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Nokia N97 Mini review

Niall Magennis



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Nokia N97 Mini
  • Nokia N97 Mini
  • Nokia N97 Mini
  • Nokia N97 Mini
  • Nokia N97 Mini
  • Nokia N97 Mini
  • Nokia N97 Mini
  • Nokia N97 Mini
  • Nokia N97 Mini
  • Nokia N97 Mini
  • N97 mini


Our Score:


Nokia’s N97 was one of the most hyped handsets of last year, but for many the final product didn’t live up to expectations. It was bulky, the keyboard could have been better and its software wasn’t as robust as it should have been. Nokia did address the latter with a significant update, but the other criticisms remained. As a result, it’s difficult not to see the N97 Mini as Nokia’s attempt to right some of these past mistakes. As the name suggests the handset is essentially a shrunken version of the original with a few features removed, reduced or revised, but thankfully Nokia has managed to do this without really affecting the core DNA of the phone.

When you first pick up the phone the difference in size really is very noticeable. Whereas the N97 was a bit of a tank, the Mini is more of a hot hatch. It’s considerably narrower and thinner and as a result is not only much more pocket-friendly, but also much better looking too. It’s still a tad heavy, tipping the scales at 138g, but if anything this only helps add to its robust feel, which gives you confidence that it’ll stand up to its fair share of knocks and scrapes.

Naturally, the smaller form factor means the screen has had to be reduced in size. It has been shrunk from 3.5 to 3.2in, although the resolution remains untouched at 640 x 360. Unfortunately Nokia has stuck with a resistive touchscreen rather than going for the capacitive display that we’ve seen on the recent X6. But while the Mini’s screen isn’t quite as responsive to finger presses as the one on the X6, it’s certainly not bad by resistive standards. What's more, it’s nice and bright and text and graphics look slightly sharper than they do on the original N97 as the pixels are now packed closer together.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


January 7, 2010, 6:17 am

mmm, not sure now what to buy, really like Nokia, i have yet to have a bad Nokia phone. Currently using a 6110 Navigator, and love it, probably the best phone i have had ,but was thinking of a change. The X6 has mixed reviews, same with the N97 mini, both phones that i really fancied. Think i will stay as i am for a bit longer unless anybody has some good suggestions.( not I-phone )


January 7, 2010, 2:16 pm

@DB What is your Budget? What features are you looking for in your next phone? I.e. Touchscreen, GPS ect? What do you want to use your phone for (i.e. mobile internet, music player)

A good place to look is the GSM arena as you can search for the features that you are interested in having, then check out the reviews on each phone individually


If you want to stay with Nokia's, and youre not that fussed about having a touchscreen (I know im not, I text and do short messgaes much quicker on a touchpad than a touchscreen) then maybe the Nokia E75?


Dave 1

January 7, 2010, 2:24 pm

If it helps any I'm up for renewal at the end of the month and I'm looking at either the Motorolla Milestone or the N900. Nexus One is intriguing but ideally I want a keyboard

Martin Daler

January 7, 2010, 6:53 pm

@db what sort of reviews did your 6110 Navigator get? I often find it best to strip out all the judgements from the reviews, just read them for the factual info and then make your own judgement.

Tom Rees

January 7, 2010, 7:24 pm

I have an N97 mini, on Orange (not orange branded though), and I thoroughly recommend it. I haven't had any problems with it. It's true that the interface isn't as slick as competitors, but that's an inconvenience rather than a major problem. And you have to weight that against the better spec (screen res, keyboard, camera, etc).


January 8, 2010, 3:46 pm

Thanks for the comments Stelph, as for budget, this is not a problem, i was going to spend up to about £400 pounds. I always buy sim free now as i have the deal i want from my current operator.


January 16, 2010, 4:36 pm

I've had one of these handsets from Orange now for almost 2 months now, and although the handset itself is nice and sturdy and the interface is Ok and quite user friendly, I'm looking to get rid of it, these handsets are awfull with signal strength (side by side with my old trusty N95, one has 4 bars the N97 has no service) and random crashes/power offs (on the latest software), I'm on my 3rd handset now with the same problems and Orange have decided to pull the product from their range I just found out. It's very unfortunate !


March 5, 2010, 1:27 am

Just bought an N97 mini, and love it. The screen is excellent, the operating system seems to be ok, had no problems with freezing and the battery life is good. No probs, recommended

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