Nokia N73: Finally a Series-60 You Can be Proud Of

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N70 and N73It’s been a day since I’ve taken delivery of my brand-spanking new Nokia N73 (pictured at right). And I have to say, I am pretty impressed. It’s not that it’s some huge revolution in usability and design. It isn’t. It’s a step up from the N70 (pictured at left) which I’ve been using for a few months. But what a step up! It is just a little bit better in almost every aspect of operation and use. Build quality is better. Industrial design is better. It’s lighter. It’s smaller — not by much but just enough that it now fits comfortably in my pocket where the N70 was uncomfortably bulgy. It’s balanced and has a flat bottom — it doesn’t sit precariously on the desk like the N70 did. The materials it’s made out of seem higher quality — maybe it’s just the lack of (or at least minimization of) finger-print-showing chrome accents. Its battery lasts longer. It doesn’t get as hot as the N70 did during long calls. The camera features a real (glass, auto-focus) lens and takes measurably better pictures (though still not up to the quality level of dedicated digital cameras, they are more than usable for most on-line applications and could even be suitable for decent, if small, prints). The lens cover is easier to slide back. The screen is higher resolution and brighter. On the N70, you had to wait a few seconds for things like the call register or address book to come up. This delay is gone on the N73, making the experience of using it as a phone much much much less painful. The PC sync software was a snap to install and get working and synced my 800+ Outlook contacts very quickly over Bluetooth. In short, it’s just that little much better in about every single way and that adds up to a real difference in terms of usability, operation and, yes, sexiness. To borrow a catch-phrase from Oldsmobile, this is not your father’s Series-60.

Special mention has to go to the Web browser (which is built WebCore and JavaScriptCore that Apple’s Safari is built on top of). It is really really good (with a couple of caveats, see below). The browser operates like a PC browser, complete with a little pointing hand cursor that you move around the screen with the 4-way rocker switch. The hand moves semi-intelligently from link to link and, because the screen is smaller than most Web pages, you get a zoomed-in view which shifts around as you move the cursor. You can get a page overview and then zoom into the part of the page you’re interested in. And when you go “back” or “forward” a page, you get neat little page thumb-nails which animate back and forth until you find the page you’re looking for. The result is an amazingly usable Web experience, even for pages that do not adapt for mobile browsers (a bit more on that later). Nokia also recently open-sourced a significant portion of their own work on this browser, which should spur yet more innovation around this platform.

My minor qualms list:

  • The built-in web upload application for photos (which is supposed to provide out-of-the-box Flickr integration) did not work. It kept rejecting my username and password and provided no easy way to diagnose the problem. I downloaded ShoZu which worked right away (although ShoZu didn’t have the N73 in its list of supported phones).
  • The Nokia S-60 Web Browser works on most sites, but things falls down on things like drag-and drop Ajax applications. Nothing you can do here unless you could add a bluetooth mouse (which you can’t, and in any case that’s hardly “one-handed operation.”)
  • The Web browser does not appear to support CSS media queries (or at least doesn’t load stylesheets marked for media type “handheld”). So if I go through the trouble to create special CSS for small-screen devices, this is work is lost on the S-60 Web browser. I think this is a big problem and I hope they fix it in future releases.
  • There are two browsers — one for “Wap” and one for “Web.” They even share the same (or a very similar) icon. This doesn’t make sense.
  • Final browser nit: when I tried to demonstrate how cool the browser was to my wife by bringing up IMDB while we were out at the pub to answer a question on so-and-so’s filmography … the phone crashed. Oops! It hasn’t done the same since but still — some points knocked off for bad timing.
  • Settings are difficult to change. It took me the better part of 20 minutes to figure out how to turn off keypad beeps. That’s a lot of beeps. (It’s in “Profiles”).
  • The Lifeblog application holds a lot of promise, but seems to be limited to working with the Typepad software. I would love to use it, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it work with Blogger.
  • It takes yet another kind of micro-flash-card format (MiniSD), which means the card I bought for the N70 is now useless.

That’s about it for now. The long and short of it is — great device. As for the Web Browser — it’s a real innovative leap for mobile browsing. Like any 1.0, there are some problems, but Nokia re clearly on the right track here. My wife has yet to be convinced, though.

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33 comments on “Nokia N73: Finally a Series-60 You Can be Proud Of
  1. Rafe says:

    You need to get your flickr username etc here: http://www.flickr.com/nokia

    For the inbuilt application.

