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This was my previous phone and I must say that in many ways I miss it dearly, however I can also say there are some aspects of the Nokia N97 mini that I certainly do not miss one bit. The reason I chose to purchase this model at the time was purely because of the qwerty keypad and the fact that it was one of the only models available on my budgeted contract with a sliding screen and a qwerty. I could go on and on about this phone because there is so much to talk about but I'll try keeping to the most important.
When I had this phone I was on contract and paid just over £20 a month, that was with unlimited texts and internet with 300 minutes. However if you were to purchase the phone now I'm lead to believe that it can be bought for anything between £70-200 depending on the colour, condition and where you chose to shop.
This phone reminds me of the original Nokia, it is absolutely huge! The phone has a beastly width to it due to the sliding out keypad and the materials that it is made from is fairly heavy and really strong. I purchased this phone when it had only just been released and the only colour available was a black, although the metal rim and the the metal plate on the back of the phone had a slight brown / red hint to it. There isn't anything spectacular about the appearance of this phone and if I'm quite honest I don't go much on it, however the design of the touch screen and slide out keypad makes up for the lack in prettiness for me.
Another downside to the appearance is the fact tat the screen is a grease hoarder and collects fingerprints and smudges rapidly during the day, this makes it seriously hard to keep clean.
EASE OF USE
The phone is extremely easy to use, if you're familiar with using a qwerty on a PC or laptop then the phone use will be a breeze for you. To unlock the phone you just either have to slide the screen and reveal the keypad or slide a little trigger which is located on the side of the phone.
The touch screen makes the ease of use exceptional where you can just click on what you want to use with your finger instead of finding and fiddling with buttons. the collaboration on the screen is very good and never goes out of sync, there is a setting which can adjust the sync if you do have any problems.
The only real significant feature other than the keyboard and touch screen on this phone would be the camera. The camera on this phone is a God sent, its only a 5MP camera however the lens is excellent especially when taking macro shots, the image quality was crisp clear and look just as good photos clarity wise as my high end compact camera at the time, so much that I never actually used my compact camera my phone was always up to the job. Another good thing about the camera is the flash, not all phones has flash these days but the phone was great, there was no red eye and didn't make your skin look too greasy by over exposing with the flash!
Another feature that might be worth mentioning is the fact that you can choose whether to type using the qwerty keys or type using the virtual qwerty on the touch screen, I found this handy because it was easier to adapt to any situation I was in, for example out shopping I may only have one hand to text and using the touch screen means the phone wont be as exposed or harder to hold if I have it landscape with the keypad
The next point isn't really a feature but it should be, I drop my phone, a lot, but this phone is like a brick and really lives up to the Nokia reputation. It survives almost anything with barely a scratch, great for all you clumsy ones out there like me.
I had several issues with this phone, one of the biggest issues I had was the over heating, the phone would randomly start getting very hot and then it'll switch itself off, this started happening around the 3rd month of me getting my phone. I'm quite a placid person so this didn't really put me off the phone, it was just a bit of a hassle if you're out and about and you urgently need your phone.
Another issue I had with this phone is that it wouldn't let me delete my photos! every time I went to delete photos I have taken on the phone it would show an error message and occasionally freeze up. I tried everything to resolve this problem but it just wouldn't work for me. I could't delete the photos on the computer I couldn't deleter them on the phone and they would't even go when I wiped the phone back to factory settings! Good job the phone came with an 8GB memory or there would have been even more problems!
I have had mixed emotions with this phone, one one hand I absolutely love it, on the other I wonder if it's more hassle than it's actually worth. By paying £20 a month for 2 years, it worked out to be £480ish pounds, however the way I text it felt like I got my moneys worth just through texting so the phone worked out to be very cheap. I would struggle to pay over £100 for this phone due to the issues, I just wish there was less faults because there are so many outstanding features with this phone too! I'm unsure whether to recommend this phone, the issues I had were a bit of a pain but these issues could have been specific to my phone and all the ther ones may work fine. Minus the issues I'd recommend this phone without a shadow of a doubt, if you do decide to buy it I with you luck and hope yours isn't faulty!
My problem is that I need a phone that makes calls and sends texts, but when I look on my providers website for a suitable handset, I'm enticed by fancy phones which promise to do everything for you. These handsets inevitably fail me and are never strong enough to withstand a lifetime in my pocket. With weeks something tends to go wrong and I'm left with the limp shell of a device and some hold music in my ears as I try and sort it all out.
Well, I did the same again with my latest phone and I've regretted it ever since! Touchscreen, ooh, yes please! Internet access, that sounds fun. Full, qwerty keyboard, mmm, great. All as part of my monthly deal!
The Nokia N97 mini is a sleek device which looks impressive. The face is mostly screen which then flips up to reveal the qwerty keyboard. This function works well and is pretty useful. It helps to type out emails without having to use predictive text.
It has a built in camera and video, which is okay. I wouldn't use it for holiday snaps and you never get more than a you-tube quality grainy image, but it can be quite fun for updating friends quickly with a picture message. It's quite fun a have a family photo greet you as you unlock the device using the slider on the side. The camera is quite accessible, too, as there are two buttons on the side to switch on and zoom in and out.
