Sunday, July 11, 2010

N97 Mini Reviewed and Found an awesome experience of a Music Device!

Well this time an N97mini!
I was given a chance to Trial an N97 mini by the good people at WOMWORLD/Nokia .
Well like first time, i love to post the Data sheet for ease and convenience this time too.

Here let me confirm, i don't want to compare N97 mini with the original N97 !
The first thing i noticed when i opened the box is that N97 mini is not so big or heavy than i imagined it to be,But it shined with  stylish looks.

It's compact with every power in it packed together so nicely that anyone falls in love with it the very first time u handle it! Also noticed that the battery cover (which is metallic) is also considered in it's design to give it a different feel and great look! so finally it boasts a good look of royalty in 360Degree spin !
All the sensors and front camera along with the ear-piece  are placed in correct locations.

The proximity sensor works like charm during a call and the screen responds quickly to it.This sensor makes the screen turn off when you hold it next to your ear and vice versa.The ambient light sensor adjusts the screen brightness according to the lighting outside.

Two Touch sensitive call buttons and one hardware menu bottom sit at the bottom of the phone.
The touch sensitive call buttons are very sensitive to me while managing call features.
Just a slight touch, they react and get our work done smoothly,but what i felt  is that the hardware button must also be replaced by a touch sensitive one.This is because our fingers get used to the touch sensitive ones and immediately we need to put pressure for the hardware menu button which is not comfortable.
The hardware button also acts as an indicator for missed calls/messages or any other indications.

Coming to the 3.5mm audio jack its plain and excellently placed at a good place on the top, side of power button rather than sides or bottom,so that it can easily be kept in pocket with the jack facing upwards and avoid cable problems.Also this makes the handling of phone easy while enjoying the music with ear-buds, the jack always faces outwards which is a benefit in this phone.And the power button, side of it can be used to switch on the phone with a slightest hit and it also serves another purpose of changing/switching between the profiles while the phone is on.

The bottom of the phone is perfect plain with no sockets or buttons.
simply made.

The speakers are placed on the left side of the device.Two, one at the top and the other at the bottom.There is no problem with the audio output when the user has the habit of handling the phone in their right hand.
Though they are fixed at good place i feel like some people have a habit of handling the phone with their left hand, so in such cases if they handle so, the output of sound coming from the speakers gets reduced as they are covered by the hand.So they should be fixed at some place like top and bottom of device like the N900 has!(example not a comparison)

One main thing i want to talk about this pretty phone incase of remainders for charging is that, this phone boasts a small indicator (white LED) near the USB charger/Connector.Frankly speaking i did not notice this minute thing till there raised a need for me.I was sitting away from the place where the phone is kept for charging and wanted to know whether the phone is actually charging or not? But i don't want to move from my place, then i just looked at the phone, suddenly i came across a LED shining bright  which indicated that it's charging and this LED switches off automatically when charging is finished which acts as an indication for us.Ha thanks a lot, even minute LED helps us in some ways.This comes into use especially during night times.

The screen lock slider button is situated on the left side of the phone.No matter which hand user you are, this thing works like charm in both the hands to lock or unlock the screen.Actually i felt something like proud in operating this key especially when someone is looking at me with this phone in my hands!

But the camera part is not given enough attention, its left barely without any cover/protection which is pierced out of the design of the phone and to compensate this, the design at the bottom of the phone is made such that a slight curvature is seen to  balance the level when the phone is placed down on an even surface.

The camera UI is similar to the one Found in N97.
It also comes with Geo-tagging enabled.
It works a  bit slow,so one cannot take photos quickly and suddenly when required.
It also lacks some features like face detection , smile detection which are coming as the main features in the latest devices.In the shooting mode/camera mode there comes a tab on the right side with few control options on the screen.I found the on screen touch option to capture photos to be more useful than the photo button on the right side because the touch one  adjusts everything for itself.
The picture quality is also pretty descent for a 5MP phone by a normal user just to take good quality photos.

Some samples of photos i have taken with the N97Mini

I took some photos that a normal  user shots at his home and their surroundings and not those just taken by professionals.
The camera gave good results that a normal user expects from an 5MP camera phone when taken photos slowly and steadily.

