nice job with the review. i liked how you set it up and provided links to videos too.
First of all I would like to thank The Nokia Review and WOMWorld for giving me the opportunity to test out a new Nokia N97 mini. Although I have only had it a week, I have learned a lot and I want to share what I have experienced. This is my first review, so please feel free to suggest any tests or screen shots so that I may add more to my review. Thanks!
The box that the N97 mini came in is significantly smaller than any of my E series phone boxes (only 2" thick!).
Inside we have the N97 mini, a BL-4D 1200mAh battery, a set of high quality earbud headphones, a USB charger, and the usual Nokia information booklet and various OVI pamphlets.
Here is a boot up video to show in real time how long it takes to boot to the standby screen on the Nokia N97 Mini.
The first thing that came to mind as I was unboxing the N97 mini was that it was VERY heavy compared to the N97. The sleek metal finish on the case adds to both build quality and elegance of the phone. The metal fold-out battery cover does not creak or loosen. The N97 mini is how the N series phones SHOULD OF been made of in the first place!
The slider has a confident and crisper click when flipped open or closed when compared to the N97.
The Keyboard is much different than the N97 as it does not have a D-pad. Instead it has the Up, Down, Left & Right keys in the bottom right corner much like a typical PC keyboard. The colors are also different from the N97 for it has Blue(Letters), White(arrow keys) and orange (symbols and numbers). The keys are kind of hard to press at first, but after a short while I got used to it. I supposed its so that you don't accidentally mash the keys when you casually hold on to it while it's open.
Mass Memory and RAM
The included 8GB mass memory is a lot of room, but it was a quite a downgrade from N97's 32GB. The phone memory was doubled from N97's 128mb to a whopping 256mb, but the ram stayed the same at 128MB . At Idle, the N97 mini would have around 40MB free and filled up quite fast once a few applications were loaded. *Note to Nokia* : NEEDS MORE RAM!
The N97 mini has a slightly smaller 3.2" screen from the N97's 3.5" but makes up for it by it's smaller form factor. It also makes movies much more watchable than on my E63's tiny screen!
Carl Zeiss Camera
The Carl Zeiss optics 5MP camera as usual is phenomenal. The Autofocus feature allows you to take close-up shots of something as small as a bug all the way up tall buildings or landmarks. Compared to an N96, the picture quality is about the same. The only thing that I noticed from comparing it to my N96 is that the processing speed if the N97 mini was MUCH faster than an N96. A big plus!
The front camera is very useful, especially for video calls. Since video calling is not allowed in the US yet, I had a chance to try it out using Fring's Skype Videocall feature. It was VERY cool and did not lag much at all!
3.5" Audio Port / TV-out
The included earbuds were surprisingly impressive! The sound quality was superb to my old earbuds and fit comfortably in my ears. The cord wasn't round like typical audio cords, but were similar to a very thin "noodle"! Unfortunately these were the L-cord type earbuds (where the left cord is shorter than the right) but due to the cable being incredibly light, it did not effect my listening at all!
*I did not have a Television handy so hopefully during this next week I'll post a video up on the TV-out features.
The supplied usb cable was incredibly fast when uploading music and downloading pictures for this review! The USB charging capability was especially handy since I am in computer labs at college most of the week.
Google Maps connected to the satellites almost instantly! The only downfall is that when the N97 mini is placed on a flat dashboard, the reflection from the light makes it almost impossible to see the screen. On the N97, you would not have this problem. An easy fix for this would be to get a stand or suction-cup phone holder and attach it to the windshield.
Unfortunately 3G was not available because this was the euro 900/1900/2100 model so I had to use edge instead. oh well
I was rather impressed with the touch UI and that it had kinetic scrolling for most of the applications that were on the mini. Scrolling through large lists of songs or pictures was a breeze and the vibration made the experience feel like I was actually pushing or selecting buttons.