The internet access is fine, the issue for me was that I rarely want it as it costs me 50p a day. But the handset has a knack of attaching to the internet in my pocket (more of this later) and I get hit with a larger than expected bill at the end of the month.
The games that come free with it are poor, I never use the calendar and very little of the music function, although I have occasionally tried to use it to change my ringtone. The most surprising thing for me is that with all these functions which I don't use, the one function which I have had occasion to use is absent; the stopwatch. A Nokia phone without a stopwatch! I've had occasion when I've told people this and they've treated me like an idiot, fair enough, and grabbed the phone telling me that they'll find it for me. Sure, enough, they hand it back, humbled and murmur, 'No, no stopwatch!'
The main problem for me with this phone is the touchscreen. Half the time it doesn't respond to touch, prod, knuckle or even my nose, which has been tried on occasion. This just makes the whole experience really frustrating. Writing text messages is impossible when you can't select the person you need to send it, too. Worse, when a call comes through, sometimes it can't be answered. I then need to wait and phone them back. Seriously frustrating.
Similarly, it is not well built enough to survive in my pocket. This is the second one I've had in 18months; the battery failed on the first, the back is falling off the second.
And the slide on the side which locks and unlocks it is not pocket-proof. Various friends have received calls and texts with the delights of trouser noise. This isn't unusual in phones but the design of this model makes it particularly bad. It's cost me a lot financially, too.
And the Technophobe
I'm sure there are lots more features on this phone, but to be honest I have no idea what they are never mind how they work or whether they're good or not. I could give you loads of stats but they'd be meaningless to me and probably to most of you, too. All that matters to me is the following, and this is my experience of this phone:
Can it make calls: Most of the time
Can it receive calls: sometimes
Can it send and receive texts: Mostly
Is it more frustrating than it is worth: Absolutely!
I first bought this mobile phone when it came out. I purchased it in white/silver and the design of the mobile is very attractive and it will impress any one who looks at it as it can flip up to reveal a keyboard. The keyboard is very easy to use as the keys are well spaced so makes it easier to press the buttons. The phone itself overall is very good but there have been a few problems such as the phone reacting very slowly to open text messages once you have more than 2000 texts but thats not much of a problem as you can easily delete the messages. As it is a nokia phone there is free sat nav on the phone which is really fun to use and you can download an app form the ovi store to have your own voice giving directions! The sat nav is very easy to use and that is only some of the things the phone can do! It can store many songs and you can store playlists of music. The camera is really good and takes good pictures. Overall I 've had the phone over a year and even though it has its minor problems I would recommend the phone to anyone who is interested in buying it! :)
On a first glance, the Nokia N97 mini looks like a sexy smartphone which will make a nice change from your ancient Nokia. Compared to the N97, the mini beats it hands down with a small, neat design, easy to fit in your pocket and will definitely not get in your way. The Nokia N97 mini offers many new features that may surprise you if you haven't researched it. You can have your e-mail account synced straight to your phone so that as soon as you get an e-mail, -bing-, you know about it through your mobile! This smartphone also offers the chance to keep up to date on your social life with the handy facebook application, listen to hours of music and many other apps that can come in handy when you'd least expect it. The only problem with this phone is the extremely sensitive touch screen which, although it can come in handy, breaks quite easily on impact. The phone battery also lets the phone down a bit as, as the age of the phone increases, the battery life decreases, however this shouldn't pose a large problem if your phone is kept inside, near a charge frequently.
I have decided to write this review into sections in order to try and cut out and waffle and make it easier to read.
I received my phone in March by my insurance company when my old mobile phone was damaged. It replaced my Nokia N85.
The build quality was very good but the user interface look a little bit of getting used to. I have a major struggle trying to work out how to put my mini SD and sim card into their slots. After about half an hour of use I soon enjoyed using it. I found the QWERTY keyboard to excellent compared with other QWERTY phones.
Ease of Use
I am very familiar with the Symbian operating system this phone uses but this was my first touch screen phone so it took some getting used to. The great thing about this phone is you can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate which is a lot easier than using the touch screen especially when scrolling down.
The web browser is also very easy to use but I sometimes find it difficult to switch access points once a web page is loaded. This can be annoying if I am using wireless but want to switch to 3G to save battery life.
Sometimes it is too easy to select the wrong icon if walking or travelling on public transport however this is an issue with all touch screen phones.
This is excellent for a mobile phone, calls are always very clear and the sound quality from its MP3 player is superb for a phone. With my PX100 headphones it sometimes amazes me that the music is coming out of a phone.
The screen is very good with bright and sharp colours, however being a TFT it is not quite in the same league as the LED screen in my older Nokia N85.
The broke down in July, the touch screen refused to accept any input rendering the phone worthless. My phone company repaired and it needed a new keyboard and screen. This seemed a worrying for a phone which is so new.
When locking the phone it sometimes crashes which means I have to remove the battery just to get the phone to boot up again.
