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November 14, 2009

Nokia N97 mini review, Price, pictures, Details, model specifications

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. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price

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. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price

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 support and 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  • Outdated camera interface and features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

سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price 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 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. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price

The functional elements on the sides of the Nokia N97 mini have an identical layout to that of its bigger brother. That means that the camera key and the dual volume button are on the right. The camera key is fine but the volume rocker feedback has quite some room for improvement.  Nokia N97 mini right side The left side features the microUSB port and the screen lock slider. The stereo speakers are also here at the two edges. There is no protective cover for the USB slot so dust and dirt accumulation is pretty likely.  The functional elements on the left The power key is at the top of Nokia N97 mini, right next to the 3.5mm audio jack. You can also use the power key for alternating the profiles as customary for the phones with this operating system. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price The audio jack and the power key are on top The bottom of Nokia N97 mini is pretty plain with the lanyard eyelet being the only diversion.  There’s hardly anything interesting at the bottom When you slide the Nokia N97 mini open, the three-row QWERTY keyboard pops up in front of your face. The keys are a bit smaller than on the original N97 but they are still large enough and will enough spacing to be comfortable even for larger-handed users. 

Opening the Nokia N97 mini The feedback levels are also great, increasing the typing speed even further. We aren’t too thrilled about having only three rows on a QWERTY keyboard, but they got the rest of it right. The problem is that keys get a bit crowded with a three-row layout (having two chars each) and intensive usage of a modifier (the symbol key) is required. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price
The keyboard is pretty comfy, despite the three-row layout The D-pad of the original N97 is removed in the N97 mini, replaced by four arrow keys. Placed on the right of the keyboard those are really comfortable, with the nearby enter key compensating for the lack of a confirming center. This arrangement has allowed the Space key to be shifted a bit to the middle, where it is much easier to reach. Considering that this is one of the most frequently used keys when typing we count this as a major usability boost. The Nokia N97 mini 5 megapixel camera is on the backside of the handset, right next to dual LED flash. Those aren’t protected by anything this time so getting them scratched even under regular usage is pretty likely. 
The 5 megapixel camera and the dual LED flash are unprotected this time Under the battery cover lays another downgrade of Nokia N97 mini compared to the original N97. The BP-4D has 25% smaller capacity (1200 mAh) than the N97 battery. Understandably, its performance isn’t quite as impressive too. The N97 mini should last for up to 320 hours of stand-by and 7 hours and ten minutes of talk-time in a 2G network or 310 hours of stand-by and 6 hours of talk time on UMTS. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price
The battery is downgraded to 1200 mAh In reality we had to charge our Nokia N97 mini every 36 hours but ours was nothing else than extensive torture. What regular users should expect is charging their handset every third day or something like that. The microSD card slot is also located under the battery cover with Nokia N97 mini. That means that whenever you need to change memory cards you will need to remove it, which causes some inconvenience. On the positive side the N97 mini can handle 16GB microSD cards which are the largest currently available on the market.
The microSD card slot is here tooThe build quality of the Nokia N97 mini is really satisfactory. With the addition of some metallic elements it is now even nicer to touch than the original N97. Unfortunately, the sliding mechanism issue of having uneven tension hasn’t been solved. The spring is a bit too rigid at first followed by an all too sudden release that makes a loud banging noise. We have seen Nokia do a lot better than that. At least this time the full specs quote visible on the back of the phone when it’s slid open are gone.
The Nokia N97 mini held in hand

سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price

Phonebooks remains unchanged

Nokia N97 mini uses a phonebook that’s identical to what previous versions of the UI have offered. Except for the whole touch thingy, that is. The phonebook itself has virtually unlimited capacity and functionality is among the best we’ve seen. Contacts can be freely ordered by first or last name and can naturally be searched by gradual typing of any of the names. You can also set whether the contacts from the SIM card, the phone memory and the service numbers will get displayed. 

The phonebook hasn’t seen much change Editing a contact offers a great variety of preset fields and you can replicate each of them as many times as you like. You can also create new fields if you happen to be able to think of one. Personal ringtones and videos are also available for assigning. If you prefer, you may group your contacts and give each group a specific ringtone.

Viewing a contact, editing a contact offers a huge variety of fields The Call log keeps track of your recent communications. The application itself comes in two flavors – accessed by pressing the Call key on the stand-by screen or from the main menu. The first one brings 20 call records in each of its tabs for outgoing, received and missed calls. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price

The call log logs everything If you access the Log application from the main menu, you’ll see a detailed list of all your network communications for the past 30 days. These include messages, calls and data transfers (even WLAN connections are included).

