The Nokia E73 Mode was released in June 2010 and the first thing that comes to mind is that this is a desperate attempt to repeat the success of the Nokia E71, it may be true that it is somewhat a copy but it also builds on the original release. The Nokia E73 Mode borrows the great features that started off with the Nokia E71 which include the solid steel panels on the body of the phone. Then there is no escaping the slim fit that comes with the Nokia E73 Mode. What the Nokia E73 Mode does is enhance the hardware and improve on some of the features that came with the Nokia E71. This is a phone that is great to feel and handle and does a lot to stand out by raising the bar from the Nokia E71.
Design (5 out of 5)
The Nokia E73 Mode comes clad in titanium and dressed with all the hardware features that make the Nokia E73 Mode fit in as part of the Nokia E-Series family of business oriented smartphones. It has design features that are remarkably similar to its predecessors, to be more precise, the Nokia E71 and the Nokia E72.
The Nokia E73 Mode comes with a full color TFT Landscape screen capable of displaying 16 million colors at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels with a length of 2.4 inches. The space above the display has been fitted with the ear piece in the center and the secondary camera to the right of it. There is also a light sensor on the same panel.
Below the TFT display there is the soft-key panel which has several buttons and keys which include the left and right soft keys, the green call button, the red end call button and the five-way scroll key popularly known to Nokia users as the D-pad. The D-pad has an optical track-pad used for cursor movement and scrolling between menu items.
The soft key panel also has the home screen button, the calendar button, the messaging button and the phone book button which are located on either side of the D-pad. Below the softkey panel, there is a full QWERTY keyboard with the Nokia E-series signature style buttons that are firm, are lined up in straight rows unlike the BlackBerry style which is usually curved, and have a raised relief for ease of use.
Moving on to the left side you will find there is a the microUSB slot and right below it there is the microSD card slot for storage of data. The right side of the Nokia E73 Mode is fitted with the volume up and volume down buttons and there is a 3.5mm audio jack. These seem to be the standards the Nokia E73 Mode inherits from the previous two E-series models.
At the bottom face of this smartphone, you will find the port for charging the Nokia E73 Mode. The top side of the phone is fitted with the power on/off button.
On the back face of the Nokia E73 Mode, there is a 5MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels camera that comes equipped with auto focus and an LED flash. This camera also supports video recording. Right next to the camera is a hands free speaker while below the camera you will find the battery compartment sealed tightly with a solid steel grooved cover.
The Nokia E73 Mode measures 113.8 x 58.4 x 10.2 mm and weighs in at 127.5g. Somehow this phone feels and looks slimmer than it actually is. That goes to show the attention to detail that has been put into the Nokia E73 Mode design.
User Interface (3 out of 5)
The Nokia E73 Mode comes loaded with the classic Symbian OS 9.2, Series 60 v3.2 based user interface. This gives the Nokia E73 Mode an easy navigation interface that is very familiar to most Nokia S60 users. There are transition effects that are attempted with the Nokia E73 Mode but they do not stand out as you would have hoped especially with what the Android or the iPhone smartphones are doing.
With the Nokia E73 Mode you can set up your home screen shortcuts to point to your favorite programs. This phone allows you to customize up to six applications onto your home screen. Below the applications shortcuts you will find notifications for alerts ranging from email and messaging to events placed on the organizer.
The Nokia E73 Mode makes navigating easier with the optical track-pad. You can use the optical track-pad to switch back and forth between applications and other menu entries. The Nokia E73 Mode, through the Symbian OS makes use of a simple navigation model where there are dedicated keys above the full QWERTY keyboard to allow you to access those features with a single click. All the applications of the Nokia E73 Mode can be accessed in a maximum of two clicks from the applications folder.
Typing emails, short texts and full documents is made easy through the full QWERTY keyboard on the Nokia E73 Mode. This phone is therefore suitable for extended text inputs and other input operations.
Features (3 out of 5)
Being a Symbian OS smartphone, the Nokia E73 Mode comes loaded with an impressive list of features. This is important as being primarily released for T-mobile, one would expect a stripped down phone as was the case with the Nokia E71x on the AT & T network. The Nokia E73 Mode comes preloaded with relevant applications that you would want whether or not the phone was locked to a particular carrier’s network. The bundled apps include Google Mobile, Adobe Reader, YouTube, QuickOffice, Psiloc’s Wireless Presenter and Ovi Maps which comes with free voice guided turn-by-turn navigation for life. Also included in the Nokia E73 Mode is Flash lite 3.0 and a full HTML web browser.
There is a built in organizer that you can use to set up your to-do items, record your meetings and record important occasions and any other tasks you may want. With the Nokia E73 Mode you can record voice memos too.
Connectivity features on the Nokia E73 Mode include Bluetooth 2.0, microUSB, 3G and Wi-Fi in addition to the slower 2G options of GPRS and EDGE.
There is a GPS receiver on the Nokia E73 Mode, an accelerometer sensor for auto rotate and tap-for-time. This Nokia smartphone also comes with a FM stereo radio with RDS. As for the other multimedia functions, the Nokia E73 Mode comes with a sound recorder, a MP3/WMA/WAV/RA/AAC/M4A music player, and a WMV/RV/MP4/3GP video player all with support for the standard 3.5 mm audio jack.
The Nokia E73 Mode phone has a 5 megapixel camera for taking still photos as well as video clips and comes with a secondary camera for use while making video calls. The Nokia E73 Mode comes with 250MB internal memory and external memory of up to 16GB through the microSD card.
Performance (4 out of 5)
The Nokia E73 Mode comes with a great camera that outperforms its predecessors. The picture quality, though with a little noise, is still great as this is kept to a minimum. The autofocus response is quite reliable. Launching applications on this phone is quite good as the response is instant and the load times are pretty fast. Boot up speeds on the Nokia E73 Mode are also pretty decent.
The voice call quality on the Nokia E73 Mode is quite awesome, even in areas where the signal quality was low this phone was able to maintain a good call quality and did not drop any calls at all. This quality was evident on both ends of the call.
The Nokia E73 Mode comes with great speeds when accessing data services. Loading heavy pages like Wikipedia’s US page were handled quite well on the Nokia E73 Mode. Download speeds and page rendering are quite up to standards. GPS performance is also great. The only issue I have with using Ovi maps on the GPS is that sometimes it takes a while to zero in and get a fix on the satellites.
There is great sound quality on the Nokia E73 Mode for listening to media, the screen has a sharp and high contrast resolution and outdoes the competition on multimedia functions. The Nokia E73 Mode audio and video quality comes as a surprise in that it is not a Nokia N-series phone yet is outperforms quite a number of them when it comes to multimedia performance.
As far as multitasking goes, the Nokia E73 Mode handles this flawlessly. With the Nokia E73 Mode you can perform several tasks at a go without having to close applications. The phone is able to maintain extended battery performance even with heavy use of several applications.
The Verdict (4 out of 5)
All-in-all the Nokia E73 Mode is a great phone for the business oriented user. There is not much that can be said against the Nokia E73 Mode. It surpasses its cousin, the Nokia E71, and with the upgrade to the operating system it keeps up with the newer apps and widgets that are cropping up in the market today. With its limitation of one color scheme, the Nokia E73 Mode seems a step down in elegance in comparison to the Nokia E71 but it sure has great strengths in general performance and that is particularly noted on the camera.
With the Nokia E73 Mode’s polished look and elegant interface and a price tag of just $70 with T-mobile, this Nokia E-series phone is totally worth getting.