Review: Good pictures and even better tunes
Sample provided by: Multimedia shop, Vienna
The N73 can be described in just a few words. It's a multimedia phone with an excellent 3.2 Mpix camera, good video mode and a great MP3 player. Oh yes, you can also use it to make phone calls with.
The phone itself, or the multimedia computer as Nokia likes to call it, comes with a 2 GB mini SD memory card, which should make it an excellent choice for music lovers. The sleek black body looks sexy and is very well made. The high quality screen is large and the keys are big enough for anyone's fingertips.
The N73 is powered by an OMAP 1710 220 MHz processor, which we have seen earlier in the Nokia E61 business phone.
What's in the box:
- Nokia N73 Music edition black
Nokia BP-6M (1100 mAh) battery
Nokia Connectivity cable CA-53 (USB)
Nokia AC-4 charger
Nokia NS-23 charger adapter
Nokia HS-23 classic stereo headset
Nokia AC-4 Stereo stereo headset
2GB miniSD memory card
CD-ROM with Nokia PC Suite & Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition software
The phone comes with a 2 GB card, headphones, a corded remote control and a USB cable. The USB cable comes in handy, as with this phone you will probably connect it to your PC quite often to transfer images and music files. It has Bluetooth, but it's just too slow for high volumes of data, such as music and high resolution images. It measures 110x49x19 mm (HxWxD), which is quite reasonable for what's on offer, but it's not a tiny handset. The 2.4 in, 262k color display dominates the face of the phone and it manages QVGA resolution (320x240 pixels) . I guess we'll soon be looking at PC resolutions from a few years back on our mobiles.
Many of the important function keys are oddly placed on the sides of the keypad. On the left hand side we find the Menu key which takes us to the standard Symbian OS interface. Everything is simple and navigation is elegant, if you've had the chance to use newer Nokia models, you should be able to find your way around in no time. The key with the pencil symbol, controls the T9 predictive text input feature. You can reach the address book, calendar, camera and SMS menus by moving the central navi key in different directions. The N73 supports quad band GSM and dual mode 3G, and you can use dual mode 3G with 2.5G at the same time, although this does of course increase the battery consumption.
The Music Player and C (clear) buttons are placed on the right hand side. The MP3 player can alsobe used without the headphones, as the internal speakers work well and they're pretty loud compared to most other phones. Using some rough math we can estimate that 2 GB is enough for around 30 hours of MP3 music at 128 kbps. This should be enough for most users.
Camera and video
The phone is equipped with a 3.2 Mpix camera with flash and video feature. A lot of credit for its high quality images goes to the Carl Zeiss 2.8/5.6 AF lens which, when not in use, is protected by a black plastic cover.
The photos are really good, and the video is good enough for Youtube. The picture player application has a slide show feature and works very well. The phone is surprisingly fast in this mode.
The Pict Bridge feature is also part of hte package, and you can print your pictures directly from the phone. However, we still recommend you take a look at them before printing them, as the phone display is not always sufficient for quality control. Video looks good and takes up approximately 6 MB per minute at 352x288 resolution in combination with the MPEG 4 video and 16 MHz AAC audio codecs.
The photos are surprisingly good, although an unfocused image here and there will appear. For good results you need to squeeze the trigger halfway, wait for the auto focus do its magic and shoot. You will get far better results after a few practice shots, but inexperienced users used to fixed focus phone cameras, will need some time to adjust. The colors are realistic and the images themselves are usable. For many occasions the image quality will be sufficient, and you'll be able to leave your digital camera at home. The pictures look good even when you print them.
The pictures are transfered via the included USB cable, and the entire process doesn't take long. The cable, as well as the necessary applications are included in the bundle, which is a good move by Nokia.
We tried out the camera in the late afternoon and got some excellent results. The indoor and macro picture quality is also very good. The camera has a built in flash, in case you're taking some pictures in low lighting conditions. The video looks good too, true Paris Hilton quality. The highest picture resolution is 2,048x1,536, or 3.2 Mpix.
A big drawback is the menu navigation speed, or rather the lack of it. The phone is significantly slower than we initially expected. We really hoped it was a lot faster. Anyway, you get used to this quickly, as you basically don't have a choice.
The N73 would have been a much better phone if the navigation had been faster. The sound quality is very good, and so is the reception quality. The 3D ringtone option use both speakers for some interesting effects. The battery lasts some two days under normal conditions, some playing around with the phone and 30 minutes of calls a day. The MP3 player can play up to 12 hours on a single charge, but this is only if you don't make any calls at all. For a S60 Symbian phone these are above average results. The phone doesn't support SIP or Voice Over IP, but all things considered, it really is a multimedia beast.
The MP3 player is accessed via the above mentioned key on the right hand side of the keyboard. It really looks good and it's easy to find your way around your music collection. If you have album art in the same folders as your music, then it will displayed on the screen. We have nothing more to ad, it's enough to say that it works well and fears no thoroughbred MP3 player on the market.
If you need a music phone with a good camera, then you should definitely consider the Nokia N73. The price tag could be a bit lower, but if you're a member of the Nokia tribe, then this shouldn't stop you from buying this phone. In Austria the phone costs €199 with a two-year €20 per month contract. We can recommend it to all who loves good music, photos and Nokia.