No smart-dial takes all the fun out of the telephony

We didn’t experience any problems with the in-call performance of Nokia N97. Reception levels are good on both ends of calls, the earpiece is loud enough and there were no interferences whatsoever. Voice dialing is an option with the N97 as with mostly any other phone. The voice dialing mode is activated once you press and hold the Call key. It is fully speaker-independent and doesn’t require prerecording the names of your contacts. Bear in mind though, that if you have multiple numbers assigned to a contact, the first or the default one gets dialed.  The dialling pad Thanks to the built-in accelerometer you can silence an incoming call on the phone by simply flipping it over. Those feature was also available in 5800 XpressMusic and through third party application on the previous versions on the UI.

Music player does the job

The music player (identical to the 5800 XpressMusic one) is very similar to the S60 3rd edition versions. A few cosmetic changes here and there and touch-optimization is all that sets it apart. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price Not that the music player isn’t capable enough or something – it surely has more than enough functionality. However some more eye-candy would have been quite welcome. After all, touch interfaces are usually mostly about being fun to use and nice to look at. Your music library is automatically sorted by artist, album, genre and composer and searching tracks by gradual typing is available. You can also create your own playlists in no time. The process of adding tracks to the library is as simple as choosing the refresh option. You won’t need to do that if you upload the music via the proprietary PC Suite application. 

The Nokia N97 mini music player With the huge number of supported formats you will hardly ever come across an audio file that the phone won’t handle. Album art is also supported and if you don’t like the default sound of the device you can enhance it by applying one of the five equalizer presets and if they seem insufficient you can create new ones in a matter of seconds. Quite naturally, the player can also be minimized to play in background. In this case a tab appears on the stand-by screen indicating the currently running track. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price

Splendid audio quality

Just as we expected, the audio output of Nokia N97 mini differs little from the excellent Nokia N97. The slight change is the intemodulation distortion, which reduced in half and is now only slightly below average. The handset did excellently in all other parts of our test, achieving some excellent scores. The frequency response of the N97 mini is almost identical to the one delivered by Nokia N97. It is pretty close to the perfect, the greatest deviating being only 0.32dB.

No DivX and XviD dooms video player

Watching a video on the Nokia N97 mini is generally a pleasure due to the relatively big screen. The built-in video player has decent functionality but only supports a very limited number of codecs, no DivX and XviD out of the box. As to third party solutions, mixed success is reported in terms of getting compatible players to run on the 5800 XpressMusic or the N97 mini.

The built-in video player The Nokia PC suite, actually Ovi Suite now, has a built-in application that automatically converts all kinds of video files to the format and resolution your phone supports. The automatic converter though seems to compress the videos too much even at the highest quality setting and they look over pixilated but so far it’s the easiest way of getting video to your Nokia touch handset. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price The video player itself only works in fullscreen landscape mode but, since anything else would have made the widescreen display useless, this is understandable. When in fullscreen, a press on the screen shows the controls which are normally hidden. The amply sized high-res screen is also more than welcome for truly enjoying your clips. With QWERTY keyboard slid out, the Nokia N97 mini looks just like made for video watching. Nokia have called their video app (which is actually a Real player in disguise) Video & TV but as it turns out, the TV is actually videos that you can stream from Nokia or Reuters. One can only wonder how YouTube was left out of this streaming video equation.

FM radio comes with RDS

The FM radio on Nokia N97 mini has a neat and simple interface and can automatically scan and save the available stations in your area. It also has RDS support and automatic scanning for an alternative frequency. This means that if you travel the N97 mini will take care of auto-switching to the frequencies of your selected radio station. 

The FM radio interface is quite cool سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price The RDS is the best part of Nokia N97 mini FM radio. The radio station name gets displayed with cool effects across the whole screen, while the rest of the RDS readings are printed in nicely legible text on a line at the bottom. Perhaps we would have preferred this font a bit larger, but it doesn’t really matter that much.

Connectivity reaches for perfection

Smartphones are usually well-heeled in terms of connectivity. Nokia N97 mini makes no exception: all contemporary means of data transfer are supported. All kinds of network connectivity are at the user disposal – GPRS, EDGE and 3G with HSDPA. Both the 2G and 3G connections are quad-band, making the N97 mini quite the global phone. There are some carriers with rare frequencies that are not supported, but for the most part you should enjoy the speediest connectivity in the area. Both USB and Bluetooth are version 2.0 and the latter naturally also sports A2DP. Wi-Fi with UPnP support is also at hand. There is no shortcut key for the Wi-Fi manager, but it can be easily found in the Connectivity menu and connecting to a WLAN network is two taps away. Finally, the Nokia N97 mini has a memory card slot, which can usually give you the fastest data transfer rates and can take up to 16GB cards.

Web browser needs some tuning

The web browser of Nokia N97 mini is about the same as on the 5800 XpressMusic. It’s a nice browser indeed, but hardly as touch-optimized as we would have liked. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price Panning and kinetic scrolling are the only things that are done by sweep gestures here, and zoom/out zoom are controlled by tapping on the screen twice. There’s a zoom bar for smoother zooming, but using it requires too many taps. There are no options for fit-to-width or fit-to-height, which makes convenient positioning of the text on screen a hard job. 

