For those of you who read my review on the Nokia N97, you’ll know that I was not too pleased with the handset. I was a bit skeptical after the introduction of the N97 Mini as to whether or not it would exceed the expectations I initially had for its bigger brother. Well here’s my opinion.
The new shape is absolutely brilliant. It’s so much easier to mange this device than it was the first. I don’t have any qualms about the display being a mite smaller at 3.2-inches; it’s still clear and easy to use. The weight has been considerably reduced from 150g to 138g making it easier to carry around. That’s because they’ve shaved off quite a lot including reducing the onboard memory of 32GB to just 8GB. A little more metal has been tossed into the mix making it a little more stylish as well and the color options - Cherry Black, Garnet and White also adds a little elegance to the handset.
Slightly dull color options but very business like
The buttons on the outside are still in the same places with the 3.5mm handsfree port located at the top and the micro USB port for charging and PC connectivity on the side. The slide out full QWERTY keypad is slightly different. The nav-pad has been sliced and a set of navigation keys on one side near the space bar have taken its place. The keypad itself is still very comfortable to use. The N97 Mini has retained the 5 MP camera but this one doesn’t have a lens cover, not that I missed it.
Sturdy and well built
On the whole the N97 Mini is what the original should have been like. It’s definitely slimmer, sleeker, sexier and better in terms of its design than its predecessor. On to the features.
Features and Performance
Thankfully the Mini is equipped with the same ARM 11 434 MHz processor as the previous running on a Symbian OS with the S60 v5 for Nokia’s Touchscreen devices. It’s fast and efficient but tends to get a bit sluggish when your battery meter shows you just a single bar. It’s a finger friendly UI as there’s no need for the stylus. Whether you’re using the keypad or the touchscreen itself, it’s easy to navigate and the Live Desktop with its customizable features makes it easy to access all the features and functions you frequently use.
The Mini doesn’t offer anything different in terms of its preloaded features. What you’d find in the N97 you will find here as well and what you don’t, you can just download off of the Ovi Store.
Aside from the fact that Nokia still hasn’t managed to offer its customers the ability to simply copy paste videos for playback, forcing us to convert them to acceptable MPEG4 and 3GP formats, the media functionality of the handset is quite good. The audio player is loud, definitely loud, and clear. For those of you looking for a more personalized audio experience you can use the presets, Stereo Widening option or adjust the tone to your personal preference with the customizable 8 band graphic Equalizer setting.
Well placed ports
The Mini also comes with an FM radio that is unfortunately a feature that I found to be a little below par. In areas that I normally get good reception on other devices the Mini failed to pick up four out of the nine available stations and reception had quite a bit of static most of the time. The voice recorder was pretty good though with a range that was over 3 feet for providing good recoding. It also offers TV out via the handsfree port but an AV cable isn’t provided.