Nokia's flagship phone for 2009, the N97 has set sail – backed by marketing expenditure the size of an African nation's health budget. But it's barely got out of port before hitting stormy waters. Some of the disappointment expressed on the web – from phone fan sites and bloggers – is fair; some of it is baffling, but much of it …
Comma IS shifted
@Andrew Orlowski, actually you do use shift to get a comma on UK N97s (you're right about function for dash and exclamation marks though).
I've just got a stupidly cheap E71 ... after being disenchanted with the style over substance Iphone and N95 (which I alternated between over 12 months) . Tiny little keys took a while to get the hang of - but better than the iphone. By far.
Touch screens - over-rated. Mostly loved by manufacturers to save on cost and complex manufacturing I'm sure.
Strange because I think mine's fantastic
I received my N97 only a couple of days ago and am generally an early adopter. Most of my friends would probably call me a gadget freak. I agree entirely with the review by Paul_B and urge people to make up their own minds about the N97.
I have noticed a few minor software problems that have been resolved by closing the application and starting again, no doubt these will be fixed shortly by an update. Other than that I have a fantastic phone (which is the primary reason for owning it) and I also have what is effectively a micro laptop in my pocket.
Email is effortless, surfing is a massive improvement over the N95 and the host of other functions make this the equivalent of a top of the range Swiss army knife for the 21st Century.
The iPhone is a fantastic toy but the N97 is for Business. (Try synching the iPhone with your in-car Bluetooth kit and you'll get an idea of what I mean).
P.S. I like the E Series and the Blackberrys too but I don't have big enough pockets to carry them, the N97 is barely larger than the N95.
Did you really just say that?
@ Damien99 - Did you, like Paul_B, join El Reg just to make those comments?
- "I have what is effectively a micro laptop in my pocket."
- "Email is effortless, surfing is a massive improvement and the host of other functions make this the equivalent of a top of the range Swiss army knife for the 21st Century."
- "The iPhone is a fantastic toy but the N97 is for Business."
Even Nokia's marketing people would blush to posit such unbelievable language (probably). I mean, "Swiss army knife for the 21st Century"??
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".
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].
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.
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!
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!
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