The Ultimate Nokia N97 Review

Nokia N97 Demo - the great Fondle Video

    We Liked

  • Sleek Bodywork
  • Touch and QWERTY Combo
  • Impressive Multimedia Functions
  • We Disliked

  • Pricey
  • Bulky Chassis
  • Rating

  • 2 out of 5 3 out of 5 3 out of 5 3 out of 5 3 out of 5



As soon as the Nokia N97 mobile phone was announced in early December 2008, people started showing a lot of interest in this phone. It is touted as not being just a regular old cell phone but actually serving as a “mobile computer”. Of course, with the advances that we’ve made in mobile wireless technology and applications on mobile phones, most modern mobile phones are really mobile computers, aren’t they? This is basically what the new mobile phone is all about. Nevertheless, the Nokia N97 appears to have a lot of great features that could make it possible that this upcoming new phone will live up to its hype when it’s finally released to the public this summer.

Overview of Nokia N97

The Nokia N97 is designed to serve the needs of the person who wants full multimedia features from their mobile phone experience. This includes a focus on Internet-based services with access to mobile broadband, full web page browsing, geo-location based services and mobile social networking. The Nokia N97 is rich in features related to music, video and gaming but also serves certain business user needs such as the ability to do document viewing on the phone. With a dual keyboard system (incorporating both a touchscreen and a full QWERTY keyboard) and a few other neat features, the Nokia N97 serves as a great new flagship phone for the existing Nokia N Series.

Nokia N97 as Part of the Nokia N Series

The Nokia N97 is the latest in a long series of phones from Nokia called the N Series. There are two major features that stand out for all phones included in the Nokia N Series. The first is that these phones place a strong emphasis on the multimedia capabilities of mobile phones. This means that you can use N Series phones for video, audio, gaming, etc. The other thing that the N Series is all about is access to high-speed wireless services either through wireless LAN or through 3G technology. The Nokia N97 meets both of these requirements for inclusion in the N Series and is strong in both areas.

However, the Nokia N97 is also taking this line of phones one step further. This is a flagship phone that serves to mark the transition of the N Series from being a mobile phone to really serving the needs of the cell phone user who seeks to make their phone a mobile computing experience. Enhanced Internet-based multimedia services and improved applications for the Nokia N97 make this phone the first in what could be a developing line of phones that aren’t quite phones anymore but almost serve as tiny little laptop computers.

Multimedia Features of the Nokia N97

The main reason that people are interested in any Nokia N Series phone (and which holds true for interest in the Nokia N97) is that these phones are strong in the area of multimedia services. In today’s wireless world, we want phones that are going to serve us in all areas of entertainment. The Nokia N97 is strong in this area. Check out the following features of the Nokia N97:

  • Music Player. The Nokia N97 is a fully-equipped music player of the kind that we’ve come to expect from Nokia since they have started seriously developing their music phones. Although this isn’t considered to be specifically a music phone, it incorporates many of the strong music-playing and music organization features that Nokia has become known for. Playlist set-up and editing, music sharing and high-quality sound are features recognized on the Nokia N97. Plus the phone has online access to the Nokia Music Store for easy downloading of new music.
  • Video Player. Everyone wants to be able to watch YouTube videos and other clips and movies on their smartphones these days and that can be done with the Nokia N97. It has a three-and-a-half inch video screen which makes watching video on the phone enjoyable. Screen resolution is 360×640 with 24-bit color. Additionally, the phone is equipped with TV-out capability so that you can hook it up to a television and see big screen images there.
  • Gaming. The Nokia N97 is a phone that is particularly of interest to people who do mobile phone gaming. It is built as a Nokia N-Gage-compatible phone which means that you have access to an entire library of advanced mobile phone games.
  • Camera and Video Camera. The Nokia N97 has a built-in digital camera that is pretty solid. It’s a 5 megapixel camera with a dual LED flash, autofocus features and a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens. You’ll be able to take good digital pictures with this camera and won’t need to carry a separate digital camera with you if you’ve got this phone. The camera is also capable of video recording and playback at a level comparable to other phones of its kind (30 frames per second).
  • Custom widgets. The touchscreen home page of the Nokia N97 allows you to add custom widgets which are automatically updated with information from the Internet to give you the best personalized multimedia experience from your mobile phone.
  • Solid offline playback operating times. The Nokia N97 gives you about four and a half hours of video playback or thirty seven hours of music listening time before needing to recharge. This means that you can easily take the Nokia N97 along on a trip and use it as your standard media device without requiring recharging.

Internet Connectivity and Geo-Location Services with the Nokia N97

It is important to reiterate that the Nokia N97 is a true mobile computer with full access to mobile broadband Internet. It also incorporates the modern Internet-related features that you want from a mobile phone. With built-in GPS, the Nokia N97 is able to hook you up with many different geo-location services which is something that most people want from their mobile phones today. The phone knows where you’re at which means that it can be used with location-based photo sharing services, social networking services and other Internet-based applications that rely on location. And of course since it does have built-in GPS, you can access all sorts of maps features to get directions to places that you need to go. The phone is fully Internet-enabled including functions relating to HTML and RSS feeds and allows for full web-browsing of all types of different websites.

