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  #1  
Old 08-09-2009, 10:03 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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How to: Optimise the Nokia N97 (v12)

So my white Nokia N97 was returned to me after Ewan's extensive video diaries and after Tzer2's Finnish experiments on it. It's a little battle scarred in places, but hey, phones are designed to be used(!) I'm well aware of all the N97's pros and cons, but was relishing a chance to really get to grips with some of its - ahem - quirks, a couple of months on from my initial look. Read on to see how I got on, and to learn how to set up and optimise the N97 in this 'waiting for v20 firmware' probationary period.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 08-09-2009, 10:12 AM
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It's all well and good for those that can actually get v12!

The poor folk in the UK that bought the unbranded version can't update to v12 yet. I'll put money on it that v20 doesn't arrive in the UK until 2010.

  #3  
Old 08-09-2009, 10:33 AM
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Lightbulb Network Obligation?

I'm considering the n97 as I don't see 3 getting the n900. However I also doubt 3 will bother updating the fW to v2.0.

If there were enough complaints to OfCom for instance, what do you think the chances are for legislation to be passed in the telecomms industry that every FW update must be supported by networks?

Just a thought...

Tahir
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  #4  
Old 08-09-2009, 11:14 AM
k.ewin
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Flash issue is a huge problem for me. My cat just won't wait in a frozen position until I turn the light on!

Seriously I think this is a major flaw in the hardware design of the camera cover especially in the white edition of the N97. The border around the flash is painted silver instead of black inside thus reflecting the flash light like a mirror. I get a white fog with decreasing intensity from left to right accross all flash photos. Not sure if this is related to the scratch I have on the lens cover glass.

Would be great if nokia would replace the lens covers having BOTH problems the scratches and the reflections fixed. Together with firmware v20 the N97 would become the perfect device for me even despite the new N900.

  #5  
Old 08-09-2009, 11:17 AM
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for those who cant update, why not change the product code to the available update one. then, viola can update already. js make sure, u remember ur original product code

  #6  
Old 08-09-2009, 11:31 AM
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Good article Steeve... all the tips and tricks, can also be used on other S60 phones. The little RAM and Mem C problem, also applies to 5800. Some things, like third part themes, could be a serious problem, even on S60 v3 devices, like N82 / N95. Keep the good work

  #7  
Old 08-09-2009, 11:31 AM
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installing apps to mass storage

Steve,
with 32gb mass storage known to be pretty slow, are you still suggesting installing apps on it?
Did you notice diffrence in performance/startup time of apps from c:\ and mass storage?

czarnikjak

  #8  
Old 08-09-2009, 11:38 AM
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To the person that suggested changing product codes: That is only an option for those that no longer or do not have a valid warranty. It's not the perfect solution to everything.

Perhaps it's time that a respectable mobile news site tried to help with the firmware situation in the UK by using it's influence?

  #9  
Old 08-09-2009, 12:05 PM
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On the one hand I'm kind of bored with the endless stream of N97 articles on this site, it does seem a little OTT.

On the other hand, I think great, way to go! The N97 is the flagship handset and despite being somewhat slated in the blogosphere (as if that actually had any effect in real terms - those with the least to say in society shout the loudest), is selling in vast numbers and is a lot better than snotty 'pro' opinion. So it is good that you are focussing on it (especially with all those users out there) and helping people make the most out of it.

I now won't buy a handset without a Xenon flash so it's not for me (my N82 is marvellous and I look forward to the Satio) but good work for restoring the balance somewhat against the bitchy blogosphere

  #10  
Old 08-09-2009, 12:26 PM
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Good article and I'll certainly send it on to my brother who's had a fair bit of grief with his N97 (taking S/W updates and not initially realising he needed to divert all S/W where possible to Mass Drive) but it's not really good enough for a top of the range (target market and certainly price-wise) product aimed in Nokia's own words at challenging the iPhone. If it requires so much modding and tweeking especially to official updates (or ignoring them and knowing which ones to accept/ignore) it's not really recommendable to anyone other than geeks, so very poor value for the price.

On top of which you recommend turning off one of the phone's key advantages; having live updating homescreen, not taking adavantage of new S/W such as maps (one of the promised benefits down the road promised at launch), not worrying that the camera is quietly destroying itself and not using the new Messaging App one key feature for my brother as a corporate user syncing with Exchange and he found the other messaging app. Not much value again for his $700 odd! And as peripheral issues NGage is going to be rubbish because of the hardware even if they get the service together and all gaming and "fun" stuff is going to be poor for same reason and it doesn't seem to be able to handle a not unreasonable amount of music.

When the phone was announced it attracted fairly immediate scepticism about the hardware and both prior to and at launch the AAS team all countered this saying it was too early to judge and the speed and capability of a phone cannot be judged by hardware alone without seeing how the software has been optimised. Not unreasonable but I thought at the time the RAM and the Proccy looked inadequate judging from the 5800 (great phone for price and released date) and that the N97 was meant to be top of the range all-comers challenger. For a product that wasn't exactly released speedily it's a bit of a mess and I think not unfair to say crippled by under spec hardware if it had the right amount of memory and a faster processor how much more impressive could this have been. On top of which Nokia could have spent the last few months improving on and adding gloss to it rather than desperately shoehorning the thing into working. The N96 was a dog at release and still is and this thing seems to be yapping a bit.

snoFlake

  #11  
Old 08-09-2009, 12:48 PM
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:-(

Compromise ... Compromise ... Compromise ... Nokia ... Nokia
Why should one pay 500 for that,
I'm bored of my N95 8gb, I guess N86 is the only option.

