Nokia N73 Buyers guide: Pros and Cons

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Here is my first Guide on Nokia Phones. I will be posting a comprehensive guide for any Nokia phone that has passed from my hands, in order to help customers to buy with confidence, and to know what they pay for! So the first guide concerns the Nokia N73 phone, one of the best Nseries bar-type phones, yet one of the most dangerous phones on sale...

The N73 phone was introduced on April 2006, and first shown on shelves last May or June. It is a complete phone, having everything someone can ask from a candy bar phone of its size. It's weight and size (117g including standard battery, memory card and sim card, at 110x49x19mm) make it a complete 3g phone, with extremely good signal reception on both GSM and UMTS networks, even at the most difficult-to-receive areas.

The phone features a Carl Zeiss 3.2Mp camera with ashtonishing photographic quality (even better than the N93), a second video call VGA camera, very good quality video, Mini SD card slot with hot-swap capability (no need to switch off to change card), supporting up to 4Gb flash (depending on firmware vesion. Older versions support up to 2Gb memory), Mobile Office, Outlook synchronisation, Contacts backup to memory card as .vcf files, standard F-Secure Antivirus, Bluetooth v2.0, IrDA, EDGE up to 240Kbps, and UMTS/3G connection up to 384Kbps.

The N73 also features an FM Radio with RDS capabilities, Media Player for mp3, aac, and mpeg4 files, Java MIDP2 support, Push-to-Talk technology, voice command options, integrated handsfree (allthough, if you want to activate the Radio, you have to plug in the included stereo headset). Finally, the phone can be updated by the user directly, by downloading Nokia Update Service Software from the Official site of Nokia. It's a process that takes up to 1 hour on a 768Kbps DSL connection (23Mb the installer, and about 70Mb the phone firmware), but it saves you from going to Nokia Shops in order to update the phone, which usually can take up to 48 hours if the phone has to be sent out to Nokia.

The cons of the phone.

Nokia N73 don't feature WLAN, and this makes it somehow difficult to work around in all environments, when needed to be connected to the internet. The Nokia N73 and the N73 Music Edition suffer from low battery times on older firmware versions (less than 4 talking hours and less than 120 hours of standby), and the worst problem is the phone's SAR. SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate, is the measurement of the Electromagnetic emissions and is weighed at Watts per Kilogram. The maximum limit set by the EU and other countries is set to 2.0W/Kg, and Nokia N73 reaches 1.13W/kg (RM-133) or 0.92W/kg (RM-132).

The difference of the SAR depends on the main PCB of the phone. The PCB with the RM-132 customization is not available in all EU countries. You just have to make sure that you use a Bluetooth or a headset at all times, as you may experience headaches and slight disorientation, as well as slight memory problems if you are a heavy user (ie 1-2 hours on the phone per day or more) and don't use a headset/handsfree. Considering that Nokia's N80, and N91 SAR is 0.48-0.67, and the upcoming N95 has a sar value of 0.58, you can understand that the values of 0.92 or even worse the 1.13, are pretty high.

Nokia N73 is a complete phone, with almost everything someone who's on the go can ask. The absence of wlan and the high SAR values though, can be 2 restraining factors for the businessman who needs to be connected to the internet via his phone, but it makes it definately a very nice media centre for the music and video enthusiasts. Buy it with confidence from as low as 300 Euros (sim free, sealed and not on any contract), depending on your country of residence, or eBay for it and happy buys!

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