Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Upcoming Nokia N97

02122008529I’ve been a Nokia Nseries smartphone user for some years, starting with the N73 and now currently the N95 8GB. I’m still quite pleased with my N95 8GB, and you could say I’ve become quite a fan of the Nseries smartphones. So the latest Nokia Nseries N97 is piquing my interest. It’s due to hit the stores in Singapore in June. What’s new about the phone?

Like the N95 8GB, this phone has “the works”. Everything. Quad-band GSM, tri-band UMTS, 802.11b/g Wireless LAN, Bluetooth 2.0 (with a great variety of profiles supported), A-GPS, 5 megapixel camera, and a micro-USB port. It has 128MB of RAM and 32GB of internal flash memory.

Here’s some new feature highlights: The N97 is a side-slider phone with touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard. Yes, a real keyboard, not a virtual on-screen keyboard. It will have a bunch of sensors too: proximity sensor, accelerometer, and compass. It will run the Symbian S60 5th edition OS. It’s new battery will boast over 5 hours of 3G talk-time, 400 hours of 3G standby time, 37 hours of music playback and 4.5 hours of video playback.

Really great.

However, there are some departments that have stood still in time. The Nseries has had 5 megapixel cameras for some time. Perhaps if you thought pixel count isn’t too important, surely they could have considered improving the flash? The N97 uses Dual LED flash, which seems a step back from the Xenon flash in the N82. The 3G HSDPA speed still tops out at 3.6Mbps.

The N97 has become somewhat clunky too, measuring 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm and weighing 150g, although it is certainly not bad considering that it is a side-slider with full QWERTY keyboard.

I was really hoping for improved camera features. The N95 8GB has been great, but the camera-phone world has since moved along and come to have greater expectations in photo quality. Nevertheless, it could still be a worthy upgrade from the N95 8GB that the N96 wasn’t. I wonder how it would be priced when launched in Singapore.

Yeah, I still have little interest in the iPhone.

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