Its features are a welcome update but the 7373 still lacks superstar clout to compete with its high-fashion rivals
Decent earphones supplied
Swivel action feels a bit clunky
Modest internal memory
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Fashion tends to polarise opinion, and the Nokia L'Amour collection is definitely a case in point. Spruced up for a new season, the 7373 sports the same distinctive etched-effect decorative swirls, leatherette back casing and jeans-style fabric tab as previous L'Amour fashion-phone incarnations. Available in Bronzed Black' or 'Powder Pink', you're definitely likely to love it or hate it.
Weighing in at 104g and measuring 88 x 43 x 23mm, the tri-band 7373 feels comfortable and solid in the hand without being too bulky for a handbag. Aside from its unique L'Amour styling, the phone is marked out by its swivel design that sees the handset rotate through 180 degrees. The spring-loaded swivel is both the main attraction and its main flaw, as despite the appeal it remains somewhat clunky in use.
You can push the screen left or right to open but starting from the correct position in the first place is often problematic, as the Nokia branding by the earpiece actually appears upside down when the handset is closed. Cleverly, though, the screen reorients itself when opened.
Once you've mastered the awkward flick action, opening the 7373 reveals a comfortable, tactile keypad. The usual four-way navigational pad adds a touch of refinement thanks to its bronze central select key and outer rim, complemented by the white backlit keys.
Standard Nokia menuing is the order of the day when it comes to finding your way around the features, with the handset utilising the 3rd edition of the S40 interface offering swift response times. Active Standby is once again present, providing a line of shortcuts to favourite applications as standard onscreen. If you prefer, this can be deactivated in favour of accessing apps using the control pad's directional shortcuts.
Moving to the handset's exterior, there's surprisingly little clutter aside from a small on/off key, camera shutter button and volume rocker. A two-megapixel camera lens is located on the handset's back casing, and a simple press of the camera shutter is enough to activate it - even in the closed position. This is pretty much the only thing you can do without opening the phone, as there are no other exterior navigation buttons available.
The 7373 is first and foremost a fashion phone, but makes a good fist of including enough on the features front to make it attractive to its target (female) audience. Anything less than a 2-megapixel camera on a phone these days is enough to strike it off many a shopping list, so Nokia has duly obliged and thrown in a 2-megapixel shooter with an 8x digital zoom for good measure.
Framing your snaps on the 2-inch QVGA screen is easy, and pictures are of reasonable quality. However, there is a definite hint of picture noise - not helped by the lack of auto focus - and colour reproduction can be a little heavy on the green scale. Shooting video footage is also an option, but like most handsets remains more of a novelty feature with little by way of clarity, even at the maximum resolution of 176x144.
Music credentials are another must for success these days, and again the 7373 has attempted to tick the right boxes in this area, too. The music player happily supports MP3 and AAC file formats.
Listening to your tracks and the built-in FM radio using the supplied headset lacks oomph, but is tonally quite good when compared to other bundled earphones - a stroke of luck considering there is no 3.5mm jack provided to plug in an alternative without investing in a Pop-Port adaptor. Nokia has paid attention to the design here as well, and replaced the usual cheap wire look of in-ear headphones with a more tasteful white cord. Built-in stereo speakers are also provided, but tend to sound a little muddy (like many mobiles).
Music and megapixel imaging both eat away at your memory allocation, and Nokia has improved on past L'Amour models by providing room for expandable memory up to 2GB. Hidden away under the battery, the bundled 128MB MicroSD card isn't hot-swappable and you'll probably want to invest in a larger capacity - but it's a step in the right direction at least.
Connecting to a PC for file transfer can be achieved wirelessly via Bluetooth 2.0 or using a USB cable hooked up to a Pop-Port connector with Nokia's PC Suite. Of course, a card reader is always another option. Also included is a browser capable of viewing websites in either HTML or XHTML, along with an email client supporting POP and IMAP protocols.
The 7373 puts in a decent all-round performance, as we've come to expect of most Nokia handsets. Reception and call quality are without exception excellent, and battery life under average conditions is also impressive lasting around four days per charge.
Nokia has made some important updates to bring the 7373 in line with its rivals, not least the addition of a 2-megapixel camera and expandable memory support. However, it may find it has to do more than that to challenge the dominance of the likes of LG and Samsung in the fashionista stakes. All in all, a solid offering with niche appeal but unlikely to set the world alight.
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