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Nokia N97 review

Nokia returns to form with a high end smartphone/ mini UMPC

Our Verdict

The N97 is a great effort from Nokia with a solid chassis and a nice range of features. However, we can't help but feel that the phone has far too much unfulfilled potential for the concept.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 32 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 9.50 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 640 x 360

View full specification

For

  • Great touchscreen
  • Solid build quality
  • Impressive internal memory
  • Dual flash LED 5MP camera

Against

  • Unpredictable OS
  • Lack of video codec support
  • Chunky design
  • Underpowered processor

Much has been made of Nokia's switch to Ovi Suite, and it seems with good reason as the new software gives you so much more than before. We're talking separate music, maps, photo viewers and even a home streaming tool to allow you to make the most of your Nokia phone.

The nokia n97

The software took nearly 35 minutes to download and install all the components (that's despite doing it off the bundled CD) and the first thing we did was to launch the Home Media Server.

We couldn't make it connect to anything, as all it wanted to do was continually eat up all our PC's memory and slow everything down, so we were gutted we never got to play with that properly and in the end happy that we hadn't burnt out the processor, such was the strain it appeared to put on our Windows Vista machine.

The nokia n97

The Ovi Suite was a lot more intuitive than previous efforts, encouraging us to sync across all our media, back up contacts and even throw it all online to make it safe forever as Nokia tries to integrate all its services.

We found no great urge to do so however thanks to a lifetime of ignoring bundled phone software, but Nokia's integrated approach certainly made it a lot more appealing.

The connections on the phone are varied and plentiful, with HSDPA super fast internet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, assisted GPS and the previously mentioned FM transmitter all present and correct.

The GPS was probably the best of the lot, taking just 20 seconds to initialise and find us while walking down Piccadilly Circus, where many phones have simply given up before thanks to the plethora of tall buildings and overhanging trees, although it was less successful when trying to do so on a train.

The nokia n97

The 3G was probably the worst of all the connections, as it frequently dropped out on us despite the signal generally being very strong.

What was more annoying was the insistence on using GPRS connection when losing 3G but then moving back into its signal; the phone wouldn't find the super fast frequency unless specifically told to, even though it should be surely automatic.

The other connections (especially Wi-Fi) were fast and easy to set up, and on that basis deserve full marks for the Nokia N97.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Product FamilyN
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1800, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleSlider
Operating SystemSymbian
Brand NameNokia
Battery Talk Time9.50 Hour
Product ModelN97
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution640 x 360
Weight (Approximate)150 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 360
Processor ManufacturerARM
Operating System VersionSymbian OS 9.4
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Instant Messaging, Email
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Caller ID, Conference Call
Height117.2 mm
Width55.3 mm
Depth15.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Product SeriesN
ManufacturerNokia
Product NameN97 Smartphone
Processor Speed434 MHz
Processor TypeARM11
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberN97
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.nokia.co.uk
Marketing Information

Connect quickly with the touch and QWERTY arrow, Browse the web, navigate with touch and message your friends faster. Indulge in videos, music and pictures arrow and Enjoy 32 GB of your media on the brilliant 3.5" wide screen.

Package Contents
  • N97 Smartphone
  • Nokia Battery (BP-4L)
  • Nokia Travel Charger (AC-10)
  • Nokia Connectivity Cable (CA-101)
  • Nokia Wired Headset (AD-54, HS-45)
  • Nokia Charger adapter (CA-146)
  • Cleaning cloth
Limited Warranty2 Year
Standard Memory128 MB