There’s a bit of a trend of manufacturers bringing out diet-smart phones at the moment and Nokia has hopped lithely aboard the bandwagon with the Nokia N97 Mini.
What We Like
Ladies and man-bag users, rejoice. One brilliant thing about the N97 Mini is that it will actually fit into those little pouches meant for your phone in your hand/manbag. It’s the sleek, streamlined chassis that really makes this phone, especially when you compare it to its unwieldy older brother.
Video playback looks great on the wide screen, whilst the 5mp camera does all kinds of wizadry to make sure your shots look good.
Typing is much more of a joy using the slide-out keyboard than the resistive touch screen – the keys are nicely spaced and easy to use. While the apps themselves leave something to be desired, the speed at which they load and update is impressive.
With Facebook as a handy homepage widget, Facebook addicts won’t even need to open the app to see friends’ statuses or tot up any new notifications and friend requests.
The standard headphone jack means you aren’t limited to the cheap headphones that are provided with the handset. The music player is fairly average but it’s not unpleasant to use and can be placed on your home screen for easy access.
What We Don’t Like
Although it’s nice that the buttons on the handset are few and far between, we had a bit of trouble with them. The screen-lock button is placed on the front of the keypad, sort of randomly two thirds of the way along which took some getting used to. Similarly, the stiff camera button requires some scientific pressing to ensure it actually takes the photo rather than endlessly focusing.
As with any Nokia smart phone, we’re just not convinced about the Ovi store yet. The good apps are prohibitively expensive and many of the free apps are, well, a bit rubbish. Ovi Maps, for example, struggled to find our current location in a variety of places both in the centre of London and outside town.
For a phone that’s being touted as perfect for social networking, there is a disappointing lack of good quality Twitter apps available – unless you’re willing to spend upwards of £5, which we weren’t. We ended up using Snaptu, which was a pretty painful experience, thanks to its weird on-screen formatting. In the end, checking and updating Twitter was more bother than it was worth.
As the short among us will confirm, good things do come in small packages. And despite the issues with apps and over-thinking, the N97 Mini is a nippy little phone which is not unpleasant to use.
It’s a real shame that apps-wise the handset simply isn’t a contender. In today’s post-iPhone world that might just be a deal-breaker for many.