Undoubtedly, Nokia is one of the most trusted names in the mobile phone industry. Their unchallenged domination can hugely be attributed to the great design, functionality and technical sophistication of their N-series m....
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Undoubtedly, Nokia is one of the most trusted names in the mobile phone industry. Their unchallenged domination can hugely be attributed to the great design, functionality and technical sophistication of their N-series mobile phones. Does Nokia’s latest offering the N97 mini live up to the legacy laid down by its N-Series predecessors?
Contrary to its name there's nothing to suggest that the Nokia N97 mini is short on anything, and although it carries the huge Nokia N-Series expectations on its shoulders, it's safe to say that the N97 mini was able to tick all the right boxes when it comes design, functionality and technical innovation.
For those who are looking for a perfect combination of style and sophistication, the Nokia 97 mini will give them enormous pleasure. Aesthetically it’s fundamentally similar to the N97 but weighs 12gms lighter than its predecessor at only 138gms. Unlike the build of many recent smart phones on the market that tend to lean towards the use of cheap plastics to reduce construction costs the Mini feels remarkable sold, sturdy and well made. Edges are nicely contoured adding a sense of elegance, the slide mechanism for the QWERTY keyboard is smooth and sturdy, and the overall result is pure quality.
Not only is the Nokia N97 Mini lighter than its predecessor but the dimensions have also taken a slight cut, be it slightly insignificant. The dimensions of the N97 mini are 113 x 52.5 x 14.2mm while the N97’s are 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm- Mini by name but not so much by nature.
The front of the handset is dominated by a striking 3.5 inch display. Once you switch on this impressive little device, a vibrant high-resolution touch screen greets you. The touchscreen utilises resistive technology as opposed to capacitive meaning pressure needs to be assorted on the screen in order to manipulate the elements, its slightly less responsive than a capacitive screen which relies on your electron-rich fingers but nevertheless it’s still highly responsive.
The slide out keyboard on the Nokia N97 Mini would easily have to one of the highlights of the handsets, the keys are nicely spaced so you don’t feel cramped, and the buttons provide a nice level of tactical feedback, holding down the relative key output the corresponding symbol or number above the key allowing for some really quick error free typing.
The Nokia N97 mini utilises the same Symbian S60 5th interface as its bigger brother the N97, overall the UI is quite snappy and lag free thanks to its 434 MHZ processer. Kinetic scrolling or Flick scrolling similar to what can be found on an Android or Apple phone has been introduced since the previous Symbian release and now allows for a more fluid navigational experience. Interestingly and disappointingly at the same time list menus require two clicks to activate while widgets require a single click it would have been nice to have opening applications a streamlined experience and either have double clicks across the board or single clicks – preferable single click.
On power up you are greeted by a highly customizable widget home screen which can hold up to 5 widgets at any given time. There is an amazing host of widgets available to you ranging from tools such as a network connection wizard, a calendar, email ,to social networking favorites such as a direct link to Facebook and MySpace .
Arranging widgets is a tremendously easy and fun task. Adding, subtracting and reordering widgets is all performed by a simply drag and drop. If you get bored of the preinstalled widgets never fear Ovi Store is only a quick click away which opens up a world of thousands of unique widgets waiting for you to download.
A special mention has to go to the “Lifecasting with Ovi” widget. A default widget on the home screen, Lifecasting allows the user to not only instantly update Facebook status but also allows the user to broadcast the street address of his or her current location, display the persons location graphically on a map with the option to add photos that you have just taken on with your phone, it’s a nifty little feature if you have ever come across a really cool spot and want o to instantly share it with friends.
With a 3.5mm headphone jack, access to Nokia’s online Music Store and the great audio that the N-Series is renowned for the Nokia N97 mini is a very competent media device. It’s 8GB of internal storage is well suited to storing music and video files while on the move. The music player is intuitive and easy to use and offers plenty of filter options to take the headache out of finding tunes. The video player is similarly intuitive and easy to use but is somewhat let down by its lack of divX and Xvid codec support, though to combat this Nokia has included a conversion tool in the PC Ovi Suite that will convert virtually any file format into a recognisable format for the phone.
The 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss optics and duel-Led flash camera is one of the best that we have seen for a long time. Image quality is excellent and colour balance is outstanding. It can easily substitute for a camera that you can be taken everywhere, of course it’s not to the same standard as an equivalent standalone, but for a quick snap and sharing online it does a great job.
The Nokia N97 mini is not only a great looking phone that is exceptionally well made but it brings a whole host of features to boot - if you are interested in doing more with your phone than calling and texting. In short the Nokia N97 Mini does a great job of improving and refining what the original Nokia N97 had to offer.