Nokia N97 review

Price when reviewed

Elsewhere, the N97’s list of capabilities is immensely impressive. There’s a good quality five-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, a huge 32GB of onboard memory, a 3.5mm headphone jack and good quality sound and smooth video from the phone’s usable media player. You get an FM transmitter that allows you to play your tunes through the speaker of any handy radio – excellent for an impromptu party, or playing music through a car stereo.


Plus, there’s the usual smorgasbord of smartphone technology, including 3.6Mbits/sec HSDPA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, an RDS FM tuner and a front-facing camera for video calls. You get a proximity sensor that allows you to silence a call by flipping the phone over, an accelerometer that rotates the screen orientation without lag, and an ambient light sensor that automatically dims and brightens the screen. You can even use the camera to shoot 30fps VGA video; just don’t expect Flip Mino-rivalling results.

It’s all the more disappointing, then, that the damage has already been done by this point. Way before you get to the handy FM transmitter, high quality camera, decent media player capabilities and no-stone-unturned features list, the N97’s usability issues stamp their muddy great boots all over your nice, clean smartphone fun.

It’s also worth pointing out, at this point, that battery life is no more than average. We eked a mere two days out of the phone in our light use test – some way short of the best phones on the market, which can get to four days and more.

The unavoidable fact is that this phone’s touchscreen OS is frustrating and confusing, and as a package it doesn’t add up. Its mid-range looks and feel mean it can’t challenge the likes of the iPhone or HTC’s best handsets, and one of its key selling points – the keyboard – simply isn’t good enough.


Cheapest price on contract
Contract monthly charge
Contract period24 months
Contract providerOrange

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted10hrs
Standby, quoted18 days


Dimensions56.5 x 18 x 117mm (WDH)
Primary keyboardPhysical

Core Specifications

RAM capacity32MB
ROM size32,000MB
Camera megapixel rating5.0MP
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes


Screen size3.5in
Resolution360 x 640
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes


OS familySymbian

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