Nokia World 08 Live Report

Nokia World 08 Live Report
Second update 4AM EST - added second page - Nokia Messaging and Nokia Maps 3.0
Updated 8PM EST - added N97 hands-on experience

Hola chicos! umh, we mean Hello friends! We are here in Barcelona, Spain for the annual Nokia World event. The leading phone manufacturer hosts a two-day event, allowing the mobile community to meet closer with Nokia’s products and services. We are also part of the show, so we can bring you some information straight from the horse’s mouth.

Nokia announced its new Nokia Messaging service, which will attempt to give email and IM access to more users, by cooperating with wireless providers to make it more affordable. The Nokia Maps app got upgraded, with more features and higher map quality.

However, the star of the show is definitely the new flagship model, the N97. It was presented by Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Markets. After mentioning the success of the N95 (15 million units sold), he gave the definition for a perfect mobile phone. The N95 is surely a good device, but doesn’t meet many of today’s standards. According to Mr. Vanjoki, the new phone should have large screen, quality camera, lots of memory, etc, etc. The new Nokia N97 is said to meet all of the requirements. It is coming with 3.5-inch 16-million colors touchscreen with 16:9 ratio and 640x360 pixels resolution. Free memory should not be a problem, with 32GB built-in and slot for up to 16GB microSD card. The second S60 phone with touchscreen brings a few improvements to the operating system, so check our hands-on below.


Those not remembering the euphoria overtaken the community when the N95 was announced, here is an excerpt from our coverage of the launch event at that time: “At the Nokia Open Studio 2006 event in Manhattan, New York, Nokia officially announced their new models of the series, including the new revolutionary (really) N95,  …”. We usually ridicule Nokia when we hear the execs repeating and repeating the phrase “Multimedia Computer”, but around Q3 of 2006, the N95 was really something that could be considered such and caught everyone’s attention. At that time, the now all mighty iPhone was something in our dreams, and all manufacturers were caught in the “best features packed in a device” game, with no much attention paid to how the users interact with it. Time passed, the iPhone materialized and well it didn’t have gazillion mega-pixel camera with smile, anger and whatnot detection (plus a lot of other things) but changed what users expected from their phones. Even though not the first touch based driven device, it is definitely the gadget that set off the whole trend. Most manufacturers took note, went to the drawing boards and more or less similar devices started to appear left and right. Nokia did not immediately take action and the 5800 XpressMusic, their first touch-based devices just recently made is commercial debut. The N97 seems similar to the N95, in terms of raising the bar by offering myriad of features, good touch-based interface and software capabilities and options. 

Our first impressions are based on the several working units available at the event.  Keep in mind that those are very, very early prototypes, which lock up constantly, in addition to all sorts of error messages, so we’ll share here our general thoughts and feelings. We were told the devices present here were actually hand-made and the first on which the hardware and software meet in one unit. 

After having this out of the way, the N97, just like the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, runs the new S60 Feature Pack 5 with touch screen support. The display is 3.5 inches and based on our very short experience with the device seemed superb in terms of contrast and brightness.

The next positive impression is the widget driven home screen. For some strange reason, saying widgets brings up the ill-faded solution we say in Samsung F480 and OMNIA, but thankfully Nokia have done a lot better job (they already have experience with widgets from their N810 Internet Tablet). Total of 6 can be shown at the same time on the home screen and all are with fixed size, so pretty much their order can be rearranged.  By the time the N97 launches, there should be plentiful available.

We wished we could spend some time with the N97 before we can give our judgment about the UI, but from we saw, it seems very similar to the one in 5800 and overall left us with very satisfactory feelings. This is all we can say for now.

It is really hard to name exactly what the new N97 looks like. It is a mixture of several devices, namely the 5800, N79 and ….. the N810 Internet Tablet, which has similarly situated d-pad of the left of the keyboard. In terms of size, well, for those of you living in the US, it is almost as large as the Samsung Instinct. If you want to see how it does compare to your current device, or one you know well, use our Size Visualization tool. The added hardware has taken its toll on the weight which reached 5.3 oz or 150 grams which is well balanced and does feel very good in hand. 
World’s first is the never seen in any other device before screen tilting. This revolution … ops sorry, it is already 1AM and the long day and lack of coffee starts to show its effects on our memory.  The screen really does tilt to 35 degrees when the keyboard is slid-open, very similarly to HTC Tilt (TYTN II), but unlike it, it cannot stay flush. Despite being early prototypes, the tilting mechanism seems very robust and smooth. When set on a table with the screen tilted, it is perfectly balanced and doesn’t tip over (this was mentioned several times by the presenters, so we guess is VERY important).

