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Nokia N97 review

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

On the outside, the camera looks decent if unspectacular, with another Carl Zeiss lens (and a pretty spiffy dual LED flash) beneath a slide-out screen to protect the snapper and also start the camera (in a similar vein to the Sony Ericsson C905) although as you can see from the pictures below, this still quickly filled up with dust and fluff.

The nokia n97

The interface on the camera looks like it's simple with very little functionality, but once you press the menu button a whole host of options present themselves to you.

Users can change almost all settings, from ISO to exposure as well as having a grid placed on top to take better snaps which gave a nice camera-rich experience.

The nokia n97

The video camera is a little bit more bog standard, but thanks to the 32GB of internal memory you can record nearly two hours of DVD-like footage from the handset.

Why you'd want to is beyond us, as for that long you'd probably just buy a camcorder, but we never like to turn down options here on TechRadar.

Here's how the Nokia N97 fared against an Olympus SP-565UZ camera in our like-for-like picture test:

The Nokia N97

The nokia n97

Olympus SP-565UZ

The nokia n97

The Olympus obviously performs much better than the N97 thanks to being a higher end, dedicated camera, but the N97 still fares well in overcast longer shots.

The Nokia N97

The nokia n97

Olympus SP-565UZ

The nokia n97

With a bright background, the N97 manages to maintain macro focus while keeping the background roughly in shot. However, it's powerless to prevent the light bleeding through, while the Olympus manages to keep things sharp and colours vivid.

The Nokia N97

The nokia n97

Olympus SP-565UZ

The nokia n97

The difference between the two cameras here is both startling and captures the essence of how a cameraphone differs from a dedicated snapper.

The fire and scene is much easier to see with the N97, but the Olympus is much more the device you want when you're trying to 'properly' photograph a fire scene with wildly varying brightness levels.

The Nokia N97

The nokia n97

Olympus SP-565UZ

The nokia n97

In perhaps the most stark contrast between the two devices, the Nokia N97 cannot even come close to matching the Olympus for clarity, sharpness and detail, instead letting the minimal light 'wash-out' the whole picture.

The Nokia N97

The nokia n97

Olympus SP-565UZ

The nokia n97

Night imaging, despite using a dual LED flash, is never going to beat a decent Xenon effort as clearly shown here. Colour reproduction and scene light equality is of varying quality for the Nokia N97, but is clear as day with the Olympus.

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
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.0
Operating System VersionSymbian OS 9.4
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Instant Messaging, Email
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height117.2 mm
Width55.3 mm
Depth15.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Product SeriesN
Battery Standby Time430 Hour
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