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Nokia E73 Mode S60 QWERTY smartphone for T-Mobile review

Review by Todd Haselton on Monday June 14, 2010.

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Hardware hardware: 4 of 5 score

The E73 Mode resembles the original E72, and even the E71, in nearly every way. It has beautiful chrome accents and a chic metal battery cover, and the same QWERTY keyboard. Like the E72, it also has an 5-way navigational pad with a center optical button that can be used to quickly move around menus and websites.

Measuring 113mm x 58mm x 10.1mm (4.48in x 2.30in x 0.40in) , it's one of the thinnest smartphones on the market. The 127g (4.5oz) E73 Mode offers a 2.4-inch inch and 320 x 240 pixel resolution display that's bright enough to read under direct sunlight, but the low resolution can make small text on websites a bit fuzzy. Just below the screen there are two soft buttons, as well as four conveniently placed buttons for accessing your homescreen, calendar, address book, and messages in just one key press. This entire area is redesigned. Instead of six button areas, with the shortcut keys to home, address book calendar, and messaging separate, there are just four. Those aforementioned shortcuts now share the soft-menu keys as well as the send/end keys. Unlike the E72, I found these buttons to feel very cheap. I could hardly tell when I was pressing the top soft-key; it felt as though the key wasn't properly placed on to the phone. Below those buttons there are send/end keys. Nokia's new optical trackpad sits amidst all of these keys and allows you to pan around web pages or menus by sliding your finger across it. For selection purposes, you can also depress the optical key, and you can also navigate left, right, up, or down by pressing on the edges of the optical pad, which makes it an all-around improvement over the original pad on the E71. The area around the optical button glows white for message or missed call alerts. The back of the device, primarily metal, is home to the E73 Mode's speaker and 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash.

Nokia included a well-thought out QWERTY keyboard, but it's not as snappy as RIM's keyboards on its BlackBerry 9700 or Curve models. I found it satisfactory, if a bit cramped, but did love how Nokia added quick-access shortcuts to the buttons. There's a Bluetooth icon on the "Sym" key, which lets you toggle Bluetooth on and off without having to dig through menus. Likewise, you can toggle the camera flash by holding down the space bar for about 3 seconds, and it served as a good flashlight while I was digging for hiking boots in my basement.

The top of the phone is home to a 3.5mm headphone jack (the E71 only had a 2.5mm one), as well as the phone's power button. The volume keys on the top right side of the phone flank a voice dial key. There's a microSD card slot and a micro-USB charging hatch on the top left hand side of the phone, each with annoying plastic covers that take a deliberate fingernail to remove.

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About the author

Todd Haselton
Todd is a senior editor at MobileBurn and works out of his home in New York City. He covers news for us and also writes reviews. You can follow him on Twitter at @RoboTodd

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