An INTEL PENTIUM PROCESSOR on the right opened !

A baby GERMAN SHEPHERD Dog in my house!

The video recording interface is same as that of the camera.
And the capture Quality is Not bad.Unfortunately i could not link any videos i have taken with the device.
But as of now when compared to the latest technology this 5MP camera don't stand first when the latest technology camera phones with Xenon flash included are considered.consider N8 from Nokia as an example.

FRONT CAMERA:Video calling camera
Don't know why Nokia is not considering front camera /video calling camera as an essential and just leaving it with a VGA camera.
I tried to take a snap from the  front camera , felt bad and deleted the picture.
In bright day light the image appeared as if i took it in a dark room.
How can such a camera be used for video calling on mobile ?
Not only in  N97mini I found this, but also in other phones which have a video calling camera have the same quality.What for such sensors?
Nokia best should provide atleast 2MP camera for video calling which gives an awesome experience for video calling facility.


The keypad is well built and is a 3 row one.The keys though small are very comfortable for any kind of users to type.The keys are also very reactive while pressing so that typing becomes faster.The keypad is similar to the one on N900 except that there is more spacing between the buttons which makes some users with small hands difficult to reach all the required keys on the entire keypad and also the position of symbols changed with respect to N900 keypad.

This device is equipped with a Resistive touch screen.I am totally amazed at its responsiveness.
First when i received the device i searched for a stylus and i found later that this device doesn't need a stylus.
I happily used the T9 dictionary for messaging as this took every key stroke exactly and it proved to have less errors while messaging needed its action.

The screen shots of the General 2 Home screens in both landscape mode & portrait mode are posted below.

Another most important thing i like to mention here is the screen,It has been amazingly resistant to scratches.
I found not even a single scratch after repeated messaging with T9 dictionary enabled.
The screen is visible excellently in all times of the day.The light sensor has done it's job in this regard very well.


Right from 2G to HSDPA the phone has all the connectivity options making this a Global version ed phone.
The connectivity options include
3)3G with HSDPA
both 2G and 3G connections are Quadband enabled.
5)USB 2.0
6)WI-FI with UPnP

And the phone also have a Micro SD card slot which supports till 16GB which also gives us fastest data transfer rates Along with the on board/Inbuilt  memory of 8GB.


I first searched for any games that came pre-installed very eagerly and found in vein that N97mini did not come installed with any game .This is very disappointing to Game enthusiasts .
Though Games are not installed by default,N97mini comes installed with some useful applications like

Frankly speaking ,though there are many applications i did not use any application except the NOKIA DRAWING application.

Nokia N97Mini runs on a S60 5th (Touch Screen) Edition which is nicely polished as per the widgets and the  specifications of N97mini.This is a mobile with full of  widgets enabled on the home screen itself for ease of use without navigating anywhere for the application to start.
Selection of an List Menus requires two tapings, one for the selection and the other for confirmation.
The scrolling is also made very smooth.
And totally the device is packed with the power of SYMBIAN s60 with all required hardware.

This device is packed with all the sensors that makes the device complete.These sensors include
1)ACCELEROMETER for auto screen rotation
2)PROXIMITY SENSOR for switching off display when we hold the phone near our ear.
3)AMBIENT LIGHT SENSOR for adjusting the brightness according to the exterior lightening conditions.
4)MAGNETIC COMPASS for auto rotation of exact map location.

All i should appreciate here is the work done by OVI MAPS and GPS receiver along with magnetic compass in aligning the map accordingly.The phone comes with OVI maps Touch pre installed.
The device managed to get a lock with the satellite in about 5-6 minutes after complete switch off and on of the device.The GPS receiver is a sensitive one in this unit.Finally the GPS/A-GPS has also nothing in negative from my side.

