Nokia E73 Review: Best T-Mobile Phone You Can Get Without A Data Plan?

Before I bought this phone I had owned the glorious Blackberry 9700, Ah good times, good times! Sadly however, the 9700 had died out due to water damage. So I was on the market for a new phone! I personally just wanted a phone that worked well and lasted all day. Out of the tons of android phones that I saw I was moments away from picking up another Blackberry, this time the 9780. I looked at the tag and it was 200 bucks on the contract and 400 bucks off the contract. Yeah, phone companies hustle well! Any who, I didn’t have 400 bucks lying around nor did I want to pay 200 bucks just to sign my soul away to a 2 year data contract. So as you all may know the option is pretty grim when looking to buy a phone without a data plan. The Nokia E73, I was told by a clueless T-Mobile staff, also needed a data contract. However I knew from checking out the T-Mobile Website that I could get it for free on a contract without the data plan.  So I spent 20 minutes arguing back and forth about it and then finally I got my point across and finally he understood. So bought it free, drove away saying to myself, “Ha, foolish workers” all while patting myself on the back of course.

 

Nokia E73 next to Blackberry 9700

 

 

What’s In The Box?

Pretty basic with the staples: The charger, a couple of manuals, micro USB cable, wall charger and the Nokia E73 with a loaded 4gb micro SD card. To my surprise a car charger!

 

Aesthetics And Feel?

This sleek phone is purely a beaut. The actual looks of the phone remind me of a blackberry with its portrait style QWERTY keys.  The phone feels very solid all in all with a nice heft to it; neither heavy nor light. All of the buttons are nice and tight and it doesn’t feel like it’s going to break on you. This phone can take a beating.

However, while the back cover fits nicely leaving zero give, it is a huge finger print magnet and scratches very easily.

 

 

 

Keyboard

I’d say texting is a huge part of our everyday usage with cell phones so I decided to separate it from the last section. To be blunt, it’s okay. Keep in mind; I came from a Blackberry which I thought had the best keyboard in comparison to ANY phone. But still, I gave the E73 a good 2 in hopes that I would get used to it. I have gotten better but I suppose I had high expectations coming from the blackberry. I never feel satisfied that I can’t type as fast. The blackberry keys had a nice curve to each key while the E73 are just rounded.  That’s my personal opinion. BUT TO BE FAIR….

I know not everyone is coming from a Blackberry so I took the liberty to ask a few of my friends to see how they like it. And not to my surprise all of them did; one coming from a touch screen keyboard and another coming from a Samsung smiley keyboard.

 

 

Camera

The E73 has a 5 megapixel camera with flash. For a phone I can’t complain about the overall image quality. It’s actually VERY good in my opinion!  However, I do notice that the focusing is a tad slow. (Slower than other phones, Not just the Blackberry) And I notice if I move a SLIGHT bit while I’m taking a picture it becomes out of focus. However keep still and you can expect some decent pics! Check below for some test shots.

The video is nothing impressive, but I didn’t expect much from it to begin with. It does its job and records. It’s not advertised as a 1080p camera so doesn’t expect one.

 

Picture Taken with the E73
Picture Taken with the E73. Focused and moved a TAD bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bad accident. Nice lighting. Held Still. Nice quality.

 

Texting

The only true gripe I have with this phone. I think this phone would be a perfect little phone if they just fixed the texting: It’s not threaded. For those who don’t know what threaded is, it is essentially having all of your text’s in one box rather than each text separating themselves from one another. I have read other reviews and I have checked online, apparently there was a way to change it but it’s no longer available.  Maybe there is a way to hack it. But I’m talking more out of the box.

So if you’re looking to buy a phone without the data contract you should keep in mind that it does get annoying when your texting a few people at once and each text are all bunched and disorganized.  I’ve actually sent the wrong text to the wrong person a couple of times.

Nokia E73 vs Blackberry 9700

 

 

 

 

Battery life

Battery life, along with the sleek finish of course, was the main reason I bought this phone. I read a lot of reviews beforehand and they all suggested that this phone had a great and efficient 1500mah battery. And indeed they were all absolutely correct! In my personal testing that involved some wifi action, calls, and heavy texting lasted me about two days! And even at that the phone didn’t shut off; it was just on its last bar.

And Speaking of bar, I notice the Nokia e73 battery meter is a little different. It pretty much looks like your phone signal bars. I was confused at first because there is a little battery icon on top but it doesn’t change. It’s actually the signal bar look alike to the right of that. Check the image below. Upper right hand. A SECOND SIGNAL BAR? I THINK NOT, BUT INSTEAD THE BATTERY LIFE!

 

 

Screen

I was planning to leave this out because I don’t think many people are buying this phone to have some amazing screen quality. But for those who want to know it’s a 2.4 inch screen with a resolution of 320x 240. Yeah, it’s no retina display nor is it some super amoled plus but again, people buy this phone just to have a phone that works. And this display works fine.

 

 

Ergonomics

This Nokia, of course like many others, is running the Symbian OS. However, it is a little slow navigating through menus. First off it has a touch pad but I notice it doesn’t work too well so instead I just use the physical buttons. Works fine.

I notice for little task such as switching the phone to silent and back takes a few menus to get through and it’s just not too fast at refreshing each menu. This is universal with a lot of the applications and the phone in general.  Not the best.

 

Features

I didn’t but this phone for its internet features. But I have given it a test with wifi and I must say it’s not that great. It feels awkward to navigate around sites. But for general usage and just to check up on something every now and then, it’s fine.

Finally this phone packs all of today’s basics, Calendar, Music player, Facebook etc. and they all work fine.  As mentioned above, it’s still not the fastest to navigate to each app but it gets the job done; something that all phones need to do.

 

 

All in all?

Do I think this is the best phone that T-Mobile offers off a data plan contract? Look wise, definitely. Feature wise, I would say it’s about the same as the few other non-data plan phones out there. However, if you’re a texting animal, this might not be the phone for you. The non-threaded texting makes this phone a huge disappointment for texting fiends including myself. I believe that there are a few phones that are currently out without the data plan that does offer threaded text messaging.

If texting is something you do occasionally andВ  you more over just want a phone to call. This phone would be perfect for you.

I hope this review helped you make your decision. Thanks for reading and definitely leave a comment for the TechShift team to read!

 

Len Thou

Len is a full time college student who enjoys creative writing, photography, and from time to time boxing. He is an ongoing contributor and publisher to the site. His motto is simply, "Hard Work."

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