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

Go Back   All About Symbian Forums > News and Comments > Series 60

 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes

  #1  
Old 08-11-2009, 01:25 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 7,002
slitchfield is on a distinguished road
Review: Nokia N97 and N97 mini - part 1

We've never reviewed the Nokia N97 fully here on AAS, mainly because we knew the v20 upgrade was on its way. And now that it's here, with the N97 distinctly nicer to use, along comes a sister device, the N97 mini that impresses by improving in almost every are, making the original N97 still hard to fully recommend. In a multi-part review series, I look at both N97 variants in detail. In part 1, I look at form factor, design, build quality and performance. Parts 2 and 3 will cover applications/usability and camera/multimedia.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 08-11-2009, 02:34 PM
30dirtybirds 30dirtybirds is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 10
30dirtybirds is on a distinguished road
Classic it is then...

Quote:
Provided you can live without the N97's larger screen, 32GB mass memory, larger battery and FM transmitter
This statement alone makes me glad I have the original N97

Why would anybody give up all of those features for a smaller footprint? Especially a techie user who wants function, not form.
Ads

  #3  
Old 08-11-2009, 02:44 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Talking

Wow just in time, I am about to buy either N97 or N97 Mini 10 days from now so this review will surely help me decide. c", I hope the Part 2 and Part 3 comes out soon.

  #4  
Old 08-11-2009, 02:49 PM
nokia_fans
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
nokia problem

yes, the C drive and memory is a stupid nokia problem, and it's exist not only in n97 but in all other phone as well (such as e71, e72, e52, n86.....). That's the problem I have now with E61i. If I put the sms/mms/email on the c drive, I run out space very quick, if I put in the memory card, I would lose the hot swap ability.... da*n you nokia....

But, I think nokia will be very smart too. if N97mini sales were high, and current generation of N97 were sold out, they will sudently release N97i, which is a N97 with more RAM, more processor speed, and more C drive.

PS:... I really hope nokia use a 2 TranFlash/microSDHC card in the future, so I can manage my files better (e.g. photo and document on card 1 and music & movies on card 2. therefore, if I swap card 2, the card 1 for document etc will still there...)

  #5  
Old 08-11-2009, 04:21 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
@nokia_fans,

To dream is a good thing but what you hope for is another phone. There is very little chance that Nokia will put these type of features and components into an old phone. There has been much discussion as to whether Nokia shipped millions of phones verses whether or not they sold millions of phones. These are two very different things. Not to mention the returns. If we can say that Nokia shipped 2 million phones, while selling 1 million and then getting 500 thousand in returns, it would be safe to say that the N97 was not a huge success on a global level anyway. While I do not have the actual numbers, I would say that my supposition is closer to the truth. Nokia will not release the return figures which in itself can be an indicator of the true success of the N97.

While the N97 Mini has less, in the end it might be more. At least you know you are not (hopefully) getting a defective (yes, the N97 was defective out of the box) device that you pay a premium price for.

  #6  
Old 08-11-2009, 04:27 PM
speeder
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up compare the speed to 600MHz cpu?

Hi steve,

could you be nice and make another article (after the part 3) to compare the speed of N97/N97mini to the E52/E55/E72... compare the 434MHz CPU to the 600MHz CPU?

thanks.

  #7  
Old 08-11-2009, 04:58 PM
Ammar_Dento's Avatar
Ammar_Dento Ammar_Dento is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 196
Ammar_Dento is on a distinguished road
Nice review

Nice review.

I guess i will go with the mini edition. Not for the pocket size (Communicator user) and not for the price but for the 320MB in the C drive and the metal battery cover.

Good to hear that the N97 mini Keyboard is better than the N97 but how can you compare to E90? Cant compare it to 6 rows keys,i know,but what about the buttons physically? Feedback? and Size?

