Nokia N97 Pre-Release First Impressions

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Okay, I’ve had the Nokia N97 for about a week now, so I thought I’d give a little (not-so) brief on myย  impressions on it. The guys whom I won the phone from NokNok.tv, also asked me for some feedback the other say, which I sent back something very much similar to what I’ve said below.

Firstly: On the first day I got the phone last Wednesday I initially came upon an odd problem that Vodafone didn’t have the data packet settings for the N97 for me to download to my phone, because apparently they hadn’t receive the protocol’s from Nokia yet, or something like that, so I couldn’t access the internet, but I sorted that out pretty simply by downloading the N96 setings ๐Ÿ˜› But I suppose that can be expected, having a phone before it’s actually been released ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let’s crack on then, and get the bad out the way.

The Bad: The biggest problem of the Nokia N97, is the Battery life.

  • When I enable live content updating on my home screen, the battery drains away pretty quickly. I’ve had to charge my phone every day since I got it. There’s been a few times when there was something I’ve wanted to photograph and upload to flickr, only to find that my battery had died, or going to bed and waking up late the next morning because my phone battery died and the alarm on my didn’t go off, which was frustrating. To put it in perspective, I’ve seriously been looking at getting a spare battery, or solar powered charger unit. I’ve never thought of doing this before with a mobile phone.
  • Also the few bugs I found were, When going outside the range of my home wifi network, the phone didn’t automatically switch over the the second priority network, which was my vodaphone gprs network. I had to go and delete the home network for it to switch over, but I imagine that to be pre-release phone software jitters, which will mostly likely be fixed soon with future firmware updates.
  • Sometimes an application, or the whole phone just froze up, and so I had to switch the phone off and on again, but I think I can chalk that up to trying to do too much stuff too quickly, and software bugs, which will be fixed in time.
  • The scrolling action on the menu screens is the opposite way round to the scrolling action on the web browser and applications, which is a bit weird at first, but I’ve gotten used to it.

Not Bad or Good: The ovi store works, I bought a game and it installed and worked straight away, and there are some free apps which you can install and play around with, but since I got the phone there’s been no new apps uploaded to the ovi store and there’s only a few really cool and amazing apps, that take advantage of the nokia N97’s capabilities, but I suppose that will come in time.

A Wish: This one’s not so much a bug, but a wish. Since most mobile applications aren’t made to be widgetised and put into homepage panels, like the N97, this means that you’re limited by what you can put on the N97 homepage panels. The facebook panel you might have seen in a lot of the N97 demos and screenshots a bit of an exception I think. There are other apps, like weather (don’t use because I see the weather on tv in the morning), news (don’t use because I restrict my news diet to my RSS reader and TV news), and some other built in apps, like music, email, calendar, etc (which I don’t really need to dedicate that much screen real estate to). These are all well and good, but I’d like to have been able to put panel widgets for Fring, and Google Reader on my homepage, I can only put links to my favorite apps in a links panel, so as it stands, I have 2 empty panels on my homepage… ๐Ÿ™‚

On more Wish: I’ve been really keen to try out an Augmented Reality application for a Nokia phone, but at the moment it’s only an experimental thing in Nokia, so I can’t get my hands on anything yet. It’s only really available in the Android and iPhone at the moment.

The Good: It’s really well designed, and I find I spend less time in front of the computer, well able to spend more time catching up with friends online.

  • It’s easy to use, and fit’s well in my hand. I can hold the phone open in one hand and still get to all of the screen and not feel like I’m going to drop the phone. And it’s lighter than you might expect.
  • It has all the bells and wistles. The FM transmitter is pretty cool and works , the camera is good, maps and gps works well, it all just works, which is great.
  • I have finally be reunited with Shozu and Fring, which I used before I got my LG, but then couldn’t install on it, because they weren’t made for LG’s, so now I can once more use those applications I enjoyed before, which I’m really glad about ๐Ÿ™‚
  • The most notable thing I’ve found with my new phone though, is I find I spend less time on my in front of the computer on my Laptop now that I my phone is that much more capable. I can keep up to date with my friends on facebook more than before, simply because I can check up on it in those spaces of time in my day that I’m free from distractions, like on my bus ride to work and home again, at lunch time (I can go outside and catch up instead of staying cooped up in the office)

Conslusion: All in all it’s a good phone. After my previous phone which was the LG Renoir, this is a major upgrade. :P.

With all this said, I know there is still lots of potential in the phone that I’m not even using yet, which I will only properly benefit from later as I use the phone more.

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