Value for money
Nokia are now finding it hard to compete in the smart phone market so prices are fairly low, you should be able to get a pay as you go version for about £280 or a contract for no more than £25 a month. Considering this phone also has free satnav software that is very good value for money.
I recently got a new contract with a Nokia N97 mini.
It is a a smaller version of the N97 that keeps almost all of the origonal feature's except an FM transmitter and slightly smaller memory (this can be upgraded with an SD card).
I was sceptical at first as i had not used a touch screen phone before. To my surprise i found it very easy to use and navigate.
At first i would use the QWERTY keyboard to right my text messages as i was not too fluent with the touch screen. However within a week i had picked it up and could text as fast as I could with buttons.
The phone also comes with a SAT NAV, that has got me out of a few trickey situations, as long as you can access the internet with you phone, you can get any were.
The ovi store is also a great thing. It is pretty much the app store fro the N97. It contains a large amount of premium content, but if you look hard enough you can find some great games/apps.
Over all I recommend this phone, as i have now had it for 4 months, had no issues with the phone, and dont see a need to replace it for the foreseeable future.
The N97 mini is one of Nokia's top of the range touch phones and has some tough competition. The mini improves on the original by being slightly smaller, and costing less, whilst maintaining most of the features of the original. The only things that are dropped are the fm transmitter, and a reduction of the built in memory to 8GB (although this is expandable by microSD card, and the mini also fixes a problem with lack of memory on the c: drive of the original).
The touchscreen is quite good for a resistive one, although it does not feel as good as a good capacitive one. The haptic feedback feature where a small vibration is used to provide confirmation of touches is nice, and you can turn it off if you don't want it. The unusual flip open keyboard design feels quite solid and is quite impressive. It provides a decent amount of space for the keyboard when opened, with the display at a convenient angle.
The software is much the same as many other recent Nokia phones and is very familiar but not as up to date as some competitors. It does allow a good amount of customisation such as putting various different widgets on your home screen to provide quick access to apps or information. The browser does a good job with most sites, although it can be a bit slow sometimes. Extra apps are available in the Ovi Store, with a few useful free ones, and a fair amount of paid ones which tend to seem overpriced compared to other app stores.
The basic phone, sms and mms functionality is good, although it does not have the conversation style layout of messages that some phones offer as standard. The biggest issue is the battery life which sometimes seems to drop from half full to empty alarmingly quickly. It is possible future updates will improve the situation slightly, but for now you have to be careful what you do with the phone once the battery is showing half full otherwise it may run out before you get to a charger!
The N97 mini is certainly one of Nokia's best phones, and is quite powerful and easy to use, yet in some ways it looks rather out of date next to it's competitors.
I have had this phone for a few months and it is easy to make simple points of information clear. The phone is good. The keyboard function means if touch-screen is not for you or becomes tiring the keyboard allows most features to be undertaken using actual buttons. The full keyboard os great for texting, e-mailing and internet use. The phone looks good. It does. The brown/black theme continues into the themes of the phone and your background can match your phone. Camera is surprising! The Nokia's track record with cameras has been tainted with the success of the Sony Ericsson, however, after printing out a batch from the phone I was shocked to see how good they looked compared to those from my digital camera. But, and it is kind of a big one, THE BATTERY LIFE IS BAD. The battery I received with mine, after moderate use, struggled to reach over a day and even then sometimes it died. There is little point in having a phone with all this potential but little battery life. However, a quick 4 pound replacement from Ebay and the phone now lasts days. The battery is replaceable. The price isn't. Expensive. At least £35/month for 18 months. To think I would pay this happily shows the phone is worth it. Once the battery is replaced.
I recently picked this mobile phone for my upgrade with Phones 4 U on a Vodafone contract. My tariff is £40 for 600 minutes (maybe more cant remember), unlimited texts and unlimited internet.
Ive never had the internet on my phone before but they talked me into it. I would rather a cheaper tariff though and no internet as i have broadband at home. It can be useful though when out and about and you need to check your emails or ebay.
As with the i-phone there are plenty of apps you can download from the Ovi store, many of which are free. Ive uploaded a few games but personally i dont use them so rarely go on that part.
*a 3.5 inch widescreen 16:9 touchscreen
*full QWERTY slideout keyboard
*5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss Tessar lens and dual LED flash
*up to 32 GB of storage
*up to 16GB additional memory via microSD
*Symbian S60 5th Edition
*up to 37 hours of music / up to 4.5 hours of video
*A-GPS and GPS
*HSDPA, Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, stereo Bluetooth connectivity
*a 3.5mm headphone jack.
I find the 5 megapixel camera to be good in the daylight but no as good in dim light. Picking the appropriate option to alter this and putting the flash on can fix this. Same with the video setting.
Ive never had a touchscreen before and probably wouldnt have got one if it didnt have the option of the keyboard. I find it very quick and easy to do texts etc so im happy.
The downfalls to this phone is the battery life. I find myself charging it every night, sometimes more if ive been on the internet a lot during the day. I now have a car charger which saves me when im out purchased off ebay for a couple of pounds.
