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Official Nokia N97 Review

Over the past month, I’ve had the pride to apply the Nokia N97 as my daily driver, the device I use day in and day trip. When Nokia first announced the N97 would replace the existing N-series flagship device, the N95, I without delay started to reminisce about a time when the N95 became my move-to tool. Ultimately I left behind my N95 because I virtually needed a tool with a QWERTY keyboard and lower back to my E90. Without ever trying the N97 I was very confident within the device without a doubt as it packed a full QWERTY keyboard or even better specs than my E90. My time with the N97 has come and long gone and now it is time to look if the device has lived as much as the hype and whether or not or not it companies the N-series flagship title with the identical presence because the tool is changed, the N95.

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Design

The N97 is to be had in hues alternatives: transition black mild and white. With a weight of one hundred fifty grams, the tool feels light on your fingers, however solid enough with a purpose to resist every day put on and tear of being on your pocket or even the occasional drop. The N97 does no longer sense as robust because the N95, but the sliding mechanism is superior and you must now not revel in any of the hinge related troubles visible on previous Nokia builds.

 

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Beneath the massive 3.5-inch touchscreen is a three-row QWERTY keyboard and a 4-way navigation at the left aspect. When I first began using the physical keyboard I had some hassle adjusting to the small keys and the position of the gap bar at some distance proper. I can let you know with absolute reality that you’ll no longer be breaking any speed facts on this keyboard, but it is completely capable of managing lengthy emails and steamy text messages. I don’t have any hesitations in recommending the Touch Pro2 keyboard over the N97’s keyboard, absolutely positioned the N97’s keyboard is simply too small to compete. However, in case you are evaluating the N97’s keyboard to the Motorola Droid, you would have a totally near war.

When sliding out the keyboard on the N97, the display screen tilts at a set attitude of approximately 45 levels. This is an area of personal desire, however in view that I was an HTC Tilt owner at one time I enjoyed the perspective and discovered it perfect for messaging. It could be high-quality if there has been a choice to change the angle, but due to the fact that I constantly depart my smartphone on my table next to my pc, I appreciated the fixed perspective. I understand that this might be a deal breaker for a number of you available, but I endorse giving it a threat for a couple of weeks before you render your verdict.

Imaging / Multimedia

Carl Zeiss optics have long been the staple of Nokia’s mobile imaging. The N97 takes a page from the N95’s book via using the equal five-megapixel digicam but provides dual LED flash for superior night photographs. On the front of the N97 is QCIF (176 x one hundred forty-four pixels) camera for video calls which could be very beneficial in Europe but serves no reason here inside the U.S.

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In the latest picture shootout I did between the N97, Motorola Droid, and HTC Touch Pro2, the N97 walked away with the contest. This ought to cease any speculation as to whether or not the N97 is a worthy alternative to your point and shoot camera. I propose which you evaluation the picture gallery on the occasion which you’d like to attract your very own conclusions.

I need to point out that the N97 lens cover has been recognized to purpose self-inflicted scratches and within the evaluation unit, I acquired from Nokia I can verify the problem nevertheless exists. If you plan on shopping the N97 I advocate finding your nearest carrier center earlier so that you can cope with this difficulty if your unit has the same trouble. If you cannot discover a local service middle just make sure you purchase a brand new unit with the cutting-edge production feasible.

To assist shop your 5-megapixel photographs Nokia has covered 32GB of inner reminiscence and microSD slot capable of reading 16GB playing cards. The combination of internal and add-on storage is a real bonus you ought to thing in whilst comparing the N97 to different multimedia gadgets. While the iPhone is capped at 32GB till a big version is released, the N97 will have a likely 48GB or large if 32GB microSD support is brought. If you take your music library on the road, the N97 will now not disappoint.

Once you top off 48GB of tune you could start using the integrated song participant at the N97. The tracking library can be categorized tracks by means of artists, albums, genres and composers and you have the potential to create playlists on the cellphone and modify the sound with the integrated equalizer. Once you run out of the new track to play you may usually use the Internet radio app or the built-in FM tuner which each painting very well. The most effective actual downfall inside the native multimedia applications is the RealPlayer. It is time Nokia includes a higher video player. 3GPP and MPEG-4 guide are first-class, but today we anticipate more in a video participant and this difficulty needs to be addressed within the Symbian overhaul for 2010.

Applications / OS

As tons as I am keen on Symbian the time has come to update the User Interface (UI). Thankfully Nokia has heard the Symbian network loud and clear and they will be revamping the whole Symbian UI someday subsequent yr. However, for potential N97 shoppers, this does little or no to remedy the immediate problems of the getting older running device. On one hand, Symbian gives superior battery lifestyles, tremendous multitasking, and an exceptional software library. Meanwhile, Symbian lacks the polish and style discovered in Android and the iPhone OS, functions a sub-par email enjoy and regularly calls for too many layers of menus to get into your desired alternatives.

I realize that every one of the downsides I’ve mentioned to Symbian will be addressed subsequent 12 months, but at the moment they remain applicable. However, in my opinion, the battery lifestyles I’ve experienced at the N97 over the past month as compared to HTC Touch Pro2 and Motorola Droid has brought about me to overlook the weaknesses within the OS. Besides the battery lifestyles, the stableness of Symbian is fantastic and whilst I’ve needed to pressure close many programs in Android and experienced infinite lag on Windows Mobile 6.5, Symbian just cruises alongside. Stability and battery existence will constantly outweigh the fashion and polish observed in different Operating Systems for me.

The Ovi Store is Nokia’s approach to RIM’s App World, Apple’s App Store, and Google’s Android Market. The quantity and best of packages are dazzling in the Ovi Store, however, the obvious weak point is the interface. Compared to the Android Market or Apple App Store, I observed it far more tough to navigate and in the end much less fun. RIM and Palm’s WebOS are struggling in final place in terms of their software stores. If I needed to rate the pinnacle three app shops I could put Apple’s App Store first, followed by means of Nokia’s Ovi Store and in 0.33 the Android Market.

Screen / Interface

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Stepping into the sector of Touchscreen smartphones became a formidable pass for Nokia. When the iPhone was first released Nokia didn’t seem worried with a touch interface and quickly disregarded the idea to return to the commercial enterprise as standard. Much changed at that point and fortunately, Nokia realized the significance of having a couple of interfaces for clients to have interaction with. Unfortunately, the N97 suffers from a resistive touchscreen which requires robust contact for the device to reply. Even though HTC’s Windows Mobile devices have also used resistive touchscreens I discovered the Touch Pro2 to offer an advanced enjoy in both accuracy and clean of use. To Nokia’s credit the N97 touchscreen is decent for an organization that is just coming into the touchscreen cellphone market, however, if the tool changed into one hundred% touchscreen without a QWERTY keyboard it might be in the identical situation as the authentic BlackBerry Storm.