  2. Andy says:

    ShoZu will officially support then N73 in a few days. It’s a lovely phone.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Info on getting Lifeblog to work with other services can be found here.
    http://www.russellbeattie.com/notebook/1008375.html#comments

  4. Ok — that’s how you can post to Flickr, but still no joy on Blogger. It seems Lifeblog uses the ATOM API to post, which is great, except that it seems Blogger is deprecating the ATOM API in favor of Google’s GData API.

    In any case, knowing what API my blogging application supports is already a bridge to far for normal users. Lifeblog should ship on the device with wizards to configure it with popular blogging applications.

  5. Anonymous says:

    >>that’s how you can post to Flickr, but still no joy on Blogger
    Just go to http://www.flickr.com/tools/lifeblog and get the username and password to upload to flickr and your blogger blog simultaneously (you’ll need to set flickr up with your blog’s details; all explained on that link)

  6. Anonymous says:

    N73 HELP please !! I have this N73, and have had 2 immediate problems, neither of which I can solve- has anyone had athe same experience:
    1) I can’t open the memory card slot to put in the miniSD — what is the secret? I go to tools-memory, and it just tells me there is no memory card, and options doesn’t give me anything.

    2) And the most serious. I put the phone into ‘offline’ status, presumably how you would use it on an airplace with the MP3 player, etc — and now I cannot get it out of OFFLINE status!! You’re supposed to push the on/off button, and then reselect a profile, and the phone shuld reset to that profile, back ONLINE– but it does not. I have tried it over and over again, and usually the phone says ‘outdoor profile selected’, then the phone turns off and on again, but still in OFFLINE status……. so needless to say, I am currently back to my 6230i as the N73 is OFFLINE……

    Is this a software problem or just a problem with my particular phone???
    feel free to answer directly, thx11372001@hotmail.com

  7. Anonymous says:

    You should try Vizrea. Much better than Shozu. It supports the N70 now and I hear the N73 support is coming in September.

    Larry

  8. James says:

    You can drag and drop in the browser by click-and-move with the joystick. Click again to drop.

    (Anyway that’s what happens in the N80, and I can pan around on Google maps just fine. I assume the N73 is similar)

  9. Charlie says:

    I just received my N73 and I’m trying to get the momory slot to open. ALL FAILS. The manual
    tells you to select the option to open the slot via the on/of button. Duh? That option doesn’t exist. Shine a light please!

    Thanx

  10. ron says:

    I wanted to make several points. N73 is generaly a bit slower then N70 and its OS is also slower (though they improved some navigation to make it look like its faster)N73 is 200 MHZ with 20 mb of memory when N70 was 220 with 27 ram.

    For person who has his phone in the OFFLINE mode, you need to reset your entire phone, it will delete all of your info but should fix your problem. Search online on how to do it, its just some keys you have to press. I have not experienced it but dont want to try it ;).

    And regarding the memory card slot… it is located on the bottom of the phone and you need to use something sharp to open the cover. Then you can just push in your card or use the ON OFF switch to remove it properly… does that help?

  11. blinda says:

    how do u open the memory card slot i tried folowing the instructions in the book but it got me no where. do u pull it open? or is there another way?

  12. N73 OFFLINE says:

    I have the same problem N73 stay in offline profil. I have tryed *#7370# NOTHING.
    Sim check- NOTHING!
    green+*+1 Nothing helps!!

    I belive my N73 is simply dead :((((

  13. sheikh says:

    plz tell hw to put memory card in n73

  14. RK says:

    For those that still can’t open the memory card slot, get something sharp (like a fingernail) and where you attach your headset,slip your fingers under it there. After trying to open it a couple of times it should come off easier.

    NOW. To my post. I am having major software problems with my N73. It just shuts down for no apparent reason. I took it to the nokia repair shop and they reloaded the software and it was fine for a short while, but it’s now started doing it again. Anyone got any suggestions short of throwing my phone out the window!?!?!

  15. chris says:

    I have the same problem. I go to answer a call and my N73 does like a mini reboot, showing the Nokia screen etc. Damn frustrating – i kind of like to answer my phone! Last time this happened I went to a nokia site and got it to text me some mms settings etc for my network. Tried this again today to no avail. Any ideas anyone?

  16. nimrod says:

    First of all, sorry for my bad english, I have a serious problem with my nokia n73. When I have an incoming call, my MP3 ringtones sound distorted, i don´t know what to do.
    Also i can´t find how to adjust call volume. Please help me

  17. yaas says:

    Hi, i’m having some problem wiz my n73 the screen backlight get flashy and there is an unwanted line in the middle on the screen

  18. tillymint says:

    I have same probs with mp3 ringtones being distorted most of the time i called my phone company who told me i needed to restore to factory settings i done this and nothing has changed still the same Tryin 2 answer call quickly b4 being embarrassed standing in a queue to music that sounds like the batterys running out. Also, is it a normal fault with Nokia n73 that phone freezes when ur in the middle of something and u have to turn off and it takes ages to come on again??????????