The keys on the keyboard seem well space out, with good tactile feedback. Again, given the pre-pre-release condition of the device, this is all we’ll say about it.

The front features two touch-sensitive buttons and one real one for invoking the N-Series multimedia menu. On the left are the volume rocker and the camera key, with the miniUSB and sliding lock key. The power button and 3.5mm jack with TV-out functionality are located on the top. 
While we write this, we are sure some of the comments will be: “How come the camera is still 5MP? This is lame, look at Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson having 8MP …”. Like it or not, this is what the N97 offers. We personally are not disappointed a lot from the megapixel count, but more about the lack of Xenon flash.  At least we all get Cars Zeiss imprint on the back ?

Overall, we like what we see. It seems like an excellent all-in-all device, offering everything one could ask for – full keyboard, large widescreen display, GPS, S60 touch UI, 3.5mm jack, 5MP camera, good browser, 32GB of internal memory, plus slot for more. What else could you ask for?

The Nokia N97 is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2009 and have unsubsidized price of around 550 EU or $700 USD. 



1. unregistered

Looks like it will be a very impressive device. I can't wait to get one.

2. unregistered


7. shgcksd unregistered

Probably AT&t

10. linitallday unregistered

Well in my "opinion" I think that T-Mobile should be the carrier that gets this phone because they have always carried good Nokia phones in the other hand At&t is more big on LG and Apple phones so that is why I think this BUT ITS JUST AN OPINION everyone thinks differently

12. Anonymouswdf unregistered

Once again this is a european phone! It will be released in Europe and Asia and we will have to wait at least ayear for a similar phone

22. unregistered

It will be unlocked, (at least initially). Just like every N-Series Nokia phone released in the United States, it probably won't have a carrier. However, I'm interested if the phone will be 4G when an American model is made. Most US versions of Nokia phones usually only work well with AT&T's 3G network, but Verizon will have most of the future 4G networks bands in the future.

24. ak8er unregistered

i say unlocked

3. vzw fanman unregistered

that looks like an awsome phone but it is prolly verrry expensive

4. unregistered

once again nokia proves where they are number one when it comes to cell phones. this phone is unlocked so it can only be put on gsm carries and it is going for around 550 euros. this device is a powerhouse running on the best most popular OS i cant wait to get my hands on this phone. let see all the apple fanboys cry about this one, features wise the ijunk cant even compete with this monster and nokia reworked the touch from the tube on the homescreen so now it is even better. the screen is gorgeous and omg look at the memory that it can hold, amazing camera too bad its not their new 8mp i guess ill have to wait till later next year for that one. but definatley the phone that i am getting when it is available

5. seto1994 unregistered

I was gonna get the omnia on Verizon but i might as wait to c how good this phone is. I can survive on a pre-paid service until this phone comes out. Looks amazing and finally a cell phone breaks 30 gigabytes of internal storage! If as good as it looks I'm definitely switching to at&t to buy this unlocked. And DVD quality camera?! I can ditch my point and shoot, zune, and gps device for this if it's that good.

6. zeppfan72 unregistered

WOW!! I was literally just about to buy an unlocked Touch Pro or a Bold, maybe the X1 but this phone grabbed my attention. It has all the specs and the hardware looks solid as well. I'm going to wait until some one does a review on its performance. If it holds up like I think it will, I'm definitely getting one of these bad boys!!!!!

8. Elwh1

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 17, 2008

It looks like a gr8 phone, something that I hope will finally take down the I-phone. I'm still waiting for their next "Camera-Centered" flagship phone. I don't mind if it's a 5mp or 8mp, just please let it have a Xenon flash. That's the one disappointing thing about the N97, where is the Xenon. It has been proven that Xenon is better than LED or even Dual LED flash, so why does Nokia contnue to make camera phones with LED.

