I have been using Nokia N96 mobile phone from early October 2008 as my primary phone. All in all the experience was good, you can read more about that from previous posts and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions. I will try to answer them in reasonable time.
I received the new Nokia N97 about a week ago and have been using it from last Monday on. First, of course, I needed to copy all the content from the old phone to the new one. There is the handy app that’ll make moving your data from phone to another a breeze! Sure it takes some time to transfer lot of stuff over Bluetooth from a phone to another, but it is still lot more convenient than copying everything on your computer and then copying them from computer to another phone. I did start the transfer in the afternoon and let the phones do their thing and got back at them about 2,5 hours later. I do not know how long it took, but around 450 contacts, 600 photos, web favorites, 360+ sms, 150+ mms, etc were moved along with my personal calendar data.
In the end, I did encounter problems: even though the app informed in N96 that everything was sent and in N97 that everything was received, I had somehow missed nearly 40 contacts which I had to manually move from phone to another. I do not know the reason for this and have not heard that anyone else has had same problem.
Exchange related problem
Later I did set up exchange account on my phone and thought I’d sync the calendar and contact list from exchange as well. Big mistake! By doing this, even though everything was set to keep the phone data, I lost many contacts from the list and few contacts ended up having only the name and nothing else. Try to contact someone without phone number and email addy. 😉 This was sorted since I synced the work contacts only once to my phone and my personal contacts to Outlook. I just had to manually go through the list and edit or add contacts.. This seems to be exchange related problem, but it did not affect my work phone, Nokia E71 at all. Difference is that I have only business stuff in that phone and I do nothing (well, almost) personal with it.
Getting to know N97
Nokia N97 was easy to get used to from the start; it took me probably just couple hours of normal use to get hang of where everything is and how they work. Nokia N-series phones have similar logic in the menus etc, so everything was about the same place as they were in N96. Of course the manufacturers do minor tweaking in the new models. Having used few E-series devices, the N-series is bit different, but I feel that N97 is really easy to use wither you come from N- or E-background. Nokia is Nokia is Nokia. 🙂
Getting used to the touch screen was not a big deal, I assume because I had been using Nokia N810 for my email, web and other similar needs. The kinetic scrolling, for example makes using N97 a breeze. It is intuitive to use compared to having to click with the cursor or scroll with the buttons. I set the automatic display roll on since I had gotten used to it with my N96. I still would advise anyone not familiar with the feature to first get to know the phone well before setting it on. This feature may get annoying if one is not prepared and does not handle the device so it will not roll the display.
The keyboard feels surprisingly good compared to what one might expect from the looks. I don’t really like the design of the keyboard, it looks like something from early to mid 90’s.. Well, not that bad, but the feel does make up some of the appearance.
I did use some of the now installed software already in my N96 and some in my old E90 as well as in my work E71. For your annoyance, here’s small-ish list of the software currently in my N97 and in use:
– AccuWeather.com: it was pre-installed and I found it useful since the casts are close enough and the app shows the weather according to my location, using the gps.
– Facebook: this is another pre-installed app. It is quite useful, but lacks the ability to “like” someone’s status. It also somehow gets confused when I get out of wlan range. In such case it will prompt me that the app is unable to cnnect to wlan and does not connect to 3G network. I had to force it to use 3G..
– OviMaps 3.0: I installed this since it is update to Nokia Maps 2.0 (?) that was in the phone when I got it. I have not used it yet since I have few navigation license related problems, but they are handled by representative.
– Traveler: Psilocs good old traveler now comes with the phone! It looks nice and works well. I use its world clock, exchange rate and weather features. Weather as a “second opinion”.
– Qik: I found this only a little while ago, but it is really nice little app and service. The app is tied to Qik service where you can stream live video and the video is stored there for later viewing. You can define if and how accurate location info is attached to the video and you can share Qik videos straight from the Qik app to twitter, facebook, etc.
– Google Maps: I am using this quite a bit, especially because of the Latitude! Share your location live with your friends in Latitude. Nice, sometimes even useful feature!
– Eat.fi: Greater-Helsinki area dining guide. Uses gps signal to show you your closest restaurants and cafes. You can get more info about the restaurants by clicking it in the list. Has been useful especially at lunch time. 😉
– Pixelpipe: I currently use this exclusively for my online photo sharing. It is possible to register your social networks, etc. in there so by sending to Pixelpipe it forwards the media to your selected services. Services include ie. Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Flickr, etc.
-FriendView: I am using this occasionally even though I don’t have friends using it. Similar to Google Latitude, but from Nokia.
– TweetS60: twitter client. I really loved in in N96, but there are few issues with N97. The software works well, but is bit slow. I don’t know if I have wrong version, but it did not directly support S60 5th Edition.
– Battery Extender: handy little app that has saved me few times with my previous E90 and N96 as well as with my work E71. Gives you power saving settings and profiles for your phone. Really useful and version 1.10 works well with N97.
I had few other apps in the phone just out of curiosity, but for reason or another I did not like them or they were not working well. Good example is this one compass app. It looks amazing, but it never really pointed to right directions in any circumstances. Also the leveler was nice, worked surprisingly well, but I did not find real use for it.
I will later dig deeper into the design, usability and comparisons with other Nokia devices I have had pleasure (?) to use. My user experience with other manufacturers’ phones are from at least 3 years back, so I will not make comparisons to them unless I feel they will provide more information and are relevant.