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Review of GSM-handset Nokia 7373
The today’s L’Amour collection doesn’t employ “rotate” form-factor as a flagship solution, leaving it for the mid-end model in the range. Frankly speaking, Nokia 7373’s filling and design are not too much different from what we saw on Nokia 7370 a year ago – quality of materials used, curves and shapes of the casing have been left untouched, the only alteration regards the trim, though it doesn’t make all the difference. As you might remember, Nokia 7370 made use of two color schemes, namely Coffee Brown and Warm Amber.
However its successor comes in dark colors (Bronze), looking alike with the 7370’s trim, and in a brighter color scheme - Powder Pink. Why the manufacturer has picked these colors for this season, you can find out in the review on Nokia 7390 – we gave that fact a close-up there.
As for most significant upgrades performed on the 7373, these are: update of software shell to Feature Pack 2 S40 3rd edition, advent of microSD memory expansion slot and a 2 Mpix camera onboard.
The handset looks appealing and lives up to the initial impression when gotten a grip on. The 7373 measures a comfortable 88õ43õ23 mm in size and weights 104 grams, which enables you to choose any way of carrying – either in a pocket or around your neck. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the phone is classified as a “women-only” solution – men avoid having it around.
While the phone is closed, the screen seems to have no peculiarities, but on opening it rotates automatically, which is a world of difference in comparison with the previous model. The handset is armed with assisted mechanism, enabling you to swivel it open by pushing the upper half. There you definitely will not feel the same easiness as with Motorola v80 – the movement is slightly slowed-down on the initial stage, but thinking of the handset’s dimensions, it’s OK – remember, tiny sliders don’t manage to generate enough momentum to slide open seamlessly. All in all I cannot find some vital things to complain about with the assisted mechanism found on the 7373 – the mechanics here does well. While you are free to swivel it open in any direction, closing the handset should go in the same direction it was opened. The very portable size of the phone allows for single-handed device management.
Since the handset’s front panel lacks any controls, it’s impossible to read messages or handle the phone’s functions without opening it. Also, calling is possible only in case the device has been opened; the microphone is placed at the bottom. Swiveling the 7373 open answers a call, similarly to what we see on sliders.
Swiveling the device open revels two round loudspeakers covered with a metal grill, which are almost overlapped by the beetling half, yet visible from the sides. Presence of stereo-speakers allows playing back tunes in games, mp3-tracks in standby mode and so on, since these speakers are not responsible for playing back ring tones, handled by the earpiece.
The rear of the upper half retains a metal plate, protecting the display from mechanical effect when the handset is open, which is quite fresh approach both from utilitarian and design points of view. Generally speaking, mixing various materials is where Nokia has been doing its best recently. On top of all that, the battery cover boasts leather-like pattern. Presence of a name-plate on the side adds a whole lot of points to this model as well.
One-color trim of the casing is varied with a bronze framing mounted on the sides. The dedicated keys found on the surface of Camera (allows shooting without having to swivel the handset open) and the power button. The latter key also stands for fast profiles switch at the standby screen, enabling you to do that without opening the phone. The opposite side houses volume rocker key, whereas the bottom rim (while the handset is closed it’s on the top) features standard interface socket Pop-Port along with charger port. (the thin one). The only thing left on our “to-mention” list is the rear panel boasting a self-portrait mirror and lens of a 2 Mpix camera.
The display has not changed a bit either – it still makes use of TFT technology, allowing it to show up to 262 K colors and put up a resolution of 240õ320 pixels (31õ40 mm, 2 inches). Although it looks pretty, due to smaller diagonal and slightly different shape of fonts at the standby screen, it leaves a few things to be desired, making it inferior to its predecessor in Nokia 7370, in some ways (the displays themselves are physically the same, the fonts are different, though). But overlooking this detail, the screen found on the 7373 is brilliant for its class and lives up to the handset’s positioning.
The screen can house up to 10 text and one service lines, not counting the soft-keys’ captions. Some items on the menu can be zoomed – there are three grades of font size available. On maximum size, though, it doesn’t look huge in the true meaning of this word – symbols remain quite delicate. Handling the display is a breeze, and the enhanced resolution has a lot to do with that, as it has allowed squeezing more information into the display’s area as well as re-designing icons. The 7373’s screen behaves well in the sun and almost doesn’t fade.
The keypad incorporated into the handset is medium size-wise, featuring buttons standing right up to each other. The keys have various height as well – the central area sticks out a little, whereas a tiny hollow surrounds the “5” button. It isn’t a hassle, though – on the contrary, with that onboard, the 7373 is very easy to manage every on “blind” typing. The four-way navigation key retains OK button. All keys are lit white, which is well-visible in various environments.
The slot for memory cards is mounted under the battery, so don’t expect it boast hot swap feature. The bundled memory card is small in size – in case you are planning to go for music and imaging with the 7373, it must be the first item on your “to-change” list, otherwise that storage space will be good for keeping applications and documents only.