Other Important Features of the Nokia N97

  • Impressive memory and storage. Since the phone needs to be able to do so many multimedia tasks, it requires excellent memory and storage which it does indeed have. The on-board storage for this phone is 32GB which is twice what you’re going to find on most other comparable devices. Another 16GB can be added with the use of the microSD slot so you can get a total of 48GB of storage here.
  • Document viewer. This is one of the cool business features that other phones are starting to pick up on after seeing BlackBerry phones that were successful with them. The Nokia N97 incorporates this into the phone so that you can view various types of documents on the go. This adds to the feeling that this phone is more like a mobile computer than a mobile phone.
  • Skype support. People who are interested in mobile VoIP will find that it’s easy to access this now that Skype and Nokia have teamed up together. The phone is equipped with Skype support to enhance the ease of international calling.
  • Bluetooth. A mobile phone has to have Bluetooth capabilities these days and this one does.
  • USB. The phone has a microUSB connector and high-Speed USB 2.0 features.
  • Solid operating times. One of the things that many people want to know when getting a new mobile phone is how long they’re going to be able to use it before it needs to be recharged. Although it’s not the strongest player in the market, the Nokia N97 does a solid job of lasting long enough for you to use it without feeling like you’re constantly recharging. Talk time is over 5 hours and standby time is over 400 hours for 3G users with operating time being longer for GSM users.

Design Of the Nokia N97

Many people have expressed excitement about the design of the Nokia N97. It’s been called ergonomic and streamlined and efficient. This is due to a combination of different types of keyboards, a slim look and the fact that this is a touchscreen smartphone.

The keyboards are the first area of interest when it comes to the design of the Nokia N97. That’s because there’s a great combination of a touchscreen keyboard and a full-on QWERTY keyboard all conveniently put together using a tilt slider design. So basically you’ve got the touchscreen option up front but then you can slide the Nokia N97 open to reveal the full QWERTY keyboard. This really maximizes your options as a user and makes it easier to switch back and forth between activities like texting, mobile IM, and use of online mobile social networking sites.

The Nokia N97 is a touchscreen phone which is what everyone wants to use these days. It is only the second Nokia phone to be released that includes this important new design feature. (The first Nokia touchscreen phone to come out was the Nokia 5800 ExpressMusic mobile phone.) What is great about the design of this phone in terms of aesthetics is that it’s big enough to offer a great user experience in terms of viewing videos and the Internet but then it’s also small enough to have a slim, streamlined look.

Release Dates for Nokia N97

Original reports said that the Nokia N97 would be released in the first half of 2009. It is reported at this time that the phone will barely squeak by into meeting that deadline with an expected release date of June 23rd, 2009. The buzz around the news world right now is that the price for the Nokia N97 upon initial release is 550 Euros (equivalent to about £460 or $720) before taxes and other fees are applied but it seems that this price may be far higher than what will actually be charged.

The Downside of the Nokia N97

The exorbitant price of the Nokia N97 is really the only major drawback that people are citing as far as concerns about the mobile phone. Many people are saying that the price is just too high, especially in today’s economy, and that they expect the phone to see bleak sales as a result of that price if indeed that is the price that the phone is released at. However, Nokia has made announcements that the actual price is far lower than this rumored price so it remains to be seen what will happen in this area of the phone’s release. Other than the price, initial previews and reviews of the mobile phone are all positive with no focus on drawbacks.

Summary of Nokia N97

When it comes down to it, the Nokia N97 is a solid phone that offers a lot of great features that people want from their mobile phones today. People are seeking a full multimedia phone experience that includes complete Internet access and they’re going to get that from the Nokia N97. With the inclusion of bonus features like document viewing and mobile VoIP via Skype, this phone really does have a lot to offer. However, the high price and the competition in the market from other comparable touchscreen smartphones could make it so that the Nokia N97 doesn’t do as well as originally anticipated when the phone was first announced back in December.

We also recommend checking out Mobile-Phones-UKs Nokia N97 review and if you still want a third opinion Recommended Buys also has a great Nokia N97 review.

4 thoughts on “The Ultimate Nokia N97 Review

  1. I will be in The States in a few weeks and I noticed that the US model of the N97 is much cheaper than the Dutch model plus in the US it comes with a free Bluetooth headset.

    Do you think I would run into any problems using a US model N97 as opposed to the Dutch model? I read something about internet speed stating that the US model may not support the European internet speed. Could you think of any reason why I would be better off purchasing the European model?

    Thanks,
    JOHN
    Amsterdam, The Netherland

  2. Nokia should try for once to include their document editor in addition to the document viewer(i.e full mobile office)in nokia n97.This is what sony Erics does to all their phones(nokia can do it too).I think including their full mobile office is what will make this phone a “true mobile computer” as nokia claim.Like president obama said……yes we can,in thesame manner,do it nokia……yes nokia can.

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