Nokia N73 review: Pole position

Michal Sedlák, 28 August 2006. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Buy one of your own

The original package of Nokia N73 does not contain a memory card. As a matter of fact, Nokia is not the only important mobile manufacturer to take such a decision recently. On one hand it is explained with the fact that most users who buy "multimedia computers" hardly ever make do with enclosed memory cards of 64 or 128 MB and usually get themselves an additional, bigger card. On the other hand, however, Nokia could have equipped the phone with a 512 MB memory card, just like Sony Ericsson does with the Walkman series.

Step by step Nokia is abandoning the so-favorite RS-MMC format; instead it begins to use miniSD. Please note that both mentioned formats are absolutely incompatible. Already in the review commenting Nokia N80 we mentioned the looseness of the cover of its memory card slot. In Nokia N73 the situation is pretty much the same: the oblong cover hangs on a very thin plastic part as a result of which it may be lost anytime. Just like in Nokia N80 the N73 model features an option (user-configurable) called "Extract memory card".

Nokia N73 Nokia N73 Nokia N73 Nokia N73
Memory card slot • cap is fragile • miniSD card • slot is illuminated

The memory card can be extracted while the phone is running, but its removal requires closing all active applications. Its cover is not easy to open, so longer fingernails are a sure advantage. The memory card slot gets attractively illuminated thanks to the side-effect created by the keypad backlighting. It looks cool. Statements concerning internal memory are contradictory. The manufacturer announces 42 MB, while other websites publish different numbers. The indicator in Nokia N73 shows 47 MB available.

No need to wait for VGA

Nokia has been long stuck to the resolution of 176 x 208 pixels in all its smartphones. In fact, so long that in the end the rest of the popular manufacturers began to score better. A decisive change came last year with the launching of Nokia N90, whose resolution was 352 x 416 pixels, that is, four times more pixels than before. Anyway, most current smart models feature a QVGA resolution (240 x 320), which is also the case of Nokia N73. The display size is overwhelming; due to its 37 x 49 mm it looks like a pretty large screen. The design of the display is so brilliant that it creates the feeling that it simply could not have been made any bigger.

Resolution is fine; its pixels are only visible through the macro eye of a standard camera. The human eye is not so perfect... Besides, while observing the display of Nokia N73 I kind of stop waiting for VGA resolution; it will not be necessary except on bigger displays or should you need to fit onto the display a huge amount of information.

Since Nokia launched its 6681 model the brightness of its smartphone displays has been constantly deteriorating. For example, neither Nokia N70, nor Nokia N80 could compete with Nokia 6681. It has not been till this last model, Nokia N73, that brightness - in highest resolution - it can be again considered comparable to the brightness levels shown by the above mentioned model. Bear in mind however, that legibility of N73's display remains rather poor under direct sunlight, even though it is far better than in models like Sony Ericsson P990 or Sony Ericsson M600, where direct light makes reading virtually impossible.

Nokia N73 Nokia N73 Nokia N73 Nokia N73
Display is large • its screen in the dark

Located above the display are the manufacturer's logo and the name of the model, both present in most recent Nokia models. Next to the earphone with a tiny silver cover there is a sensor detecting the intensity of the surrounding light. In accordance with the level of this intensity it activates the keypad backlighting. Situated nearby is a new state diode identical to the one used in Nokia N80.

Nokia N73 Nokia N73
Speaker, sensor of surrounding light, diode, and tiny VGA camera

The time, during which the display remains illuminated (from 5 seconds to one minute) as well as the interval, in which the screensaver gets activated, is user-configurable. The screen saver represents a bar with a clock and updated date; of course, missed calls and incoming messages including their number appear here too. The screen saver can be set to activate in 1 to 30 minutes. In addition, you can activate a power-save mode, in which the display goes out completely and the only indicator of the activity of the phone remains the tiny diode illuminated in blue. No new events get alerted in this mode. The diode winks in unchangeable intervals, which converts it into a mere decorative element.

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