The 7373 makes use of a Li-Ion 840 mAh battery (BL-4B). As the manufacturer claims, it puts up about 250 hours of lifetime in standby mode and up to 2.5 hours of talktime. In conditions of Moscow networks, the handset lasted approximately 2 days at 1 hour of calls and nearly 1 hour of other functions use. Should you be easier on calling, the phone will offer 3-4 days of stable operation, which is quite something for a model carrying such feature pack. It takes the battery 1.5 hours to charge from empty to full.
The handset carries 8 Mb of memory with about 2.5 Mb being initially available to user. The 7373 comes from the latest gen of S40-based device, which means it boasts Feature Pack 2 onboard (previously we were mistakenly thinking that such phones as Nokia 7390, Nokia 5200/5300 were armed with Feature Pack 1, in reality, though, it had always been the second update pack). In light of this fact, we have made a major update to the review on S40 3rd edition platform by adding description of both feature packs. Considering pretty much standard filling of handsets and mainly widely-spread functions found on them, there is no way we are going to dwell on these here – every last thing concerning the interface, phonebook and messaging you can read here.
Pre-installed applications, content
As usual, L’Amour Collection offers lots of themes and skins – all of them feature geometrical patterns and look extremely fetching.
The handset offers three games - Pro Snowboard (3D), Sudoku (flash-game) and Music Guess, which is a truly music-aimed application – the program picks random tracks out of the general list and during playback you need to guess what song is playing.
The applications are: World Time, Nokia Sensor (excellent offering for the youth, which is not so popular at the moment in light of the fact only a few devices have this function, yet it has great potential). The last application on the list is Converter II.
Camera. This handset has 2mpx camera (CMOS) on board which is not too much as of today’s standards. Nokia decided not to bet on the camera part, it is more of an optional feature, similarly to Nokia 6233. This is why camera’s module that was selected for 6233 is one of the cheapest, and provides average quality, if not to say bad one. In dark conditions camera refuses to work normally, exposure time increases and every movement your hand makes within that time leads to blurry image in the end. Dark conditions are considered daytime in summer on a street where there’s not much of sunlight. Indoors it is even worse. In case you consider the camera to be a nominal solution – it is pretty much comfortable.
Following resolutions are supported:
Two minimal resolutions were added for creating photos that would fit as wallpapers for display. Three JPEG compression types are supported: basic, normal, high. Considering the fact that photos do not blow your imagination away, it is better to set maximal quality, it won’t be worse than it is.
Shutter sound can be disabled, there is 8x digital zoom, but there is no reason to use it. Some effects can be applied to already made photos, should they be used initially – it is up to you to decide. Such effects as Greyscale, Sepia, Negative are available. There is also a self-timer onboard.
I offer you to look at photos made in different conditions, and I believe you will be able to conduct your own opinion about their quality (maximal resolution, best quality).
Video. Handset allows recording video in 3GP format, available resolution – 128x96 pixels, or 176x144 pixels. Recording quality has three grades to choose from. You can limit recording’s length, but it also can be limitless, until free memory runs out (of memory card or internal memory). Effects can be applied for video just as they can be applied for photos, they are one and the same. Video looks quite average when watched on the handset and definitely it’s not impressive. Video samples – High, 176õ144 pixels:
Performance. In the sense of this parameter, the 7373 is a typical representative of Nokia’s current platform- being locked on a moderate levelit puts it enough performance to run small applications.
The volume of 64-tone polyphony is enough for almost any conditions. The receiving part also does fine, as it equals all other phones of the current generation. The silent alarm is average strength-wise, but can be still felt while the handset is in pocket.
Over at Nokia they had decided not to reinvent the wheel and came up with a justified solution having music-tailored features onboard (memory card, A2DP profile for Bluetooth, revamped media player), upgraded camera (in the sense of resolution), which still put up moderate performance, though. Strengths include the latest-and-greatest S40 Feature Pack 2 version, although DRM 2.0 support might not appeal to each and everyone.
In Europe Nokia 7373 is appearing in November at a price of 370 Euro, which is about 100 Euro cheaper than the collection’s flagship, Nokia 7390. On the Russian market Nokia 7373 will cost approximately 500-550 USD, however with Nokia 7370 resting on the price level of 300-340 USD, the latter offering looks extremely fetching. Taking account of these two models being similar in most ways, with only minor differences in casing’s trim grabbing eyes; major boost in sales for the model coming from the previous collection is the most probable scenario of development – relatively low price and release of a revamped edition will inject new life into it. Furthermore, I’m not the one who can tell how vital the re-worked music player, memory card and camera for the target audience are. As I see it, Nokia 7370 and Nokia 7373 have all their trumps lying in design, while functionality steps into the background. The first attempt to overcome this trend and break the cliche is Nokia 7390 – we shall see whether it will be good at that. But all in all the market is experiencing a very curious situation, when an “outdated” model gets on the list of rivals of its successor – it seems the manufacturer is planning on taking the older model off the retail stores early in 2007 in order to avoid possible confuses.
Other companies can hardly offer a solution that would be a credible opponent for the 7373 – the form-factor makes all the difference here. But if we are to come to think of all women-only devices being available on the market, Samsung E500 might be the one, however it still targets at an altogether different audience. As a result, Nokia’s latest solution tops the market in the sense of design and functionality.
SAR value for this model – 0.73 W/kg.
Published 09 November 2006
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