Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Nokia n97 - furthermore

So, I've pretty much messed around with every feature on the n97 now and have been using it for a few days; Here's my current verdict:

The Good
  1. The keyboard is brilliant to use - and contrary to my post the other day, it is backlit, but only if some fat fingered idiot hasn't disabled the backlighting while randomly stabbing keys with his ungainly sausage fingers.
  2. Rather than some convoluted sequence of keypresses (hit the # key, followed by the * key, and take away the first number you thought of) the device can be locked and unlocked by flicking a single switch. A simple yet elegant solution.
  3. Typing a text is as easy as anything; Don't want to use the keyboard? Don't worry; tap the screen and get an old style numeric pad appear for old-school texting (with predictive text, if need be).
The Bad
  1. This may sound like a daft point, but it isn't obvious enough to know which way up the phone actually goes. When I grab it to pick it up, 50% of the time I'm holding it upside down. The single button (and faintly lit) icons which are at the bottom of the device aren't distinctive enough to determine its orientation that quickly.
  2. Unlike the Apple store for iphone/ipod touch applications, the Ovi store is pretty poorly stocked. There's really nothing in there I want to download, even for free - my ipod touch is packed to the gills with games and apps, but I couldn't find a single thing of interest in the Noka equivalent.
The Ugly
  1. The switch on the side that unlocks the phone seems to have a mind of its own; Sometimes when unlocking it it switches the backlight on as well (this is a good thing) and sometimes it doesn't, thus requiring a few locks/unlocks so I can see the bastard screen.
  2. The Nokia Music software is dreadful. Apart from (mentioned in a previous post) the fact that my computer is telling me I don't have the rights to play something I've just fucking paid for, it's slow, unwieldy and takes just as bloody long as itunes to rip anything. Downloaded track listings are wrong or missing album covers, if you're lucky enough to actually find them at all. Manually entering track details can only be done one track at a time - Woe betide I might want to label all 11 tracks of an album as belonging to the same bloody album at once.
There's a firmware patch for it released today, supposedly, which will address some of the niggles that users have had. Whereas its slightly concerning that patches are being released less than a fortnight after a phone is launched, it's also promising that Nokia are listening to and addressing the issues with it. I haven't thrown it out of the window or stormed back to the shop with it yet, so the Nokia n97 must be doing something right.

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