Nokia’s Symbian-driven N97 smart phone came out in the summer to rather mixed reviews, with most people praising its feature count, but finding it a bit of a pain to use. Now comes the N97 Mini, a little (but not a lot) smaller than the original N97, and with most of its feature count intact, including its 5Mp camera, HSDPA 3G, …
My brother has an n97, and emits a torrent of obscenities whenever he's reminded of the fact. Having had a play with it, I was struct by how glitchy, buggy and half-finished it was- possibly the worst s60 phone I have ever used.
Have they *actually* fixed it up now? Do things hang/crash/.crawl less?
This experience, coupled with Nokia support basically completely failing to ever respond to tickets regarding horrible bugs preventing backups of my 6700c have made me feel like I've bought my last Nokia. I'd like to be persuaded differently, as I'm not prepared to jailbreak Android and unwilling to drink the Jobs kool-aid, yet.
(..and obviously a Palm Pre is right out)
AC @ 13:28
Have you used the E90 much? I shudder to think what the N97 is like if it is worse :(
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.
If you don't mind my asking
Why do you feel you have to jailbreak an Android handset?
I've had a G1 for a year now, and am only now considering rooting it, as it's the only way to continue to get firmware updates. Until now, I've never needed to root to get something.
why would you need to do that?
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.
I don't really get the E90 comment - I've had an E90 for two years now and it's by far the best phone i've ever owned, it's never crashed once, and is quick and responsive - The only slowdowns it's ever experienced are rendering complex loaded-with-flash web pages, but this is a phone that dates back to the time when a sizeable portion of phones couldnt even handle full-size pages, let alone embedded flash in them.
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".
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.
Yes Size matters
How on earth are you supposed to use a keybopard that big, would you want to do much web browsing on it. Really the reason why iphone/Nexus/Pre are vaid is that they are "Usable". Size matters.
In a similar vein, anyone who thinks that the fact the iPad/iSlate/Tablet is not relevent as its "just a bigger iPhone" (same OS) should consider if they would like "Just a bigger house" or "Just a bigger D**k"
A generic HTC with a different OS :)
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.
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