Nokia N97 Review

Tue 22 Dec 2009

Filed Under: Mobile Phone Reviews, Nokia, Smartphone 


The Nokia N97 is the current top of the range model you can get in 2009.  The design is different from most of the  others in that it has a tilting screen and PC like keyboard.  This is a short review of the N97 because that’s not our focus at the present.

It also runs our screensavers and powersavers BUT the ones we currently have are not optimized for the N97 huge screen size.  We’ll definitely make one specific for the phone in the near future.

What the phone can do or its functionality out of the box is what this phone is about and here it does not disappoint.  Its packed with every current feature you could possibly want in a mobile phone at present.  a nice big screen with various statuses including email, weather and news.  Every productivity application you could want in a mobile computer like PDF reader, MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint editor, A-GPS leading edge mobile web browser that easily displays Flash content and the list goes on and on.

Unfortunately there are certain issues with N97.  Although top of range it is made largely made of plastic and while the quality of the materials are good but its not the best .  The tilting mechanism works with a solid click, likewise the keyboard and touch screen and there’s a nice metal surround but it feels dated compared to the often compared Apple iPhone.  In a top range phone you expect construction quality as well as functionality.  They should have used the designers of the Vertu range of phones from the start.

Other issues include an OS which is simply not as consistently smooth as the iPhone and that the 3rd party apps on the N97 are not as clever.  In time I’m sure they will improve but for 2009 it does need a bit more work.  Finally, the seemingly ‘dual’ menu system took us a while to get used to.

The N97 is a Symbian S60 based operating system means that it is stable phone and it includes multi-tasking.  Multi-tasking meaning that you can run multiple programs at the same time.  The iPhone does this is part but not the full feature like the N97.  It is strange how those saying how multi-tasking phones are the future yet with the event of the iPhone they have strangely gone quiet.

Another issue is the complexity of all the functionality packed into the phone.  The N97 is so customisable that it makes it difficult to use if you are not familiar with other Nokia phones.  Thing to can change include the overall theme, the media that can play almost any format, the changeable fully featured mobile web browser, the system that includes all current forms of electronic messaging including instant messaging it is all there.  The main screen widgets are a upcoming industry standard I think… It is just more difficult to find the function you want.  Admittedly once you get used to it it all works really well.

You can get additional and free applications for the N97 through Nokia’s OVI store or the numerous internet stores.  Unfortunately since they don’t individually monitor application code some of the apps are not a reliable as they should be.  It is tied heavily to the internet like most top end phones and so you better have a decent data plan.

We noticed the standout feature of the phone is the call quality.  You and your caller sound perfectly clear easily superior to virtually all the phones we tried.  The really showed how the Apple iPhone’s call quality was noticeable bad.

To conclude the Nokia N97 is probably the only really fully featured phone out of the box you can get by any manufacturer.  It does have a few flaws caused by the only initial menu system but with familiarity it works.  We won’t bother with too many specifications since it honestly has everything most people could possibly want for 2009 anyway.


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