Nokia N97

Last December it was presented for the first time, now it’s: Nokia’s response to all the whiners, who long by the Finns ask a top model with touch screen. The laboratory test shows whether the Nokia N97 to the competitors can catch up.

  1. Nokia N97
  2. First impression: robust
  3. Keyboard vs. touch screen
  4. A fat stick
  5. Operation: some complex
  6. Facilities: little gaps
  7. Lab test: very good
  8. Data sheet
  9. Rating

Nokia already has a S60 Smartphone with a touchscreen on the market in the 5800 XpressMusic.

The Finns have put that on the shelf for music phones however carefully and be priced so cheap that a comparison with the flagship prohibits actually products of the competition.

The N97 now wants the iPhones, Android smartphones, and Samsung Jet (review coming soon) encounter this world at eye level.

This is reflected also in the price which 649 euro above that of many competitors, but still under the current offers for the iPhone 3 G S without a contract.

After unpacking, the white model very quickly shows that Nokia was keen not to wolves at the mechanics. The mechanism with which the display is folded upwards, nothing to do with the sometimes shaky sliders of the N-series.

The whole looks robust, engages in both positions enough and gives no millimetre. Here, the device can be open without the display with your fingers in contact. Total processing succeeded, a Nobel model has not yet become the N97.

The battery cover: fits perfectly

The battery cover is indeed perfect, can hear a soft creaking but shortly after commissioning. Plastic, the matte surface of which feels good, but remains shut plastic also dominated on the sides and rear. An E71 is, however, much classier (to its endurance test here along).

On the front of the N97 with a mechanical key comes out, which leads to the menu. The phone keys respond to mere touch. Right on the case the volume buttons and the camera button that works in two stages to control the auto-focus and thanks to successful sure is to handle double pressure point can be found.

The camera on the back is well protected by a slider, in the test, the smooth coverage, such as the storing of the N97 in the Pocket opened but always times again unintentionally. To prevent accidental input, the display via a small blade can be left lock on the housing.

What touchscreen phones a la Apple iPhone or HTC Magic is hidden beneath the display,: a mechanical keyboard. When it comes to writing longer texts, is a touch-sensitive display at a disadvantage.

While the manufacturer seek with vibrations to replace the missing pressure point and with keyboards, which extend over the entire length of the screen, to create space for the virtual printer. But ultimately, keyboard nothing about a good mechanical is.

What is that of the N97? The buttons are quite small, but increased significantly, noticeably separated and offer a gentle, but well noticeable pressure point. What requires a longer acclimatization is the incomplete key layout. Ideally, the keyboard in five rows is divided, the e71 works quite well also with four.

Getting used to

The N97 in turn must come out with three rows. The number line is integrated into the top and the space in the bottom row of letters. The latter is also offset to the right and has the umlauts “a” and “ö” ousted. Also many special characters can be found in unusual places.

The five-way button must be true with your left thumb, is the first unfamiliar. In addition a white keyboard lighting, hardly stands out in the semi-darkness of the white keys.

The whole therefore required a little getting used to, more convenient tap than on a virtual keyboard is so still.

To transport the N97 in the Pocket is possible, but for this purpose we recommend wide trousers. The keyboard has a height of 15 millimetres the 148 grams heavy machinery and acts so that in addition to the touch screen competition slightly chubby.

117 x 55 mm front, Nokia has built a display with a diagonal of 8.8 millimeters. That is about the same length as the display of the iPhone, is however significantly narrower.

Where Nokia has much more to offer: the touch screen consists of 360 x 640 pixels, which Brillanz only really comes when looking at pictures and videos. Whom too much reflects the display with the preset dark menu theme, which can convert to a theme with bright display background.

The display responds by the way not on mere touch, but on the gentle pressure. This is not quite as elegant, but has the advantage of a stylus for input can be use.

The N97 works on the S60 Smartphone platform that supports touch screen models since version 5. The device offers a self definable home screen on the Quickstarter for important programs, the most important contacts, Facebook account or the photo services Flickr and Ovi share show mailboxes and small widgets for the let.

Five different areas are on the front of the charge. So much even without the Canal via the main menu can be call. Which in turn has vigorously cleaned up Nokia and equipped with color each other deposed icons.

Chaos is caused by cleaning up, however elsewhere: under the menu item “Programs”, 38 entries, a wild hodgepodge of the camera via the call log of to installed additional software can be found in the test device. Here it is advisable to create your own folders and thematically to sort things, as we always know that S60 devices.

Much is doubly much

Generally, much more of a classic mobile menu reminds the typical long option lists are ubiquitous. This much is doubly much: so, a contact by simply clicking on the name as well as through the options menu can be opened from the address book. Moreover, that the S60 platform offers users a huge range of options, if options are or links to other applications.