  #12  
Old 08-09-2009, 01:02 PM
k.ewin
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The N97 is in many areas much better than the N95. There is a much better (larger) screen, a better browser (kinetic scrolling makes a lot of difference) and all the enhancements that made it into Symbian during the past three years, e.g. getting rid of the manual access point selection when surfing etc.

I would wait only 2 more months. Then v20 should be available and the camera issues fixed. There is also quick progress at the third party software front.

So I would recommend to get an N97 or an N97 mini in November to replace your N95.

  #13  
Old 08-09-2009, 01:29 PM
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To the person that suggested changing product codes: That is only an option for those that no longer or do not have a valid warranty. It's not the perfect solution to everything.

Perhaps it's time that a respectable mobile news site tried to help with the firmware situation in the UK by using it's influence?
Thake you phone into an authorised Nokia shop and have them do it "officially" then.

I did the code change. Then changed the code back again, had the phone in for a SIM contact issue and it was done under warranty OK.

When a friend took a 5800 in where the firmware wasn't available for his code, the Nokia shop upated the firmware anyway.

  #14  
Old 08-09-2009, 02:02 PM
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It's a good article, but it also shows the problems with the N97, in that it won't allow you to properly use many of the features that ought to be its main selling points. Why pay for a phone that has 32GB onboard mass memory if you can't actually use it to store your music collection?

  #15  
Old 08-09-2009, 02:04 PM
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Thumbs down Not just N97 - N86 too!

Just about every little thing Steve says about the N97, ALSO applies to the N86 too...

It's Free Internal Storage (not Mass Memory), was 54MB when my N86 arrived on Saturday.

Now, despite me telling it to install EVERYTHING I have added to the phone since, to the E: drive (8GB Mass Storage), my Internal memory Storage (C: Drive) is now down to a paltry 20MB and falling fast.

Because as Steve says, my Maps Update went to C: without giving me a choice... My Quick Office Update went to C: without presenting a choice, and the N-Gage stuff is all on C:

So it sounds to me Steve, like this is a major issue, and indeed design shift, for new Nokias, to have LESS Free Ram, less Free Internal Storage, AND lots of stuff that only gets installed to C: without giving me a user choice.


Indeed, I can safely say, that as my first FP2 Nokia (after loads of FP1 devices), I am HATING the new OS...

It's slow - if I read a text message, then click to reply, I have to wait several seconds before it takes me into the actual typing editor... And this was at clean boot on Saturday when it arrived - it's the slowest such Nokia I have EVER owned for this aspect!

...It's buggy - it's crashed on me loads, and I have had to fully turn off sensor rotate for now, as when I lock the phone with a numeric keygaurd, if it rotates the screen as I am doing it, when I unlock the phone, it won't re-rotate to the correct portrait orientation, and whatever hangs it, does it so bad that a power off can't even be done, so I have to keep battery pulling it...

...It has some major flaws - the option to Copy / Duplicate a contact, which every single Nokia Series 60 phone I have ever possessed has, is suddenly GONE from the N86 (that is, find a contact, and then "Duplicate" it, as a copy, ready for the addition of extra info, for a contact that is thus similar - all prior phones have this - the N86 does not let you "Duplicate" a contact).

...Being FP2, Swim doesn't work on it - so not only is it bad enough that even now, Symbian has ZERO way to automatically schedule Syncs, the only thrid party tool that automated this, now does not work either. So much for this being PROGRESS.

...By the same token, no current "quick restart" applications work, even now, due to the changed API's and SDK's or whatever, that FP2 brings.

...And no matter what I seem to set or change, pressing and holding in the Zero key, as the quick shortcut for Nokias to load up the internet, takes me to a list of Bookmarks, rather than to an actual Homepage I have set, even though I have looked in all the settings i can think of, to allocate a specific homepage - if anyone knows the answer to this one, please yell!


So overall, I have to say, FP2 has left me with a MUCH less able device, than any of my previous FP1 handsets, and this includes low powered ones such as the 6120c, not just my E71, E90, N82, N95 etc. And I don't just mean the API issues - it's slower, has glaring omissions, and comes with a small amount of free internal memory which gets smaller and smaller all the time due to this issue of not having a choice WHERE to save, for all applications we add.

So to the user who said "I think I'll go for an N86 instead", let me assure you, that despite none of these issues ever being mentioned on reviews on here, it's got all the problems I mention above too. And I am on the current latest firmware as well.
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Now on to my 71st mobile handset since my first ever Ericsson (not S.E.) GA688, with the advent of my new HTC Desire Android phone, as Symbian was just too old now (after 67 Nokias)...

 

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