Nokia N73 3G smart phone
Does it have the X-Factor?
Review Nokia is sponsoring X-Factor TV talent show this year, to promote its N series phones in general and the N73 in particular. Nokia's would-be star certainly has the looks to get it in the studio, but can it take it on the chin from the judges or will it be let down by a fickle public who got bored of waiting for it to respond to input..?
But enough pointless similes: the N73 is a candybar handset with a nice solid feel to it, with the majority of controls limited to a slightly-extended keypad on the bottom third of the front. It's smart enough for the most executive boardroom.
The screen takes up just less than half of the front of the handset and a very nice screen it is too. Bright and easy to read even in sunlight, the backlight apparently adjusts to reflect the ambient light and conserve battery life, not that we particularly noticed - which is as it should be. The resolution is 240 x 320 with 18-bit colour, but more importantly pictures look good and you can read it outside. On the screen is S60 third edition running on Symbian, providing the normal applications and idle screen functions one would expect of a smart phone these days.
The keypad is slightly squeezed, but the keys have nice bevels making them easier to use than they appear. The biggest problem with the keypad is that of thumb-use: if the phone is held in the right hand then reaching down with the thumb to press bottom-line keys is a stretch, especially the clear key in the bottom right corner, which encourages you not to make too many mistakes. Anyone with large hands will find entering text messages easier with two hands, one to hold the handset and another to peck at the keys, but at that point a Bluetooth keyboard might be a more sensible alternative.
On the right side there is a rocker for volume up and down, which doubles as a zoom control with taking or viewing pictures. The other two buttons on the side are the shutter control and gallery button, the former only active when the camera has been revealed.
Nokia makes much of the musical abilities of the N73. The phone sports built-in stereo speakers - both behind attractive-looking grilles - but this handset won't replace a hi-fi any time soon. Frequent travellers will be glad to know that you can hear the music from the shower, but there's no risk of disturbing anyone in neighbouring rooms, no matter how cheap the hotel. The addition of stereo, with speakers at the top and bottom of the handset to maximise distance and thus effect, seems to serve no useful purpose at all. You can hear in stereo, which is nice, but only if you have the phone balanced on its side across your nose - not an easy position to maintain at the best of times, and certainly not when trying to dance. Luckily, the sound quality using the supplied headphones is a great deal better.
Nokia have lost their edge
I'm predominantly a business user and I've had my Orange Nokia N73 for a week now and will be sending it back tomorrow with real mixed feelings.
Physically, its a good looking phone, lightweight and not too bulky, although it does feel slightly "plasticy". The 2.4" colour screen is stunning and really does make the phone feel something special. Its large, bright and colourful. Great for viewing pictures or the calendar.
But what really lets the N73 down is the software. The software is very slow and doesn't follow Nokia's traditional conventions which have made them such a success in the past. For example, pressing "down" on the joystick will not bring up contacts (or at least on the Orange version it doesn't). In fact, accessing contacts is my major gripe. I have around 340 contacts in my phone. The contacts app takes 2-3 seconds to load each time I make a call! Considering phoning people is most peoples primary use of a phone, I can't believe more effort hasn't been put in to streamlining this one feature. Had it been instant, I could put up with all of its other faults. Why not just load the contacts permanently in to memory for instand access?
Other gripes include: No ability to "use detail" such as telephone numbers or email addresses from text messages. Opening text messages is slow and the vibrate function doesn't seem to work (a common complaint on message boards).
Overall this phone has great potential, but is let down by a crap firmware (v2.0618.104.22.168). Hopefully Nokia will fix this with a future firmware update. Until then, I'll be using a competitors product.
Why is it that in reviews of kit on The Reg, people making comments on the kit keep sounding like appalling consumer parasites sounding like kiddies arguing in a sweet shop. May be you need to consume less and think more.
I've had my N73 for about a month now and I have to say I am deeply disappointed with it. The build quality is low: the silver surfacing on the left side of the keypad started peeling away the first day I had the phone. The S60 software is incredibly flaky and very non-intuitive. For instance, when using predictive text, accessing alternative word is slow and clunky and the software inserts a lower case letter if the word is at the beginning of a sentence. The camera is good, but I agree about the wholly unacceptable delay between pressing the shutter button and the picture actually being taken. Overall, I wish I'd gone with Sony-Ericsson - at least I'd have been helping to boost the value of my (worthless) Ericsson stock.
getting the phone on T-Mobile
the n73 will hopefully be available through us (T-Mobile) from the 1st week of December - the phone keeps failing quality tests.
it has been going on for weeks now, but there continue to be a few malfunctions and bugs to be ironed out - sending MMS, browsing online, menu faults, allsorts.
We can't get through to Nokia to tell to pull their finger out and fix these things, but all requests fall on deaf ears.
As I said, we have been advised to expect it to roll out AT THE EARLIEST 1st week of December.
Possibly the worst phone. Ever....
I've had this phone for almost two weeks now, having upgraded from a K750i. I have to say I wish I hadn't, but am now stuck with it for 12 months.
It's slow, but I can live with that. What I do find unacceptable is that almost every picture that this phone takes (that isn't in natural daylight), comes out very, very blue (something that every review I've ever read seems to simply brush aside, if they even mention it at all). I've tried adjusting the white balance (doesn't do anything, and I've read that thats a known bug). I've tried swapping it for a different N73 to see if it was just a dodgy handset. Same problems. It also hangs/crashes. A lot. Despite the claims about amazing battery life, I've found that the phone needs recharging every couple of days as opposed to the K750i which was about once a week. All that said and done... It does look nice. But is that really enough.
My last 4 phones have been Sony Ericssons and this is my first Nokia in about 4 years. Quite probably my last too. Oh how I wish I'd gone for the K800i instead (except its sooo ugly and bulky with that huge cheap looking lens cover).
3.2 mega pixels and a fancy lens simply don't matter when it sees the whole world as blue. My old K750i actually took better pictures.