In total, that makes things more complex and demands a certain settling the newcomers. Turn, getting started, fun – that doesn’t work here. But as I said: who engages in the system gets a powerful device at hand. And also quickly become accustomed that the N97 does not always respond immediately.

Overall it works quite fast, but in some operations, the Smartphone takes a little pause for reflection. The complexity also shows as soon as you put the enclosed DVD in the PC drives. Then, over ten programs and components for the installation are available.

Including quite practical things like the Maploader with the maps can be transferred easily via the computer to the N97 can be found next to the Ovi suite for data matching with the PC. In the subsequent navigation usage, the maps application to load then not map data over the cellular network.

As expected, the N97 comes with a powerful equipment, which shows only a few gaps.

The N97 will spark in all GSM networks worldwide, dominated Bluetooth of course and quickly enters the Internet via Wi-Fi or HSDPA. Only HSUPA, UMTS Turbo for fast uploads, is not supported.

In general it is advisable, before using the network operator to book a robust data option, because you end up in many places quickly on the Internet. Nokia’s mapping and navigation application of maps 3.0, which accesses the integrated A-GPS-receiver can be found in the menu.

Compass and camera

In the test, the localization lasted only a few seconds, a compass function ensures that, like with the iPhone 3 G S sure that the map is automatically correctly aligned. The compass will be calibrated for short turning once the Smartphone around all axes. The navigation with direction prompts is three months free, then an appropriate license must be purchased.

The 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus works fast and delivers successful recordings. The double LED helps in moderate light conditions, in the Dustern it but not far enough. Moving records the phone such as in N-series devices usually with smooth 30 frames per second and VGA resolution. Also the music player to the good S60 standard and offers a direct link in Nokia’s music gates.

Directly linked to the Ovi store

Above on the housing is found for the headset a 3.5 mm jack connection, which serves also as a video output; the appropriate cable is available for the latter but only optional. The integrated stereo speakers are surprisingly loud, but very flashy. Thanks to an integrated FM stations (FM transmitter), the music can be playing but on any radio. An FM is receiver of course part of the game.

And who is missing a feature, which can search in the pre-installed Ovi store, which is linked directly to the main for suitable additional software. After setting up an Ovi-account that worked in the test as easy as Apple’s AppStore or Android market.

Sufficient memory provides a 32 GB of large flash memory can be filled to the brim with music, photos and movies. As for addresses, appointments or messages, the mobile offers a separate store. That still not enough who, can be added via MicroSD card.

In the laboratory, showed no weaknesses the N97 and cut off equally well with acoustics and reception. The typical endurance is 5:30 hours, with heavy use, the device must be so in the evening on the socket.

Bottom line: The N97 is a powerful tool with extensive features. What others can do better, is the operation to make that even the mere messing around is fun.

Data sheet

Operating system
Processor / clock speed (MHz)
internal memory (MB)
Memory card slot
QWERTY keyboard / touchscreen / multitouch
Battery type / variable
Headset / data cable
Size of memory card
Charging cable for the car / holder for your car
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
Wi-Fi standard
… Headset / Handsfree / A2DP
… Object push / OBEX / AVRCP
… SIM access, phone book / HID
USB type / storage / charging
Type / size (inch)
Resolution (PX)
Number of colors
Call list / language selection
Situation profiles / airplane mode / vibrating alert
Handsfree / mute
Email / POP3 / IMAP / HTML
Contact management
Phone numbers / E-Mail addresses (number per contact)
Image / notes field / date of birth
Appointment management
Day / week / month view
weekly / annual events
Alarm clock when device is off
Sync: Outlook / Mac
Notes: Outlook-sync
Look at Word / edit
Consider Excel / edit
PDF Viewer / calculator / voice memo
Web / frame / Java / Java scripting
Flash / https / home / Favorites
Audio format: MP3 / WMA / M4A / AAC
Video player / full screen display
Video format: 3GP / MP4 / WMV
Integrated camera
Resolution (megapixel)
Receiver GPS / A-GPS
Navi-software / onboard / offboard
Navi / route planner
Dimensions in mm
Weight (grams)
Endurance D power (hours)
Endurance interview E-Netz (hours)
Endurance conversation UMTS (hours)
type. Endurance (hours)
standard radiation factor / SAR value (manufacturer)


Endurance talk (35)
Persistence display mode (65)
System (15)
Scope of delivery (10)
Display (40)
Connectivity (15)
Phone features (10)
Messaging (15)
PIM (15)
Office (5)
Web browser (15)
Camera (15)
Music and video (10)
Navigation (5)
Ease of handling
User interface
Processing quality
Transmission and reception quality GSM (30)
Transmission and reception quality UMTS (30)
Acoustic measurements send (15)
Acoustic measurements receiving (15)
tested in issue: 08/09
CONNECT sentence maximum 500 points