My N97 mini is now in the repair shop after having several mad moments. It kept on freezing half way through a conversation or would just switch off. There was no updates available when i searched so i'm hoping that there's nothing major wrong with it as i didn't take out insurance.
Apart from that the phone is ok. I like the appearance of it more then anything else. Its an ideal size, ideal weight and does what you need a phone to do. The buttons don't make that really annoying tapping noise either like my last Sony Ericsson phone did.
I got the N97 mini as an upgrade with orange. It was strange for me to go with a Nokia phone as almost every phone I have ever owned was a samsung. However I loved the look of this phone and decided it was time to bite the bullet and go for a change and I am VERY glad I did. I LOVE it!!
It is easy to use, although it did take me a while to figure out how to get it all set up to my preferances. however this is prbably due to me not wanting to read the instructions and figure it out for myself. I love the fact that you can download applications for the phone just as you can on the iphone. Alot of them are free or at least have free versions of them.
The slide out QWERTY key board, although small is easy to use and makes writing long texts on the phone simple.The phone has a headphone jack that is the same as those on MP3 players meaning that the days of having to buy special earphones for your phone is over. The earphones provided with the phone provide good sound quality and are very comfortable. The camera produes good quality photos although sometimes it is a little slow at taking the actual photo.
I received my n97 mini from Vodafone as my previous phone was playing up and i had many replacements. A friend has the n97 and i know how much she raved about it. When mines arrived i wasnt disappointed. The interface is very easy to use and you can add shortcuts to your home screen. This phone really does do everything i need, i get all my e-mails delivered direct to my phone and i can also work on office documents like word and excel, the phone does come with this pre installed however it only lets you view your documents, as i needed to edit aswell i bought the full version for around £12, just downloaded it straight to my phone, was all very simple. There are thousands of apps you can download aswell but i havent really downloaded much so i cant give a fair opinion of how good they are.
I had read about the battery life being very poor, however i have found my battery life to be fine, yes i do need to charge it every night but you really must expect this with every smart phone on the market.
The phone itself does occasionally crash and the screen goes blank or it freezes, i need to turn it off and back on which is annoying, but to me its worth the little niggle as the phone is the ultimate tool for me.
The camera is very good quality, almost as good as a digital one. When putting pics onto the pc though its a bit confusing as you have 5 different memory spaces and its a bit of a maze trying to find the exact pics you want. It would have been better if like previous versions it was very simple and all your folders appeared like they did on your phone. There is maybe a way around this im not sure.
What i love about this is it has a full keyboard or you can also use the traditional phone keypad in touch screen.
a quirky little function i also like is the message reader, it will read your texts out for you, fab for me when im in the house and have my hands tied with a baby and a toddler, the phone also tells you who is calling as it says their name.
It has al the usual functions like alarm, calculator, radio etc, the ear phone that come supplied are fab quality and are bud type so they fit perfect and very comfortable in the ear.
i would recommend this phone over and over.
This phone was one of the most hpyed of 2009. I bought it thinking I couldfinally get a touchscreen that managed everything you wanted. At first it was great, it had a good camera, good apps, and a good home page. But hte battery was the first downfall, I'm used to a weeks worth of battery, this fell in minutes. My next problem came when I got text...after text..after text, resulting in an angry friend. The aerial is reallly weak, and where i live, in the countryside, only vodafone really works on this phone. However my final disappointment came later. The screen lagged, and it took a while to respond to touches. I also had to reset it constantly to get music etc to work. Its calmed down now, or I've got used to it. One or the other. Either way if I could repurchase knowing what I know now, O probably wouldn't get it.
I have this phone on contract for £25 a month with inclusive minutes and messages - if I wanted to add things like the internet then I would have to pay more per month, however as it has WIFI I can use the internet in my own home for free by using my own connection. When I first got it I paid £10 but if you're buying it outright it was around £300!
Ill get the boring technical mumbo-jumbo out of the way first. The dimensions of the Nokia N97 mini - as I'm sure you are all dying to know are 113 x 52.5 x 14.2mm and it weighs 138g. It has a 3.2" screen, stand by time of up to 320 hours and talk time of up to 430 minutes (now THAT'S a lot of talking!) It also comes with 8 GB of built in memory and a memory card slot if you want to add more.
The phone itself is actually quite big in comparison to an average phone these days. Being the 'mini' I can only imagine how big the normal sized one would be! However it's still 'phone sized' and doesn't resemble a brick in any way lol. Being this size also means that using it is easier. I'm sure not many people would find it that easy to type on a miniature keyboard. The look of it is quite plain, simple black with a white menu button, green call button and red cancel button. On the back is the 5 megapixel camera and you can turn it on its side to use it like a normal camera. It has a camera key that takes you straight to camera mode so you don't have to mess around trying to take a photo. It includes night mode, self timer, video, zoom, flash and autofocus. It says it doesn't have an anti shake function but using it you wouldn't necessarily notice because even if taking a picture while travelling in a car for example the photo comes out really well.
