The camera is a nice 3.2-megapixel one, with a Carl Zeiss lens. No optical zoom here, but a 20x digital one which wouldn't be worth including if Nokia didn't bundle so many other image-enhancing capabilities with the device. The affect of a digital zoom is identical to zooming in on a shot using a PC graphics package, so the normal argument is that you might as well do the work once the pictures are transferred off the camera. However, Nokia wants to look towards a world without PCs, so you will need to do everything on your phone. To that end you can change the brightness, contrast and sharpness as well as cropping, resizing, adding clip-art, applying effects like frames and text boxes, or perform red-eye reduction - all without the graphic leaving the phone and just by using the four-way control stick and two soft-menu keys.
Editing graphics might seem cumbersome on a phone, and frankly it is. The controls are well laid out and intuitive, and there's context-sensitive help. But given the physical limitations of screen and keypad, the process couldn't be any easier. It's still not very easy though.
This plethora of tools is intended to encourage the user to think of the phone as their sole computing device. To further that end the edited photographs can be uploaded straight to your Flickr account, e-mailed or (of course) sent over MMS, all without touching a PC.
The camera is accessed through a slider on the back of the handset, which reveals the lens and automatically opens the camera application. This application switches the handset into landscape mode: with everything rotated 90°.
While useful for taking photographs, this transition is also applied when viewing images in the Gallery application and can catch the user unawares, which wouldn't be a problem if it didn't take a couple of seconds to complete during which time the handset is unusable.
Observant readers will have noticed that this is not a camera to whip out and catch the moment, unless you get a good three or four seconds' notice of the moment happening. Actually, even if you do have sufficient notice to get the camera application loaded and the screen rotated, it won't matter as the moment at which you press the shutter and the moment at which the photograph is taken will not be the same anyway.
This lag between shutter-press and shutter release seems endemic to high-end Nokia handsets and unless you take a lot of still-life photographs it will drive you mad. It'll be endless shots of where the children were a moment ago, the wave on which the surfer was standing just now and the patch of ground where the family pet was being amusing really recently. It's not impossible to work around, but it is hard and really convinces that this handset isn't the camera it would like to be.
At least with the handset rotated the shutter button is under the index finger and navigating around the gallery is easily done using the control stick and the right thumb. The left-handed will have a harder time of it, but presumably are used to being unable to take digital pictures these days.
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.