This is the topic i'm eager to pen about.Actually even this time i did not receive the headphones that come exactly with N97mini so i threw away the one which i received and used that i have for my N900.
I loaded some Rocking songs that suits the N97mini physic and now set to experience the music pleasure.
I loaded songs of many Genres that suits different moods to test its music capabilities.
As the device comes with 8Gb inbuilt memory there is no limit for music lovers.
Actually though i have the software and hardware to test the audio quality, frequency , impedance and the technical stuff related i just wanted to test this as a normal user so i did not use any thing like that , just headphones in my ear.Though i loaded some songs i still did not experience any pleasure from it.
During the trial period i was out of station on some personal work, have to travel by train for 7 hours atleast.
Then i took the device with me,After some time,took the phone and started playing music, I found that the volume of the sound is not sufficient though i kept it till maximum.Then i immediately jumped to the equalizer settings and adjusted according to my taste and then  found out that the music is soothing my ears.
Those 7hours passed just like 1hour! I promise music enthusiasts that though this device is not a music flagship device it gives best output to suit every music lover needs.
But i feel that the maximum volume of the device can still be increased.
As this device comes with music for 1year unlimited there is no break for music lovers from the first day to the last day of the ovi music subscription.

There is no negative opinion from my side about the speakers that comes packed with the N97Mini except their positioning on the left side of the device.These work great with music and also as a loudspeaker while on call.

The N97mini is not only a music master piece but also a FM with RDS enabled piece with beautiful interface.
Generally in many phones which i used the radio maximum volume differs to the maximum volume of the Music player but this is not in case of N97mini.
The radio automatically searches the available radio stations and saves them with the station's name automatically with the support of RDS.
The Radio screen's background also scrolls beautifully with the name of the radio station.

I don't want to consider the battery usage time depending upon the specifications given in the data sheet.
Because now i consider my self as a normal user.
But i found amazingly that this device lasted about 8Hours continuously and still continued about 6 hours in standby mode after i used the device with music playing in the background and the device screen in ON mode as i am going through the playlist continuously for hours!
Is not that enough for a high end device to work so?i questioned myself!
It might not be sufficient to many. But i totally liked the  battery backup of the device after a full charging is done.Also this device lasted for nearly 4 days without any recharge while i just used it for calling and messaging (sms) just 5-6 sms a day.I don't know whether  it might last for  longer days or not because i just charged it after that time.I thought its enough.

The page is not sufficient for me to write about applications that can be installed and used on this mini device  because OVI is such a vast service of those wonderful applications packed at one place.
Many applications that use both the hardware capability along with the strength of the symbian os are available for free in the OVI application to download for using efficiently and happily.


A stylus is missing but its of no need with this device.

Some pictures of the device i have taken for my pleasure.

DVD that comes packed with OVI suite.
And all those books which lets u know about your beautiful device!

1)Excellent connectivity options
2)Good Build Quality(METALLIC)
4)Good audio quality/Loud Speaker Quality
5)Stereo FM with RDS
6)Slideout 3 Row QWERTY Keypad
8)8GB onboard with Micro SD support till 16GB
9)Browser with full flash and java support
10)Resistive Touch Screen 3.2"
11)LED for charging indication

1)Camera is left unprotected
2)Slow capturing camera(AS I EXPERIENCED)
4)Same old camera and video features
5)Video calling camera can be improved

My final words are that "Anyone who is interested to have a powerful device packed with all the features(especially beautiful looks,connectivity, big screen 3.2" and music  features) with huge memory and a scratch resistant screen should go definitely for this device N97mini".
The build quality along with looks are highly concentrated on this device, so one who cares for those bundled with multimedia features can also go for this device.

N97Mini doesn't differ much with its big brother N97 in any aspect except onboard memory of 32GB and slight change in the display size.

Hopefully i could cover what all  is required in general for selecting a phone by a normal user.

And once again I thank the good people at WOMWORLD/NOKIA in providing me an opportunity with such a wonderful device packed with all in all multimedia features !


  1. good review.please post a screenshot of your equalizer(the one which improved the quality)

  2. hey,thanks for your interest.I'll definitely post.But it's a normal S60 Equalizer available on all the s60 5th edition phones.

  3. i know that mate.i want to know your custom settings which improved the quality.(i have a c5)