And can i suggest? since you will cover the multimedia side in the next parts of the review can you have an illustrated look at the Photos,Video & Music organizing features? Especially the use of albums & Tags and the synchronization with Photos client in the PC...i noticed that the most frustrating thing for people use these phones is the images organizing options,i noticed in the forums everywhere (allaboutsymbian included).
__________________
I want my PC in my pocket.....

  #8  
Old 08-11-2009, 05:57 PM
User X
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Very helpful review! I'm looking forward to reading the next iterations. Personally I'm planning on getting the mini, because I need something that's relatively happy traveling in a pocket since I'm mobile throughout the day, but I'm still weighing options and your review gave much more insight than most out there. Thank you!

  #9  
Old 08-11-2009, 06:08 PM
Arthur's Avatar
Arthur Arthur is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 228
Arthur is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Wow just in time, I am about to buy either N97 or N97 Mini 10 days from now so this review will surely help me decide. c", I hope the Part 2 and Part 3 comes out soon.
May I suggest, as an N97 owner myself, that you buy neither of the two handsets? Unless you plan on being constantly annoyed.

  #10  
Old 08-11-2009, 06:43 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Can't really recommend either at all now

Despite the improvements in the N97 firmware and N97 mini HW, I just can't recommend either at the end. Nokia really shot themselves in the foot at the moment with this release:

- In the US, it's hard to convince ANYONE, especially my average friend or even my tech geek friends, to pick this over the iPhone 3GS, any Android phones, or even one of the HTC WinMo phones. All these phones provide enough working space (RAM, Flash ROM) with a really poweful CPU, and often with GPU. I would never tell my less-technical friends to go thru the pain of one of HelloOx, remember to install apps on mass memory, or search in more obscure places for useful apps since Ovi is still in horrible shape. And most of my friends also carry a dedicated GPS or have GPS built-in their car, which makes the GPS argument even less compelling. Few ppl really value the GPS once out of their car, and most ppl are not really spend alot of time in their car to justify GPS. And I rarely see ppl use the GPS features for walking/social networking/etc. Most ppl would rather pay the few extra dollars, to have peace of mind that their purchases will just work. Most readers at this point might point me to the N900 as well, but let's keep in mind that it only works at it's fullest on T-mobile, the WORST provider in the US. Even worse than an overloaded AT&T 3G network because of rabbid iPhone users.

- In any non-US region, why would any power user pick this over the Omnia HD, or for the more casual user, maybe they should probably pick the Satio. The Omnia HD is especially an example of Symbian done well. And to make things even more obscure for Nokia, it seems like their E-series is doing much better, and the N95-8GB seems to be the king of the hill still after all these years. The E-series and N95-2 all use legacy technology, but the lesson learned there is that a better overall user experience trumps functionality any day. And there are so many better phones worldwide, that makes the N97 truly out of touch with reality. So many better phones that ppl could choose from, that it sometimes makes me wish I wasn't living in the US And on top of that, I feel that iPhone wins on many accounts overseas as well, even if it has limited distribution.

Capacitive touch screens MIGHT be less accurate, according to AAS, but the responsiveness more than makes up for it, and resistive screen accuracy is only marginally better, not significantly better. At least when I played with my friends iPhones. I bought the N97 to see if not paying the iPhone tax was worth some of the deficiencies in the phone while gaining something possibly useful as an upgrade (keyboard, bigger screen, built-in massive storage). But at the end, it seems like Nokia's competitors quickly overcomes it's own deficiencies in more meaningful ways (be it a better app channel, better touch screen drivers, hw upgrade, etc., better CPU and Ram). I'm near ready to either jump ship to Verizon, or go get an E71. It seems like even the N86 is more popular and has better reviews, which makes me start wondering which device is really the flagship at the moment. Lousy product management on the N-series, obviously.