The phone has a key lock button on the edge which makes it so much easier to lock and unlock your phone. Gone are the days of pressing a button, pressing star, unlock, confirm, unlock again....none of it! Just a simple flick of the thumb and you're in. it's not so easy that it would unlock in your pocket but it IS easy enough to do it with one movement. Your front screen can be personalised to have whatever YOU want on it. Face book at the touch of a button, calendar, clock, music, text messages...anything! And it can all be accessed quickly. There's no need to go through menus and lists once you have personalised your screen so that it is all instantly accessible
The Nokia N97 mini is a touch screen phone with 'qwerty keyboard' I wasn't sure what that meant but after speaking to a very knowledgeable friend I now know that it is the first 6 letters running left to right on a keyboard which spells 'qwerty'. Basically then in human terms it means it has a computer type keyboard. This may sound like a mammoth phone from the way I am describing it but the keyboard actually slides out from the back of the phone. It runs the length of the phone and the screen then rests at an angle on top of it meaning you can actually type like you would on a normal keyboard. While in this mode you can type out texts, emails, browse face book AND use the touch screen function at the same time.
It has all the usual organisation bits such as the calendar, memos, alarms etc
Other functions available are things such as built in GPS navigation, WIFI, pc synchronisation, mp3 player, radio, email and games. You can also download extra 'apps' (applications) online straight onto your phone. Things like car finder which remembers where you parked, or a heart rate monitor. You go to the website, choose your app, add your number and they send you a link via text. You then accept it and are free to download as many apps as you like - or until the memory runs out of course! You can download free ones though some can cost you anything up to £20!! A lot of them are fun and time wasters but depending on what you do in your day to day life some of them could be really helpful. There is a video calling function -which I am yet to try out -and also voice activated dialling which I HAVE tried and to be honest wasn't too impressed with.
The downside to this phone is that it can run slowly if you use too much memory meaning you need to delete messages or pictures and keep an eye on how many apps you have. Though I suppose this is the same with all phones. Also the touch screen can be quite difficult to use while on the move. For example it would be quite difficult to text with one hand while in the touch screen mode purely because of the size of the phone, my thumb just won't reach that far. Also without buttons you do need to concentrate on what you're writing as it is very easy to press the wrong buttons. Its easy enough making mistakes with actual buttons, let alone a touch screen. However I think it's just something you need to get used to. The same goes for the keypad, you wouldn't be able to do that one handed, though I assume that is the point.
I would recommend this phone to anyone who likes -or needs to- stay connected to friends and work etc. the apps CAN be useful however a lot of them are just for fun. I wouldn't suggest this to someone who just wants their phone to use AS A PHONE as this is so much more and quite honestly would be wasted on them lol
In the past, I've never really gotten on with touchscreen phones.
I brought myself an LG Cookie last year which was called 'the student's touchscreen phone', basically a cheap version of the iPhone but nowhere near as fancy. Needless to say, the phone was inconsistent, laggy and the screen got scratched really easily. Shortly after I sold this phone and got a normal one again. In the last year my boyfriend and best friend have also had touchscreen phones and after using them both and having problems, I almost gave up on considering them a 'useful gadget'.
However, having got bored of my latest phone, yet again, I decided to invest in a new one. More and more touchscreen phones have been released. I believe the popularity of the iPhone has made other phone companies become competitive to release a similar product which is just as popular. Sony Ericsson released the Satio, which has been proven as a major competitor, and Nokia released the N97 and N97 mini. I liked the look of both the N97 mini and Satio, and after playing around with the Nokia in the phone shop, decided it would be a worthy investment as I actually got on quite well with the touchscreen.
It is an expensive phone, however. I got mine free on contract, but the cost of the handset alone is £429 on pay as you go. This is the cheapest price I've found, and some shops actually sell it for £479... this is much more expensive than the RRP price of the iPhone! I believe the phone is only available on limited networks at the moment, I've found it to be available on Orange and Vodafone.
Inside the box is:
Phone, battery pack, wall charger, USB cable, headphones, manual, Nokia software CD. This is all the basic kit you need for the phone to work. You can purchase additional accessories such as a car kit and a Bluetooth headset.
So what's special about this phone? Yes it does everything a modern phone should, it calls people, you can text, you can keep appointments in a calendar, you can take photos, you can listen to music. But what makes it so special that Nokia are charging over £400 for it? I wondered this prior to purchasing it, hence why I asked to play around with it in the shop first. Initially, I was completely impressed with the look and feel of the phone. It is black with a velvety brown back where the battery is kept, and this panel is made of metal which felt nice on the fingers and is easy to grip. The touchscreen is large (3.2 inches to be more specific) and blends nicely into the casing of the phone. There is one hard button at the bottom which brings up the menu, and a soft-touch 'Call' button and 'End Call' button, as common on most phones. The phone was a nice weight, not too heavy but heavy enough that it felt as though it was made of good quality. On some phones, they feel so light that it'd be easy to drop them!
