Rewind: A month and half ago after countless taunts from my chums on my Nokia 6230, I finally decided that it’s time to go for a new phone. And yes, I had reasons to dispose my faithful Nokia 6230. Trying to switch Bluetooth ON would switch my phone OFF or it would just go into Freeze mode! The other one was very fricken irritating. I just couldn’t charge the phone! It was a matter of luck and not time to see the charger finally fit my phone right and start charging.
I love gadgets and so I wanted a mobile which could do more than just make and receive calls. Of course smart phone would be my choice. So when I started looking, it got confusing even though I am pro-Nokia. There were some super phones in Nokia N-series and E-series. Apple iPhone and iMate were appealing too…Specially iPhone was really tempting with its looks and features. But $ 565 USD was a bit too much now…Hence after a lot of thought, I finally zeroed in on Nokia N73 Music Edition. And after reading innumerable N73 reviews for 2 weeks, I decided to buy it…And I am so in love with it…Here is my review
Cost: 16450 INR
I will start off with the most impressive feature of N73.
The camera of course…3.2 Mega pixel Camera with Carl Zeiss Optics, Tessar lens!! Do I have to say anything about the picture quality now? Photos come out just superb. With 20 x Digital zoom for pics and 4x for Videos, the zoom does work well. Videos are good too at 15fps.There is Review button at the side of mobile. Quite handy that one. It gives a quick access to the images and videos in the Gallery.
N73 has to be the best camera smartphone of the N Series at least as of now.
Plus you have got options like -Adjusting the White Balance, Exposure Compensation, Color Tone, Light Sensitivity and the Scene modes like what you get in your digicam.
Although there is no difference in hardware in N73 and N73 Music edition, the latter comes with enhanced features for music. It ships in with 2GB Mini SD Card filled with some 100 songs out of which 95 are crap. Try deleting them on your phone and it won’t work! The way out is to connect the phone to the computer and simply CUT the 90+ rubbish songs and paste them on you computer. It frees up a lot memory on the card. N73 does support a lot of music formats (mp3, WMA, AAC, eAAC, eAAC+). I haven’t tried listening to all the formats on the phone but MP3, WMA and AAC sound very good indeed. The phone has got Integrated Stereo speakers and the Stereo does sound very well. The Music Edition comes in all black looks and it does look very sinister.
Smart phone that it is, it comes in loaded with all the applications like Office stuff – Word, Power Point, Spreadsheets, Viewing PDF files, Visual Radio, 3-D Tones, Movie Director, Real Player, Life Blog et al.
The 3-D Tones is nifty little utility to enhance your tones by adding effects like Circular, Fly By, Zig Zag, Meander, Doppler Effect etc.
Next thing to like about N73 is the large 2.4-inch QVGA screen of N73. It makes pictures and videos look clearer on them than other smart phones. The screen resolution as given by Nokia is 352X416 pixels makes the pics look excellent on the screen.
I have heard some people saying the saying the keypad is smaller and it makes texting harder. Yes, the keypad is smaller but for a person like me who texts a lot I got used to the keypad after just couple of days and I don’t find it a problem at all.
There is a dedicated music key on the right side of N73 ME for quick access to all the music on your phone. Music is neatly organized by Song Name, Playlists, Artists, Albums, Genres, Composers just like your iPod.
The light sensor at the top of the phone near the secondary camera adjusts the brightness of the screen with respect to the ambient lighting. And this light sensor also blinks (flashing blue light) when the Phone is in ‘Sleep’ mode. This flashing blue light is irritating at times and can be turned Off by going to Settings->Phone->Display->Sleep Mode-> On/Off. Mind you, switching this Off will eat into your phone battery.
Let’s now come to the GPRS part of it. Holding down the 0 key will get you connected to the World Wide Web. When I activated my GPRS connection from my service provider, I was unable to connect to the net for the first few days. I thought it was a problem with N73. But then after repeated calls to my service provider, I realized that that they had goofed up. They reset my connection and now GPRS works fine on N73. There is nothing to be done other than just saving the Configuration Settings sent by your service provider.
Net Applications: I have downloaded Google Maps and S60 Internet Radio. They work like charm. Especially Google Maps with its powerful Satellite imagery looks very good on the large screen of N73. Internet Radio is bit slow at times. But that is all dependent on data transmission rates. With a faster EDGE connection, it should work good.
There is an option to upload Images directly from your phone to the Web Album of your choice.
Games: My N73 came pre-installed with Sudoku and Snakes. The Snakes on my N73 is in 3D. I was amazed to see it. Nokia has come a long way from the Snakes that it had on one of the older phones. This 3D Snakes is not only good to watch but surely will help you kill time.
Battery: The battery is pretty powerful. With normal use (10-15 mins of calls a day, 15-20 mins of surfing, taking pictures and videos for 5-10 mins and playing music for 10 mins a day on the phone speakers) will make the phone go on for 2.5 to 3 days. But with heavy use of the screen (like seeing the images and videos on and on again) will suck your battery. My battery was out of charge in just 1.5 days when all I was doing for those 1.5 days was keeping the camera on and shooting pics and videos and playing them over and over again.
The only two things missing in this phone are – WiFi and GPS. I would have really really liked to have them on my phone. But I had to buy a phone within a certain budget and hence had to settle without these features. Although GPS was really tempting, I had to think my way out of it by asking myself – Do I really need GPS? The answer was ‘No’ coz I do not hike every other day and neither do I get lost everyday coz I know my way around the city.
For the Wi-Fi part, I had to be content with my GPRS connection. I know GPRS isn’t the solution to Wi-Fi but then again there are some compromises to be made when your budget is tight. So for me the only thing to be disappointed was no WiFi in this Phone.
Now comes the most important part – The bugs!
Ofcourse with a smartphone like this, there ought to be bugs and I had expected it. The question is how many bugs and do they really impact the way you use your phone. I do not think so. Here’s why
Bug 1: When a song is playing and I click ‘Next’ in the Track Menu, it doesn’t start playing the Next song. Instead the current song is stopped. I have to go back to the Song List and click the new song again. Maybe this is just with my handset. Does it bother me? Not at all…
Bug 2: Sometimes, when I open the Gallery to see the pic or a video or start a game, I get a message – Memory Full. Try closing some applications.
This is irritating. I have to either go back to the phone menu or switch the phone Off and start again. But this has just happened twice until now in 3 weeks. Hence, not much of a problem.
Bug 3: Sliding the backcover of the phone starts the phone camera. Once, I got a message – Hardware failed. Please restart the camera. I came back to the Phone menu and the phone just froze up. I couldn’t switch the phone off. I had to remove the battery and put it back again to restart the phone. Fortunately this has happened only once.
These are the only bugs I have come across until now in my Nokia N73 ME. Chances are these are specific to my handset only. But in no way do they lessen my pride and joy of owning N73 ME!
All in all, I am happy with my choice.