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Old 26th July 2009, 15:18   #1
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Default Nokia N97 - Is it all falling apart ? EDIT: User experience added

The Nokia n97 seems to be kicking it's own behinds opposed to what everyone thought it was capable of. Right now the list of problems include scratches on the lens by the camera cover (which was supposedly put there to protect the lens) and the dual led flash getting too bright and obscuring the screen when shooting in the dark. Then there's the lack of smoothness amongst the many features of the phone as well inferior loud speaker performance.

What is the phone coming to ? any ideas .. ?

P.S: The indian version is spiced up i heard.. ₪ In Focus: Symbian S60 3rd and 5th Edition ₪: Indian n97 seems to be spiced up well, how thoughtfull of them !

Last edited by di1in : 26th July 2009 at 15:19.
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Old 26th July 2009, 16:45   #2
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Just speculating, the Indian version could be priced some where
between 35K-40K.
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Old 26th July 2009, 16:48   #3
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It has been launched.

Priced at around 35k MRP. Available at around 31k at dealers.
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Old 27th July 2009, 01:00   #4
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It has problems with a loose keypad. However, apart from that its a good Iphone buster. I think people need to move from the Iphone to another one. As i feel it was overhyped and it has now faded.
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Old 27th July 2009, 04:08   #5
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A few years too late to beat the ipod now. Users who have used symbian in the past and found it sluggish and wanting will stick with the ipod just for its simplicity. There are plenty of good WM smartphones for those who want something more serious.

Reminds me of the HTC Kaiser and Touch Pro.

Last edited by bigman : 27th July 2009 at 04:09.
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Old 27th July 2009, 12:24   #6
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n 97 is a great phone phone with a few bugs in the version that comes in the sales kit.just upgrade the software version as sson as purchased & there ends all your problems,also if you want the phone not to hang disable the slide to unlock option & it is a breeze to use.
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Old 27th July 2009, 12:35   #7
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The lens scratch problem persists due to little space between the lens & the cover. As some dust gathers between the two, friction/movement causes scratches. Its avoidable if the lens is kept clean at regular intervals.
I've also heard about the back cover becoming loose early which translates into below par build quality for a ~30k device.
No idea about the touch interface on how it stacks up against i-phone.
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Old 27th July 2009, 12:45   #8
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Can anybody tell me how's the reception and RF-quality on the Nokia N97 esp in low signal area ?
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Old 30th July 2009, 17:42   #9
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I don't know about the loose keypad as said by dezmo, didn't face any sort of problem in the device i recieved.
Contrary to what bigman has to say, i don't think smart phones are designed for simplicity - the phone that did try to do that, the iPhone, ended up being anything but smart lacking many of the features that are taken for granted in other smartphones. The n97 is capable of doing most of the things that a pocket pc can do and still more. But the build quality sure is bad.. as bhp1 pointed out.
The n97s reception is better that what my n95 gave me.
I've posted a review here, the links to the rest of them are in that post : ₪ In Focus: Symbian S60 3rd and 5th Edition ₪: Nokia N97 : First Take

Last edited by di1in : 30th July 2009 at 17:45.
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Old 4th August 2009, 15:58   #10
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Question N97 widget and facebook app problem

I find that the Accuweather widget on the home screen does not automatically. I have to touch to enter it and come out for the update to appear on the home screen. What is the point of having a widget on my home screen then if it does not update itself automatically?

The Facebook app was working perfectly both as an app and as a widget from day 1 till about one week ago. Then on, it just says "Error Occurred: Status, undefined"

A bit of googling, and I found that it is a common problem on an N97. Don't know which setting I should fiddle with to make it work. One solution was to go to Connection Manager, manually disconnect the GPRS connection that is active, and then go to the Facebook app to create a connection automatically. Even this solution does not work. Anybody facing this problem on an N97 or a 5800?
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Old 4th August 2009, 19:43   #11
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Default Nokia N97 user experience

This is my honest experience of using N97. I have not covered the areas which did not bother me. So anybody wanting to add stuffs are welcome.

The Good
Multi-tasking (Dont know how many of us will use this).
Good build quality and the form factor is spot on.
Good for Video and Photos with 640360 pixels(blows the iphone away). Should credit Carl Zeiss for a great lens.
Memory is 32GB and expandable (GOOD Keep it up Nokia).
Good battery life and battery is replaceable if needed (not like iphone where you should carry a charger if you are a heavy user)
Awesome audio quality. Plays MP3, AAC, eAAC, eAAC+, WMA (iPod does not play WMA).
Good quality video playback (MPEG4, 3GP, H.264, WMV, RealVideo 7,8,9/10 TV-out support (PAL/NTSC))
Good builtin speakers.
Maps are good. (Thanks to Nokia owning Navteq)

The Bad
Only RAM 128MB
Processor 434 MHz - still lacks a lot of clocks. Here are a few Smartphone clock speeds for comparison
BlackBerry Bold – 624MHz
HTC Magic – 528MHz
HTC Touch Pro2 – 528MHz
Palm Pre – 600MHz (can be overclocked to 800MHz or 1GHz)
iphone 3GS – 600MHz (seems overclocked old CPU)
Samsung i8910 – 600MHz

Using the UI seems like a prison sentence. Nokia still thinks you need to use the menu for most of the things like copy and paste even in a touch screen phone(My 5 year old Windows mobile was better).
Cannot copy and paste numbers with pause and wait . Eg. i had a number 232323pp213423423, which was not allowed to be pasted into the contacts as it has a character in it, but i can type the same in using the phone keypad. Funny but that is what happens.

