The Nokia N97 spent a bit more time in development because Nokia needed its launch to be nearly-perfect. It’s not a nearly perfect device, though.
Though updated, the Symbian OS can be off-putting for some users when compared to other current mobile device OSes. The Ovi integration is a big dropped ball. And the price ($600-$700 unsubsidized) makes it harder to get it in front of those people who’d use the widget-driven homescreen best.
Despite that, I still like the N97 a lot. I really did go out and purchase one based simply on the first impressions with the device. The hardware, battery life, quality of the web browser, and widgets are nicely compelling from a power-user standpoint. Those who are familiar with Symbian devices would definitely have an easier time getting going with the N97, and might even find that its a solid upgrade from previous Nokia/Samsung flagship models.
The N97 does need some more time for some of its wrinkles to be ironed out. Hopefully, a major firmware update will come along to address things such as Ovi integration, menu consistency, and the addition of more homescreen options.
Until then, this can be an expensive yet powerful entry into your pocket. And one where Nokia clearly understands that the future of mobile devices is in being constantly connected, and having a device that reacts to you. In terms of what Nokia now sees for mobile devices and its users, this is a very good version 1.0 shot into what can be next stage of smartphones.
- Great battery life
- Solid keyboard
- Widget-driven homescreen
- Excellent Web browser
- UI inconsistencies
- Lack of clean/clear Ovi integration
- Screen rotation sensor overly-sensitive
Symbian S60 5th Edition
3.5in, 360 x 640 pixel touchscreen with haptic feedback
Slide-out QWERTY keyboard
Quad-band GSM (GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA)
5.0 megapixel camera with auto-focus
Front-facing VGA camera
Battery Type: Lithium ion, 1500 mAh