The Nokia N97 is the tip of the spear in Nokia's smartphone lineup. It is the most powerful, smartest and fully featured phone of the company. It is also the first Nokia phone to make use of a large touch-display and that alone has raised the expectations from die hard Nokia fans that have refused to switch over to the iPhone. And Nokia has put quite a lot of work and thought in the N97. I had a first look when Nokia was still developing the N97 and I was looking forward to get my hands on the final product. In this review, I will tell you how I used it, and how well it did. Does the Nokia N97 live up to the hype?

Phone Highlights

* 3.5" Touch Display
* 32GB internal storage + 16GB optional storage vis flash card
* 5 Megapixel Carl Zeiss Lens
* WIFI, Bluetooth
* 3.5G
* FM Radio

Physical Design (Good)

The Nokia N97 is a nicely designed phone. The design is agreeable to look at, and the build quality is good, except maybe for the battery cover which has a plastic feel - but it needs to be flexible because it's *removable*. The display is a mixed bag: it has a resolution of 640x360 but the colors seem a little faded and the clarity seems inferior to other touch phones. I suspect that one of the display layers has something to do with this. Two people that I've shown the phone to immediately made the same remark as well.

Next to the speaker, you will notice a front-facing camera and a proximity sensor. The 5 Megapixel camera is in the back, protected by a sliding lens cover. There's a "camera" button that makes taking picture more natural than taping on the screen (which often induces a last minute shake that could makes photos blurry). The keyboard sliding mechanism feels solid.

Touch Phone (Just OK)

For many things (but not all), the Nokia N97 can be used as a pure touch phone. The company has done an "ok job" on the tactile user interface. It's mostly intuitive, except for the setup menus (I question their logic). Nokia uses a double-tap system to avoid accidental clicks vs. drag interpretations (see video). For example, in the menu, if I want to go to my contacts, I need to click once to select "contacts", then click a second time to actually launch the application. Depending on your tastes this can be great or annoying. We're not fans of it, but I got over it.

The portrait/landscape switch works most of the time, but it sometimes won't switch from portrait to landscape and you will have to open the keyboard to force it to do so.

The display of the N97 provides a tactile feedback upon clicking. It's interesting, but it won't help with typing speed, if you wonder. It might be something that we want to disable to expand the battery life a bit.

Some functions like "Unlock" or "Menu" are accessible only by the hardware buttons, which is weird, considering that most people would expect everything to be accessible via the touch display. It's not a roadblock, but it's not completely intuitive.

Responsiveness (Average)

There's nothing as frustrating as a slow phone, right? The Nokia N97 is a mixed bag when it comes to responsiveness. Most of the time, it is responsive and does what I want, but if there are a few applications running it will get slow. I understand that it's better to have less apps opened, but it's "only" a few apps. Secondly, it's too much work to go and close them one by one, so I suspect that most people will do exactly what I did: nothing. All phones should have a "close all apps" icon on the homepage.

Homepage Widget (Well Implemented)

Widgets are popular these days. Samsung and Sony Ericsson (Xperia) are big believers of Widgets, but the N97 has the best homepage widgets implementation that I have seen so far. On many phones, widgets are messy (like the OMNIA), but Nokia has done a good job at maximizing the use of screen space. I like the default homepage that includes Facebook, but I noticed that the widget was often out of sync with the real-time content (this is true for Exchange as well). That should be fixed. It would also be nice if we could interact with the widgets directly from the homepage, like updating a Facebook status or a Tweet from the homepage.

Keyboard (Average)

Having a physical keyboard is just great for heavy texters. The N97 keyboard suffers from the same issue than all sliders have: the buttons are very thin, which reduces the typing speed - at least, for me. To be fair, this is one of the better slider keyboard that I have played with recently. Also, the keys are spaced just a little too far apart, making the finger travel much and that makes the typing slower too. The space key is oddly placed too. As an alternative, I would propose having an Sym, Shift and Func (to get the blue characters) on both side of the keyboard and place a recessed trackball, instead of using directional "joystick".

