Nokia N97 review, pros and cons

Nokia N97 pros and cons

After our initial review of the Nokia N97, we had a little time to test is and unfortunately we found a lot of things that we did not like. We tried to see if there is some kind of a firmware update available for the phone but we were disappointing once again, nothing so far. In order not to start this article with the bad things first, we will tell you what we really liked so far so keep on reading...

The things we liked about the Nokia N97

  • The built quality of the Nokia N97 is really impressive. Unlike the Nokia N96 it feels really solid and the plastic feel of its predecessor is gone along with some other concerns we had in the N96. Good job here, the phone feels very solid although it is not quite pocket friendly.
  • QWERTY Keyboard, well this is a big and very important plus for the Nokia N97, we absolutely love it, no complains here since it is way better then the onscreen keybord introduced by the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Searching though contacts or songs from my play list has never been easier.
  • Active Homescreen. I don't know about the other people from our team, but I personally liked the active home screen a lot and with the ability to organize it the way you like it becomes starting point of almost everything I want to do with the phone. Also the widgets are really amazing, extending the possibilities for your homescreen, I have been trying them out for a while so expect a review on this subject soon.
  • The built in browser in the Nokia N97 is a masterpiece of it's own. It is the same browser as in the Nokia 5800 but has a few tweaks of its own. The things we all liked are the automatic switching in fullscreen mode and out of fullscreen mode and the kinetic scrolling.
  • The Nokia N97 features a faster ARM11 434MHz processor compared with the 369MHz chip on the 5800 XpressMusic which is a significant performance boost. Also the built in 32GB internal memory and the microSD card slot are a big bonuses.
  • The overall performance of the device is impressive, it is fast and the changes brought by the new Symbian S60 5th edition operating system work very well.
There is a lot to be liked in the Nokia N97, but for the purpose of this review like the vibration when tapping the screen, USB charging, the FM Transmitter and a lot of other things but I will try to keep it short.

Thinks we hate about the Nokia N97

  • I thing it should be fair enough to start with the thing that annoyed as most and I don't know if this is a problem on the Nokia N97 we have or it is much more serious and it needs to be fixed ASAP. What is the point of a touch screen if you have to use the navigation keys on the keyboard so that you can open a tab. For example open Contacts and try to tap tap on the Groups tab. Well you can't and the problem is not only here but on all tabs. It is really frustrating. I hope a firmware update would fix this problem very soon. (Update: Fixed after firmware flash with the same version.)
  • The other thing that got on my nerves was the lock/unlock switch button that seems to not be working right. Sometimes I have to drag it for 2 or 3 times just to unlock the phone.
  • When we speak for locking/unlocking the phone, well I would expect the phone to automatically unlock when I slide out the keyboard. Well it does, but sometimes the phone unlocks without the backlight on so you can see that there is something on the screen, you can click on icons and go through menus but the backlight stays off. This happens very often and I don't know if this is a problem with only the device we have.
  • The same thing we complained about in the Nokia N96 happened in the Nokia N97 as well, the dual LED flash, compared to the N82's xenon flash the images especially in complete darkness look inferior. A upgrade to 8 megapixel camera would not hurt also.
  • The autofocus of the camera quite often focuses to infinity rather then people.
  • Compared with the Nokia N96 the new Nokia N97 has a few in-call disadvantages like the poor in-call voice quality and the "Connection error" message problem when it drops a call unexpectedly while the N96 under the same conditions performs quite good. It seems like something with the network reception of the phone is off.
  • Another problem: the phone seems to change the location where the messages are stored from time to time on its own. I set it on Mass Memory and it comes back to Phone Memory. At first I was surpriced to see that some of the messages disappeared from the phone but they were actually on the other memory.
  • Apart from the many bugs in the software there is another thing that shocks users at first. You will have to double click on items to open them. I am having a little trouble getting used to this and my personal opinion is that there should be a setting for this weather to use the double click or to open items with a single click.
  • Surprisingly there is no TV our cable included in the box, you have to buy it separately and also there is no car charger included.
All in all we surely liked the Nokia N97 a lot, but as you can see from this review we have a few comments on the device if they can be called like that. Having in mid that most of the problems with the Nokia N97 can be solved with an firmware upgrade there is nothing we can do for now except sit and wait for Nokia to release the updated firmware.


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Found under: Nokia N97 pros and cons, Nokia N97, Nokia N97 review, Nokia N97 firmware

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Published on 19.06.2009 in Symbian Freeware Blog

Comments: Nokia N97 review, pros and cons

Posted by Jose on Saturday, June 27, 2009 18:22
The tab problem is because the theme, change it, the problem with the location of message happens every time you connect phone to a computer as usb mass memory.
Posted by George on Sunday, June 28, 2009 00:28
About the location where the phone saves the messages, they could fix it so it does not go to phone memory every time you connect the phone in USB Mass Memory.
Posted by Lester on Sunday, June 28, 2009 12:18
I just got my N97 as well. I'm also having problems with the backlight not coming on when unlocking the phone until the 2nd or 3rd time. Seems to have quite a few software problems. I checked online and couldnt find any newer updates =( It also erased all my contacts once and I had to re-sync with my old phone. I think it's a great phone if they could just get some of the kinks worked out.. possible to email me if u happen to get any software/firmware updates? Thanks! Great Review! Cheers!
Posted by Vivian on Sunday, June 28, 2009 18:18
Despite some minor bugs I think I like the Nokia N97 a lot. The thing that impressed me personally is the proximity sensor. Having used touch devices in the past, I always pressed something accidentally while I was talking on the phone while on the N97 this is not happening cos while in a call when the proximity sensor senses that you have your phone on your ear it turns off the display.
Posted by Rick on Saturday, July 04, 2009 12:55
I got my Nokia N97 too few days ago , and the first thing I noticed was the problem with the blacklight..hope they will fix it with an update..over all it seems a really good phone... I had a N95 before and I was very happy with it...hope I will happy with the N97 too :)
Posted by ugi on Thursday, July 09, 2009 09:37
I have my n95 8GB. Tried the n96 - disaster. Now I am on reading and reading and convincing my self, that the n97 is THE right choice. Hope, I won´t be dissatisfied...
Posted by John on Thursday, July 09, 2009 11:06
@ugi: I have the n95, n96 and now the Nokia N97. Every time Nokia releases the next N9x phone it seems to do worse. Always a bit to conservative nothing impressive nothing that new. The N97 is really amazing piece of hardware except for the low amount of RAM memory as it was the case with the N96, but if Nokia release the right software/firmware update I think this phone will be the next best thing.
Posted by Nazty on Sunday, August 09, 2009 20:46
The lock problem is easily taken care of, u just need to set the timing of each to turn off at the same time. ive set them both at 20 seconds and now it unlocks flawlessly!
Posted by ritikaa sethi on Saturday, September 18, 2010 16:21
Dear, are you talking about the Samsung i900? if so according to mobileinindia http://mobileinindia.in that phone only supports single 3G band 2100mhz, Omnia HD supports Tri-band 3G (900/1900/2100mhz)….I'm not sure but it might work with AT&T's 3G (850/1900mhz), that's why it would be awesome if someone who resides in the US and buy the Omnia HD and post some review…maybe Tristan?…lol…if it does work then I won't have a second thought to buy this phone and if it doesn't then I guess I have no choice but to buy the N97


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