Cameraphones have been plagued by one of two lags: time to autofocus and time to preview and process the image. While the N97 tears through the latter with aplomb, the delay in taking the image was infuriating. "Capture the moment just after the moment you wanted to capture" could be the slogan. I ended up taking dozens of pictures of two very demanding models – my new girls – and got a couple of gems, but only by accident.
Decent software - but for Windows users only
Nokia has at last given its phones the PC companion software they deserve, in the shape of a native Ovi suite. This repackages the functionality of the old PC Suite together with the Music app, and adds a new Photo management application. Launched a year ago, the N97 includes the newer version 1.1, including a Home Server (UPnP) application and even the Orb server.
Unfortunately there's still no Ovi Suite for Mac. And even a few days after general availability, there's no Mac support for the N97. This is a shame, as Nokia has improved its Mac support considerably over the last year, with the ability to sync iTunes playlists, iPhoto albums, and transcode non-DRM video to a playable format.
In the absence of even the most basic Mac support, you'll have to mount it as a flash drive or use the Bluetooth browser to access the N97's storage. Straightforward Bluetooth transfers bombed along at 150kb/s – a 6MB MP3 will beam in around 45 seconds. But copying files to a mounted N97 drive was painful: 207MB took around 3 minutes.
And of course, the Mac's file system and the Spotlight feature leave dozens of harmless junk folders on the phone's flash drive. Spotlight creates more than 50 sub-directories on a mounted disk before it's begun to do anything, making it the Casanova of promiscuous folder creation.
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".