Nokia E73 Mode First-look Review

by Reads (19,881)

The Nokia E73 Mode is a T-Mobile-specific take on the Nokia E72 which was announced last year. It comes loaded to the gills with popular features for both work and play.

It has a tablet shape, with a QVGA screen, keyboard, 5 megapixel camera, and much more.

The E73 Mode will be released later this week for just $70 with contract.


Nokia E73 Mode from T-MobileDESIGN & BUILD

One of the thinnest mobile devices today (0.4 in or 10 mm), the E73 packs a QVGA (320×240 pixels) screen and a useful keyboard into a well designed package.

It’s been a while since getting my hands on a smartphone with this form factor, and the E73 Mode reminded me instantly what I liked about what Nokia’s done here.

The hard plastic and metal casing feels very solid and high quality.

And the keyboard — which was already highly ranked on the E71 and E71x models — gets tweaked a bit more for the E73 Mode, adding features and improving overall feel.

When you think of QWERTY smartphones, Nokia might not rank very high on your list. However, its sales globally have proven to be better than most other makers (second only to RIM), and the company certainly has had a faithful following.

On thing that I did not expect was to like the optical directional pad. The D-pad works something like a trackpad, only needing a gesture to move it; but it also has the ability to accept button presses for more direct interactions. Initially, it was unsettling; now, I can’t see using the device without it.

PERFORMANCE

The Nokia E73 Mode runs the Symbian OS with the Series 60 user interface. While not as well known in the U.S., it’s very popular in Europe.

One feature that I setup almost immediately is the “Modes” application — a feature that contributes to this device’s name. — which allows you to set up two different homescreens. This lets you have a homescreen for work, showing email, calendar entries, and such while on the clock, as well as a second homescreen for personal use that shows SMS messages, your favorite games and other such items. The only thing missing is that you can’t set it to switch automatically at a prescribed time.

Nokia E73 Mode from T-MobileThe E73 Mode is well supplied with wireless features. Naturally, it supports T-Mobile’s 3G network, and it also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

This smartphone keeps up with Nokia’s tradition of being packed to this gills with software:

  • Nokia web browser with Flash support
  • Nokia Messaging for email (HTML email)
  • Mail for Exchange for Microsoft Exchange accounts
  • Ovi Maps
  • Visual Voicemail
  • Quickoffice (view and edit documents)
  • Psiloc Wireless Presenter
  • Business card/barcode scanner
  • Nokia Active Notes
  • Ovi Files with online file storage
  • and several other applications.

Not to mention, there’s also the Ovi Store (with carrier billing) on the device to download other apps, games, themes, and other items to make the E73 Mode fit your lifestyle.

The E73 sports a 1500 mAh battery. I’ve only had a few days for testing so far, but I can already tell that the battery life is quite good, even with a consistent 3G signal.

CONCLUSION

I’m looking forward to more time with the Nokia E73 Mode to not only get an idea of how its improved on the E71/E71x/E72 models, but also to see if I can give the battery a real testing. Nokia’s E-series models are known for being tough to crack in this department, and given that the competition is priced higher (the E73 Mode will be just $70 with a 2-year contract), there’s a good chance T-Mobile will have a champ on its hands.

Stay tuned to the full-review in a few weeks.

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