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Call it affection to Nokia N900, says it mess at personal front now days, may be my a bit illness on health front; I really feel that I was unable to give sufficient time to my latest trial device Nokia N97 Mini. Though I written comments about Un-boxing, wrote about Hardware Specifications and a few posts are there on small Ovi Maps adventures with it. But still this amazing device deserves a review about its functioning. Trying to cover a few this time…
Usually when you talk about Nokia N97 Mini, then common opinion is “its made for youngsters”; thanks to its bright, responsive, big 3.2” touch screen, QWERTY Keypad opening in slightly tilt mode to make it a Mini Netbook, always on connection for status updates from various social networks, fast processor and increased RAM/ Application memory, strong multimedia skills due to amazing 5 Megapixel camera & FM receiver and smooth video experiences (local and web) and huge storage options with 8GB internal memory and support for 16 GB MicroSD card to increase it more.
But sometimes I really think that except the comparatively lesser battery (though that’s also enough decent) why not to call it a Business Device? QWERTY keypad operating in long landscape aiding to fast typing like on some 13” Netbooks, big display to support viewing web pages comfortably without much compromise, almost all connectivity options (3G, wi-fi), all time synced contacts, photos, calendar, even files with Ovi, so that if you are using multiple devices then you get the same experience (I can’t help myself not to think about, if some corporate start using synced contacts, calendar and files through one account ), 5MP Camera capable to take snaps of documents like scan images, support for TV-Out for presentations, number of applications out there for suiting your needs and huge space for keeping your mails and files ready on the go. What else are your expectations from a Business device?
For me, its been kind of full entertainment device by which, I could keep on checking my updates, my blog, snapping here and there, sharing anything over web on the go, watching movies when travelling to somewhere and getting bored. If we want to go green, then we should really promote such device at our best.
Ok!! enough talking. Lets talk about how it looks like, when we operate on it means Screen Shots, lots of them….
At first, when I was looking for how to take screenshots, then it reminded me that how easily I was taking them in N900 by pressing Ctrl+Shift+P … but anyway, I found a free app in Ovi Store itself by name of Best Screensnap and then started taking snapshots after setting HotKey (it made me confused that if Camera key would be set for taking screenshots then how to take snaps, anyway, I changed the hotkey on long press camera key). Added the same app to my beloved Nokia N82 as well.
Here are some screen shots and notes about them:
Home Screen (Portrait Mode)
Home Screen (Landscape Mode)
Addition of Home Screen widgets was the greatest thing that started with N97 classic and obviously continued with Nokia N97 Mini. Users of Nokia 5800 and other Smartphone in lower cost range still crave of the same feature on their screens, but probably this feature is kind of too much for their low RAM or application memory.
If you go through options, then you can see that there are options to hide the contents and go back to plain home screen without any widget on it. There are also option to hide/ show content by swapping your finger left/ right side on screen. Moreover, options are here to keep the content Offline as well (Handy if you want to save the data usages or battery for a while).
Default contained Facebook widget, which I replaced first with Accuweather and later on with favourite contacts. Though I tried to add Gravity later on, but didn’t found quick way to add something already installed in your Phone, it was directing to Ovi Store.
Calling and Dial Pad (Landscape Mode):
Dial Pad look similar as of other touch screen phones from Nokia and USSD numbers obviously work out of the box unlike Nokia N900. Provided the sleek looks, one can never be needing the H/W keypad to dial some number, even if one requires then he could directly type numeric keys of the keypad (no necessity of pressing shift key in that case).
Signal Reception of Nokia is legendary as always and surprising I found the sound louder than Nokia N900 and others. Kind of a good thing for Indian Users. 😉
The Keypad is awesome to type on. I already said that I just loved the similar keypad in Nokia 900, so bound to love it. Although it still lacks of auto-complete feature in Nokia N900 (may be some third party apps out there for the same), but it support long press keys to get symbols etc.
The touch screen keypad lacks of mini qwerty that is quite disappointing as it was there even in Nokia 5800. True that one should use H/W keypad for the same, but there may be scenarios that you can’t operate with two hands. I really recommend Nokia to add the same in next firmware update.
Rest two format are available in the same way as on other phones and good that they have retained handwriting mode, though I didn’t used it that much, but sure a good thing for occasions.
Various Menus inside:
First screen shot is about Menu screen and then I am following the calendar app.
A nice view and then full fledge options for meetings, notes etc. These are all the same options as we find in other leading Smartphone’s from Nokia.
In next, as you can see above, is Contacts. As you already heard that Nokia N97 Mini come with kinetic scrolling out of the box, true with Contacts and other menu items. Addition in Nokia N97 Mini is appearance of first letter as you scroll down (D and C in pictures). Definitely Symbian getting polished day by day, device by device. Expectations are higher for Symbian^3.
