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N97 Review Day 1 Stream of Consciousness

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2009-07-03 00:45
  1. The N97 touch UI is a wart on top of an S60 wart. The S60 touch UI  works  only if you are an S60 geek like me or sloanb. For the mass market aka "humans" as Marc Canter calls normal people :-), S60 and the S60 touch UI are unusable. Please Nokia (speaking as a friend who wants Nokia to thrive instead of merely surviving the iPhone juggernaut):
    1. fix the S60 UI as per Rui's suggestions
    2. start a separate stealth division or company to re-do the UI (as I  previously advocated after Nokia Open Lab 2008 and as Alec Saunders advocated today  or just buy Palm :-)  (yes I know buying Palm is unrealistic, but in the long run it's just as valid as Maemo (which I like but is just for geeks at this point) or even worse trying to revamp S60 to make it usable)
  2. Having said that, I am strangely enjoying using the N97 (the Touch makes perfect sense if you have been living and breathing S60 since 2004 like I have!). I love the beautiful big screen (the N82 screen seems tiny and dark by comparison) and the camera seems faster shot to shot and the pictures are not bad in regular light (e.g. this photo of Dane from the N97 looks better than this photo of Dane with the N82 (need to view both at original size) wouldn't you agree?).
  3. Nokia not having full Mac support for the N97 at launch time in 2009 is inexcusable. The days of the Microsoft hegemony are over. Get over it Nokia, the 1990s are over :-) !
  4. Even if Ovi Maps supported the Mac, I doubt I'd like it. I bet I'd feel the same way as Stefan i.e. I'd still use Google Maps instead of Ovi.
  5. Over the air update of my trial N97 (which is European) firmware worked flawlessly. Unfortunately as per Ms Jen, the same can't be said of the N97 NAM, again inexcusable for a flagship device.
  6. Still not a fan of widgets:
    1. Rather have the weather widget use the official and best Canadian forecast which is Environment Canada's
    2. The facebook app doesn't show enough info and doesn't show Notes
  7. Surprisingly email works better than expected with my gmail account. Major bug is that tags don't show up as IMAP folders which they do in a proper email client like Thunderbird.
  8. Qik, ShoZu and Nokia Sports Tracker (Sports Tracker still has a bad website and inexplicably doesn't upload all the photos you have taken during a ride but that's not an N97 exclusive bug) all work just as well as they do on the N82 and E71 even though none of them except Qik support the N97 officially yet.
  9. Gravity rocks! it's one of the best mobile twitter clients on any platform! Beautiful and fun with the kinetic touch scrolling.
  10. The Web Browser still feels pokey and outmoded compared to the iPhone web browser. Please fix!
  11. As many others have pointed out, the keyboard is fine except that "long" key presses should result in numbers or the other symbols instead of auto-repeating the key.This works fine in the E71! Please fix in a future firmware update.

Comments

Agree from what I've seen of the N97.  I'll wait and see re Maemo and also revamping S60.

QT is a nice dev environment, and there are plenty of well put together QT/KDE apps.  I live in hope this ends up working well on S60 and maemo.  The pre-releases for S60 look promising.

I still need to write my post on my initial thoughts of the N97 NAM, but so far, not so good.  From a hardware/form factor perspective, I prefer the N86, but the N97 is a lovely machine.  It is the firmware & software that is DRIVING ME CRAZY.

Seriously.

I have been missing calls, as the touchscreen is not working for me to answer them. By the time I fiddle the evil little unlock button, I have missed the call.  I can't get my POP email set up, as the email wizard is only recognizing IMAP.  The list is much longer.

In my near decade of Nokia ownership and 5 years with a smartphone, I have never had such a bad out of the box / set up experience. 

WHY OH WHY didn't they use Maemo or Android as the OS for the N97??  The Maemo touch UI works great on the N800 & N810, just add better camera software and phone / sim /texting.  Android 1.5 is a great OS.  I love it.

My post, tomorrow, will be comparing the first 30 minutes with the Google Ion (aka G2, or HTC Magic) with the same time frame with the N97.  The only thing the N97 does betetr than the Ion is photos and qwerty texting, other than that the G2 wins hands down.

((o.O))

looking forward to your review tomorrow! Hmmm. I don't use POP (only IMPA) so can't coment on that. I believe the unlock button issue with answering a call is fixed by the V11 firmware, but I will definitely check that!

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