The web browser has much room for improvement There’s an overview mode (a minimap), but bringing it up requires two taps, which is exactly one more than it should have been. And while the browser has support for multiple pages opened at the same time, this only works for popups – you can’t open a new tab manually and dial in a new web address in a second tab. At least the page rendering algorithm is quite good, making all the pages look as if browsed from a desktop PC. The high resolution is also a welcome bonus here, as it allows more content to fit on the screen. Finally, the web browser has full support for both Flash and Java, which means that you can enjoy flash videos straight from your browser without having to use the mobile versions of sites like YouTube (which was recently redesigned by the way). So, generally speaking, the second S60 touch-browser is nicely equipped but fails to satisfy some common ergonomics shortcomings. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price

Organizer duly covered

The S60 organizer didn’t obviously get too much effort beyond the actual touch optimization. Well, developers were right up to a point but, given the progress of most competitors, some new functionality would have been nice – like copy/paste of events in the calendar or a new calculator. The calendar has four different view modes – monthly, weekly, daily and to-do, which allows you to check up all your To-Do entries regardless of their date. There are the same four types of events available for setting up as on S60 3rd edition – Meeting, Memo, Anniversary and To-do. Each event has unique fields of its own, and some of them allow an alarm to be activated at a preset time to act as a reminder.  Some of the calendar views and available settings Mobile office is also very well geared, with preinstalled applications able to open Word, Excel and PowerPoint files seamlessly. The PDF viewer was preinstalled on our unit but it’s only 15-days trial version (duh!) and after that you need to buy it from the Nokia download center. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price

Only viewing of documents is supported out of the box Unluckily, editing documents is not supported by the included Quickoffice version. If you would like editing enabled you will have to get the upgrade from the Nokia Download center for a fee. The organizer package also includes a great unit converter, calculator and voice recorder, as well as the Notes application. 

Some of the other organizer apps سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price The Active notes is advanced application for managing notes. It allows you to attach pictures, sound files or video clips to your memo and has nice and touch-friendly user interface. It’s not so daily used app, but still it will find its fans for sure.  The Office menu, Active notes, settings سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price The alarm application allows you to set up as many alarms as you want, each with its own name, trigger day and repeat pattern. If this seems too complicated, there is a quick alarm setup where all you do is set the time and you’re good to go. This is quite convenient for, say, setting up your wake-up alarm. In addition, the number of alarms is not limited. Thanks to the built-in accelerometer you can also snooze the alarm by simply flipping your phone, much like with the Nokia 8800 Arte and 5800 XpressMusic.  We are quite fond of the alarm application

The trial version on Nokia N97 mini supports only HTTP browsing, whereas the Premium one has more secure browsing plus VPN support.  JoikuSpot World Traveler is a handful open platform application developed by Psiloc that is aimed to make the traveler’s life easier. The program offers four services – weather, world clock, currencies, and world map. More about this piece of software to be found here. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price World Traveler AccuWeather for Nokia N97 mini is a Widget, which provides users with weather information for global locations including current conditions, 4-day forecasts, radar or satellite images, 15-day calendar view for a quick check of upcoming weather, hourly forecasts in graph format for visual display of temperature and conditions. It is also displayed on the home screen tab.  AccuWeather Amazon is a simple application with different categories. There is also a search engine, which opens results directly in the Amazon site. You are also allowed to choose in which country you’d like to look for an item, which is great for the local buyers. سعر نوكيا إن 97 مينى Nokia N97 mini Price Amazon application AP Mobile, which was announced this month with the launch of Nokia N97, is an application that enables users to choose their news, offering personalized delivery of content set according to their preferences. Consumers can scroll through stories and AP photo galleries as well as watch AP videos. Interesting images, videos or news can be directly shared via Twitter or Delicious. AP Mobile is great for the Associated Press readers Bloomberg application brings you up to date financial information. It has four tabs – news, markets, my stocks, and search section. If you are into finances, you can find out more about it at their website. Bloomberg application The final noteworthy app is the Reuters Slideshow, which gets you galleries from the mobile version of Reuters.com. It’s not a news application, it just displays images from the several available categories with short explanatory texts. The Reuters Slideshow Here are some more of the preinstalled applications:  Elle • CNN Video • ESPNsoccernet • Metro The Elle application serves up news bits from the fashion world, interviews, horoscopes and lots and lots of photos. CNN Video is a more serious app, which lets you watch videos from CNN news reports. ESPNsoccernet is invaluable to soccer fans – it has schedules, news, results, everything about soccer championships around the world. Metro is yet another source of world news. And there are other apps, but you get the point – the Nokia N97 mini comes with just about the most preloaded apps we’ve seen.

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