Nokia N97 flagship mobile phone unveiled

Qwerty slider, touchscreen and 32 GB of memory

Nokia N97 2009

Nokia has unveiled its new flagship model – the Nokia N97, complete with touchscreen, full qwerty keyboard and the hopes of the Finnish nation.

The N97 takes over, unsurprisingly, from the N96 as the phone giant's key flagship product, competing with the likes of Apple's iPhone 3G and the likes of Sony Ericsson's X1, BlackBerry Storm and Samsung Omnia.

However, it will be six months before the Nokia N97 gets to market, and with the company's rivals raising their game in the wake of the arrival of Apple in 2007, the phone will need to be something a little special.

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New start for N-Series

"This is really the start of the new N-series ... really kicking off the next wave," Jonas Geust, vice president of Nokia's Devices unit," told Reuters.

"What would there be these days without touch? Touch for this category of devices is going to be important. Qwerty is also going to be important."

The Nokia N97 handset has been priced at €550 which equates to £467 at current conversion rates and is expected to ship at the beginning of H1 – around July.


The screen will be a 3.5in, 640x360, 16:9 affair, and the phone will also feature a slide-out qwerty keyboard, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, 32GB of onboard memory with microSD expansion and a battery life of 36 hours for audio playback.

Nokia has also put a far-better-than-iPhone 5MP camera into the mixer, with Carl Zeiss lens and 'DVD quality' video capture.

Nokia has already termed the N97 the 'world's most advanced mobile computer'.


Bonjour, Guten Tag, Hello and Magnum PI. What do all of these things have in common? Well, three are greetings and one has a great moustache and is played by Tom Selleck.

But, enough about the rest of the world, you only care about mobile phones. Or cell phones if you're from the US... if you didn't know the difference, then I'm glad to have helped you out.

Anyway, a couple of things tickled my fancy this week, and you'll be glad to know that they're both about mobile phones and not something lewd and inappropriate.

Sad tale of the week

We apologise to all readers who were expecting Nokia's Tube phone (the inexplicably monikered 5800 XpressMusic) to be the iPhone killer. It's not, and in the same way, neither is the N97. And that's not because it's rubbish. It's because it's not an iPhone.

Like the plot of a bad 80's series, it turns out that only the iPhone can usurp itself. Only the iPhone can kill the iPhone.

So imagine the following scene on TV two decades ago (The iPhone is called Barney, the N97 Andy, the BlackBerry Storm Derek and the T-Mobile G1 Brian).

Scene: A back alley in downtown Phonetopia. Night. There is inexplicable smoke everywhere, and for some reason four phones are chatting.

Barney: Hey guys, what's up. I'm new in town. I'd like to become the King.


Derek: There's a Storm coming.

Andy shoots Derek a strange look

Brian: There's no room for you here.

Barney: But I'm so loveable and light and you can multi-touch me.

Andy: We'd rather not. This town isn't big enough for all of us. You need to go.

Barney: I've got just as much right to be here.

Andy and Brian advance menacingly, Derek has wandered behind a dumpster and is playing with some foil.

Barney: Hey, what's going on? I could take your picture if you hurt me... the cops will know what happened and who you were.

Andy: They'll never be able to see our faces. You have no flash.

Derek jumps up

Derek: FLASH!

He drops his foil and begins scrabbling around.Andy and Brian jump on Barney

Andy: Pull out his battery!

Brian: I can't! The whole back is screwed down!

Barney: You can never defeat me.

Andy and Brian fall back. Derek joins them, eating a hamburger. They all pull out guns.

Andy: We can.

All the phones start shooting Barney but the bullets are useless, bouncing off his body.

Barney: You can't kill me.

Andy presses a button and his interior turns into a mirror. Barney sees his own reflection and falls to the floor, the weight of his own burden draining his battery.

Barney: No, not this. I have no flaws!

Andy: You do. Many, but they have been well hidden by marketing and shiny metal.

Barney dies, but instantly is reborn. He gets up.

Andy: No, it's not possible. What's happened?

Barney: I'm faster. 3G faster. I can locate better. I am the perfect being.

Derek: Can you send MM...

Barney: That is not important.

Brian: Can you cut and pas...

Barney: People do not want that.

Andy: Is your camera any bett....

Barney: Cameras are not necessary. Look, will you stop? I am perfect.

Barney attempts to run after them at 7.2Mbps but finds he is inexplicably slow, and his GPS doesn't work surrounded by so many tall buildings, so he lumbers off in the wrong direction.Two more phones run slowly and Windows Mobishly round the corner, the Samsung Omnia (Iain) and the Sony Ericsson Xperia (Jeff).

Jeff / Iain: Are we too late to kill the iPhone?

You see, that's exactly what it would be like.

Scary press shot of the week

Scary press shot

Apparently this was taken in China for LG. I just feel like these girls are looking at me having knocked me out and tied me to a bed, and they're going to shoot me if I don't eat these three phones.

Mobile YouTube

Last week you saw some funny commercials. Well, having trawled the net looking for some more funny things to show you, I found these little nuggets of comedy. By the way, I've decided the following criteria are necessary to be included in this segment: About a phone, a phone in the advert, on a phone, the person who shot it has to have a phone, or NOT about a phone.

What's REALLY inside a BlackBerry

When phone pranks go wrong

Leslie Nielsen doesn't quite understand Amsterdam

Appearances can be deceptive

iPhone spoof ad of the week:

"The iPhone keeps me sane... that, and the meth"

Retro phone of the week

Having spent a weekend at my Grandmother's, I decided to rummage around in the garage cupboards looking for treasure. Imagine my happiness when I found this week's retro phone sitting in an old metal tin!

The philips c12The Philips C12 (you may know it as the Orange Savvy, the BT Cellnet U phone, or the one you used to have and really liked but can't remember the name) was a real behemoth of its time, back in 1997. You can buy one now for £2.50.

We're talking horoscopes, interchangeable covers, loads of contacts and even EMOTICONS IN TEXTS! I know, it's hard to believe that this was once an emoticon-less world... but it was.

Sadly, it suffered the same fate as everything else and became outdated. But look how tiny it was! I've placed it next to some average-sized bananas to show the size adequately. You'll be happy to know I ate them afterwards though, so all was not lost.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this segment. I know I have enjoyed travelling round Phonetopia for research. I know there might be factual inaccuracies in there (for instance, the N97 not being released) but hey, I don't really care. Neither do you, if we're honest.