All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 24-03-2010, 08:54 AM
Saaboy Saaboy is offline
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Question Trying to buy used n97, need some help!

Hi everyone,

I am going to look at a used n97 tomorrow, and will possibly buy it. I will be able to tell pretty quickly whether it's a clone or not, but I am hoping to have a mental checklist of things to look over before I pull the trigger.

1) Hardware testing... what are things I should remind myself to check before buying it? Cover on/off? Battery in/out? Take pictures and video? Make sure all the buttons work? Anything else?

2) There are no worries with used 'software' and 'firmware', correct? I can return phone to 'factory settings', and then download the latest firmware, and at that point it will be the same as out of the factory, right?

3) Is there any way to really know if this phone is a stolen one or not? Can I check the IMEI somewhere?

Please feel free to add other points if I haven't mentioned them here... I've never bought a used phone before...

Thank you very much, in advance

  #2  
Old 24-03-2010, 09:26 AM
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ironass ironass is offline
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You don't say which country you are in Saaboy.

The first things that spring to mind are:-

1. Make sure that the phone is either (a) unlocked or (b) able to operate with your SIM card. Easiest way is to put your Sim in it and make a call. If not then the owner of the phone needs to contact the operator it is locked to and obtain an unlocking code. This may cost around 20.

2. Ensure that the model of phone is for the country you intend to use it in. Enter *#0000# on the dial pad and a screen will pop up giving you, Software version, Software version date, Custom version, Custom version date, Language set, Model, Type, Latest update.

It is Type that is interesting. Broadly speaking Type RM-505 is the Global version, Type RM-506 is the Chinese version and Type RM-507 is the NAM or Americas version.

3. As for checking if the phone is stolen or not (bearing in mind that if it's a contract phone you are buying and the seller defaults on the contract, you could find the phone blocked) there is a site here:-

http://www.checkmend.com/uk/sms_mobile_checking

that offers a number to text to check the phones IMEI number.

This is obtained by typing in *#06# on the dial pad and a unique worlwide 15 digit number which identifies the handset, is displayed.
This service costs 3.
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Last edited by ironass; 24-03-2010 at 09:32 AM.

  #3  
Old 24-03-2010, 09:40 AM
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You could also ask whether the GPS shielding and camera lens problems have been taken care of, if it's the classic N97.
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  #4  
Old 24-03-2010, 12:28 PM
bang bang boom bang bang boom is offline
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U can register the imei number on a web site so it cant later be reprted.. Cant remember it at the mo but im on a bus... When ive got time later i will find it for u

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Old 24-03-2010, 02:12 PM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saaboy View Post
2) There are no worries with used 'software' and 'firmware', correct?
Regarding firmware, you are not quite correct in assuming there are no worries. If the owner has de-branded then technically the warranty is void.

1. Find out the handset installed firmware version, by typing *#0000# and make a note of the version number - e.g. Software Version v 21.0.045.

2. Write down the product code - found on the label behind the battery inside the handset. e.g. 0585162

3. Enter the product code into the following Nokai URL http://www.nokia.co.uk/A4777089
e.g. Latest available software for Nokia N97, product code 0585162
Version: 20.0.019


4. Finally compare the results of step 1 and step 4. If the installed FW version reported at step 1 is HIGHER than the Nokia web page result at step 4, then the handset has been de-branded and the warranty is void - and you may be refused free service & repair in the future. Even if the above check is OK, it is still remotely possible that the warranty is void: e.g. if the owner de-branded, then later re-branded the FW. Unfortunately, Nokia log the FW version in a handset every time the NSU tool is run. Once a de-branded version is detected, the warranty is permanently voided.

However, don't let this put you off buying a used N97 - just be aware that you may have trouble in the future with warranty repairs, although many owners of de-branded handsets report no problems.
It seems to depend on which Nokia Care Centre you use as to how serious they are about checking for de-branding.
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Last edited by dez_borders; 24-03-2010 at 02:16 PM.

  #6  
Old 24-03-2010, 03:11 PM
Saaboy Saaboy is offline
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Great answers guys, lemme quickly add that I'm in the USA. Does this change anything?

  #7  
Old 24-03-2010, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saaboy View Post
Great answers guys, lemme quickly add that I'm in the USA. Does this change anything?
Make sure it says RM-507.

My link in item 3. may not apply.
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Last edited by ironass; 24-03-2010 at 03:16 PM.

  #8  
Old 24-03-2010, 03:21 PM
Saaboy Saaboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxon View Post
You could also ask whether the GPS shielding and camera lens problems have been taken care of, if it's the classic N97.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bang bang boom View Post
U can register the imei number on a web site so it cant later be reprted.. Cant remember it at the mo but im on a bus... When ive got time later i will find it for u
Quote:
Originally Posted by ironass View Post
You don't say which country you are in Saaboy.

The first things that spring to mind are:-

1. Make sure that the phone is either (a) unlocked or (b) able to operate with your SIM card. Easiest way is to put your Sim in it and make a call. If not then the owner of the phone needs to contact the operator it is locked to and obtain an unlocking code. This may cost around 20.

2. Ensure that the model of phone is for the country you intend to use it in. Enter *#0000# on the dial pad and a screen will pop up giving you, Software version, Software version date, Custom version, Custom version date, Language set, Model, Type, Latest update.

It is Type that is interesting. Broadly speaking Type RM-505 is the Global version, Type RM-506 is the Chinese version and Type RM-507 is the NAM or Americas version.