I've had the N97 phone for about a month now, and although I manage to overcome any difficulty with the phone and make it reasonably useful, the fact that I had to actually make conscious decisions and do extensive research is too much for even some wiser power users who understands that their time is often more valuable than the time spent tinkering with a semi-broken product. That, on top of the HW limits imposed, makes the bigger screen, built-in keyboard, FM transmitter, and more flash storage even more useless. Kinda a sad, considering I spent most of the year researching on a phone to replace my N95-3, only to end up with this conclusion.

And please, for all the obnoxious power users who's going to start tearing this post apart, keep this in mind - we are actually the minority here. A really TINY minority, compared to the customers that most of the manufacturers are trying to capture. And for all your criticisms about the iPhone, there's one thing that's absolutely undeniable about it now - the iPhone managed to capture the casual customer's attention and actually convince them to pay for hi-end hardware and more expensive services. and now with the iPhone 3GS with an A8-Cortext processor with more RAM, it's only a matter of time before the rather ridiculous argument about no multi-tasking (which is very untrue as well) will disappear, while other UI deficiencies can clearly be mitigated. There are some real reasons that the N97 is a failure, and not because of the slow CPU and crappy RAM. Once again, execution on product management here was squarely an F.

  #11  
Old 08-11-2009, 06:47 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by 30dirtybirds View Post
This statement alone makes me glad I have the original N97

Why would anybody give up all of those features for a smaller footprint? Especially a techie user who wants function, not form.
In 10 months I've managed to use less than 2GB of the 8GB memory card in my 5800. The 5800 screen is perfectly good and the battery life of over 2 day is also more than plenty. The only thing I miss is a physical keyboard.

Why would I want to carry a lump of N97 bloat phone around for features I don't need?

As the mini is squarely at social networking users, it's not likely to be a techie users phone. The techies would go for N900 type devices.

And Arthur above is a another that believes everybody has the same requirements as him.

  #12  
Old 08-11-2009, 07:03 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
@unregistered,

Quote: "Despite the improvements in the N97 firmware and N97 mini HW, I just can't recommend either at the end.".....

Best post of this thread. Summed up perfectly. I had an N97 and was lucky enough to be able to return it. In all seriousness, Nokia has to know that this phone is a dog. Hopefully the N900 will be better but it will appeal mainly to the geek market and not mainstream. Nokia is like a husband in an abusive marriage who promises that they will be better next time, but goes back to the same old behavior. Eventually the abused partner leaves.

I would love to see the comparison between Nokia users that leave to go to SE, or the iPhone verses iPhone users or others that actually come to Nokia.

  #13  
Old 08-11-2009, 07:04 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
it's only a matter of time before the rather ridiculous argument about no multi-tasking (which is very untrue as well) will disappear, while other UI deficiencies can clearly be mitigated. There are some real reasons that the N97 is a failure, and not because of the slow CPU and crappy RAM. Once again, execution on product management here was squarely an F.
The multi-tasking argument is not untrue, but it is rather ridiculous. It is true that Symbian multi-task better (Android shuts down stuff without warning if memory gets low, Apple only lets you do what Jobs says you can do). The reason the argument is ridiculous is because in real life the limited multi-tasking on the iPhone doesn't really affect the practical use of 99% of users.

The reason that I prefer Nokia over all those superficially better user interfaces is because it does everything I want in the form factor I want. But with better signal in fringe reception, better call quality audio and for less money. The fundamentals that are essential to me.

And for my needs, the difference in sensistivity between capacitive and resistive is infinite when I am gloved (as I am most of the time).

The iPhone doesn't even get to the races for me. The same goes for many. If you take the UI away from the iPhone, you are left with an ordinary device. The Omnia and Satio are completely useless to me. The Nokias are the best one handed phones on the market for me.

I'm talking about my requirements, not yours.

  #14  
Old 08-11-2009, 08:56 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The multi-tasking argument is not untrue, but it is rather ridiculous. It is true that Symbian multi-task better (Android shuts down stuff without warning if memory gets low, Apple only lets you do what Jobs says you can do). The reason the argument is ridiculous is because in real life the limited multi-tasking on the iPhone doesn't really affect the practical use of 99% of users.

