The Nokia N97 Mini Review
At first glance, the Nokia N97 Mini seems like a good buy. Here after all is a P25,000 phone that is in many ways better than its P30,000 predecessor, the original Nokia N97. If only it lasted longer on a single charge!
Spec-wise, both phones are virtually similar. The difference is that the N97 mini has “only” 8GB of built-in memory, a smaller screen. The mini is also slightly smaller and lighter, and comes with newer software out of the box, including a newer version of S60 5th Edition. So for all intents and purposes, using the N97 mini is like using the N97, except for a few advantages that work to the smaller phone’s favor.
To begin with, the N97 mini enjoys better construction. Unlike the flimsy back-plate of the N97, the mini has a steel battery cover that keeps the rest of the body relatively rigid. Gone is the sliding lens cover, known to gather dust and cause scratching in the N97.
The mini is also easier to use compared to its older counterpart. The new keyboard layout felt easier to type on, probably the result of a tweaked key layout and slightly taller keys. Another big contributor to the phone’s usability was the updated software, which proved more responsive despite the addition of smoother scroll animations and screen transitions. So far so good, right? However, a crucial difference between both phones helps the original N97 retain a slight lead over the mini—battery life.
Most likely a cost of making the phone available at a lower price, and in a smaller case, Nokia gave the N97 mini a smaller, weaker battery that lasts significantly less on a single charge. While the N97 can survive for a couple of days under moderate use, putting the mini through its paces can kill it within the day.
After fully charging the test N97 mini by around 7am, the battery level held at seven bars throughout the day, as I barely used it. However, when a friend brought it home, surfing via 3.5G (HSDPA) for around 20 minutes, taking a few pictures, and conducting two 5 minute calls, the phone was dead by midnight!
It’s this drawback alone that keeps me from recommending the N97 mini. A phone with so many features under the hood is meant to be used in many different ways, and needs a battery that’s up to the task. On this front, the N97 mini fails to deliver.
The N97 mini is available from CgeNa.com for at least P25,300 as of this writing.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at 7:30 am and is filed under Featured, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.