The supplied headphones come with noise-isolating grommets with full in-line play controls attached. They’re a little on the bright side, though there’s a fair bit of scope to correct this with the graphic equaliser. Failing that, the 3.5mm headphone jack and stereo Bluetooth option make upgrades easy. Also present is Nokia’s rather excellent FM radio with auto tuning and 20 presets.
Feature rich, but still rather unintuitive
Onboard memory has been slashed from 32GB to 8GB, which will still be more than enough for most. If you need more, you can add up to 16GB with a micro SD card. Battery life has dropped a little on the N97 mini. We barely got a day of solid use out of it, which could certainly be an issue for heavy users.
With its decent camera, okay browser, better than average music player Wi-Fi, HSDPA 3G and A-GPS The Nokia N97 Mini seems pretty, much as its predecessor did. Yet it’s still a frustrating experience to use, largely due to that irritatingly unresponsive screen – and the unintuitive, clunky and ugly UI doesn’t help either. If you persevere and get used to its quirks though, it has a lot to offer. The trouble is, there are plenty of other phones from HTC, Apple, Palm and Blackberry that offer all those features too, and make them easier to use. ®
More Qwerty Smartphone Reviews...
Nokia N97 Mini
Has your brother ever updated the phone? Nokia released two firmware updates (11.0.021 then 12.2.024) wayyy back in july+august which killed most of the stability and glitching bugs, then the 20.2.019 firmware in october which polished the device off a bit and added extra functionality (and is essentially same firmware the n97 mini has used from release) - With this latest firmware your brother shouldn't really be having any sizeable problems, unless he has a fubar unit.
Those are not proper tethering, they are kludges which require clients on the connected device. To tether on Android properly, you need to jailbreak it.
Shame, on S60, you can buy Joikuspot for about 15EUR, and have full standards-based wifi/bluetooth tethering, and work with *any* OS, including certain esoteric embedded things which will maintain a wifi link/have a wireless supplicant, but upon which you can't install client software.
Hell, pay a fortune, and even the iPhone tethers. Android does not, and that just seems like a let down for something which was hyped as more "open". Yeah, I know it used to work, and Google pulled the function at the behest of a telco in the USA, but that matters not a damn to the rest of the work that it affects.
So, meantime, it's a shame, an unjailbroken ANdroid phone does not tether. You can run some slightly marginal kludges on a client machine to get some form of connectivity- but that's not only a pain in the rear, but of very limited use. Having to maintain a zillion different forms of connectivity with defferent OSsen is also more work than it's worth doing. If I boot between MacOS and Linux, I'd rather not have to start up VPN clients and various other crap to get my phone to nearly do something that it's supposed to do anyway.
Ten years ago called, they want their mobile platform back.
The keyboard is the deciding factor
I have the N97 mini, and basically it's as this review says - fundamentally great phone but using it can be a little awkward due to touch screen and OS. But I still like it for the simple reason that the keyboard makes typing a much more productive affair. Not only is it faster (because you make fewer mistakes) but you can you see the full screen while you type.
So that's the bottom line. Why would you want to buy one? Well, hi-res screen, voice navigation and hi-res camera are all nice to have, but not deal makers. But if you send a lot of emails, comment on blogs, or write on twitter whatever - anything involving text input - then the slider format of the N97 suddenly makes it a very attractive option.
Tethering an Android device to Linux
...is fairly straight forward without rooting the device.
There's at least 2 apps I know of - one of which I've used successfully and only requires openVPN on the linux machine - try googling "tethering android linux".
No, don't mind one bit..
The reason is simply that if I am going to spend a chunk of change on a smartphone, I'd want one that tethers with my Linux-based netbook sensibly. The proper Android tethering app needs a rooted phone. It's a bit of an unreasonable obsession of mine. Right now, I have a PAYG candybar, and one of those Mifi thingies for tethering (which works nicely), but there's always scope to reduce clutter.
It's a shame, as Android seems pretty impressive, having messed with G1, HTC Hero and such (looking forward to seeing a Nexus One, also).
Anyway, a fair question.