If you are currently a user of Nokia’s N70, which I reviewed a while ago alongside the CoPilot navigation software, then you could well want to cast an eye over its natural successor, the N73. I liked the N70 but sitting it next to this new handset just a couple of months after reviewing it, it feels underpowered and clunky.
Nokia’s handsets can sometimes seem over-designed, and/or rather too clever for their own good. The movie shooting N93, the overbearing clam N71 and the twist and swivel 3250 are recent examples. In comparison, the N73 feels like a reversion to good old fashioned standards of portability and usability.
By Nokia’s standards the N73 is slim and sleek at 110 x 49 x 19mm and 116g. It incorporates a large screen into its front fascia – 2.4 diagonal inches and 240 x 320 pixels.
There is quite a gap between screen and shortcut button area, though again the buttons here are large, with two softkeys and the Call and End keys surrounding a very responsive mini joystick.
The number pad suffers a little in size terms with its relatively small keys and I am not a fan of the tall buttons that surround it on left and right: Nokia menu, edit, multimedia and clear keys.
The penultimate of these can be used for quick access to four applications. Tap the key then use the joystick to run the application you choose by pushing it up, left, right or pressing. Pushing it downwards lets you configure the functions.
This feature feels a little unnecessary as you can also configure the six applications that appear on the Active Standby screen – the main screen. Though I guess you do have the option to turn that feature off if you’d prefer not to have icons cluttering up the main screen.
This is a 3G handset (with Quad-band GSM) and there is a front facing camera for video calls above the screen. On the top and bottom ends are stereo speakers. Now, I didn’t notice these producing super high quality stereo sound from the handset, though the provided headset did a good job both for MP3s and the FM radio. The headset is boring old white, incidentally, and connects to Nokia’s Pop-Port. You don’t get a converter to 3.5mm.
There’s an infra red port on the left edge – it is great to see this in addition to Bluetooth, and a bit of a pity that on such a well featured handset Nokia has not found room to include Wi-Fi too.
The bottom edge has a slot for a miniSD card squeezed in next to that already noted speaker, and the Pop-Port connector. The memory card slot is covered, which should prevent your card from accidentally popping out, but I found the cover a little fiddly to close firmly. There’s around 40MB of free internal memory before you need to resort to a miniSD card.