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Nokia N97 Review

Nokia N97

Posted: , posted by PhoneArena Team


Performance and Conclusion:

With the Nokia N97, the manufacturer brings their top range N-series into the realm of smart phone fashion that is called touch sensitive screens. The phone is also being introduced as a mobile computer, although it is far from being one. Computers should be able to cope with variety of tasks these days, because technology keeps pushing on and customer requirement follow suit. Both the 434 MHz ARM11 processor and 256 Mb ROM / 128 Mb RAM of the Nokia N97 deliver good operational speed, although the phone doesn’t feel any faster than other devices running the same operating system. The list of cons includes large 3.5-inch screen providing really good image quality in direct sunlight, fast GPS, good sound and fine sliding mechanism. The built-in internet browser is a piece of capable software as well, although you would expect to see full Flash support, especially on a phone that is claimed to be the ultimate internet device.

Nokia N97 Review
Don’t think the N97 doesn’t have its shortcomings. The most important is mediocre in-call quality. Despite voices are loud on both ends of the line, they are also sharp and hard to catch onto at times. Turning volume down helps, yet we can´t say things are coming up roses here. We did expect this top of the range Nokia device would deliver better in-call quality. Add to the list of gripes the freezing of the operating system every now and then, the mediocre multimedia performance alongside of the 5800 XpressMusic and the lack of full office support. Now, these are some serious drawbacks for a high-end phone.

All told, we have arrived at the conclusion the Nokia N97 is quite far from the “mobile computer” the manufacturer claims it to be. Device performs well in certain tasks, badly in others and is mediocre device as a whole. The second touch sensitive screen device of Nokia makes for a passable high ranking smart phone, but except for the hardware QWERTY, it is by no means better than its major rival - the Samsung OMNIA HD i8910. It´s hyped as the N-Series flagship device, but the title is not well earned, because the differences from the much cheaper 5800 XpressMusic are not that significant. We feel completely ready to jack the QWERTY keyboard in order to get a larger display, the same functionality and multimedia capabilities that times better and ultimately go for the Samsung OMNIA HD i8910. If the keyboard is vital to you, you better consider the HTC Touch Pro2, just keep in mind the latter runs Windows Mobile. If a Symbian smartphone isn’t the only thing that would buy, have in mind the Palm Pre and the Apple iPhone 3G S are two perfect alternatives.

The software version of the reviewed unit is 10.0.012.

Nokia N97 Video Review:


  • Large, beautiful screen with high sensitivity
  • GPS is fast and trouble free
  • Good audio quality
  • Reliable, high quality sliding mechanism


  • In-call quality is not good enough
  • Lack of full Office support
  • Limited support of video formats
PhoneArena rating:
User rating:
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Nokia N97

Nokia N97

OS: Symbian 9.4
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display3.5 inches, 360 x 640 pixels (210 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Single core, 434 MHz, ARM11 processor
0.1 GB RAM
Size4.61 x 2.18 x 0.63 inches
(117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm)
5.29 oz  (150 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 6.66 hours talk time

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