Nokia N97 Mini
We had high hopes for the Nokia N97 when we checked it out in June 2009. Armed with a touch cover and a long list of facial appearance, it looked like the flagship model of the Nokia N series would be a hit. Unfortunately, it twisted out to be quite the contrary. Plagued with a poor user interface and dreary performance, the N97 was forgettable, primarily as the iPhone, Palm Pre, and Apparatus devices hit the scene. Even if, not one to give up, Nokia came back with the Nokia N97 Mini ($479 unlocked). Generous a more compact and revamped point, the N97 Mini is most beyond doubt an enhancement over its better brother. Performance is better and it’s still very much a figure-packed smartphone. That said, the N97 Mini’s UI is still hard and frustrating to use; given that there a digit of other similarly featured and simpler touch-cover smartphones on the promote today, we can’t see the N97 Mini attracting too many users other than Symbian/Nokia fanboys and fangirls.
The Nokia N97 Mini is appropriately named since it is in effect a mini translation of the Nokia N97. The smartphone measures 4.45 inches tall by 2.07 inches wide by 0.56 inch deep and weighs 4.87 ounces, while the N97 came in at 4.61 inches tall by 2.18 inches wide by 0.63 inch thick and 5.29 ounces. Just by looking at the numbers, the difference in size doesn’t seem all that fantastic, but in hand, it’s beyond doubt noticeable and valued. The N97 Mini is a much more sack-friendly device, not to bring up a more solid one. Nokia replaced the plastic array cover with a stainless steel one, giving the phone a more significant feel and not one of a plastic toy.
Given the smaller size, it’s no bolt from the blue that the cover size was also scaled back. The N97 Mini has a 3.2-inch QVGA (640×360) resistive touch cover that displays up to 16.7 million sign. The sight is sharp and animated and facial appearance an ambient light sensor to reluctantly change the cover’s brightness. In addendum, it has a proximity sensor and a built-in accelerometer that was quick to change the cover’s orientation from likeness to landscape mode and vice versa. As we confirmed in our N97 assess, we would have preferred a capacitive touch cover over a resistive one, but our issue wasn’t so much with that as it was with the user interface.
The N97 was plagued with inconsistencies that with a denial affected the user encounter. For model, some menu items vital one tap to open and others vital two. In addendum, sometimes multiple steps were involved just to exact a austere task, and scrolling through lists could be a lengthy and jerky. It was a completely hard and frustrating. A later firmware 2.0 update was released and incorporated into the N97 Mini; that alleviates some but not all of the harms.
Improvements were made to the touch-cover algorithms for better performance, and we did feel like the sight was more open. You also now get kinetic scrolling for pages and menu items, so when you reach the end or top of the list, it snaps back like double-jointed. Unfortunately, what we didn’t get was a more standardized and simpler menu logic that would have made an otherwise excellent smartphone exceptional and would’ve given it a fighting opportunity against the other major touch-cover smartphones on the promote today.
Switching gears to the N97 Mini’s upright, Nokia has indifferent the D-pad that used to reside in the left side, building way for a more spacious and more ergonomic upright. There’s an adequate quantity of spacing between the buttons, so you shouldn’t have too many mispresses. Overall, we found it pretty decent to use. The keys are vaguely stiff to press, which slowed us down a bit, and the space key is still off-focal point. It’s a bit better in that the space bar is longer and went over vaguely, but it’s still a far stretch if you want to hit it with your left thumb.
On a side note, arrange to use some arm muscles to slide open the phone. The slider is really solid but incredibly stiff, so it requires a strong push to get it open. We had an unsuspecting supporter try it out and the phone finished up flying out of her hands since she was pushing so hard on the underside of the cover. It loosens up a bit after some use, but those early tries might bolt from the blue you.
Rounding out the point are touch-insightful Talk and End keys and a Main Menu button below the sight and a power button and 3.5mm earphone jack on top of the device. On, the left side, there’s a Micro-USB port and a lock thrash; a number rocker and camera button are on the right. The camera will activate as soon as you hit the latter, since there is no longer a defending cover over the camera lens on back.