The photo browser was definitely an upgrade from what I was used to on my N96. Although it was an efficient browser, I felt the need to download Nokia Beta Labs Photo Browser. Their photo browser added many visual effects such as 3d side-to-side kinetic scrolling effects, magnifier, and face browsing. All-in-all, they are both good browsers, but the next update, I would like to see nokia use the Beta Labs' Browser.
There were many pre-installed applications on the mini such as myspace and facebook, but the only ones I actually used was Qik and the Ovi store. Through the Ovi store I downloaded many applications such as Level, Strobe, Hourpower and many more.
The music player was actually quite fun to play around with. With my E series phone, it would take forever to find a song if it wasn't in a playlist. On the N97 mini, all you have to to is kinetically scroll down the list or type the first letter of the song and it will instantly take you to that area. Very Cool!
A neat feature that my E series phone does not have is the ability to block a bluetooth phone or device from sending you files or messages. This is very handy especially at the workplace if there is someone bombarding you with annoying messages or pictures.
I didn't notice this at first, but after glancing at TheNokiaReview's N97 mini review, they mentioned a wobble when using the keyboard with the N97 mini on a hard flat surface. Now knowing that the mini has a wobble, it bugs me enough that I have to set it on something soft and spongy whenever I set it down on a table or desk.
My suggestion to those who own the N97 mini : Look for sticky-pad rubber-feet (the ones that go on the bottom of laptops), then just attach 4 to the bottom on the Mini and problem solved.
As I was taking a few night pictures, I noticed a significant amount of light coming out of the front camera hole, and out of one of the hinges behind the screen. It really isn't too much of an issue, but makes the phone look cheap even though you payed a ton for it.
From the squeaking battery door to the self-harming camera lens slider, the mini's build quality has indeed improved from the N97. It's speedy 434Mhz processor can run any program with ease. With it's large screen, you can easily watch movies, pictures or surf the web. And with the camera, you can capture priceless moments in the blink of an eye. It is a very impressive phone and I'm glad I had the chance to try it, but I believe the one thing Nokia could have done to make this phone 10,000% better would be to add more RAM. I continue to buy Nokia smartphones for their ability to multi-task, but when you create a phone that does EVERYTHING super quick, but can only do a few of them at a time...
Nokia has the build quality with the mini, now they need to start putting more RAM into their newer devices. Just like comparing computer programs and memory from the 80's to today, they're just going to get bigger and bigger!
Hope you enjoyed my review!
Check out my N97 Mini Album!
Last edited by naypalmmaker; 07-17-2010 at 10:54 AM. Reason: typo's
nice job with the review. i liked how you set it up and provided links to videos too.
SEE MY FEEDBACK HERE
Entirely too many phones to list...the search continues
One of the better laid out reviews I've read. Thanks.
Agree, excellent review!!
Great review, I have the mini also and aside from the more memory on c drive, its not at all a step up from the n97 to me, yes a metal back, but smaller screen , just as buggy firmware and a waste for multitasking because the ram just isnt enough.
Its JUst a complete rehash of the n97 with more memory on c drive.
Does it "feel" better though? I know it has more metal and what not, but does the phone feel significantly different? Does it operate better, have less glitches, etc?Originally Posted by THETRUTH#34
I want to buy your Nokia E7.
HoFo Feedback (9+, 0-)
it feels more solid because of the materials aside from that my 97 seemed more stable, i have a trial unit im using from wom world and i am having a hard time putting my sim in it, the other day i had gravity open and messaging and web browser, i clicked a link on the web browser which opened another page, and i noticed everything else shut down not a device i can use daily when the 9700 i have, the omnia hd i had, the 3gs and my n86 all out perform it in this area.Originally Posted by newtype2011
So to answer your question no it doesnt seem or function any different and the smaller screen doesn't make it any better.
nice review, bub. also love how you're using Ovi to share.
gotta say, i REALLY like dig the look of that metal battery cover. sigh. wish they had thought of that for the N97. it's smart. and yes, i'm absolutely envious of that FAT 210MB of C: staring out at that picture. kind of how a Playboy playmate looked when i was 14 years old -- out of reach! i have 36.3 on my N97 right now. weak.
what's up with this "wobble"? and why would it matter? so the phone's center of gravity is off when open , no biggie. wouldn't you just use the phone in your hands? i've never used the N97 on a flat surface. keyboard on a smartphone ain't a typewriter, yo! had a chance to play with one a couple weeks ago -- really like how the phone felt in hand too. SOLID. as for the slider, i couldn't tell the difference b/w the Mini and the N97.
