Feeds
75%
Nokia N97

Nokia N97

Mobile content creation tool, anyone?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The N97 sees Nokia at an interesting time. It's schemed smartphones for 15 years, but now sees rivals capture the market's imagination. Palm's Pre ups the stakes considerably, showing that boldness and imagination isn't confined to Apple. Vodafone's Android phone has a lovely UI and is something you could safely recommend to a relative.

Instead of real innovation, Nokia is relying on its big name brand and just adding features to compete. Its hardware engineers match anyone's, but it has a huge structural problem in delivering enchanting devices into users' hands.

Nokia_N97_01

Are multiple features a substitute for innovation?

Nokia has a double bind. It's committed to Symbian, which means it has to maintain a 'platform', licensed via a quango to all-comers, as well as ship products. It's also in a bind because the Symbian features that will help make it competitive are still in the labs. It's probably time to shoot that organisational model for good, and devote every penny of Symbian R&D to making its phones better.

So, I predict that the happiest customers of the N97 will be punters who've never read a phone blog, or visited an Internet phone fan site. Nokia puts great store by 'social media'. The 'buzz marketing' theory – sold to the company by consultants, and at great expense – is that these enthusiasts, with their arcane dialogs and weird obsessions, are tastemakers on behalf of the rest of us. But they're not, they simply poison the water for the company, and cause great harm when a half decent product ships. I don't know why Nokia bothers; it's like wrestling pigs - Nokia gets dirty, and the pigs enjoy it. What a waste of money.

Verdict

Nevertheless the N97 sort of scrapes by, for now. It's fast and responsive, the worst bugs will are certain to be fixed, and the most violently ugly parts of the user experience will be quietly thrown overboard. That leaves an OK iPlayer, an OK music player, and a phone. Put the N97 against the iPhone or the Pre, and the comparison isn't flattering, but put it against another subsidised midrange offering, and it might find a loyal customer. ®

More Phone Reviews...


Apple iPhone 3G S

HTC Touch Pro2

LG Arena

HTC Touch Diamond 2

New hybrid storage solutions

75%
Nokia N97

Nokia N97

With rivals stealing the laurels for innovation, Nokia offers a decent all-rounder, marred only by dire text input options.
Price: £499 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.