The N73 is not a little candybar phone, but it’s not a big one either.
This is great, because it’s really, really powerful – think Nokia N80 minus the Wi-Fi, and you pretty much have the N73’s specifications. For a Series 60 phone capable of 3G video calling, 3.2MP picture-taking, video recording and playback and a host of life-organising features, the N73 is small.
Styling is pretty perfunctory – we would have liked a few Sony Ericsson K800i aesthetic flourishes – but we expect nothing less from Nokia’s Nseries. Thankfully, build quality is excellent.
Unlike some past Series 60 smartphones, the N73 tears through tasks with only the briefest of delays. It’s nice that you don’t have to hang around to access various menus and eradicates extraneous ‘hurry up, I need my files yesterday’ button presses.
Another impressive feature is the screen. Its 2.4in screen looks vast, possibly because the metallic bezel surrounding it is so thin. It’s also very crisp, giving the impression of a proper next-gen multimedia device - it’s definitely the coolest aspect of the N73.
As you’d expect, the interface is beautifully simple. The keypad feels a little less positive than we’d like, and the joystick is a tad flimsy, but a four-year-old kid with no experience of digital technology could instigate a video call on it. We tested this scientifically by giving it to Stuff’s staff writer. Accessing multimedia is a breeze, too, thanks to the dedicated key on the right-hand side of the keypad.
The back of the phone is dominated by the lens cover, which automatically initiates the 3.2MP camera when clicked down. Yes, it’s a satisfying click – much more so than that of the N70 – and the camera springs to life almost immediately.
There’s a dedicated shutter button, a zoom control and a gallery button on the right-hand side of the phone for easy access of those camera-y features. It’s clear that Nokia wants you to think this as much a camera as a mobile, so it’s a shame that there is no proper flash. Then again, the screen makes a brilliant viewfinder.
For now, it’s all mostly good news, but that’s about as far as we’ve got at this point. Stay tuned for a full review in the near future.