The Nokia N97 comes packaged with an AC adapter, a USB cable, a wired stereo receiver, a cleaning cloth, a software CD, and allusion notes. For more add-ons, please check our cell phone accessories, ringtones, and help page.
The Nokia N97 Mini retains a lot of the facial appearance existing by the N97, but there were a link of cuts made to help keep the price and size of the phone down. The largest difference is that you now get 8GB of domestic memory instead of 32GB. Even if, there is a microSD additional room slot behind the array cover than can accommodate up to 16GB cards. A additional minor loss is the FM transmitter.
One figure you do gain is free voice-guided steering. Nokia recently announced that it’s scrapping the monthly and once a year ticket fees for Ovi Maps steering benefit, so not only do you get the maps, but you also get text-to-address spoken directions and premium content, such as Lonely Planet city guides, ride out forecasts, and event in rank. The app is available as a free download for 10 of Nokia’s contemporary handsets and will come preloaded on the company’s possibility GPS-enabled smartphones.
Aside from these changes, the two devices are pretty much the same. We’ll elaborate more on some of the N97 Mini’s functions in the Performance part below, but for a detailed list of the phone’s facial appearance, please read our full assess of the Nokia N97.
We experienced person the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) Nokia N97 Mini in New York using AT&T benefit and call feature gets two thumbs up. There was very modest to no background noise to distract us from the chat, and there wasn’t any type of voice distortion of muffling. We also didn’t encounter any dropped calls and had no problem using an airline’s voice automated response logic. On the other side, friends had frequently excellent equipment to say about the audio feature, even if one did say he could hear a bit of an echo at times. As expected, the call feature degraded a bit when we activated the speakerphone. Even if there was plenty of number, even in louder environments, calls sounded a bit hollow.
Then N97 Mini chains AT&T’s 3G bands, which provided excellent speeds and reliable coverage all through our hard cycle. It took 27 seconds for CNET’s full site to load; CNN and ESPN’s mobile sites biased in 8 seconds and 6 seconds, correspondingly. The N97 Mini’s browser did a excellent job of showing pages and it chains multiple windows and Flash Lite. Even if, steering is a bit clunky. For model, you can’t austerely start entering a URL to go to a new site. You have to first press the arrow button on the underside right-hand confront and then press the globe icon and then enter the Web take up. To zoom, you can austerely dual-tap on the cover, which is often de rigueur to click on any links since it’s trying to precisely touch the small text with just your fingertip.
The smartphone’s media player is decent. It chains a digit of music formats, counting MP3, WMA, AAC, AAC+, and eAAC+ files, and you can start playlists on the glide and also change sound with the built-in equalizer. We listened to various genres of music and were pleased with the sound feature, but like the speakerphone calls, tracks sounded a bit dug in through the phone’s speakers. The N97 Mini is competent of before a live audience video as well, but unfortunately, it only chains a top bolt from the blue digit of video codecs. We watched numerous MP4 clips and for the most part, playback was charming, but image feature could sometimes get a modest fuzzy.
On the other hand, the smartphone’s 5-megapixel camera certainly delivered on depiction feature. Equipped with a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens and a dual-LED flash, auto focus, 14x digital zoom, and various control options, we got fantastic shots indoors and outdoors. Stuff were plainly certain and sign were animated. The camera can also capture VGA video at up to 30 frames per following, and the video feature was quite decent, primarily for a camera phone.
The Nokia N97 Mini excellent:
The Nokia N97 Mini improves on the point of the N97 with a smaller size and a more solid construction. Performance is also better and you now get free voice-guided steering via Ovi Maps. The smartphone continues to offer a full range of wireless options, e-mail capabilities, and a 5-megapixel camera.
The Nokia N97 Mini terrible:
The user interface still has inconsistencies, building the phone frustrating and hard to use. The phone’s Web browser is a bit clunky to steer and there’s top bolt from the blue help for video codecs.
The Nokia N97 Mini underside line:
The Nokia N97 Mini is a more stable and better designed device than the better N97, but its Achilles’ heel remains as the hard user interface keeps it behind today’s chief touch-cover smartphones.