
You can't save messages onto the memory card.
You can't use a Three sim in any other type of phone, or those SIM
The camera's not bad - for some examples of "second highest" quality
see either http://www.mythreewebsite.co.uk/36810
or more here http://www.flickr.com/photos/digital...7600007407996/
Video calls are shocking - one to my brother had the sound out of
synch (late) by nearly 50 seconds! Waste of time. As is mobile TV. The
novelty very, very quickly wears off.
When Things Go Wrong:
I was bluetoothing some stuff and the phone was starting to play up.
So, I turned it off, left it a minute, and turned it back on. It asked
me for the pin, then as soon as it got to saying "enter keypad
security code" (or
something) that was it. The phone became totally unresponsive. If I
rang the phone from another phone, I could hear the "ring ring" down
the line, but the phone did nothing. But it DID keep the time
correctly. I turned it off, took everything out - sim, memory card,
battery..left it out for 20 mins, put it back...just the same.
It seemed to freeze right after the bluetooth symbol came on.
And the battery drained from full to near empty in under 2 hours.
So, I phoned up Three's customer service department.
Shradeep in Bangalore diligently regurgitated a script and then I
explained carefully that as soon as I'd entered the pin, the phone
would freeze and the keypad did not work.
"OK please sir please, if I can please ask you please to please enter
Deep breath. I tried so hard not be rude.
Once I'd ever-so-slowly explained that frozen phone and non-working
keypad made this tricky, he told me that I should get it couriered
away for a firmware
I said that this would be great as I didn't know there WAS a firmware
upgrade, as I'd been told v5.92 was the latest.
It was, he said, and then we went through a cyclical argument until I
got bored and gave up.
So then I phoned the place I bought it from.
"Duh" reached a new level.
I explained carefully that as soon as I'd entered the pin, the phone
would freeze and the keypad did not work.
I also explained that I'd contacted Three's customer services.
"You need to dial 3333 from your handset to get the phone repaired".
What, on the handset I'd just explained didn't work? Classy.
Eventually, I ended up in a Nokia service centre.
Apparently, it can take "up to 28 days".
No, I don't get a replacement phone.
No, the account isn't put on hold.
I'm really not enjoying the experience so far!
Top tip - synch your mobile with the internet and
Google Calendar - VERY VERY useful: https://zyb.com/ http://www.gcalsync.com/
Links to forums:
Reviewcentre Three forum: http://www.reviewcentre.com/forum210.html
3g Forum's Nokia 6280 forum http://www.3g.co.uk/3GForum/forumdisplay.php?f=496
Nokia Support Forums phone forum http://discussions.nokia.co.uk/discu...oard.id=phones
Talk 3Gs 6280 forum http://www.talk3g.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=106
I also found this comprehensive forum post listing more problems with
the 6280 http://www.talk3g.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2381
How to convert movies onto a mobile http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/ http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/wi...le_Phone_HOWTO http://osnews.com/story.php/16983/Tu...our-Cellphone/
Cheap memory cards: I got a 2gb miniSD card for £12: http://www.mobymemory.com/
And cheap accessories come from these people: http://www.directmobileaccessories.co.uk/
The gmail mobile app is great, but on the 6280 it just wasn't working.
The error was:
"Sorry, the Gmail mobile app will not work on your phone. Your phone
doesn't have the appropriate certificate to communicate with Gmail.
Try accessing Gmail on your mobile browser at http://m.gmail.com"
Eventually, I found this blog: http://tiensoon.blogspot.com/2006/11...ut-doesnt.html
which in turn told me to point my phone at https://www.verisign.com/cgi-bin/sup...etrootcert.cer
And this made the gmail mobile app work
Something I've not found yet is an nbu decoder - so I can actually
make some use of the backup files!
I've found and nfb decoder here: http://engo.de/nfb_decode.htm
Nokia decided to completely change the format and make it not
backwards compatible (much to the annoyance of Nokia users upgrading
Phew! I think that covers it - any questions?!? Hope someone somewhere
finds this useful one day!