Nokia N97 smartphone
The much-anticipated Nokia N97 smartphone promises a wealth of features, but does it have the software to deliver them effectively?
- Flip-up design, QWERTY keyboard, 32GB of internal memory and microSD slot, 5-megapixel camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, 3.5mm headphone jack, customisable widget-based homescreen
- Resistive touch screen rather than capacitive, user interface is a mixed bag, software lacks the polish of competitors, odd placement of navigational pad and spacebar, no Comes With Music subscription included
Although the Nokia N97 dwarfs the iPhone in terms of features, the software doesn't match the standard set by Apple. The N97's flip-up design, keyboard and massive storage capacity are fantastic features, but it needs software upgrades and further development of the Ovi Store to truly become an iPhone challenger. As it stands, it has great potential but feels somewhat incomplete.
Price$ 1,129.00 (AUD)
Nokia's most anticipated mobile phone since the N95, the Nokia N97 smartphone combines a touch screen with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. This mobile phone boasts impressive hardware — including a 5-megapixel camera with flash, GPS, Wi-Fi and an FM transmitter — but the N97's customisable home screen widgets and touch-screen user interface are also key features.
The Nokia N97's much heralded flip-up screen design isn't new. We've seen similar tilt displays on HTC smartphones, including the now superseded TyTN II. The tilting screen is well implemented and the angle of the display makes it ideal for multimedia playback. Importantly, the N97's screen is one of the most responsive resistive touch screens we've reviewed, though we would have preferred a capacitive touch screen (the same technology Apple uses on the iPhone 3GS, which means you don't need a stylus). Thankfully, almost all of the N97's functions and features can be activated purely by using your fingers, though Nokia does include a stylus in the sales package.
Tilting the Nokia N97's screen reveals the physical QWERTY keyboard, perhaps the most important hardware feature of this smartphone. The keyboard is well spaced and the soft white and blue backlighting on individual keys is impressive. We found ourselves typing at reasonable speeds after just a few hours of use. It's not perfect: the buttons could be raised a little more to provide extra tactility, and the top row of keys is a little too close to the bottom edge of the display. The spacebar key is placed oddly — it's towards the bottom right of the keyboard, instead of its usual place in the middle. We quickly got used to this placement though and were more annoyed about the position of the five-way navigational pad (to the left of the keyboard). This pad would be better positioned on the right side, especially for right-handed users. The N97 also has a touch-screen keyboard, so you can input text with the slider closed.
The N97's feels solid but the plastic casing doesn't feel as sturdy as it should, especially considering the handset's price. That's not to say the N97 is poorly built — it's definitely not. It just doesn't feel or look as strong as the iPhone, for example. As well as the QWERTY keyboard and the afore-mentioned five-way navigational pad, the Nokia N97 has a menu key and two backlit touch buttons to answer and end calls. Holding down the menu button brings up the application manager, which allows you to close any currently running programs. Other keys include a slider screen lock button on the left, dedicated camera and volume controls on the right and a power key on the top.
One of the most impressive features of the N97 is the customisable home screen. It has five customisable boxes where you can add a number of widgets, including two Nokia shortcut bars and live Internet widgets that update over the air — these include Facebook, e-mail, news and weather. Further live widgets will be developed and you will be able to download them using the preloaded Nokia Ovi Store application. We found the Facebook, weather and e-mail widgets to be the most useful. Having the information update automatically is a nifty feature, provided of course you have an appropriate data plan. We would like to be able to adjust the size of the widget boxes, especially considering an empty space remains if you don't fill one of the five boxes.
A quirk we found with the first Nokia touch-screen phone — the 5800 XpressMusic — rears its head again on the N97: the inconsistency of accessing functions with the Symbian S60T operating system. For example, accessing shortcuts on the home screen requires just one press but to select other functions sometimes you will have to double tap. On a positive note, the interface looks impressive, the icons are well laid out and scrolling is fairly smooth. The built-in accelerometer rotates the screen orientation in most applications and does so without too much delay. Unlike the iPhone, the N97 has adjustable haptic feedback, with three intensity settings available. On the highest setting the vibration sounds like a rattle, but it is still effective.
Join the newsletter!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Apple iPhone X
cloudandco Smart Cane
Toys for Boys
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Bose SoundLink Micro
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Xbox One X
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 2 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 3 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 4 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Exciting New Aussie Dash-Cams Unveiled Ahead of Holiday Road Trip Season
- Latest Spartan sports watches hit the scene
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories and wireless charging
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSAP ABAP CRM DeveloperACT
- FTProject Manager - NSW Health exp essentialOther
- FTJnr Project Manager/Business Analyst - Software ImplementationOther
- TPSenior Project Manager - ApplicationsQLD
- TPSenior Project Manager - Risk & ComplianceNSW
- TPSAP S/4HANA Implementation Project Manager - FMCGVIC
- FTIT Service Desk AnalystOther
- FTIntegration SpecialistNSW
- TPSystem AnalystACT
- CCVmware SpecialistNSW
- TPSystems Support AnalystQLD
- CCHadoop DeveloperVIC
- FTIT Field TechnicianNSW
- TPScrum Master | Cloud MigrationQLD
- FTFull stack DeveloperOther
- FTClinical Application Support Specialist - PermanentQLD
- FTCRM Solution ArchitectACT
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCInformation Security AnalystNSW
- TPSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Program ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Test AnalystOther
- CCFront-End DeveloperNSW
- CCHFC Project Officer (Governance Support) - 6 mth contract - Nth SydneyNSW
- CCTechnical Specialist ? VMwareVIC