3. As for checking if the phone is stolen or not (bearing in mind that if it's a contract phone you are buying and the seller defaults on the contract, you could find the phone blocked) there is a site here:-

http://www.checkmend.com/uk/sms_mobile_checking

that offers a number to text to check the phones IMEI number.

This is obtained by typing in *#06# on the dial pad and a unique worlwide 15 digit number which identifies the handset, is displayed.
This service costs 3.
1) I'm pretty sure all the n97s sold in the USA are unlocked, and it does work with my service provider... I will test my sim card, good idea... thank you.

2)Ok, I'll check for RM-507

3) Ok, so 3 doesn't apply to me.

  #9  
Old 24-03-2010, 03:23 PM
Saaboy Saaboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxon View Post
You could also ask whether the GPS shielding and camera lens problems have been taken care of, if it's the classic N97.
It is a classic n97. I remember hearing about camera lenses being scratched by the cover. How will I know if this has been remedied? If it has been remedied by Nokia, would the lens cover look different?

And, can someone explain the "GPS shielding"?

  #10  
Old 24-03-2010, 03:44 PM
Saaboy Saaboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dez_borders View Post
Regarding firmware, you are not quite correct in assuming there are no worries. If the owner has de-branded then technically the warranty is void.

1. Find out the handset installed firmware version, by typing *#0000# and make a note of the version number - e.g. Software Version v 21.0.045.

2. Write down the product code - found on the label behind the battery inside the handset. e.g. 0585162

3. Enter the product code into the following Nokai URL http://www.nokia.co.uk/A4777089
e.g. Latest available software for Nokia N97, product code 0585162
Version: 20.0.019


4. Finally compare the results of step 1 and step 4. If the installed FW version reported at step 1 is HIGHER than the Nokia web page result at step 4, then the handset has been de-branded and the warranty is void - and you may be refused free service & repair in the future. Even if the above check is OK, it is still remotely possible that the warranty is void: e.g. if the owner de-branded, then later re-branded the FW. Unfortunately, Nokia log the FW version in a handset every time the NSU tool is run. Once a de-branded version is detected, the warranty is permanently voided.

However, don't let this put you off buying a used N97 - just be aware that you may have trouble in the future with warranty repairs, although many owners of de-branded handsets report no problems.
It seems to depend on which Nokia Care Centre you use as to how serious they are about checking for de-branding.
Thanks for the clear instructions . I'll have to find the appropriate nokiausa link, but I get the idea...

  #11  
Old 24-03-2010, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saaboy View Post
It is a classic n97. I remember hearing about camera lenses being scratched by the cover. How will I know if this has been remedied? If it has been remedied by Nokia, would the lens cover look different?

And, can someone explain the "GPS shielding"?
That's right, the lens cover on the first batch of N97 classics were positioned too close to the lens, so when bits of dirt and grit got between them it would rub against the lens glass whenever you open/close the cover. Sadly you can't easily tell whether it's been done by looking at the phone itself. The only way of knowing for sure before buying it is to ask for all the phone's documentation, including receipts for whenever the phone was handed into a Nokia Care Centre for repairs.

Another issue with early N97s was that the shielding for the GPS receiver was inadequate to protect against interference from standard mobile signals (as I understand it, anyone feel free to correct me).

Both of these problems were finally admitted by Nokia and they repair them free of charge under warranty.
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  #12  
Old 24-03-2010, 10:45 PM
Saaboy Saaboy is offline
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So I went to check out that used n97 today, and very suspicious from the start...

Pics taken with an n900 (don't flame me!!! )

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29629961@N03/4461174400/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29629961@N03/4460395541/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29629961@N03/4460395775/

So first things first, the screen only extends half way through the nokia logo (...
And then the RM-356 when I went to *#0000#
And then under the battery, sticker said "RM505", but thanks to you helpful AAS goers, I knew I wanted RM-507.

The phone OS had a very offensive stench of fake. I usually feel at home with a symbian phone, and this was def fake.

And then the box said nokia-asia.com/n97 or something of that sort, but it looked JUST like an n900 box.
The accessories inside the box all seemed like counterfeit pieces...

Anyways, it was fun

Can you guys point out any other red flags from the 3 photos?
On the white sticker it doesnt say 'IMEI' anywhere, is it supposed to?

Maybe someone can post a pic of their n97 opened up so we can compare

Last edited by Saaboy; 24-03-2010 at 10:49 PM.

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Old 24-03-2010, 11:39 PM
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Well, irrespective of whether the phone is real or not:-

1. It's showing on the sticker as an RM-505 model which would not be suitable for you.

2. Someone has loaded on Nokia 5800 firmware judging by the RM-356 code. This might explain why the display stops short of the screen as the 5800 has a 3.2" screen as opposed to the N97 classic's screen size of 3.5".

3. The Nokia sticker looks phoney too. Nothing like the L-shaped sticker in my RM 505 model.

4. The product code shown on the sticker, 0586301, refers to the N97 Singapore CV (Country Variant) White model phone.

Those 4 things alone add up to it being a fake.

Looks like your bit of research here on the forum saved you from being conned.
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  #14  
Old 27-03-2010, 07:20 AM
Saaboy Saaboy is offline
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Yup, you're right iron4$$. Thanks everyone, for the help The search continues.
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Old 27-03-2010, 08:49 AM
bang bang boom bang bang boom is offline
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Dont buy it....
 

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