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Review: Nokia E73 Mode

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The E73 is the third version of an aging platform. Was the third time the charm for Nokia? Well, I'll say the E73 is charming, but it still misses the market in a few places.

The basic functions — phone, signal performance and battery life — score well. Nokia nearly always gets these right, and if you need a phone more than a PDA, the E73 serves well. The downside is the E73 has a smaller screen than the competition, and it doesn't look nearly as good with its lower resolution.

The S60 operating system is as robust as ever, but some might call it dense. It takes a while to figure out how it all works, and almost offers too many options. Still, it can run powerful software and still has plenty of support from developers (i.e., it will always have access to apps).

The music player is as good as any I've used on a Nokia phone, and the camera — while a bit sluggish — takes good photos.

The S60 browser used to be leading edge, but others have far outstripped it. Nokia needs to improve its browser software. Another area where the E73 falls a bit flat is with messaging and social networking. While Nokia has definitely made improvements, they don't go far enough.

Who would I recommend this phone to? A very small set of people. Since it is one of the few S60 phones available from a U.S. carrier, I'd say Nokia and T-Mobile fans have a near home-run with this device. On the other hand, social networking and browser junkies will be disappointed by the limitations of S60.

Bottom line: If you love S60 and you are a T-Mobile subscriber looking for a QWERTY device, this is the handset for you. Otherwise, you might want to look at the wide array of BlackBerries available from T-Mobile.

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