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Nokia N97 Cheap & With Free Skype On 3

Gordon Kelly


Nokia N97 Cheap & With Free Skype On 3

Mobile contracts have hit headlines as much as the handsets which come with them in recent months. Most controversial were the pricey O2 iPhone 3GS tariffs so it's nice to see the Nokia N97 hitting shelves in a far more generous form.

Following the Skype integration controversy which saw it vetoed by Orange and O2 the N97 has found a home on VoIP friendly network 3.

Consequently price plans come out well with 18 month contracts from £35pm and above landing the Finns' flagship smartphone for free. All plans include an additional 300 minutes of free 3 to 3 calls each month alongside free voicemail access and free, unlimited Skype use. You will need to add £5pm on top for flat rate data but it's still a million miles from the 18 month £34.26pm O2 iPhone 3GS contract which will land you with a handset cost of £274.23.

A quick refresher on the N97. It packs a 3.5in resistive touchscreen, sliding Qwerty keyboard, 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash, 32GB of native storage plus 16GB compatible microSD expansion slot and the usual goodies of HSDPA, WiFi and aGPS. You'll also find the Ovi Store for third party applications pre-installed. Downsides are the handset is chunky at 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9 mm and not the lightest at 150g.

Pre-orders are available now with shipping from early July. I must add that for me personally the N97 doesn't match up to the iPhone 3GS, but perhaps most importantly in today's bullet ridden economy with these prices it doesn't have to...


Nokia N97 Product Page

3 Nokia N97 Tariffs


June 26, 2009, 7:10 pm

As much as I dislike the tariff's and pricing that O2 are using for the iPhone I dont agree that the N97 traiff offered here is actually any better than O2's, the £35 a month tariff only gets you 300 mins or 300 txts or a mixture of both, which frankly is a bit rubbish.

The fairest comparison would be to look at like for like between o2 and 3 which is the Mix&Match 1100 that 3 offer (that would match the 600 mins and 500 txts you get from O2), then add the 3 internet for £5 a month and thats £53 a month.

iPhone - £35 a month for 18 months + £185 for 8GB iphone = £815

+ £275 for 16GB iphone = £905

N97 - £53 a month for 18 months + £0 for the phone = £954

So its actually more expensive to go with 3 looking at like for like, tho I admit that if 300 mins/txts is sufficent for your needs then 3's tariffs are cheaper.


June 26, 2009, 8:00 pm

@ Stelph - How about 3's £25 Texter Plan with 500 minutes and unlimited texts.

N97 - £25 a month for 18 months + £5 a month data + £146.80 for the phone =£686.80


June 26, 2009, 9:16 pm

Why oh why oh why oh why oh why has Nokia released a flagship handset with a RESISTIVE touch screen? This could have been awesome with a capacitive screen and an on-screen only keyboard, getting rid of the querty slider and shaving a couple of mm off to make it more pocket friendly. Free Skype is all very well, but not enough to make me want this. The iPhone is an infinitely more desirable piece of kit.


June 26, 2009, 9:32 pm

On second thoughts, all the items on my wishlist are to push this phone closer to what the iPhone is. Much as I hate to admit it (not keen on the way Apple has the iPhone locked down tbh) there isn't another phone out there to touch it at the moment. For that reason, Apple, O2 et al can carry on charging the earth for it, because it really is that good. Also, free internet is the way forward. Why are networks still releasing smartphones with amazing internet capabilities, then charging an extra fiver a month to use them?


June 26, 2009, 11:11 pm

What's wrong with resistive screen? I use Viewranger and tapping a spot with a stylus is far far far more accurate than using a greasy thumb, especially during winter when I walk with gloves.

The iPhone may be desirable to you, but it isn't a fact. Plenty of people do not want it.


June 27, 2009, 12:04 am

@farki80 Detailed interview about the benefits of capacitive verses resistive screens may help explain people's general preference. G



June 27, 2009, 12:10 am

I know about that. I am just saying that there are also benefits of resistive screen. I personally find the screen on the iPhone to be very unresponsive and unsuitable for certain kinds of applications.


June 27, 2009, 12:12 am

Another thing, the interview you posted is with Synaptics, who provides capactive touchscreens. Hardly a balanced feature IMO.


June 27, 2009, 12:50 am

This sucks a little for me - I'm on F&F for O2 so I won't leave that. But I have an N95 8gb and it's great. Was hoping I could move to the N97 when my contract is up but looks like I'll be going sim free instead....


June 27, 2009, 12:50 am

Tempting, but I just have a feeling that a new OS built for touch screens is just round the corner... Symbian looks/feels outdated when we have Android, WebOS and OS X mobile as options.


June 27, 2009, 3:43 am

John McLean would have it without the slider keyboard, I wouldn't have it without. I despise touchscreen keyboards, nothing like pressing a 'button' only for it to not register or register the one next to it or worse yet the 2 near the one you wanted. Real keyboards don't need vibration feedback or need to work out which button you meant to push, instead they do the keyboard job well because *gasp* it's a keyboard in reality.


June 27, 2009, 4:40 pm

Two major shortcomings with this N97 in my book.

1) Resistive touchscreen - not as robust as the glass-fronted capacitive touchscreens of the iPhone and HTC Magic, then requiring protection to avoid scratching. Generally I find resistive less sensitive than the capacitive, also the need for a stylus is a right pain in the proverbial, especially when it gets lost or mislaid.

2) That keyboard! What were Nokia thinking when designing that? Whats with the spacebar being shifted over to the right? Keyboards should adhere to the standard, its not funny nor clever messing around with the layout, no matter how "stylish" you may think when designing it. It is simply horrid for that alone - although that is not its only shortcoming.

The N97 could have been so much more, but it isn't. I'll not compare it to the iPhone or HTC Magic because it is not even in the same league, it doesn't even come close in terms of the overall "experience". The N97 is just another small evolutionary step in Nokia design and it is a "killer" of nothing. It just is what it is...


June 28, 2009, 7:04 pm

Synaptics make resistive and capacitive pointing devices so they're probably pretty clued up on what does what. However, a good resistive screen is still perfectly acceptable and the challenges of small form capacitive screens won't go away - why do you think the iPhone has to have such a great spell checker?


June 28, 2009, 11:04 pm

@Sleeper - simple, because the keyboard is so small... ;)


June 29, 2009, 4:00 am

Pretty much. Capacitive devices don't have the accuracy of resistive screens so it's harder to tell what's been hit. Apple should be given credit for making an excellent interpreter which largely overcomes this issue.

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