The Nokia 8260 is one of the latest and greatest digital phones made by Nokia. The phone is only four inches tall and a smidge less than two inches wide. Weighing in at about 3.4oz this is easily one of the smallest phones I have ever used and yet also sports some of the clearest reception I have ever heard over a mobile phone, especially when you consider that it has no external antennae.

This is certainly the little phone that could. The standard battery provides 3.5 hours of digital talk time, 1.6 hours or analog talk time and a whopping 8 days of standby time. Yes you heard right, it's a dual band trimode phone TDMA at 800 and 1900 mhz and 800 amps. Unlike some other Nokia phones an additional vibrating battery does not have to be purchased, as the vibrating alert is included in the phone.

The software has been upgraded and the phone now supports seven languages (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Hebrew, Russian, and Chinese) as well as two way text messaging. You can send and receive short e-mail messages from the phone. Text input is handled by either the traditional and wearying number pad/letter combination, much like Little Orphan Annie’s Secret Decoder Ring, or via a new input method called Predictive text input.

Each number has three or four letters associated with it. With the predictive text input you press each number/letter key once for every character and the phone checks your input against a dictionary and attempts to predict the word. Nokia claims this new method is fast and easy to use, as long as the word you want is in the dictionary. It is unclear how or even if this works in languages like Russian or Chinese.

As always Nokia has implemented a variety of features that allow for the customization of the phone. Different ring tones can be associated with different caller groups. Small graphics can be uploaded to your phone via e-mail and associated with different caller groups, so that when you receive a call from your mother, the LCD screen on your phone blinks a graphic representation of an apple pie. You can use the same email method to upload up to five different custom ring tones. As of this writing I had uploaded several graphics but had been unable to successfully upload any ring tones.

The phone comes in three trendy colors; Electric blue, Carbon Grey and Red pepper. As always, if you don't like those colors there are a large number of after market cases that can be purchased and (I'm told) easily installed.

I upgraded from the 6162 for this phone and haven't been disappointed yet. The only real problem is that it may be too small. It has a tendency to come to rest in crevices and areas that cell phones weren't meant to find, and I'm constantly perplexed when talking into it because the microphone rests somewhere around my cheek bone, and yet the call is clear on both ends.

The Nokia 8260 is currently sold for use with the following networks:

  • AT&T Wireless
  • Cellular One
  • Cingular Wireless
  • ACS Wireless
  • Cellular South
  • Dobson Cellular
  • and I'm sure many others