N73

 


 

Features

Dimensions


Weight: 116 g

Height: 110 mm

Width: 49 mm

Thickness (max): 19 mm

Operating frequency


Dualmode WCDMA/GSM and triband GSM coverage on up to five continents (WCDMA2100/EGSM850/900/1800/1900 networks)

Automatic switching between bands and modes

Memory Functions


Up to 42 MB internal dynamic memory for contacts, text messages, multimedia messages, ringing tones, images, video clips, calendar notes, to-do list and applications

Support for miniSD memory card (hot swappable)

Approx. memory capacity indication with 1GB miniSD memory card

Video (MPEG4 CIF @ 15fps AAC audio) up to 175 min

Photos (3.2 megapixel) up to 1219 photos

Music (eAAC+) up to 1092 tracks

Display and User Interface


Active standby main services always on top

Active toolbar interface in camera and gallery

On device photo editor and video editor (manual & automatic)

Large bright 2.4 inch QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) TFT color display with up to 262,144 colors

Ambient light detector - used to optimize display brightness and power consumption

Review key provides direct access to photos and videos

Multimedia key provides direct access to predefined application

Slideshow from gallery with Ken Burns effect (automatic zoom and pan) and 3D sound effect stereo speakers

S60 software on Symbian OS


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The Review

The Big Boys have been slow to catch up with the Sharp’s three mega pixel monster released almost a year ago (the 903), but that's all set to change.

While Sony Ericsson has opted to employ the established and respected Cyber-shot brand on the K800i, Nokia doesn't have the luxury of a well known camera brand to call upon. Instead they've partnered with Carl Zeiss to give the latest imaging phone credibility. Ironically, Carl Zeiss provides the lenses to ordinary Sony digital cameras, but in the mobile arena they've worked with Nokia since the release of the N90. That was only 2 mega pixels and whilst the list of features was impressive (3G, Series 60 etc), the slow speed of operation coupled with a long delay to market, resulted in the phone disappearing almost as quickly as it arrived.

Nokia has learnt a lot from the N90, and the N73 is both smaller and lighter - making it a decent competitor to the forthcoming SE K800i. It matches the SE for both camera and screen resolution (3.2 mega pixels and 240*320 pixels respectively) and also shares the much more friendly candy bar form factor, with a sliding lens cover. However, where the K800i gets a proper Xenon flash, with red eye reduction, the N73 has to make do with a LED lamp.

Like all N-series devices, the N73 is a smart phone and ships with the 3rd edition of series 60, running on Symbian's latest 9.1 operating system. This is good for the future but bad for the short terms, as the variety of software is likely to remain limited until the autumn, as developers recompile applications to work with the new edition. By comparison, the K800i only runs Java applications, which are restricted in Functionality.

SILVER SCREEN

With the exception of N80 and N90, the series 60 phones have always made do with a low resolution screen that isn’t great for digital imaging. The QVGA screen on the N73 is bright and the extra dimensions improve every aspect of the phone, with larger menus (such as extra row of icons) and the ability to squeeze on much more text.

In camera mode, two dedicated buttons activate the camera or the gallery. Opening the lens cover also activates the camera, with a series of on screen option able to be selected with the joystick. Here the large screen comes in to its own; making it easy to check how good the photograph will be before pressing the shutter button. The downside is the lack of visibility in bright light, which could make it a bit tricky on a sunny day standing on a sandy beach with light reflecting from all angles.

Whether or not you can see the pictures clearly on the display, the quality is exceptional. The N80 took good pictures without a Carl Zeiss lens of auto focus, but the N73 is amazing in all lighting conditions. The Lack of a proper flash will disappoint for indoor photography, but night mode images are amazingly noise free and often preferable to the LED lamp, which leaves a distinctly cold color cast on anything close up. Saving photos is quick too, as the N73 actually comes with a faster processor than its bigger brother the N80.

The phone has 42mbs of onboard memory with a slot that can take miniSD cards upto 2 GB in size (and higher, when they become available). With 2 GB cards quite cheaply available online, music lovers can get half the capacity of the N91 (enough for 2000 tracks in eAAC+ mode) in a much nicer footprint. Unfortunately, the N73 doesn’t have A2DP or dedicated music control buttons, but it is still a better all-rounder than its hard drive equipped sibling and has stereo speakers, positioned at the top and bottom of the phone.

The N73 has another Ace up its sleeve, which is the photo upload service for Flickr users. Take a photo and an extra option appears to post the image to your online photo album. It's as easy as sending a picture by Bluetooth or MMS, and also a great way of backing up your photo album.

The controversial web browser first seen on the N80 makes an appearance here too, allowing web pages to be shown as designed. It may look nicer and use the same rendering system as Apple's Safari Web browser, but the need to scroll around the page (a mini-map speeds this process up) isn't necessarily an improvement over a single column view, as favored by browsers like Netfront or Opera.

Even though the phone isn’t as small as the K800i, Nokia has still managed to include small number keys that can make it tricky to enter Text. The joystick can also be easily pushed in by accident, selecting things you don’t want. Anyone that has owned or used a Nokia in the last 2 years will be used to design taking precedent over usability, and although it certainly isn’t as bad as previous efforts, its worth bearing in mind.

Speak Easy

With oddly positioned Stereo speakers (top and bottom), another feature of the phone is 3D-sound ringtones. A special application simulates a multitude of surround sound effects, from a circular patter to passing ear. Its great fun, but you might run the risk of missing a call because you can’t tell where the sound is coming from!

Finally a 3G phone with oodles of features, battery life makes all the difference for something that replaces your music player and camera. With a 1100mAh battery (as seen on the 9300 communicator), the N73 is far better equipped than the power hungry N80 that makes do with a paltry 800mAh battery. On our review model, which was running a pre release version of the operating system, the phone trundled on for over 2 days. If you can do without 3G, then locking it to GSM mode increases standby and talktime further.

Overall the N73 feels well built and the physically larger screen, even with a lower resolution than the N80, proves better for reading texts and mails, or looking at pictures. With a bigger battery and a faster processor the only thing missing is Wi-Fi -For most people it’s no big deal. For imaging it’s the cream of the crop, and Sony Ericsson will have to make sure the K800i is exceptional if it’s going to win the battle of the next generation camera phones.


Final Verdict.
While the N73 doesn’t have Xenon flash and the BestPic feature of the forthcoming Sony Ericcson's K800i, it still manages to take amazing photos indoors and out. As a phone the performance is excellent with good battery life and a processor that is fast enough to improve the third edition of the series 60 user interface. This could be the best smart phone on the market, although Nokia has let the side down with a fiddly little keypad on a phone that is easily big enough to accommodate larger buttons. Usability takes a hit, but the N73 is still top class.


Quote:
Please Note that this review is not done by me. As it took me loads of pains in finding a decent review of this phone that i am waiting for so long. my cousing posted me the text from the magazine review which i am posting here. Would post up the Scans of the magazine pages as soon as i get them.