Aside from the 'menu', 'Call' and 'End Call' button, the phone also has a couple of other buttons located on it, including: On/Off located at the top of the phone (this is very small, probably so that it doesn't turn on/off when you don't want it to), Up and Down volume button on the top of the right side of the phone, and below that the camera button (so that you can hold the phone landscape and take a picture as though it were an actual camera), and on the left hand side of the phone is the Key Lock slider. I think these are all located well, all subtle yet accessible. Above the slider is a small USB port for charging/computer connection, and at the top of the phone is a 3.5mm jack hole to plug headphones into, again placed quite conveniently.
I noticed immediately that the touchscreen was a perfect balance of sensitive to finger tips, but not so sensitive that it would call someone had it been put in a pocket and not keylocked. I've had the phone for over a month now, and have to say the touchscreen is responsive most of the time, but sometimes it can take a minute to load, which can be frustrating but only happens every now and again. There is an accelerometer on the phone which means when you tip the phone on its side the view becomes landscape rather than horizontal. This works quite well, though sometimes takes a couple of seconds to do it. I like viewing the screen like this and it is especially useful when using the internet as you can see more of the screen.
A brilliant feature of this phone is the slide-out QWERTY keyboard underneath the screen. When you slide out the keyboard, the touchscreen realigns so that you view it landscape rather than horizontal (as above). Most of the time this is a smooth change, though as with above, sometimes it can take a minute or two to have a think about it! The keys on the QWERTY keyboard are quite small, so someone with big fingers might want to avoid this product. They are nicely spaced out though, so pressing two buttons at a time isn't often a problem - the problem is more that because they're so small it's difficult to tell if you're pressing them. To be honest, I haven't really been using the keyboard much (I don't like admitting this as the keyboard is a key feature of the phone and often a sole reason why people buy it!), as I find the touchscreen keyboard just as easy to use. I'm used to using predictive text on a 'normal' phone, and I find it just the same on this phone. On the touchscreen the keys are laid out exactly as they would be on a regular non-touchscreen phone.
Memory and Storage:
The memory amount on this phone has caused quite a lot of debate in the gadget world. This phone's daddy, the Nokia N97, contained 32gb's worth of memory. That's a lot of songs/videos/pictures/etc and actually beats some iPods and iPhones. When the mini was released, quite a lot of people were wondering why Nokia had downgraded so much to only 8gb's worth, which is still a lot, but just a massive drop. My music collection does supersede this amount of memory, but as I don't listen to much music on the go anyway I'm not too fussed. I believe 8gb is about 4,000 songs, and you could easily fit about 6 full mp4 formatted films on this phone, more than enough to keep me happy! If, however, I did require more memory, I could simply pop in a MicroSD memory chip of any size I wanted and ta-da! More memory! The way how you fill up your phone with songs, etc, is via the USB cable that comes in the box. You connect it up (easy to do) and you can either copy and paste files over to your phone, but if you're not quite sure how to do this, there is a CD that comes with it that will install a PC Suite on your computer and allows you to easily transfer items over. There is a manual with this to tell you exactly what to do.
The camera quality on the phone is a little disappointing, but perhaps that is because I'm used to having 14.1mp digital compact cameras or weighty digital SLRs. It is a 5mp camera that comes with the N97 mini, and has a 'Carl Zeiss' lens which Nokia really bang on about as if it's the best thing in the world. Carl Zeiss is a company that makes cameras, binoculars and microscopes. Considering this, you'd expect the camera to give fantastic results, but unfortunately this one falls off the mark a bit. It does take photos, it has a flash so you can photograph in the dark (but you end up with poor results) but unfortunately leaves people looking a bit yellowy, landscapes looking a bit flat, and when you upload your photos to the computer they look pixelly and far from impressive. I wish they'd have put a bit more effort into the camera, but heyho, it's still a camera, and it's still definitely an improvement on the iPhone's laugh of a camera. There are editing abilities on the phone and you can easily make photos black & white, sepia, or have silly frames around them.
There is a secondary camera located at the front of the phone, specifically for video calling but this can also be used to take photos. The quality of this camera is poor though, definitely worse than the main camera. The video calling function works well, but unfortunately I don't know many people who I can video call as they have to have the function too!
I find the music side of the phone fairly average, it doesn't have a fantastic mp3 player, not like the Nokia 5800 which is advertised as a music phone, but is pretty standard and gets the job done. When you add songs to the phone it automatically puts them into albums so that they're easily accessible on your phone. The music player means you can press Play on track 1 and it will continue all through each album, or you can choose to 'Repeat' or 'Shuffle' for a difference. The sound quality is not brilliant from the loud speaker on the phone, actually it's quite disappointing. I played around with the equalizer for a couple of minutes and it sounded better after that. If you do plan on listening to songs, I highly recommend using the provided in-ear headphones as it improves the quality tenfold. You can adjust the volume by using the up and down buttons on the side of the phone (these can also be used to adjust volume during phonecalls). A feature I really love is that you can add a shortcut on your default home screen for the music player so it is easily accessible.
