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Old 04-06-2009, 04:12 PM
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up Hands on confirmation

Hi, I'm from Hong Kong and N97 has just been "released" to Nokia sales poeple on the streets and in their flagship store in IFC mall for users to touch and play around with.

You may notice i've posted some questions earlier; I was quite eager to find out about the phone and hence i was shocked that i had a chance to play with it. I am not a phone reviewer nor historically a Nokia user (i use a dopod, ex HTC), but I got to play around with the N97 for about 20 minutes and I confirm the comments by Rafe almost completely.

1) Build quality is solid. It even feels light given the size of the phone. The phone however does feel big, and is not entirely comfy to fit in your pocket if you wear tighter pants or a suit.
2) The camera quality is very good. Once you push down the protector, the camera mode comes on in less than a second. The focus time for snaps is only about 1 second in good lighting, which is nearly equal to consumer point and shoots. This is fantastic and makes taking pictures SO much better (i am a Canon DSLR user normally). I can take 2 or 3 shots in the time the iphone or HTC devices take 1 picture. The camera button also has great depth, so you will definitely be able to press half way to focus before taking a photo. this is really important as i HATE unfocused shots. Macro is also good, there is some depth of field i.e bokeh / background blur which is always nice. Contrast is high, pictures a bit saturated but thats what you expect from non DSLRs.
2) The video quality is also very good. I completely confirm the video panning part where you virtually have no lag in play back (Note there IS a little bit of lag when you are filming). The Video chip that rafe talks about is definitely there.
3) The device i was running had about 6 or 7 apps running, facebook, video player, picture viewer, nokia maps and the OS was NOT slow at all. However Nokia maps wasn't drawing very quickly, but i think that was fine.
4) The phone was not connected but if you don't have an internet connection, it frequently prompts you that "you don't have an internet connection" which was a little annoying.
5) The screen is responsive, much better than the 5800. However it is quite reflective.
6) I did not agree with Rafe on the stylus being required however. When using character recognition (i.e writing Chinese for those who can), just use your fingernails and you'd be fine.
7) The price of the device was HKD 5600, where the white one had a bluetooth stereo headset included worth HKD 588 (but NOT the black one) if you pre-order it these few days. This equates to USD 700 unsubsidized but includes a bluetooth head set worth USD 70. No memory card is included. They also include a USD 20 service, where they come to your home / office to help you tune / introduce the phone to you one on one. Shipping confirmed night of June 16th.
8) The keyboard was not too easy to type. I agree with the 1mm depth of the keys, which was a bummer and much slower to type than on my blackberry 8707v. Although keep in mind I felt the 8707v is also much easier to type than the E71 (a little more space, firmer keys and greater depth). This is a bit of a dissapointment, but i think i can definitely get used to it.

Quick conclusion: Definitely worth the price - will buy.
Pros: Build is excellent, the device is fast, i can store everything i need in it (definitely getting a 32gb Micro SD to go with this), camera is excellent. Black looks really nice (has a bit of a rougher battery cover which is nice to touch and not a fingerprint magnet) but white includes a Bluetooth headset...
Cons: It's a bit big for my liking, i'll prob need to carry a bag to work going forward to put in the device with the headphones and stuff. The keyboard leaves me a bit wanting, but this is still much better than the iphone / 5800 on screen keyboard, although not as good as blackberry 8707 or E71 for now. Screen is also a little reflective for my liking. I would probably like more ram.

Here's my 5 cents, just want to share my experience of it.