Nokia N97 review

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

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It's difficult to know how to judge the Nokia N97, as the first impressions thanks to great build quality and an excellent QWERTY keyboard made us think this could be the greatest Nokia phone yet.

It's not actually that far off either, as it has the best example of the high-powered Symbian S60 OS we've seen so far, and the touchscreen is up there with the other top touch handsets considering it's a resistive rather than capacitive effort.

We liked

The angled touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard are to die for, and the connection to the Ovi Store promises bountiful application upgrades, especially when we have 32GB of space to fill up.

The hinge mechanism on the phone is one of the most solid yet, and will surely come in for a lifetime of idle flipping open and shut purely due to pleasant sensation it brings (which means battery will drain super fast).

The build quality is more than solid, and the touchscreen overhaul of the S60 OS is good enough to actually be considered an upgrade.

We disliked

But the questions over why certain features haven't been added to the N97 mount up. Why is the processor not more powerful? Why is the layout of the phone essentially the same as before despite the refresh? Why is there no stylus in the box when we had two variations with the 5800 XpressMusic? Where is Comes with Music?

None of the above should be taken to mean this is a bad phone. By all means, it's a decent effort and not bad for around £500 SIM free.

But the media capabilities and niggly 3G connection are among the biggest annoyances, as well as the propensity of the Nokia N97 to crash and lag all too frequently. The Facebook problems were vastly annoying, as was the AccuWeather crashing, and this was just from the initial home screen.


Nokia fans will see this as a definite upgrade from what's been offered before, and those that appreciate a decent form factor in a phone will definitely do so too.

But there's just too many annoying parts to the Nokia N97 to label it a classic, but if you're stuck with it for 18 months (at least) then you can at least take solace in the fact there are many, many worse handsets out there on the market to be imprisoned with.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Wireless LANYes
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
Product NameN97 Smartphone
Processor Speed434 MHz
Processor TypeARM11
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberN97
Manufacturer Website Address
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