9. unregistered

there are already a lot of phones better than the iPhone throughout the world. The main problem is that not many of them are sold in the united states. You can probably get this phone in AT&T or t-mobile, but it will have to be unlocked. I don't know of many high-end nokias sold directly through U.S. retailers

11. unregistered

the last high end nokia that was sold to a carrier here in the states was for att the n75, and the reason for the dual led flash is because it is much better for video recording than a xenon flash but i agree i would like to have one on there too. but they said that this camera is going to be very impressive so i wouldnt be surprised if it will be the best 5mp camera out there especially while looking at it on that gorgeous screen omg.

13. unregistered

another $800 phone

25. unregistered

totally agree

14. Fresh-popcorn unregistered

If it had a Dual Flash, One Xenon and the second Led Flash for Video then it would be perfect.

15. unregistered

Will it support Blackberry services? It seems that for some time now, Nokia ceased to provide software which was enabling nokia phones to work with BB

16. unregistered

come on nokia bring somethings new of phone market. You are the #1 in phone market. Don't copy other and pretend they are differents.

17. unregistered


23. sk8er unregistered

serious wat????

18. Richards unregistered

This phone will come out next year? 1st q? or 2nd q? anyway nokia is far behind with the camera. its video camera is also cr#!. They say DVD quality video recording? its the resolution that is dvd but the quality is far behind if you only look at it its horrible even though sony ericsson only has qvga video recording the quality is pretty good. the picture quality of the 5megapixel is also cr#! even this site is lying about it. i had the n82 and my friend the k850i the screen was better from the k850i on the screen of the k850i both pictures look better but the k850i photo was better on the pc also the sound quality perfect and dont even start about samsung that is worthless lg is ok but nokia tops it but sony ericsson is the best since the k750i in the store they will tell you the nokia and the samsung are the better ones. but they are lying i worked in a phone store and even tough the se was the best i had to sell the nokias and the samsung because they make more profit on those phones when you take the n96 in one hand and the k850i or c905i in the other you also feel the difference in the built quality nokia is never groundbreaking for real like the n95 it should have been superior against all others but is was nothing even the picture quality of the k800i was better. and it was slow and it was fragile. music quality? also bad. now they are coming with the n97 it has 32gb that's very good expandable slot that's even perfect it has 5mp? what the fu@! are the sick? there 5mp is not that impressive. symbian? the worst os there is(for smartphones) windows is very good on the htc's and the xperia (lot of software to make it the way you want) apple os is also great google android is even perfect nokia has shown interest in the google os but don't realy understand why they bring this again with symbian the phone looks cheap and so does the os its compared to the xperia of omnia of touch pro nothing interesting but ok of course nokia has built its name in the early stages of mobile phones and some people hang on it. but on the other hand if nokia doesn't catch up with the "mp-hype" they will lose quite a crowd. now there are 8mp. half 2009 there wil be 10mp from sony ericsson and 2years from now there will be 12mp phones with hd-video recording if you look it that way this is nothing and nokia has great plans for 10years from now the "nokia nano" google it and you will see the greatness of the phone they are planning to make over 10years but until that time they have to keep up with the competition at least the specifications cause people only look at the specifications and not the actual quality of the product they are buying

20. me unregistered

"half 2009 there wil be 10mp from sony ericsson and 2years from now there will be 12mp phones with hd-video recording if you look it that way this is nothing" news for (in case you live in cave or something like this, LOL)

19. Kennie.D Stonez unregistered

As much as the resentment I have for the iPhone, I've been waiting for someone to come up with an iPhone killer. Previous competitors seemed somewhat worthy, but I think this time the N97 will put an end to the discussion. I rather pay US$800 for N97 than to pay US$200 and bind with the 2-year contract for the ridiculously overrated iPhone. I can't wait to get my hands on this baby. Nokia, it's about time!!!

21. tae unregistered

i agree with you, iphone IS superoverrated

26. unregistered

i really don't understand why some ppl r disappointed about it only having a 5 MP camera, i mean 5MP is enough for good quality size pics (unless you're printing a poster or something), MP means nothing when it comes to cameras its all in the lens and thats what N97 have, a very nice and decent Carl Zeiss Lens or SE phones with cybershot lens etc. but yes i do agree that its disappointing the N97 doesn't have Xenon Flash.

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