For those who text in the dark, the keyboard has a beautiful backlighting and the two-tone (white and blue) characters make it very readable. Other phone makers should definitely take notice.

Text/Email (Good)

The N97 has a lot of email options and the one that I prefer for work is Exchange: it is well implemented and works flawlessly. Emails arrive instantly and the only thing that I noticed is that upon a soft reset (battery removal), the phone does not cache the Exchange email and spends time doing a "sync" from scratch (that can take a couple of minutes).

I also setup a GMail account. From the address, the N97 was able to preset all the mail server settings. All that I had to provide is my email and password. By default, that email was setup to use the 3.5G connection, so you might want to set it up with the "default" connection, to make it work over WIFI as well. All in all, the setup couldn't be much easier.

The N97 has a lot of email options and the one that I prefer for work is Exchange: it is well implemented and works flawlessly. Emails arrive instantly and the only thing that I noticed is that upon a soft reset (battery removal), the phone does not cache the Exchange email and spends time doing a "sync" from scratch (that can take a couple of minutes).

I also setup a G Mail account. From the address, the N97 was able to preset all the mail server settings. All that I had to provide is my email and password. By default, that email was setup to use the 3.5G connection, so you might want to set it up with the "default" connection, to make it work over WIFI as well. All in all, the setup couldn't be much easier.

Mapping (Great)

The N97 comes loaded with Nokia Maps, and I can say that it is my best "out of the box" experience with a default navigation app. Unlike Google maps, the Nokia maps are cached on the device itself, so once they are 0nboard, they are not downloaded (over the air) again. Better yet: you can pre-load an entire city, country or the whole world (4GB) so that Nokia maps doesn't load the maps while you're traveling. That cuts down on roaming charges, waiting time and frustration.

Nokia Maps is fast and lets you scroll the map smoothly. Upon a zoom in/out it will take a second readjust the level of details (see video). I found the compass be not very useful in pedestrian mode. Using it makes the map rotate left and right -all the time- which doesn't help the overall map readability. Nokia should also improve the search and use a single text field like Google Maps does. It is also not possible to select an origin/destination directly on the map. That would be easy to add.

Nokia Maps can send .lmx files that contains a geo-position, but unfortunately, there are no popular applications out there that read them, so you're stuck with sending it to your Nokia-wielding friends.

Overall, Nokia Maps is a great mapping software and one of Nokia's finest application. I only wish that Nokia would make it available to other platforms like Google does.

Web Browsing (Very Good)

The Nokia N97 has a good browser, it worked with pretty much all the sites that went to, including Yahoo Finance and Google Docs. Y! Finance is usually an interesting site to try on a phone because it's hard to render on small displays. The N97's resolution is high enough to display it correctly, so that's a win. It is possible to log into Google Docs and view text documents, but sheets did not work, even in read-only mode. Adobe Flash Lite is supported. You can go on YouTube, follow links to YouTube and do things that you would normally do on a computer, without going through a YouTube "app".

Data Connection (Normal)

These numbers can vary depending on your location and quality of signal. I wish that I had more time to run around San Francisco, but this is what I got at the office:

  • 3.5G: 630Kbps
  • WIFI: 1.4Mbps

Note that it is technically possible to use the Nokia N97 as a 3.5G modem. It works only via Bluetooth, which tends to deplete the battery faster. I think that a USB tethering option would come in handy in the future. The modem drivers are in the Nokia PC Suite or can be downloaded separately if you don't want to install all the software package.

Camera (Very Good, for a phone)

It won't come as a surprise that Nokia has a good 5 Megapixel camera. Of course, Megapixels don't mean much in terms of quality, but in my experience this is "good" to "very good". The flash works well too. In my tests, I found that the N97 had a photo quality superior to the Blackberry 8900 that we usually use to live blog. To see more photos, including full-size ones, head to our Flickr page.

I had some issues with the video recording: the auto-focus never worked (!). Nobody else seems to complain, and Nokia has not replied to my email on the subject. At the moment, I'll file this as a "problem with our unit", but drop a comment if you noticed this elsewhere.