The internet on the N97 mini is really impressive, despite my disappointment with the camera and sound quality. Quite a lot of websites nowadays have mobile phone versions of the site so that they 'fit' the small screens of mobile phones, and because of the large screen on the N97 mini and the fact you can turn it horizontal for more viewing, lots of websites look incredible, as though you're looking at them on a computer screen. You can double tap on the page to zoom right in, in case the font is too small. There are loads of websites I use a lot, Facebook, Myspace, Hotmail, Dooyoo, OnePoll, etc, and all these websites look great on my phone... definitely no problems here! The internet loads really quickly too, though this is more down to Orange rather than the phone.
There are so many other features on this phone that are worth mentioning, but I believe the best aspect are the Nokia applications. When anyone considers the best feature of an iPhone, more often than not everyone will agree that it is the applications, or 'apps'. Nokia have tried to implement their own style of apps, using the Ovi Store, Nokia's version of the iTunes App Store. From the Ovi Store, you can browse apps made by Nokia, commercial publishers and apps designed by the general public. Unfortunately at this point in time, there are nowhere near as many apps for Nokia than the iPhone, but hopefully this will change and the Ovi Store will grow.
The phone came with some default apps, Facebook, Amazon, Boingi (for Wi-Fi), Elle (beauty magazine app), Friendster (social networking), You Tube, Bloomberg (stocks and shares), CNN News and Accuweather (a brilliant weather forecast app). These apps were all quite useful to me (apart from the shares one, but for some it might be handy). In addition to these, I have downloaded for free from Ovi: Tweets60 (a great Twitter app), Nimbuzz (more social networking - you can also download this on iPhone - me and my boyfriend both have this and means we can talk for free wherever), MSN Messenger, Opera (a web browser that is even better than the default Nokia one), Traveler (great for people who travel, shows weather, time in different countries, currencies, plane information, etc), and also some great games: Solitaire, Freecell, plus loads of demos. There are lots more great apps available that cost, ranging between £1 and £21.99! As I mentioned before, there are nowhere near as many apps than as available for iPhone, but hopefully over time this will change and better apps will become available.
One particular 'app' in general (it might not be an app, just a feature on the phone actually, but it features like an app) is Nokia Maps. The phone uses GPS to track exactly where you are in the world and can show you directions, show you where the nearest cafe/toilet/clothes shop is, and if you pay a price you can even use the phone as a Sat Nav! (There is a trial on the phone for this Sat Nav function and it is fantastic - almost made me throw my own Sat Nav away!). The phone even talks to you in this function, telling you to turn left, turn around, etc. This sounds lame but I've actually gone on the Maps whilst on a train, and I could actually watch the train moving because there was a dot where I was, and obviously I was moving because I was on a train! The little GPS dot actually follows you, so if you're ever lost you can find your way home again with ease.
Now that I've got through all the phone's features (sorry if you're bored by now) I'll finally get on to my proper opinion of the phone.
What I really liked:
*The amount of detail you can keep per contact is pretty great. You can keep the usual, first name, last name, number, email address, etc, but on top of that you can write business information (great if you keep clients/customers' contacts on your phone), you can add a nickname in case they are known by you as something else, you can have their Facebook details, MSN address, Skype number, and the best thing, you can add their address, so that if you're ever visiting them, you simply open at Nokia Maps, click 'Go to' and select the contact, and it will direct you to their house!
*Customisable home screen. The iPhone didn't get many complaints in the looks department, having the sleek black body, large touchscreen, cute little button at the front, but one thing I've heard people don't like is the fact you can't have a personalised 'home screen'. Users can have a screensaver, but no background picture that is there whenever they enter their phone. Nokia wins this war by giving their users three options: (1) have a picture/theme of your choice assigned, so you can see your loved one or your dog whenever you unlock the phone/start it up, (2) select between one and five customisable widgets to have as your background (these can be downloaded, but the default ones on the phone are fairly great, you can have your emails visible, Facebook messages, weather reports, calendar, favourite contacts, and these appear on your home screen in blocks, one below the other), or, (3) have both. Have the picture underneath with two widgets on the home screen, or have five widgets so you can only see the outline of your picture, or have just the time with your picture underneath. Whatever takes your fancy! These handy shortcuts mean you can have all your important features right there in front of you the second you pick up your phone and you don't have to faff around in all the menus.
*You can connect the phone to Wifi hotspots in the area. These are placed in lots of places nowadays, most commonly known are: McDonalds, Costa coffee (and Starbucks too I think) and Wetherspoon pubs. Lots of other cafes and pubs also cater for Wifi so that people can connect wirelessly to the internet using their laptop, netbook or mobile phone. When you do this, it means you aren't charged for internet usage. Connecting to Wifi is really easy on the N97 mini, you just need to go to connectivity and choose which network to hook on to (all this is in the manual). I have a limited internet usage on my contract therefore connect to Wifi wherever possible as this is free.
What I disliked:
*Battery power is poor as poor! When I'd had the phone for a week, because I was playing around with it so much, I'd had to charge it every day. One day, I'd left the phone on charge, and when it came to bedtime I unplugged it, set my alarm for work the next morning, and went to bed. Next morning I awoke to realise my alarm hadn't gone off because my phone had run out of battery. Unfortunately I needed to be at work in 5 minutes. Needless to say I was VERY late to work, and VERY annoyed at my phone. Since then I've charged it every day overnight. I don't know if it is truly necessary to do so every day, but because I've just started a new job I can't afford to miss my alarm and wake up late. I suppose because the phone is still new to me I still use it a lot, but I don't understand why a phone of this 'quality' and cost cannot handle hefty usage. I wish Nokia had made the battery last longer.
