Nokia N97 smartphone

The much-anticipated Nokia N97 smartphone promises a wealth of features, but does it have the software to deliver them effectively?

Nokia N97
  • Nokia N97
  • Nokia N97
  • Nokia N97
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Flip-up design, QWERTY keyboard, 32GB of internal memory and microSD slot, 5-megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, 3.5mm headphone jack, customisable widget-based homescreen

Cons

  • Resistive touch screen rather than capacitive, user interface is a mixed bag, software lacks the polish of competitors, odd placement of navigational pad and spacebar, no Comes With Music subscription included

Bottom Line

Although the Nokia N97 dwarfs the iPhone in terms of features, the software doesn't match the standard set by Apple. The N97's flip-up design, keyboard and massive storage capacity are fantastic features, but it needs software upgrades and further development of the Ovi Store to truly become an iPhone challenger. As it stands, it has great potential but feels somewhat incomplete.

Would you buy this?

The Nokia N97 is one of the most feature-packed mobile phones on the market. In addition to being HSDPA-capable, it has a 5-megapixel camera, built-in GPS, Bluetooth with A2DP, USB with a standard micro-USB interface and Wi-Fi.

The Nokia Maps application is preinstalled, enabling you to search for addresses and locate points of interest. A three-month trial of full turn-by-turn navigation is offered when you purchase the N97, but once it expires you will have to pay $15.99 for one month, $44.99 for three months or $123.99 for a 12-month subscription.

The N97's Web browser is reasonable but it doesn't render pages or scroll as well as the browsers on the iPhone and HTC's Magic with Google. It does include flash support, which is a feature missing on the iPhone. A particular annoyance is the fact that some sites will not allows scrolling until the entire page has been loaded, while others don't scroll at all on the first attempt and need to be reloaded.

The 5-megapixel camera has a Carl Zeiss lens with a slide-up cover, but it lacks a Xenon flash, with Nokia opting for a dual LED flash instead. Photos taken are excellent for a camera phone, though we found the flash's performance rather disappointing in dim lighting. Video recording is excellent and among the best we've seen on a smartphone. The phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack and an FM radio.

The media player is similar to the one used by most Nokia's N-Series handsets, displaying album art and allowing the adjustment of multiple settings including bass boost, stereo widening and a five-preset equaliser. Disappointingly, the N97 doesn't include a Comes With Music subscription like the 5800 XpressMusic does.

There is also a built-in FM transmitter, which is very handy in the car. The N97 offers a massive 32GB of internal memory along with a microSD card slot. This means it can theoretically store up to 42GB of data (using a 16GB microSDHC card).

Nokia rates the battery life at six hours of talk time and 408 hours of standby time on a 3G network. We found the N97 to perform slightly better than the iPhone. It managed to survive a full day of heavy use including Web browsing, messaging, a few phone calls and browsing the Ovi Store.

Australian online store MobiCity is selling the Nokia N97 outright and unlocked with a 12 month warranty for $919.

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?