I have been postponing my longer post about the Nokia n97 for too long, so now it’s time to try to get something useful written out. I will not write un-boxing story or post photos of the box and what is in there, you can find tons of those posts from internet. I don’t feel like I should post yet another of those, especially this late after the sales launch..
Nokia N96 and Nokia N97
I posted some thoughts about moving to Nokia N97 from Nokia n97, but I will quickly recap and add some right here.
The size of the Nokia n96 is quite optimal in my opinion. It is small enough to fit in a pocket, even though I’d like see it not as thick as it is. In retrospect it would be quite cool handset if it had touch screen large enough to fill the whole front of the phone; with the slider keyboard of course. 😉 When handling the Nokia n97 I was surprised how it felt lighter than the N96 and despite being taller and wider it felt comfortable even in my jeans pockets. This is due to it not being as thick as the N96.
N96 had the annoying tendency to slide open in pocket and since N97 is touch screen and flip-up model, I have not seen this problem again. I am curious to see if the flip-up will loosen in use so much that it will not hold closed, but right now it feels firm and sturdy enough.
The front “glass” of the N97 feels similar to the N96, even though I assume it will be more durable just due to the nature of touch screen: it will be handled more and though will more likely be scratched. I still think getting a pouch for my N97 is a top priority. Now I just need to find a good one. Yes, some of the early-birds did get a similar cover/pouch as E71 is shipped with, but I got mine through channels where only what’s in the box will be shipped..
Nokia N97 in hands
I have used the Nokia N97 for my primary phone now for just over 3 weeks and I think I have gotten used to it and found out what I like about it and what I hate about it.
First of all I feel that touch screen is the right direction! Using touch screen in a mobile phone is exactly where the future of mobile devices is. No matter which manufacturer and which mobile OS, the touch screen is so much more intuitive and natural to use. For example checking your calendar by simply clicking the date on your phone’s screen and the kinetic scrolling of a web page or a menu are things that make using phones with more and more features and apps easier.
I had been using Nokia N810 as my email and web browsing device and had gotten used to having a touch screen and a qwerty keyboard both in use simultaneously. This, I assume, made it easier for me to start using the touch screen in N97. I still don’t think it is difficult to get used to the touch screen even without previous experience. My wife had S40 phone for a long time and had been using S60 phone for only couple months before getting the 5800 XM. She has gotten used to the touch screen quite quickly, even though she is not 100% sure if she likes it or not. But for power users I can recommend phones with touch screens.
Comparing N97 to few other Nokia products
I can compare Nokia N97 only to what I have used extensively, so I will not compare it to any mobile devices I have only used for a week or tried briefly. I feel the comparison would be unfair to both devices in such scenario. I have earlier compared N96 and N97, so nothing more about them right now.
First of all, I will write own post about E71 and N97 since I feel like N97 could be seen as a worthy replacement even for the E71.
I use my N97 as a replacement to both, N96 and the N810 Internet Tablet. For the tablet part, I think the N97 has performed well. The screen in N810 is larger, but I feel that the touch screen responsiveness is not as good as in N97. The edges of N810 screen do not register the touch nearly as well as the edges in N97. The N810 keyboard felt bit better and it had REAL Scandinavian qwerty, not ÄÖÅ behind the function/fn key. This is the most annoying thing in N97. In Finnish these letters are used quite extensively, and the symbol key is right next to this function/fn key causing quite often mis-strokes. Other than that I am very pleased at the keyboard, even though it is not the best Nokia has produced. I would’ve loved to see something that is between E90 and E71 keyboard: E90 keyboard with E71-ish little “bumps” on the keys. This way they would’ve managed to squeeze in the scandic letters too. Or the N810 kind of keyboard..
As you can see from the comparison picture of N810 and N97, there would’ve been enough surface to have N810 type of keyboard. I cannot say if it would’ve been possible in means of insides and other components though.
For a size comparison, I have also included a photo of N97 next to Nokia 6300. Despite the evident size difference, the N97 is slim enough to fit quite comfortably in a trouser pocket. In feature-wise there really isn’t comparison between these two handsets, since they are meant for different type of use from the design board on..
I do not have much experience using Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. We have one of them in our family, and the user has not been complaining about it. Anyway, I still thought it would be nice to include comparison photos of the two. They both run S60 5.0 and have touch screens. Despite this, in my opinion, they feel as different to use as you might think S40 and S60 feel.
On a note, the baby photos I have posted in the blog since early July are taken with the Nokia N97. The photo quality is quite nice especially in outdoor photos, but as you can see from the “peek-a-boo” photo, some indoor conditions prove to be challenging to the camera. Still not up to par with most of the compact digital cameras, but still one of the better cameras in phones.
Note: all of the photos in this post have been taken with the Nokia e71 phone. I will include camera/photo comparison of the E71 and N97 cameras in the own post about the two phones.