  19. tillymint says:

    Oh that memory card slot blog. I tried for ages 2 open it in the end i had to use a sewing needle and ended up scratching the plastic cover but once i got it open it does open with ease using a finger nail. Hope that helps if ur still tryin 2 open it

  20. Allen says:

    Hello everyone,

    My problem is crashing and rebooting. I’m using the last firmware, when i take photos after i shoot the third or the forth photo i will have a blue screen, most of time phone will restart itself. Also the headset if im listening music, ans someone calls me if i remove headset the phone will reboot ?!?!

    Thank for help in advance
    This phone cost me a fortune i don”t wanna be disappointed if i continuessly have problems like this
    thanks one ore time

  21. sheikh says:

    Hi guyz

    wanna thx everyone for helping me out. i now have another problem.. and luking at the no. of problems people are facing, i think its another put down of NOKIA N-SERIES…
    Ma phone freezes and till the time i do not take the battery off, it jus does nothin…
    plz guyz hel me out with this one.. im probably gonna give it bak to T-mobile,,

  22. corey says:

    hi i have a problem with my n73 i just formatted my memory card to get some of the stuff off it. now i cant install any applications or different themes on it just keeps saying unable to install.please help me

  23. kamel says:

    (nokia N73) i want fix my screen in a cheap and good way i dont know how did it get broken the n-series suck the old ones were really better please reply soon

    thank u all

  24. Yogi says:

    Nokia N73 is one of the best music phone from Nokia, i just love this phone and the price is still to expensive..well at least for me LOL

    You can see the spec on http://www.cellphonevibes.com/nokia/n73.html or read the review on http://www.mobiletechreview.com/phones/Nokia-N73.htm

  25. Ken says:

    In reply to the following: “nimrod April 27th, 2007 | 1:21 First of all, sorry for my bad english, I have a serious problem with my nokia n73. When I have an incoming call, my MP3 ringtones sound distorted, i don´t know what to do”

    Here is the sollution –> Open the main menu –> open “programmes” –> open 3D sounds –> deactivate this function… –> Problem solved..

  26. Ravi Agrawal says:

    Regarding the offline mode-

    try Green + * + 3 combination.
    The memory card is in a slot above the USB + Charger Slot.

    Regarding the Memory Card-
    Use your fingernail to dig in the top of the protective Plastic Cover & pull it out. It is one millimeter thick just for an idea. Once you get hold of it, it will be easy to pull out.

    Lastly, I posted this on account to say that this phone doesn’t support opening of multiple browser windows (by pop-ups yes, but separately no).

    Ravi.

  27. Paul says:

    Hi,
    To you all having problems with the memory card slot.
    Turn the phone so the handsfree connector is facing up with the screen away from you.
    Now if you tilt the phone to about 45 degrees (connector away from you)between the edge of the connector and the mem card cover you will see a small cut out.__/–\__ sort of like that.
    Pop your nail in an lever away from the connector.
    The first time you open it they can be very tight.
    Its hould pop open and allow you access to the slot.

  28. Paul says:

    There is one thing I am finding.
    When I receive a text message the inbox shows me the phone number and not the name.
    Anybody tell me where this is changed? as the settings dont seem to make any difference

  29. Derek says:

    Hi Paul,

    The phone will show just the number if you have 2 entries in your contact box with the same number for example “home” and “My house” it will just show the number.

    Derek

  30. karen says:

    im having a big problem wid my n73.i was using the web n then it froze and restarted. so now i cant access the web. wen i try to open it it always sez already in use. my 3g is on always. pls help. i dnt want a huge bill coz of ths prob!

  31. Ste says:

    Hi all

    Can anyone tell me how to turn off lifeblog on my N73, I’m no expert but I think because of all the info it stores its freezing up my phone. Thanks

  32. Shariff says:

    Dear,

    when I try to install smart movie player in my nokia n73 mobile its saying Expired Certificate, I have tryied somany versions same thing what is the problem.

    please help me

    regards
    shariff.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Nokia N73: Finally a Series-60 You Can be Proud Of"
  1. […] Well, it’s been about two weeks since I wrote gushingly about the Nokia N73 on this page. Has the bloom come off the rose? Well – in some small ways, yes, and I will detail those here, but in the main I am still very impressed with this device. […]

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