*The touchscreen phone can get scratched easily. When I first got the phone, I stripped it of it's protective covers, desperate to get to grips with the awesomeness that was my new touchscreen. However, after using it for 10 minutes I could already see nail marks where I'd been using my finger to move the screen up and down (just usual phone practice), so I immediately fished out the protective cover that came in the packaging and stuck it back on. In the wrong light I can see all the scratches that are on the touchscreen, but at least I know the scratches are only on the thin plastic protective sheet rather than the actual phone. The plastic cover/sheet can be replaced easily, but the actual phone screen not so easily!
*One major dislike I have concerning this phone is that last week for no reason at all my phone turned off and wouldn't turn on again. After 4 hours of trying to get it to turn on, all I could get to was a white Nokia screen. I spoke to my insurance guys (Carphone Warehouse's Geek Squad) and they told me to do a hard reset, done by pressing a few different buttons at the same time. It worked, and my phone turned on, but unfortunately I'd lost all the music, videos, pictures, etc, I'd put on it, including all my contacts and some really lovely messages from my boyfriend that he'd sent me years ago which I'd been transferring from phone to phone since then because they made me smile! So I hope you can guess how aggravated I was by this! Since then my phone has been working fine, I've managed to restore my contacts, put all my music/pics back on, and I'm only hoping that it won't happen again.
So, I've had both good and bad times with this phone, and I know a lot of people, my mum being one, would wonder why I'd choose a phone that could have so many potential problems. Well unfortunately it seems that if you want fancy gadgets that's the price you have to pay! I don't think I've ever had an expensive electrical product that hasn't had some kind of problem with it to be honest! So yes this phone did have quite a big fault with it three weeks after purchase, but I still really enjoy the phone, and it seems to have just been a one off (touch wood).
Aside from the features of the phone I have just mentioned, there are also some other useful bits: calendar, calculator, currency, notes, voice recorder, alarm, the ability to have themes, the ability to set songs as your ringtone, the ability to assign certain songs to certain contacts, and Bluetooth. I think this phone contains everything you'd ever need, and more.
I wouldn't recommend this phone to someone who literally just wants a phone to talk and text, as it has so many features that would go unused and would be a waste of money. Like myself, if you're a bit obsessed with gadgets then this might be a great phone for you: it combines a camera, a media player, and the shop of apps means technically you should never get bored with what you're got, as you can constantly update and upgrade to new apps.
This phone is definitely a competitive rival to the iPhone, and actually has quite a lot of better features, though lacks a bit on the apps side. There are many ups and downs of the phone, which is why is it a shame with phones like this that you can't have a 'trial' run as it is a massive waste of money/a long tie to a contract if you decide you don't like the phone!
Overall I think the N97 mini is a smart little gadget, intuitive though sometimes a bit lazy and needs to think about what you've just asked it to do! Mostly reliable with a few exceptions, coolly personalised to your exact requirements, sleek and sexy casing, and definitely a phone you won't be ashamed to flash around to your friends.
The Nokia N97 mini is a versatile, easy to use piece of technology. It is very intuitive in it's design, and I found my way around very quickly. The home screen is an excellent size and can be customisd at the flick of a finger. The slide out keyboard is reassuringly solid, and although the keys are small I find them well spaced and simple to use. When the keypad is in use I do find the screen to be rather bright, and need to tilt the handset down a little to avoid dazzling myself, this may be changeable but I have not found it enough of a problem to find out yet. The main difference between the N97 and the mini is (obviously) it's size, and it has 8GB of memory not 32GB which is fine for almost everyone. I did expect the N97 to be more... well.. more mini as the minimal reduction in size does not merit a drop in storage of 22GBs so although 8GBs is more than enough for my needs, it still manages to leave me feeling slightly short changed. The camera is of good quality the Carl Zeiss lense providing crisp focusing with plenty of options for different conditions etc., However the camera has not moved on from the Nokia N95, even the editing suite is the same, and I feel with a phone of this price and sophistication there should be some upgrade on the camera, also a lense protector of some sort would have been useful. Although I seem dissatisfied with the camera, I find it takes perfectly good pictures and is far superior to the apple iphone. Generally the phone is a magnificent all rounder, giving fast and easy to navigate access to the internet with easy connection to wi-fi hotspots, to save on your data costs. The media player copes well with videos, games and music and the included in ear headphones are of very acceptable quality. The touch screen response can be a tad sluggish, but is pretty good considering it is not 'just' touch screen, also the growing ovi applications are fun, usefull and easy to download. I like the heavier, more quality feel of the phone, due in part to it's metal back cover, and although the reduction in size isn't much, it is more 'handbag' and pocket friendly than its big brother. I used to always go with Samsung, but Nokia have won a new fan. on the whole I would highly recommend this phone for the technophile.