Nokia N97 Up-Close First Impressions

June 25, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Cellphones

Finally getting a to play with the Nokia N97, here are some first impressions:

  • The N97 is very similar in size to the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic in terms of thickness and width, and slightly longer. Will cause pocket bulge but is still impressive for a flagship.
  • Compared to the N96 and N95, the N97 is more responsive. Still a bit slow though, especially when trying to run apps that use connectivity a lot (Maybe using a phone under better 3G or 3.5G coverage will provide better results?
  • The sliding mechanism of the N97 is very solid and feels well made. A ribbon cable connects the upper part of the phone to the rest of the device. Very inaccessible, but this is a worrying vulnerability—cut the cable, goodbye phone?
  • The QWERTY keyboard feels a bit flat. Maybe the next model should take a cue from the E-series keyboard and use slightly rounded keys?
  • Why drop the plectrum/guitar key, used as the stylus for the 5800, and replace it with a detachable pen? Detachable = easily lost.

That’s all I’ve got now. A full review to follow when possible. For now, pics! (Click them thumbnails for the full-size editions)

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2 Responses to “Nokia N97 Up-Close First Impressions”
  1. dave (subscribed) says:

    really disappointed with the N97, just doesnt look good and isnt well positioned in shops like the I-phone. Doesnt feel as responsive to the touch. Being a punter I have to decide which phone to purchase based on info supplied by people like yourselves and limited useage in shops, visit an apple store and you can play for hours, cant do that with the n97! I am now leaning towards an I-phone, however is there a rumour that sony are bringing out a 12 mp camera phone?

  2. Rico Mossesgeld says:

    There’s no definite info about a 12 megapixel camera phone from SE, though I’ll post details as soon as they’re for sure.

    Are you from the US dave? Nokia has always had difficulty penetrating the US market, and that might explain their poor “positioning” versus the iPhone. Heck, I’m pretty sure anyone would have a hard time overcoming the tremendous brand attention Apple enjoys.

    So far, there are two things that make the N97 stand out for me: it uses a higher-capacity battery (1500mAh) compared to its predecessors (950mAh for the N95 and N96), and it literally packs every feature Nokia has come out with into one phone. It also runs on a platform that has long supported MMS, copy-paste, and multi-tasking.

    The iPhone still provides a more responsive user experience, and enjoys the support of more developers. Stay tuned for more updates on this phone as I provide them, and I hope this has helped you a bit! :)

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