I left you with the following as the last part of my last post, ‘this is the week that Nokia either shines or moves to the B list of the cell phone market’. From the launch of the N97 today, all indications are that the only place Nokia is going with this is upwards. The device packs specifications equalling a fanboy’s dream, we had been waiting for Nokia’s QWERTY Nseries for long, but when they gave it to us they didn’t forget to include touch too. S60 Touch, Nseries and QWERTY make for a killer combo. Specifications to make you drool below.
- S60 Touch 9.5 OS S60 5th Edition, running Symbian 9.4 OS
- 3.5″ nHD Screen (640×360) (!)
- Haptic Feedback
- Slideout QWERTY (!)
- Dimensions – 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9
- Weight 150g
- 5MP Camera with Dual Led Flash – with sliding lens cover
- 32 GB Onboard Memory with microSD slot = 48GB currently. (!)
- N-Gage (!)
- 1500mah Battery (!)
- COMPASS (!)
- Customizable Home Screen with Widgets (RSS, Weather, Facebook, Ovi)
- 400 hours of standby time
- 320-400 (3G/GSM) hours of talk time
- 4.5 hours of video playback and over 37 hours of audio playback
- The Nokia N97 is expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2009 at an estimated retail price of EUR 550 before taxes or subsidies.
- Photos here.
- Official Spec Sheet Here
AND THE USUAL NSERIES FEATURE SET:
- 3.5mm Jack
- No stylus built into the phone, but one will be included in the box.
THE N95 OF 2009
There you have it folks. A lot to take in. The ‘N9x’ series usually bring in the absolute cutting edge in technology, if you think Nokia missed a trick with the N96, you will agree that they more than made up here. The N97 is the first Nseries touch device, the first to feature a QWERTY, the first S60 5th Edition device with N-Gage, the first with a killer battery, the first to have a compass, the first with 32GB of internal storage and I hope I’ve not missed something. That’s a lot of firsts. Although we’ve heard about N-Gage Touch before, we’ve seen a non Nseries with a compass too, the Eseries has QWERTY but what we’ve not seen is one device that does it all. The N95 of 2009.
SCREEN & DIMENSIONS
For a full QWERTY 3.5″ touchscreen device, the N97 has pretty pleasing dimensions too, its longer and wider than the N82, but thinner. (117x55x16 v. 112×50.2×17.3 mm of the N82) When you slide the keyboard out, the screen tilts, so you can let it lie on the table as you watch video or even type.
This is the only place the N97 can be asked to take some flak. In my opinion what is bad is not the 5MP lens, but the dual LED. I am perfectly happy with the 5 Megapixel camera of the N82 or the N95, 8 MP is welcome but not a requirement. The dual LED experience for me hasn’t seen that great. It hardly compares to a Xenon and I’ve hardly found it to be useful as a tool in the video mode as my subjects are usually further away. But looking at the complete package the camera is no where close to being a deal breaker.
QWERTY & HAPTIC FEEDBACK
I guess I will be able to say something concrete about it once I play with it, however from the pictures the keys seem very usable for even those with large fingers. Haptic feedback for screen touches provided via general vibra feedback, as on the Nokia 5800 is also there.
GENERAL NSERIES PACKAGE
The multimedia package of the Nseries is well known by now and good enough for being a dedicated player replacement. The one thing that will stand out here is TV out. Currently, our Nseries devices project 320×240 pixel images on the much larger TV which makes the image look stretched (in the non Image/Video mode) while playing a game or something of the sort. With the Much better inherent resolution the N97 will become a killer portable gaming console/video player/web machine that can be hooked onto the TV.
I can’t say I am surprised by this announcement, what I am surprised by is, is its coming at Nokia World. I was expecting a Nseries Touch with a physical keyboard from Nokia soon, the QWERTY was an added bonus. We have just witnessed a true flagship being announced, one with which no one can find too many faults. The success of this device is also certain, even Nseries + QWERTY would have been enough, but since the world is raving about touch Nokia had to follow suit.
The real measure for its actual success will be how much time Nokia takes to make it available for people to buy, we’ve seen consumers having been made to wait, yet devices selling like anything, but that time is long gone. If it becomes available in early March or around that time, great. Else, the adjectives quantifying its success will keep becoming smaller. Nokia are you upto it?