LOL @ the "human research" part though. we *really* are part of their beta programs, ha ha. which actually brings up this question: just WHEN did they come up with the idea for the Mini? remember when the term "mini" was first leaked? within weeks after the launch of the N97, yes? and if the Mini *really* is (in part) an addressing of the flaws of the N97, then how long was it in development?
and does this mean that Nokia released the N97 knowing full well that:
a) it had some serious issues in hardware and software, and
b) a "fixed" hardware revision was just a few months down the pipe in the Mini?
and remember Nokia (or someone, or some rumour, or some blog) saying that the Mini was introduced to market in anticipation of another manufacturer using the term "mini" for their smaller iteration? well, what WAS that product? anyone know?
i'm curious as to when Nokia realized they had a potential lemon in the N97 (much exaggerated, i might add), and then how much time they had to refine in the Mini.
I BRICKED MY GALAXY S2.
Great review. I was gonna by this device. but the ram issues is a deal breaker for me. Please can you tell me how bad the ram issue is. I heard removing the widgets on the screen helps (i dont need them anyway). Like how many apps can run on it at a time, before it start closing them.
also what is the general speed of the device, compared to the E71.
lastly are the theme effect enabled? and do they affect the overall stability of the device?.
Thanks in advance
same as the N97 -- RAM isn't brutal, you just have to manage it. i've had single digits in RAM, and the phone still hasn't hung/rebooted. Widget selection is part of it, yes, though. if you have just your contacts and links widgets plus the email and music widgets, there's no issue.Originally Posted by bigbrovar
as for open apps, just be neat about it. close down what you don't need and you'll be fine.
more RAM would have made the N97/mini better, but it's not the end of the world.
Ha ha Truth, I have the original N97, got it the first day available from Nokia USA. I had zero interest on the mini before I read the opening post, got more interested after reading the review, my interest went back to zero after reading your post #5, I am not going to bother with the rest of the thread now. Thanks Truth!Originally Posted by THETRUTH#34
Great Review thank you
Great review. Lots of effort to make it thorough. Very detailed pics and videos. Seemed honest and believable, not sucking up. If I had a big website I would hire you right now.
The tying in with Ovi was the icing. Very smart.
Listen with your eyes.
Thanks! I'm glad everyone liked it! It took a while to piece it together but I had fun making the various photo shots and movies!
bigbrovar asked how many programs can I run at one time? Well the mini is different from what I'm used to on my E63. Instead of getting the "Out of Memory" error, the N97 mini frees up space by closing idle programs once a certain amount of RAM is used. When I have about 10 programs running and 9MB free, that was when it started to auto-close some of the idle programs. I think it was THETRUTH#34's post that explained how their programs ended up disappearing after opening another program. Basically the same thing. So the answer to your question would be 9 or 10 depending on the size of the programs being ran.
I agree with what AM Radio said, that the less RAM is not the end of the world; You just need to manage your RAM usage. It's actually a neat feature that nokia added to automatically manage what you have loaded. The N97 mini will continue to function just fine, just make sure you save whatever your doing before opening a bunch of programs otherwise you may lose what you are writing in documents etc.
As for the Wobble, I never noticed it until I read TheNokiaReview's article. It really isn't much of a problem as the mini never left my hands or coat pocket throughout this past week. The Mini fits well in the hands and has a great feel to it. There really is no need to use it like a laptop on a table . It was a last minute add to the end of the review.
Awesome review Naypalm!!! Is the N97mini going to be your next phone???