I have been lusting after the Nokia N95 for many months now and it was finally released here in South Africa about a month ago. I took a look at a working model a couple weeks ago and was suitably impressed. There were little things that niggled a bit but I was convinced that I would get myself one of those phones as soon as one was available for me. Unfortunately Nokia South Africa (or the organisation passing for Nokia South Africa) either underestimated the demand or they underestimated the demand for the phone and a new N95 was not on its way to me the day after it launched here … which is just as well.
After a little while reviews started to emerge and while the consensus was that the phone was an absolute marvel, one of the major complaints was that the battery life was really bad. With normal use you probably have to charge the phone every day and if you use some of the awesome functionality in the phone you wind up charging it more often. My old phone, my Nokia 6630, has to be charged once a day and it is a real pain in the butt. To add to this, the phone cost R999 on contract (I have a mid-level contract) when it was first made available and by the time I received a call to let me know one was available, the price was R1 400 or so on contract (I turned it down and the next offer from the next retailer was R1 600).
So that put me off the N95. It may be my age speaking but the features that have become important to me are two things: a decent camera (which the N95 does have at 5 megapixels and a Carl Zeiss lens) and good battery life (which the N95 doesn’t have). The rest was great to have and not necessary for my continued survival.
I started looking around for a phone that had a good camera and a good battery life and which I didn’t have to pay in for and came up with two options: the business E65 and the N73. The E65 is a pretty cool phone although the camera is a 2 megapixel and there are apparently issues with the buttons. I did hold a demo E65 and it is a pretty swish phone and would make an excellent choice for a business user. So that left me with the Nokia N73 which turned out to be free on my contract and it also came highly recommended by a friend who just got one (there is also a pretty helpful review here). I called the store I wanted to get the phone from and they had one in stock although the model they had was the Nokia N73 Music Edition. The woman I spoke to explained that the first release, the original N73 had been withdrawn due to bugs and replaced with the N73 Music Edition. Seemed like a plausible marketing ploy so I went with that. Besides, the N73 matches my iPod. So this is what I got:
I won’t bore you with the technical specifications. I will tell you I really like the phone. I am getting used to the buttons which feel a bit small when I use the keypad with the phone in the pouch I bought for it (so I am looking for an alternative pouch for every day use). I am quite glad it came with the promised 2GB miniSD card and the image quality is pretty decent for a 3.2 megapixel camera. The lens/es is/are Carl Zeiss. I love that my phone interfaces with Vox and Flickr and I would love to be able to post to my other WordPress blogs too. I was looking for a good IM client but then I thought I’d try out the Fring client and Mxit (although I don’t really know many people who use Mxit to give it a good go).
The screen is pretty big and the web browser is pretty handy, especially with the cursor action. I am still getting used to how to browse effectively so I won’t comment further on that. Generally, I am pretty pleased with my decision to go with the N73. I know I commented that the lack of HSDPA would probably deter me from getting this phone when I first mentioned it a while ago but I changed my mind. If I need a high speed connection I can haul out my laptop and connect to a wifi hotspot somewhere.
So that is what I have been preoccupied with for a chunk of the last few days …