One unwelcome feature is a tragic bit of moralising. The following dialog box appears every time you unplug a power supply. Not once, every time:
Humanity needs an abundance of cheap energy – not miserly, preachy nagging.
Sorry, Nokia - but if you want to be thought of as a company that looks to the future, one that has faith in the human capacity for inventiveness, then you should stay clear of the miserable, sanctimonious eco-nagging. It has been a vote-loser for politicians. We offer this as a starter reader for executives interested in the future of energy.
Nokia's Web browser is much improved, and with rendering and reload delays diminished, it's finally a viable option. It can now do kinetic scrolling, pinched from the iPhone, and toggle between full-screen browsing and a truncated width view with toolbar. However it's still not possible to open a link in a new page, so you'll need to rig up a cunning workaround – save a bookmark as 'about:blank'. Here, the competition is streaking ahead.
Despite 50 per cent more pixels, browsing in tablet mode isn't as slick as the iPhone or Pre
There's another homage to the iPhone: the browser zooms in on the web page in response to a double tap. Unlike the iPhone, which fits the text to the page, this simply zooms in on the text around the tap - not very useful. The N97 browser did a decent job of rendering most web pages, but stopped with Flash content. Don't bother looking up an act on MySpace. It's with the browser that I really noticed the absence of keyboard shortcuts. Again, as with its predecessors, Nokia doesn't permit you to change the default browser.
It's best to gloss over the Messaging situation. The N97 doesn't come with Nokia's new email client, which is called Messaging, and defaults to the traditional S60 client, also called Messaging and lacks HTML support in emails. Weirdly, the default Mail for Exchange folder (cryptically titled MfE - you have to know what it is), was empty on my review unit.
The N97 comes preloaded with lots of apps, but not Opera Mini
I suspect the N97's iPlayer application – which supports DRM-protected downloads, as well as the H.264 streams – will be the feature that users value the most. It works extremely well indeed and, while it isn't a first for Nokia as the N96 also supports iPlayer downloads, the ergonomics of the design really make for a nifty media player.
I have one and it's amazing!
I have an N97, after finally letting go of my N95. I have had NONE of the memory problems described and find the keyboard very easy to use! No, it's not a traditional QWERTY layout but who cares? The positioning of the space under your right thumb was inspired! I have read a lot of negative reviews which I can only ascribe to lazy reporters copying old pre release reviews! The N97 is amazing to use, feels really well made and is suprisingly light. It is not perfect but it is a very worthy upgrade from an N95! Claiming it is just a 5800 with a keyboard was, quite frankly, moronic!
Ho Ho Ho! Now I have an N97!
I can say my experience with the keyboard differs greatly from Andrew Orlowski in that I find it very useable and can bash out texts, facespace updates, emails etc... a lot faster than I can with, say, my iPod Touch.
I admit I'm still learning how to get the most out of it, coming straight from an N73 (it has a *lot* more that's customisable, for instance) but it's still very intuitive if you're already used to S60.
You won't be jacking in your iPhone to get one of these, the iPhone is much more of a mobile computing platform than a Smartphone, but it is an upgrade from just about any Smartphone out there and now I can point and laugh at anyone with a Blackberry Storm. Ah, sweet vengeance!
OK, fair enough. The iPhone has a couple of capabilities that the N97 can't even begin to compete with - it can change colour and you can fry an egg on it.
Umm - yes, I did.
Thanks for re-iterating my comments anonymous coward. You could just try the N97 for yourself like I suggested before you attempt to ridicule my opinion.
Yes, I did register simply to add my comment. Is there another reason to register other than to add comments?
I feel the review lacks balance and I wanted to share my thoughts on the N97, I think it's a great phone. I have had no problems at all with the keyboard size/layout or the interface. I agree that the touch sensitive screen is not as functionally rich as the iPhone's but it certainly works well for my purposes (it does take a little getting used to though).
Taking everything into consideration, this is one hell of a piece of engineering. Yes, 21st Century Swiss army knife - I stand by every word.
One other thing which is important to me...this phone is damn tough. Have a look at the N97 test videos on Youtube to see for yourself - try that with a [insert latest smartphone of choice].
Was waiting to see...
I was involved with dev of a series 60 device a few years back. Found it unintuitive (how many softkey presses to send a txt???) frustrating, slow and clunky.
Sad to see nothing has changed. Contacts tell me Series60 internals are a mess - that's why they're still producing and releasing buggy handsets.
Nokia are still somehow managing to keep going off the back of the 3300 series years ago, it would seem. I think it's time I relented and bought an iPhone - everybody else is trying to catch up, and failing, with legacy platforms being crowbarred into trying to be slick and responsive, but failing dismally... plus, of course, the existnig major handset manufacturers are struggling under the weight of their own pasts in terms of design methodology.
Good review though, but it feels like all the reviews I've ever read of Nokia handsets. "Disappointing".