"A not-so-smart smartphone"3.5 starson by danielcalvinc
Pros: Excellent photo quality - 5mp with Carl Zeiss lens (f/ 2.8 is excellent for a phone)
High screen resolution - 640x360px
Well-designed QWERTY keyboard
Music app is very easy to navigate
FM Radio has good reception for a phone
Cons: Very rudimentary interface
Processor is not built for what the phone demands from it
Bluetooth and email service have major glitches that make them practically unusable
Annoying alerts pop up repeatedly and cannot be disabled
Summary: The Nokia N97 Mini is in one word - overpriced.
1st Issue - It's OS. The Symbian OS series 60 on this phone is simply a redesigned version of its predecessor. What Nokia did with Symbian S60 is quite similar to what Microsoft did with Windows Mobile 6.5. Both are simply redesigns of their predecessors, which are also redesigns of their predecessors. The bottom line is, you have an OS that has not seen major revisions in years.
2nd Issue - It's processor. The N97 Mini uses an ARM 11 434 MHz processor. In the age where companies like Apple and HTC are building cutting-edge phones with 1GHz processors, this is unacceptable. In order to run most apps, the processor should be at least 600MHz. The iPhone 3G uses a similar processor, but it is designed with better graphics processing capabilities. Another issue that causes the Nokia N97 to be quite "laggy" is it's screen. The N97 uses a very high resolution screen for it's size, while if it used a less detailed screen, the phone could run much faster without a very noticeable difference.
3rd issue - OS glitches. A very annoying problem with the N97 is alerts. Specifically the "Connection not available" alert. It pops up in the most unexpected and undesirable times, and for absolutely no reason. It is impossible to disable. It is comparable to the incessant nagging of a small child. If I am not using any applications that require internet access, and I don't even have a data plan, why would I care that a connection is not available? No reason. It just wants you to know. And after it tells you, it tells you again. And again. And again. It blocks out everything else for a number of seconds, and when you click it to exit, it pops right up again. This may seem like a very minor design flaw, but believe me, if you own this phone, you know what I'm talking about. Two other VERY major glitches affect the Bluetooth connection and email service. When trying to activate email, you may find yourself very frustrated when the N97 stays on the "testing connections" screen. Personally, I have tried numerous times to activate the email service, but to no avail. I've looked for answers, but I've never gotten past that screen. Bluetooth is another issue. I have tried to connect the phone to both my computer and headphones, but it cannot connect, and for an unknown reason. I have also never found a solution to this problem either.
Now, I don't want you to think the N97 is a complete failure as a phone. It's not. It has it's pros. It's camera is very impressive, with a 5mp sensor. Not only that, but it uses a Carl Zeiss lens with a aperture of f/2.8. Very impressive for a phone. Photo quality is excellent, arguably point-and-shoot quality. One slightly annoying issue with the camera is that shutter and focus sounds cannot be disabled. Who knows why.
Ovi Maps is also an excellent application. It has saved maps, so internet access is not necessary unless using satellite imagery. Navigation is excellent, with free, non robotic sounding text-to-speech navigation. When in satellite or terrain mode however, you will definitely notice major lag in navigation, so it is best to stick to map mode.
Overall, the N97 is a average smartphone, with a moderately wide range of apps that can be installed. It does NOT, however, live up to its $580 price tag. Unless you can get an amazing deal (which I did, at less than $300), get an iPhone. And that's coming from a PC guy.