Nokia Unveils E73 Smartphone, Bicycle-Powered Charger

The Nokia E73, a full-qwerty smartphone that offers a work-home balance, is coming to T-Mobile on June 16. On the other side of the world, Nokia also introduced an $18 bicycle-powered phone charger.

The Nokia E73, a thin and feature-packed smartphone, is landing on T-Mobile's network June 16. The wireless carrier's announcement with Nokia comes a day after the company introduced three lower-end LG feature phones that will likewise join its lineup this summer.
Among the E73's major perks are a full-qwerty keypad and the ability to switch between cellular and WiFi-supported calls. And still another either-or feature is Nokia's Switch Mode, whichlets users switch between two customized home screens, ideally facilitating a shift between one's work and home lives.
"The Nokia E73 mode brings style and function in an affordable device without compromise," Mark Slate, Nokia vice president of sales, said in a statement. "Working together with T-Mobile, the Nokia E73 Mode enables us to bring our customers a -Work & Life' solution that allows consumers and businesses to be as productive as possible, while still providing an exceptional consumer value and performance.
For the enterprise side of life, the E73 supports Microsoft's Mail for Exchange, which is based on Exchange Active Sync, and allows users to have e-mails, contacts and calendar information pushed to the device. (Personal e-mail accounts are also supported.)
The E73 can also come preloaded with business applications such as Ovi Files, QuickOffice, Adobe PDF Manager and a ZIP manager, so files can be viewed, edited and sent all from the phone.
Nokia's Ovi Store is also preloaded, and users have the choice of charging a new app to a credit card or T-Mobile bill. Ovi Maps, a free turn-by-turn service that offers driving and walking guidance, is also on board. Additional features include a 5-megapixel camera with flash and autofocus, a media player and a portfolio of multimedia functionality that Nokia's combined with Ovi services.
The slim E73 measures 4.48 by 2.3 by 0.4 inches, includes 250MB of internal memory and a microSD slot for adding on 16GB more. Its 2.4-inch QVGA display is positioned over a dedicated four-row qwerty keypad and four-way track pad for navigation. With contract, the E73 will be priced at T-Mobile at $69.99.
On another note - and for another market - the E73 isn't the only Nokia device made for switching gears. At a media conference in Nairobi, Kenya, June 3, Nokia introduced a Bicycle Charger Kit that enables users to charge their phone using the power created on a bike ride - or morning commute.
Based on a small electrical generator, called a dynamo, the charger uses the movement of the wheels to charge the handset through the 2mm charging on most Nokia phones.
"You must look at a number of things when it comes to power management - such as ensuring the phone's operating system is as power-efficient as possible," said Nokia Vice President Alex Lambeek in a statement. "Now, with our innovative bike charger, people get even more freedom to use their Nokia without worrying about battery life."
Nokia said the kit, priced at approximately $18, will be available before the end of the year, both on the Nokia site and through select retailers. While the charger is for now aimed at developing markets, it will be interesting to see the range of takers likely to greet its arrival.
"Bicycles are the most widespread means of transport in many markets around the world, so this is just one more benefit to be gained from an activity people are already doing," said Lambeek. "This is a great solution to a real challenge, whether people will use it due to limited access to electricity, or to be more environmentally responsible."