Multimedia (Just OK)

With 32GB of internal memory and the possibility of adding 16GB more via a microSD card the storage is great. With Windows Media Player (iTunes is not supported), it is relatively easy to sync files with the N97 (who uses WMP to manage media files?). Make sure that you connect with the "Media Transfer" option and the N97 will appear in Windows Media Player. From there you can drag and drop things that you want to sync. It takes seconds to sync a dozen .mp3 files. WMA files with DRM won't work (Rhapsody...). As you can guess, the sound quality was definitely OK and will be limited by your earplugs, unless you are walking around with expensive audio gears.

You can play music while reading your emails if you want. If a call occurs during the playback, the music will stop and will restart where it stopped.

The video playback demos included in the phone were working fine and looked like they were running at 30 frames per second. The image quality is just OK - not great like it was on the HTC Touch Pro. After playing with the Samsung OMNIA HD, it's hard to be impressed. The N97 video playback is good enough to enjoy a TV show. On the video side, the big question is where the content will come from. Users rarely take the time to convert their desktop videos to a mobile format, even if there are good options out there to do it. The store content was very interesting to me, but you might find something there...

Another thing of interest is the Radio. it works really well and tunes itself to available local stations. The sound was very clear on the few stations that were found immediately. Cool stuff.

Battery Life (Average)

During the test, I found the that average battery life was about 1.5 to 2 days with my usage (see "context" up there). Obviously, this will vary a lot depending on your own usage, but the bottom line is that most people would charge it daily, but if you forget it, you won't have a dead phone in the morning.

Useful Links

Nokia Product Support

Nokia N97 User Guide (pdf)

Since the iPhone had revolutionized the market by surprise and deprived a major mass of people of Windows mobile,yet the HTC have come up with an innovative(and expensive) solution for there competitor iPhone.

HTC Touch HD was lauched on 15, September 2008.

Detailed Specs of HTC Touch HD :

  • 5 Mega Pixel Auto Focus Camera, no flash
  • 3.8 inch WVGA Screen with 480 x 800 resolution
  • Qualcomm MSM 7201A™ 528 Mhz CPU
  • 288 MB RAM & 512 MB ROM
  • 3G, HSDPA, Wi-Fi & GPS
  • Quad Band GSM
  • Accelerometer sensor
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • FM Radio with RDS support
  • Video & Audio Player
  • Pocket Office
  • TV Out (Cable not included)
  • Mini USB port & Micro SD card slot
  • Touch Flo 3D
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • 115 mm x 62.8 mm x 12 mm dimensions & 146 gm weight
  • 1350 mAh Battery

One of the most revolutionizing handset that has enjoyed a lot of hype since the past couple of years the Apple iphone and continues to do so in its sequels iPhone 3G & 3GS.

Cutting it short following are some of the reviews and features of both the phones which by themselves tell apart the differences that whether the phones are worth spending your money!


iPhone 3GS = $299 for 32GB
$199 for 16GB, with a two-year AT&T contract

iPhone 3G = now $99 for 8GB with a two-year AT&T contract
iPhone 3GS,

iPhone 3GS:

CPU speed= 600MHz
Memory=16 & 32 GB
Camera=3 Mega Pixel

iPhone 3G:

The 3G having a 412MHz
Memory=8 & 16 GB
Camera=2 Mega Pixel

The iphone 3GS has an OS 3.0

The Coolest Feature of iPhone 3GS

Voice Control
Apple has given 3GS owners the ability to control their phone via simple voice commands, relayed through a glitzy Voice Control homescreen (which is accessed by holding down the home button for a few seconds).In practice, the application performed admirably while making specific requests, whether it was dialing contacts, or playing a particular band.

Compass / Google Maps
iPhone 3GS'In practice the inclusion of a hardware compass is actually really helpful when it comes to doing things like navigating a new city. As far as the hardware is concerned, the compass seems to do what's promised with pretty impressive accuracy.