Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nokia N97

The Nokia N97 packs some impressive specs, but the Symbian OS feels out-of-date when faced with the competition.($579.99)
On paper, the Nokia N97 ($700; unlocked as of 6/16/09) looks as if it could rival the other big phones of this summer, the Palm Pre, the Apple iPhone 3G S, and T-Mobile's follow-up to the Android-based G1. It has more memory than the other three, supports a wide range of multimedia files, and has a large touchscreen and a full QWERTY keyboard. But the N97 falls short of its potential, largely because the operating system it uses--the Symbian S60 5th Edition--lacks the refinement of other OSs. Still, the N97 impresses in certain areas, particularly audio and video.
Note: The N97 hasn't completed battery testing at this writing, so we can't yet assign a PCW Rating. We'll update this review with that information as soon as we can.
The N97 feels good in hand with a matte backing and sturdy body. It is a bit hefty at 5.3 ounces (heavier than both the Pre and iPhone 3G S). It is also fairly pocketable for a phone with a slide-out keyboard--it measures 4.6 by 2.2 by 0.6 inches. Button placement is standard, with glowing Home and Call Send/End buttons below the display. A power button sits on top next to the 3.5-mm headphone jack (a must-have for multimedia phones). On the right spine is the volume rocker and the camera shutter button. The left spine has the screen lock switch and the mini-USB port.
The keyboard slides out easily, and the display pops out at a slight angle. While the tilt was nice for watching videos and helped reduce glare outside, I found it annoying when trying to type on the keyboard. The edge of the display is too close to the top row of keys, and you can't adjust the display's angle or make it lie flat. I also found it hard to press the keyboard's keys; they're simply not raised enough for comfortable typing. The keyboard's layout was also a bit counterintuitive, with the spacebar placed in the lower-left corner.
A navigational touch pad (right, left, down, up, and a center button to select) on the right side of the keyboard is supposed to help with navigation, but I didn't use it very often. It was so difficult to press that I accidentally selected apps when I was trying to scroll through them.
The N97's call quality over AT&T's 3G network was very good. Voices sounded loud, clear, and crisp--better than any phone I've reviewed recently. I heard no static or background hiss, either. Parties on the other end gave similar reports. Even while standing on a busy city street corner, my contacts said my voice sounded loud and clear.
The phone has a large 3.5-inch resistive touchscreen with a 360-by-640-pixel resolution. While colors looked good and the display appeared bright and crisp, I was disappointed by the touchscreen's responsiveness. Resistive touch just doesn't compare to the slickness of capacitive touch technology. Scrolling wasn't very smooth, and the two-touch action required to start an app got annoying after a while. However, I really liked the N97's haptic feedback (a slight vibration when you touch an app), which helped with the navigation.

1 comment:

  1. The information abt Nokia N97 is very nice. I am using the nokia 7120& i unlock it from unlock solutions