Nokia flagship N97 QWERTY smartphone announced in December 2008 at Nokia World in Barcelona, Spain, is Nokia’s flagship Nseries smartphone, and is also the company’s most prominent touchscreen device, with a roomy 3.5in touchscreen display. We put the QWERTY-equipped sliding smartphone through its paces in our review, to see how well it fares.
Nokia N97 looks like most other touchscreen smartphones these days. There’s a large 3.5-inch nHD (360×640 pixel) resolution touchscreen with a trio of buttons along the bottom – two of which are touch-sensitive. However, there’s a hidden surprise when the top part of the phone slides over and tilts up to reveal a 5-way d-pad and QWERTY keyboard. The 117mm x 56mm x 15mm (4.6in x 2.2in x 0.6in) phone itself is built like a tank, with a solid 147g (5.2oz) heft in your hand, and there are no unwelcome creaks from the phone when in use.
Nokia N97 comes with quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) support, and tri-band UMTS (850/1900/2100MHz or 900/1900/2100MHz) support, with HSDPA for high-speed data. WiFi is also on board, as well as Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support for stereo headsets. As is typical of Nokia, reception is rock solid, and the phone can easily hold onto a signal, even in known weak spots. Call quality is pristine, and I was able to hear callers perfectly. The microphone is hidden under the slide, just below the space bar, which protects it from wind noise, while still offering a great experience. The stereo speakers are fantastic for the speakerphone feature, as well.
Nokia N97 also includes speaker-independent voice control that enables you to command various aspects of the phone, including initiating a phone call, activating certain applications, and getting status updates on the battery life and signal strength. This is activated by long-pressing the volume up button.
The Nokia N97 includes support for MMS and SMS, but does not come with any instant messaging applications out of the box. MMS and SMS are shown in chronological order, with no option for a threaded view like other phones have. The phone is, however, able to intelligently switch between MMS and SMS when composing a message. You can begin with an SMS, and when you add a photo, the phone automatically switches the message type to MMS, which is convenient.