I’ve been playing with the new N97 since Friday and if you’ve been keeping up with my tweets on twitter you’ll realise I’ve been enjoying it, in fact I stated I LOVED THE N97. Why?
Well the design of the N97 is impressive, the only thing I don’t like about the overall design is that the charger socket is a micro-usb connector, its not the end of the world, but probably something I’ll get used to. The N97 is solid and the hinge design is quality. I’d read before I got the N97 people moaning about the keyboard layout, but I’ve very quickly got used to it and find it easy to use typing with both hands, they could have made the SPACE bar a single key bigger for us with big thumbs. Single hand keyboard use on the move might be a little tricky, but if you close the keyboard away single handed with the touch screen is workable.
The screen is big and clear, touch control is just as good as the 5800XM, sound quality of the speakers is good, but not as good as the 5800XM’s, camera and controls nicely positioned and the camera slide even has a cloth material under it which cleans the lense everytime you open and close it which is a nice design idea, 3.5mm audio/video out socket, but no audio/video cable supplied like the 5800XM had which is strange, screen lock control at the side which sometimes gets its knickers in a twist and needs two tugs.
Okay overall the build quality of the N97 is very good, its got that quality the E71 has and you feel like its worth the money you’ll be paying for it. When I’ve been using the N97 I tend to slide the keyboard out and use along with the D-pad control rather than use touch control as I find this easier and it feels nicer. I commented to Ricky from the Symbian-Guru on Google Talk the other day the N97 feels like a miniPC and that’s how I’ve been using it.
Now I’ve already posted What’s Installed On The N97 and described how each app has performed on the N97, but Nokia’s are not iPhones which can only have one app opened at the one time, so how’s the N97 been performing being overused by the gerrymoth?
Well the two worries I had before I got the N97 was the keyboard and if there was significant RAM, the keyboard I’ve said hasn’t been a problem, so what about RAM?
Well its not a problem and it is a problem depending how you look at it and how you use your N97. With all my apps running, Homescreen, Nimbuzz, Gravity, Mobbler, Profimail and Web Browser constantly on and a few others turned on now and then I was sometimes left with only about 11MB of RAM left which made me worry a little, but it didn’t stop me using the N97 and it didn’t slow the N97 down to a grinding halt which I expected. So should I worry about RAM if even at low RAM usage the phones still working? Well yes, because I only realised what the N97 does when you do reach very low RAM and your wanting to run another app, it closes some or all non priority apps running in the background to allow you to run whatever you’ve just opened. I kept wondering why Nimbuzz and Gravity would sometimes close in the background when I was on the web viewing videos.
So is there a RAM Issue? How you use your phone is the answer, then for me the RAM is a big issue, as I can quite happily run with all apps open on my E71 and never have any of them close in the background, so have Nokia put some inferior processor in the N97 compared to the E71, well No, what’s sapping all the RAM on the N97 is it those homescreen widgets or maybe the larger touch screen? Who knows? I do hope Nokia can improve on it in future firmware updates as I find the N97 a joy to use and love it as a miniPC sitting on my desk or out in the pub, its only when I’m hitting the N97 hard does it not keep all my apps open, maybe I’m one of the 5% of N97 users which will use this N97 to its limits, but that is what I want from this phone, why didn’t Nokia have the biggest and best processor ever in this device?
I’m not saying the N97 is a failure, I sat for 6 hours in my back garden installing apps, texting, making calls, emailing, tweeting, checking Google Reader, watching YouTube, listening to Music/Radio on Friday when I first got this phone and it was a sheer joy to use and that big widescreen and keyboard make it such a joy to use. It has some software issues, minor or major, I hope, no I pray its only minor and Nokia can fix very quickly as I want this phone as my main phone for work and blogging and keep the 5800XM or E71 for the weekend.
Its early days, I’ve only had the N97 for a few days, I’ve got it or a few more weeks to review and will let you know how I get on with it in normal every day usage, maybe I’m hit it too hard too early on trying everything at once?