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N97: Nokia Gets Touchscreen Serious At Last

Gordon Kelly


N97: Nokia Gets Touchscreen Serious At Last

So finally Nokia has declared its touchscreen intentions...

Yes, I know the Tube/5800 XpressMusic was technically the first offering but that feels like mere dabbling compared to the 'N97' - so let's cut straight to it. With its 3.5in touchscreen the N97 makes no secret of who it is going straight for and its 640 pixel wide resolution means it is already managing some impressive one-upmanship.

The positive turns don't stop there however with a whopping 32GB of native memory and a microSD/SD HC 16GB compatible expansion slot meaning a potential 48GB of total storage. Throw in WiFi, HSDPA, aGPS and a five megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens and the Finns clearly mean business.

Downsides: well, this is a subjective one, but for me the decision to go with a physical Qwerty keyboard will turn away as many as it attracts and I remain a firm believer that if a manufacturer is going to go with a full touchscreen display it should have the stones to commit to a virtual keyboard and less chunk. Consequently one tellingly absent stat is just how big/heavy the N97 is - and I'd suspect you'll need big pockets.

You'll also need a hefty wallet since Nokia is asking a sim free price of 550 euros when the N97 arrives in early Q1 - though to be fair that's a lot more realistic that the 600 euro+ N96. Oh and if you did just splash out on an N96 on a long term contract then 1. We told you not to and 2. Na nah na nah na...!

Update: Thanks to ILoveGagdets for digging out the weight and dimensions and as suspected the N97 is quite a beast at 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm (18.25 mm at the camera) and approximately 150g so you're going to have to really want that physical keyboard. Without and I'd say around 11mm thick and 100/110g would've been the outcome...

Update 2: We're hearing initial reports that a resistive touchscreen (why oh why not capacitive) means sadly this is no iPhone killer at present - let's hope retail versions tighten things up a bit...


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