The reason that I prefer Nokia over all those superficially better user interfaces is because it does everything I want in the form factor I want. But with better signal in fringe reception, better call quality audio and for less money. The fundamentals that are essential to me.

And for my needs, the difference in sensistivity between capacitive and resistive is infinite when I am gloved (as I am most of the time).

The iPhone doesn't even get to the races for me. The same goes for many. If you take the UI away from the iPhone, you are left with an ordinary device. The Omnia and Satio are completely useless to me. The Nokias are the best one handed phones on the market for me.

I'm talking about my requirements, not yours.
I believe you confuse CAN vs ALLOWED TO:
http://www.mexlinux.com/how-to-turn-...asking-device/

The link above teaches you how to enable it, but the feature is most certainly there. W/o getting into some philosiphical debate as to why Apple turned it off, let's not forget there's a UNIX kernel inside iPhone OS, so please don't misinform the forum here with your claim it can't. iPhone also leaves iTunes and Safari in the background. They just don't allow THIRD PARTY APPS to multitask. Probably because they saw the same problems that we are seeing now with the N97. Which makes sense since the N97 HW design seemed to be designed to match the original iPhone and the iPhone 2G. But at least Apple had the decency to move forward and predict the needs of the next generation of iPhone customers. Also, having multitasking is almost worthless on the N97 as much of the RAM is eaten just by the OS. What good is it if I start surfing on the web, only to have my music player shutdown because I went to Flickr??!!

Also, your sale, and the sale of the few that looked at the N97 (including myself), don't drive the market all that significantly, especially if your sale does not cover the R&D and manufacturing cost for the N97 product line. So whether or not it met your needs, not to be offensive, means VERY LITTLE in the overall scheme of things. BUT, what I do need from Nokia after I bought my N97 is better confidence that Nokia will cover any deficiencies with the phone going forward, but I can't quite see that happening since most of the deficiencies are HW related, and it's unlikely that Nokia will make a recall just to put more RAM into my phone, as it's not what the warranty will cover. So probably your sense of fundamentals differ from mine, or quite frankly the rest of the cellphone industry. But your fundamentals does seem to match Nokia, which I fear, is the reason their Nokia has lost 20% of their sales YoY. Which is why Nokia will continue to produce subpar "hi-end" products and continue to treat the customers that purchase them like a research testbed instead of hi class customers. And please don't tell me that producing a "V2.0" firmware is proof that they're treating us like hi-class customers....

  #15  
Old 08-11-2009, 09:08 PM
Ammar_Dento's Avatar
Ammar_Dento Ammar_Dento is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 196
Ammar_Dento is on a distinguished road
Android???

@ North American commentators:

1. 100% of my friends didnt hear about Android.
2. The usual response for my Apple questions when i ask my friends are: Overpriced limited products...My 5 years old Nokia had a better camera...What? I cant send a ringtone?.....What is iTunes?..........................etc....
3. People think HTC Windows mobile are great phones but its too complicated...and why should i use 2 hands to do the simplest things?
4. The best 2 things out of NA are: We can buy unlocked phones...we dont have media hype for specific phone.
5. Am not talking am careless people...am talking about techie....

am talking from ME....


Should we write this in each S60 article?...like iPhone fan write the same sentence each day in 1000 forum to tell me his iPhone have an application for everything?...even he cant use 2 applications in the same time.
__________________
I want my PC in my pocket.....
 

Bookmarks

Tags
mini, n97, nokia, review

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
N97 v11 firmware by product code ironass Nokia Nseries S60 5.0 phones (Nokia N97 and Nokia N97 mini) 0 05-10-2009 12:00 PM



All times are GMT. The time now is 05:52 AM.


vBulletin skins developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Notes || Contact Us || Privacy Policy