Like I said there’s nothing new here. The Mini offers 3G capabilities with HSDPA speeds up to 3.6Mbps. We’ll of course have to settle for EDGE and GPRS and Wi-Fi when available. Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP and USB 2.0 are also available for data transfer. If you wish to access Mail for Exchange you’ll have to download the App. I had a bit of trouble using Nokia’s Email service on this handset but I saw it function quite well on colleagues. It’s extremely easy to set up an email account that’s POP or IMAP enabled.
A comfy keypad
The built in social networking tools include Facebook that has its own widget for the Live desktop and allows you to take images and upload them from the same app and not much else. If you aren’t well versed enough to set up the features to access Picasa or any other image uploading site you might have a problem as Nokia has never made easy provisions for their access. You can download a Twitter from the OviStore or use Fring or Nimbuzz (if you can get it to work) for chatting. Nokia’s Symbian browser still needs work. I’m not too thrilled about its layout as the rendering isn’t optimized for very comfortable browsing.
Ovi Maps is on board with three months of navigation thrown in to be used with the onboard GPS antenna. It also supports A-GPS in case you need to access data from the web for Points of Interest or locations and other such data. It takes about 4 minutes on an average to locate available satellites and then you’re good to go.
Nokia has included a Quick Office app with the N97 Mini but it doesn’t have a license to create new documents. That costs extra. Then again, this isn’t an E Series Business class device so no biggie. Adobe’s PDF reader, a dictionary, Nokia’s Active Notes Zip Creator and Calculator amongst all other basic features are present and accounted for. The DJ Mix Tour game is also preloaded in case you wish to pass the time and it’s entertaining enough to while away those really boring moments.
Slimer than it's predecessor
The camera quality has been upped a bit. Features sadly have not. With 8 megapixel camera phones that come with the same and quite a lot of additional features that include face tracking, smile detection etc. and cost a lot less, the N97’s camera is not a selling point. Nevertheless I found that the processing and start up time was much better than the N97. This model also supports Geotagging and what I do like about Nokia’s S60 camera phones is the fact that they provide hints about features so new users can easily figure out what settings to use when.
Image quality on the whole was still quite average but not altogether bad. The colors and clarity aren’t the best but there are other Nokia models that fared better.
The Mini’s battery was a serious mystery. When fully charged with all the bars peaked it would easily run for over a day and a half with connectivity left on for emails, updates on widgets and so on. But on 2 occasions I failed to wait for the Fully Charged message and simply unplugged the handset from the charger. The levels were peaked but on my 1 hour commute, the battery dwindled away to almost nothing with minimal usage. Both times! Perhaps it’s a glitch in the handset I got for testing, so I hope you don’t have any issues if you’ve bought it.
The Bottom Line
The price tag on the N97 Mini is Rs. 30, 939 which is about the same price as the 32GB but larger in size N97. So if you’re having buyers remorse about the N97 and wish to upgrade, it’s going to cost you a very pretty penny. It’s a good phone and I have to admit that even with its minor shortcomings I have enjoyed using it, so don't dismiss it too quickly if it’s on your list.