…with the Nokia N97.
Yes, that’s me. Last week I was invited to the launch of Nokia N97. Was really looking forward to the event because I’ve heard so much about the phone. How awesome it is. How sleek it looks. And how much better it is than its predecessor, the Nokia N96. I owned the N96 for a while but gave up after about a week and reverted back to my old faithful, the Nokia N82.
Nokia N97 launch @ Mandarin Oriental.
The N96 honestly was an overrated and overpriced phone. As much as I love Nokia, I can’t help but feel that the N96 was the single most disappointing thing that the company has ever come up with. It simply was not able to compete with the older, tired looking N95 (which I had begrudgingly gave to my Mom and she LOVES it). Not even close. The camera was an epic disappointment, the ergonomics of the phone was awkward and it was slow as hell. Even the firmware update did nothing to alleviate its problems. It’s got sexy looks, yes but unfortunately the pros end there. So yes, I had my reservations about the N97.
What do I know….the N97 had me at the sliding. Yes, I’m shallow like that. The sliding mechanism is too cool. It’s not flimsy and in fact feels really solid. It slides upwards to reveal a full qwerty keyboard with classy matte surface. I’m trying to stay calm just talking about the matte keys. The keyboard keys are spaced comfortably away from each other, unlike the E71i which are right next to each other and is quite annoying to use (even abnormally tiny fingers like mine keep pressing the wrong keys).
I’m not really big on touch screens because I’m more of a tactile person but the N97’s screen is unlike the Iphone where you can do that air conducting thing ala Minority Report (ok kinda, cause there’s still some ever so light contact with the screen). You actually have to press the N97 screen so it’s all good. It apparently even comes with a stylus for people with clumsy fingers (like yours truly) and of course, for those who prefer to use chinese characters, you can do away with the hanyin pinyin bs. Just write!
On to the OS of the phone. It still uses Symbian60 and I have no problems with it, namely because I’ve never tried others :P The phone seems reasonably responsive. I was testing out the personal phone of one of the Nokia’s bigwigs (whose name I have unfortunately forgotten) and it was loaded with widgets and all kinds of stuff but I didn’t notice any lag. So yay to that.
The one thing that I was worried about was definitely the camera. Majority of the pictures on my blog were all captured with my N82’s camera and it’s very important to me that my phone’s camera is able to take pictures in the dark. The N97 passed my camera test with flying colours. It doesn’t have xenon flash like the N82 but the two LEDs are good enough. The camera button is thankfully not spongy like the N96 thus really, really helped in adding to the clarity of the picture. The white balance of pictures taken by the N97 is one of the most accurate too. It has lost the blueish tint that are quite synonymous with pictures taken on Nokia’s phones.
So overall, I really, really love this phone. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a phone so bad. The last time I had this feeling was back in the 90s when the Nokia 8310 came out. I will no doubt get an N97, whether by hook or by crook. All I’m waiting now is for the price to stabilise a bit and then I will whip out my life savings for it. Afterall, my beloved N82 is starting to show signs of age.
I will get the black one, but the white one looks really cool too.
Yeah and I didn’t take any picture of the phone at the event because I was too engrossed playing with it. But I did have one gem of a picture from that night….
This is me looking horrified for super failing at Guitar Hero competition. I think ST was too stunned to react. There was an audio video delay, I insist that was the case.