Nokia N97 review

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

The Nokia N97
The Nokia N97

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As you can imagine, messaging is where the phone comes to the fore. While the QWERTY keypad might be a little more flush and ever so slightly smaller than other efforts, it's still very easy to hit with average sized hands, and within minutes we were typing at around 60% speed compared to a normal keyboard, which is excellent for a mobile phone.

The nokia n97

However, others that tried the keyboard were less impressed, stating that it was harder to hit the keys and the flush nature of the keyboard made it harder to find the right button each time, but there was likely an element of getting used to a new system as most of the people surveyed had barely used a QWERTY keyboard on a phone before.

Messaging on the Symbian S60 system is pretty much the same fare as it ever has been before.

Simple keys at the side to send messages, add contacts and attach files are a nice effort to add a bit of functionality to proceedings, and the general day to day texting was easy and simple to do, even with one hand when on a crowded train (although we did nearly elbow someone in the face when flicking it open).

Emailing, which was among the easiest to set up as we only needed to put in our Gmail address and password, was less of a pleasant experience after initialisation, with slow updating of the inbox and no HTML option to speak of making only the most basic of emailing possible.

The nokia n97

Composing an email was nice and straightforward though, being very similar to the method of writing an SMS / MMS.

Email was seemingly only updated once we went in and looked at the inbox, being prompted to connect to the mailbox to check for updates.

However, despite turning the feature on the first day we got the handset, the option to auto-update the inbox decided to start working after three days... perhaps we inadvertently altered some settings to start the process, but it was going to be a major black mark to have the email on the home screen but not to update every 15 minutes or so.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.