Two weeks back i got my first review unit from Nokia. It was Nokia N97 mini, this is a touch screen phone with full qwerty keyboard. So i was really looking forward to using it.
This is a solidly built device which is very small even with a full qwerty keyboard. It also has a touch screen and 5 mega pixel camera. It has all the regular features like bluetooth, wifi, gps and memory card slot etc. The qwerty keyboard is revealed when you push the screen to the side. It has a good clicking mechanism to it.
The keyboard is a quite good to type on, it also backlight which is nice to use during night times. The camera is a 5 mega pixel one with flash, which took good photos up close even in complete darkness. It has up to 8Gb of internal storage and a memory card slot. The speaker on the device is quite loud, which is nice to listen to music. All this in a very small package.
The device on the hardware side didn't disappoint, it was solidly built and felt very solid while using it. More detailed spec here
This is a touchscreen phone, so i was curious to see how well nokia implemented this. The touch screen on this device is pretty good, but when you compare with the device that are coming out now, it feels kind of slow. It runs symbian series 60 5th edition, which is not well known for its touch screen user interface. But they have made quite a bit of effort and made the icons and buttons big to click. Nokia N97 mini customized the home screen with some widgets. These widgets make the home screen more modern and quite usable. You can put shortcuts to apps, contacts and also display tit bits of information using these widgets. It come with quite a few apps like calculator, voice recorder and a podcasting app etc, which is nice.
With Ovi store you can get more apps from nokia's app store. The app store only shows the apps for your device so you can install all the apps that you see in the store. Unlike other phone app stores. It has quite a few apps on the online store, most of the them are free to use.Then there is Ovi music and Ovi maps which are good implementation, but need quite a bit of polish. The Ovi maps was quite slow to use compare with google maps. But these are free services. For Ovi music you can get coupon codes which will allow unlimited amount of music downloads. But my device didn't work with music store as i didn't have the coupon codes. Its a nice deal if you can get the unlimited download because it has all the latest indian music.The music and video player work quite well with the device. The music player is just the basic one you see on all nokia devices with a bit bigger buttons for touch screen use. It comes with Real player for video playback which supports quite a few formats. But couldn't play podcast that i download using the in built podcast app.
The messaging and mailing apps. Its one single app for all your messaging features. You can get free acccess to yahoo mail, gmail, ovi mail etc. It has a setup wizard which will automatically sets up the mail settings which is nice. The email is text only there is no way to see html messages. With the qwerty keyboard this app is quite useful. And the best reason to buy this phone.Camera app is quite fast and with the 5 mega pixel takes quite good photos. Even the video taken by this phone looks very good. Viewing photos on the devices is also quite fast.The browser which i think is what most people will use the device for is painfully slow. Even opera on this device felt slow. I am not sure what the problem was. Even with wifi connection browsing websites was slow on the device.Phone features seem to be the last thing people care about these days. It's quite good at that and has all the additional features you look for these days. The speaker on this device are quite good and loud.
If you want a touch screen phone with qwerty keyboard this is the only option among Nokia devices. Its priced around 20000 Rs on nokia's webiste. You can get the device for 17000 Rs in market. Which is quite a good price for a qwerty keyboard touch screen phone. There are not many phones out there with these features.I wish they abandon symbian and go with meego or android. i can only imagine how good this hardware would have been with other mobile OS.