Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The "killer" in Nokia N97
The Nokia N97, billed as Nokia's flagship mobile computer, arrived last weekend and straight into the the MB Techlab. Boxed in black, dressed in black -- it was like a ninja ready to strike with shuriken.
Watch out, Apple iPhone 3Gs! There's a new "killer" in town!
Okay, out of the box you sneaky little devil, let's see what you've got.
First thing we tried here is the slider mechanism, and whoa, what a thunk! Now that's what we call a "killer move" (okay, so not as silent as a ninja).
The slide action has that solid, "aaa-tennn-shun!" feel which finished strongly to a 35-degree angle. Hmn, nicely done.
The keyboard we find quite easy to use, and played the keys like we play 'em second-rate phones to text. Amply spaced keys, we think, is key (pun intended) to fully enjoying a QWERTY keyboard. The space bar, by the way, is over on the right under the thumb, and no problem.
Oh, yeah, before we forget, the Nokia N97 is a touchscreen wonder. The screen bounced nicely under the finger after a good contact on an icon. Which means, the touchscreen would only be responsive when you hit an icon correctly.
Honestly, we see the Nokia N97 a cross between a lot of different phones from the "marked for kill" iPhone (3G, 3Gs) to the Google G1 phone. But who's complaining? People, assasins are supposed to be chameleons, too, right?
The N97's 3.5-inch screen is first to catch your attention. There's a little button on the bottom left side corner which serves as the shortcut key to the N series multimedia applications while the call and end buttons are, well, understandably side by side. On the top is the 3.5mm headphone jack and the power button.
The Nokia N97 is a bit larger and thicker than the iPhone, and we love that. Come on now, who doesn't want their "thing" big?
The added width, height and depth, we think, make the N97 so good to hold, with the bottom of the rear face curved downwards providing a natural handhold while stabilizing the unit when on a desk being typed on (guys, please, aren't we also talking of a miniature tablet computer here?).
Lest we get carriend away with the physical aspects of the N97, here's the beauty of the unit -- within.
The Nokia N97 is Nokia's first device to feature a personalizable home screen, which can be customized with a range of widgets which bring live information directly to the device. These widgets include key social networking destinations like Facebook and Hi5, news services like the Associated Press, Bloomberg and Reuters, as well as shopping and weather information.
The Nokia N97 is the first device to ship with the Ovi Store, which offers easy access to applications, games, videos, podcasts, productivity tools, web and location-based services, and much more. Ovi Store has paid and free content from a range of global and local content providers and developers, including Paramount Pictures, Facebook and Qik, as well as a selection of Twitter applications.
The Nokia N97 also has direct access to the huge catalogue of music in the Nokia Music Store. With multiple high-speed connectivity options and 32GB of storage (and if that's still enough for you maniacs, you can still go up to 48GB using a microSD card) it is possible to directly download and store tens of thousands of songs on the handset.
High-quality images and video clips at 30 frames per second (fps) can be captured using the 5 megapixel camera with integrated Carl Zeiss optics. Images can also be geo-tagged to specific locations and shared instantly with friends or uploaded online via Ovi Share, Twitter or Flickr.
The new N97 will tie in closely with Nokia's Ovi platform of software and services, which include music downloads, photo-sharing services and mapping software. A new-look Nokia Maps program on the N97 will allow users to pre-plan a journey on their computer and then synchronise the route across to their mobile phone.
Nokia has also promised that it will follow the lead of Apple, Google and Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, by making it easier for third-party developers to write additonal software and programs for Nokia handsets.
So, is the Nokia N97 the true "iPhone killer"?
Too early to tell, but the unit we got at the MB Techlab is killing us...and we're loving it!
(June 22, Technews Manila Bulletin, By Badong)