Inconsistency in UI (Some taps are single click and some are double click. You get frustrated often.)
Cannot view numbers from call logs if you have the caller in phonebook.
For eg, If you get a call from someone and after the call you want to know the number he is calling from, the call logs does not show it. You will need to navigate to the phone book.(So So irritating).
Nokia tells that you can have the application links in the home page. When i try to add messaging(I am referring Messaging, not new Message) or calculator, I cannot.
I can keep on going about UI, i will better stop here.

The spec says that the phone has a orientation sensor, but the phone only changes orientation when the keyboard is slid out. If you drive around with GPS, you are forced to have the phone vertical. Changing orientation does nothing. If you use keyboard for typing then close it and return to do something with the screen, you will find the screen switched off (This is a bug introduced in new Firmware(V11) and is quite annoying. Old firmware(V10) was rubbish anyway.)

Nokia's software.
Nokia has gone for a modular approach. It has OVI suite, Nokia Software updater, Nokia Map Loader and Nokia Map Updater all separate doing their own things. Having these many different modules seem to be a bit on the complicated side of things by having a few start-up programs instead of one. I tried disabling the start-up programs and then enabling them again. It just broke itself and would not recognise my phone. So had to uninstall and reinstall all softwares again.
As a tech guy i find it a bit frustrating every now and then using the software as they are not user friendly, and to mention help is not that helpful. Nokia's software in my view is not for an average user. For example to install maps, you need to download and install Nokia map loader. Then download and install Nokia Maps updater to download and install maps. I don't find it explained anywhere where and what to do.

Ovi online store
OVI is a joke, forget it. Visit iTunes store to know how an online store should be.

What Nokia should fix
Single software like iTunes to do all stuffs and make the software simple to use.
Revamp the whole UI and make it a pleasant experience.
When using GPS the phone struggles. At least 256MB of RAM and 600MHz would have been ideal.

Featured i think N97 should have had.
1) Touch Screen (Still Resistive, I would have preferred capacitive like the Iphone)
2) Play OGG, FLAC and MKV... (Without this we again need to get a cowan/archos to play good quality audio/video inspite of spending 38 thousand (price while writing this)).
3) Web browsing is a bit tatty. A full blown browser would have been better.
4) I would have preferred a OLED screen with 720p display.

Conclusion
N97 does a good job with social networking sites with its widgets. It also does good job with mail sync with exchange. Overall it is a Smartphone which swings more towards the phone side.

I think nokia has a winning design here which is let down massively by the UI, PC softwares and Online store. If they bring Android or change their symbian os to match iPhone or Palm Pre, N97 has a chance.

Last edited by ksethuram : 4th August 2009 at 19:55.
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Old 4th August 2009, 20:31   #12
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Very good review Ksethuram, you have pointed out the shortcomings pretty well.
I'll add another one, the Camera lens tends to get scratched by the lens cover itself!

Nokia's touch interface is still in infancy, needs to improve.
How's the browsing speed & does the phone hang frequently?
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Old 4th August 2009, 21:05   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksethuram View Post
Processor 434 MHz - still lacks a lot of clocks. Here are a few Smartphone clock speeds for comparison
BlackBerry Bold 624MHz
HTC Magic 528MHz
HTC Touch Pro2 528MHz
Palm Pre 600MHz (can be overclocked to 800MHz or 1GHz)
iphone 3GS 600MHz (seems overclocked old CPU)
Samsung i8910 600MHz

Great review, you are prompting me to buy one.

but do not just go on the frequency of the chip. some times the chips have special DSP to run the multimedia and imaging which is different than the core which runs the operating system and applications.

What is important is the performance of the phone when permutation and combination of applications are running simultaneously.

more over as you said, many people do not use multi tasking anyway.
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Old 4th August 2009, 21:24   #14
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Nice review.
I am currently using a N95 8gb and thinking of upgrading.
Prob is i can't find a good upgraded phone.
Do you feel N97 fits the bill?
As per the specs i don't find a lot of changes.

P.S- It doesn't matter to me if its touchscreen or not.
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Old 4th August 2009, 22:20   #15
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Great review Ksethuram.

I would recommend Samsung Omnia HD to anyone looking forward to the N97!!

Check this out - Nokia N97 vs Samsung OMNIA HD Photo Gallery
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