Nokia N97 review, feedback and complaints

I've had an old Blackberry for a few years and I was ready to spend some serious cash on a nice Nokia.  I love the idea of the Linux based Symbian S60 OS, so I was looking at phones like the E63, E71 (both are basically the same, at least CPU/screensize although E71 is thinner, has a 3MP camera, has GPS, and has dedicated buttons to adjust the volume).

Then I heard about the N97 and what a revolution it was supposed to be and it was even compared to iPhone. 

To put it short, I actually placed an order on Amazon for a whopping $780 USD with taxes and shipping to Canada and decided to cancel the order and buy an iPhone (soon) for the reasons that follow.  That is a lot of money, more than the cost of my wife's dual core Compaq with Geforce 8400 graphics, but I was thinking "you're paying for the features and portability", so it "justifies the cost" and this is the "best phone" and it is "better than iPhone".

But as I read more I saw why there was so much criticism and people called Nokia "arrogant".  It's because it uses an under powered and overclocked ARM CPU borrowed from previous models like E63 and E71, and doesn't even have a dedicated graphics GPU like iPhone.  So basically performance wise it is a downer, but I said hey "it's still got the full-sized keyboard" and that is what I was paying for and also the "5MP camera and video recording".

So here's what will probably one day be regarded as leading to the demise of Nokia, and the huge glaring, unforgivable faults with the overly expensive N97 which fails to deliver to whatever audience it thought it was targetting.  Seriously, did they even think about how their audience was or is this another example of the arrogance I've seen people complain about.

The Keyboard is a Failure

Then I saw the how the keyboard disappoints, for a few reasons.  The main one is that they decided to put the space bar on the right hand side! Why would you do this?  It's even dumber than their silly keyboard layout on the E63 and E71 where the z is right below the "A".  No wonder people keep screaming to Nokia "learn how to make a proper keyboard", seriously is it that hard?  Or did some genius engineer think it would be a nice idea to screw up the keyboard layout for a laugh?

Seriously again, keep with the standards, although I really hate Blackberry, at least they got the keyboard layout right (well except that on some models there is no cursor back key!).

This is most surprisingly since you would think the keyboard was targetted at business/Blackberry users (which includes myself), but they screwed it up too much.

They've also been criticized for this silly flip up design that actually makes it hard to view the screen while using the keyboard and typing at the same time.

So Nokia singehandedly took away their only advantage over their competition, and this was a strong reason that I cancelled my order.

The screen is not well though out and is lackluster

After seeing videos I noticed the screen looks too fuzzy, it's not very vibrant or bright.  It also doesn't look as clear or sharp as such an expensive phone should, so again the iPhone Version 1 still destroys them here.

Not only that, but why did they insist on making the screen tall and skinny?  Really, copying is flattering and they should have made the screen more useful by making it at least as wide as iPhone went.

The CPU is too slow to compete with iPhone

I've said it before, they just slightly overclocked an old ARM CPU and it doesn't meet iPhone here.

There is no dedicated graphics GPU, so forget 3D applications and gaming.

Again, how were they going to compete with iPhone on this one?  There's no dedicated GPU.

Conclusion - Nokia N97 could be a Nokia killer or should at least wake them up

This phone could be what ruins their reputation and puts them under.  Competition is fierce and they are not even close to competing with Blackberry or the Apple iPhone.  They need to rethink their marketing and fire their current marketing, development and engineers for making such silly features, and causing the N97 to be a complete flop.

I was upset and wondering why people were so hard on this phone, but for a phone of this price it should match and beat iPhone in each way.  Maybe if they at least got the keyboard right they could be saved, but then the fact that the rest of the hardware is completely outdated and subpar, from the CPU and to the screen, they had better rethink their phones and do it quickly if they want to remain in this market.

The N97 fails in every single respect, and I believe most owners will feel the same way, especially given the high price.  For those who own an E63 or E71 and got it for a decent price, you should stick with what you have, because the N97 just provides a larger screen but has essentially the same CPU.

I'll be looking forward to see if Nokia gets it right next time.


Tags:

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