Another and kind of most important app is Web. Interesting here is Auto Full Screen feature, even if not like full fledged on Nokia N900, still it was better than other phones. Experience was amazingly richer due to embedded Youtube support (same as available in Nokia N82 or others, don’t remember it was same in Nokia 5800 or not)
As I always recommend, I installed Opera 10 Mobile in it as well and interesting was to note that appearance of my blog was more or less same on both the browsers, though there are more options in Opera for sure. Look at the screenshots as given below.
A lovely app is Nokia Messaging with HTML mails support, though on trial for few days, but I will love it when Nokia will made it free like its Ovi Maps. This is something that made me checking mails somewhere else than Gmail’s app. Definitely different than any other thing, though I wish it was having more formatting options inside, may be native HTML Coding itself.
This thing not only supports Push Mails, but the white face make it look much elegant than other email apps. For the detailed descriptions, one could head toward a detailed article from Zomgitscj.
As about Camera, then I already said that it compares to Nokia N82’s Camera, which has been my best so far in such a way (credit goes to Xeon Flash) that even I didn’t found Nokia N900’s Camera preferable over the same (even if was technically better), but Nokia N97 Mini even with Dual Led flashes changes your opinion. It is really good one about snapping and really removes my disappointment as was with Nokia 5800 about Led Flashes.
You would be surprised to know that I already have snapped more than 5000 snaps from my Nokia N82, so could understand that having such a good camera could increase your photo collection in your camera. Options for tags come much handy for such situations.
I also tried Nokia Photo Browser that is a Beta Lab app and sure impresses in view. Not have tried but came across one awesome article about arranging your snaps on Nokia N97 Mini. Definitely a powerful device as far as Photos are concerned.
Digging more deeper takes various menus and submenus, which most of you must be already familiar with, so not going into details. Though will mention to look at the last screen shot, it provides the control over Notification lights in a new way, which is a cool thing.
So, here we come to discuss about the most interesting and important feature of this amazing device, Ovi Maps. Though content is older in this article, but could worth taking a look for exploration of Ovi Maps.
I also have wrote a couple of articles over Ovi Maps and even got a tweet from @ovibynokia that I have became entitled for some cool ovi goodies. Don’t know what would be that …. Surprise.
Waiting for that. Till then check other screenshots.
Rest remains is the world of applications. Many comes out of the box with shortcuts to install them means a huge applications folder with full of icons, took at least 4 screens to cover them all. There is an amazing message reader as well to read loud your messages for you.
What I installed in addition were Fring, Gmail, Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, Skype, Periodic, Compass, Flashlight, Orkut, Best ScreenSnap and the almighty Gavity (I have fallen in love with it). Just added Nokia Here and Now via Software Updates. Amazing thing again.
So, this was the app world about Nokia N97. I addition I checked Videos over the same. I still miss the 3.5” screen of Nokia N900 that was extra large without any buttons on the screen. May be some people like me will wish that if Nokia could have retained the same 3.5” Screen as was in original Nokia N97 and would have added the same battery as was in Nokia 5800.
I should say that in symbian league, it was the best from Nokia till now. Unfortunately when someone like Nokia N900 appears on the screen, then its bound to steal the show and we started skipping others. But if you talk about features, then you will be surprised that how much effect Nokia N97 Mini will have on your crave for some Laptop/ Netbook always with you. Most of the things, like social media, mails and web access are following you now with its home screen widgets and you find yourself not missing even if you travel a lot.
I really wonder that where Black Berry Phones are getting their places even after their buggy scroll ball (I got all of them go bad after one year or two in my office, not one but half a dozen consistently)?
Yes!! there are some complaints/ suggestions for Nokia Team about Nokia N97 Mini ….
Why to leave the same messaging innovation as we seen in Series 40 devices like Nokia 5130, where we had option to send messages to people we last messaged, people we called recently and setting favourites for messaging? It was too cool in even those low end devices and I thought good things to be continued in higher end devices. I don’t find any additional requirement or issue in porting the same feature, when you already made it once.
Why still we are left with some trial Quick Office and Adobe Acrobat? I had it in full with Nokia N82 at least for reading and expected it to be available in read version at least with Nokia N97 Mini like device.
I have really no idea what suggested Nokia people to remove the Mini QWERTY keypad from touch screen, but its a real must have. Please give it back in next firmware update or whatever…
I can understand Nokia’s requirement about making a device low on price and high on features that made them compromising the battery and FM Transmitter. But don’t you think that battery is as essential as Network coverage itself? Think about it.