Nokia N97 mini review: Less is more

GSMArena team, 12 November 2009.

Introduction

The Nokia army of touchscreen smartphones gets larger by the hour and the Nokia N97 mini is surely one of the most interesting new recruits. The Finnish company has obviously reconsidered its priories and now focuses on optimization, rather than expansion with its flagships.

Nokia Nokia Nokia Nokia Nokia
Nokia N97 mini official photos

The original Nokia N97 was the first sign of that as it hardly offered any ground-breaking features, instead relaying on the good all-round performance. However the first high-end S60 touchscreen handset left enough room for another similar handset in the portfolio and Nokia feel that its downsized version is enough to fill the gap.

Key features

  • Slide-n-tilt 3.2" 16M-color resistive touchscreen of 640 x 360 pixel resolution
  • 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash and VGA@30fps video recording
  • Symbian OS 9.4 with S60 5th edition UI with kinetic scrolling
  • Slide-out three-row full QWERTY keyboard
  • ARM 11 434MHz CPU and 128 MB of RAM
  • Quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G with 3.6Mbps HSDPA support
  • Wi-Fi and GPS with A-GPS
  • Digital compass
  • 8GB onboard storage
  • microSD card slot with microSDHC support
  • Built-in accelerometer
  • 3.5 mm audio jack and TV-out
  • Stereo FM Radio with RDS
  • microUSB port (charging) and stereo Bluetooth v2.0
  • Web browser has full Flash and Java support
  • Nice audio reproduction quality
  • Office document viewer

Main disadvantages

  • The S60 touch UI is still inconsistent
  • Outdated camera interface and features
  • No DivX or XviD video support out-of-the-box
  • No smart dialing
  • No office document editing (without a paid upgrade)
  • No camera lens protection
  • No FM transmitter (though that may be stretching it too far)

Nokia N97 mini vs Nokia N97

  • More compact (113 x 52.5 x 14.2 mm, 75 cc vs 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm, 88 cc)
  • Lighter (138g vs 150g)
  • Smaller display (3.2" vs 3.5")
  • Less internal memory (8GB vs 32GB)
  • Smaller battery (1200 mAh vs 1500 mAh)
  • No lens cover
  • No FM transmitter
  • Arrow keys vs D-pad

The N97 mini has quite a task on its hands, constantly being compared to the moe high ranking Nokia N97 even though it comes later to the market. As usually happens in such cases, the price difference that would have been present if both handsets were launched simultaneously is reduced and the balance of powers has shifted.

Nokia N97 mini Nokia N97 mini Nokia N97 mini
Nokia N97 mini at ours

Still the reduced display (and mostly body size) is a welcome change for many users, who used to find the Nokia N97 intolerably bulky. We certainly hope it's got a few tricks up its sleeves so it can put up the original N97 a good fight and differentiate enough beyond size and pricing. Well, we're about to check that and much more in one of our trademark reviews, starting with the unboxing on the next page.

Next Page »


 
Reviews > Nokia N97 mini review: Less is more