Monday, June 8

Nokia N97

My Next Phone.

Just when I thought I was content with my nice little 'simple phone and iPod Touch' combo, something pretty awesome comes along to rattle my cage once again. It's the Nokia N97, the latest and seemingly greatest mobile computer and communicator yet from the Finnish phone meisters. The funny thing here is that I can actually speak a bit from experience- through a pretty long and convoluted story I was able to handle a prototype N97 for a while, and man, was I impressed.

Sporting an elegantly simple look, the N97 is in the same feel and size range as the Apple iPhone, albeit more substantial (but in a good way). You can feel the quality of the device, even if it isn't metal. The N97 feels solid and reassuringly firm in your hand, and you'll definitely not want to let this baby fall off. Unlike past smartphones, the N97 doesn't come with a stylus- finally Nokia has come out with a model that can be operated totally by finger presses. But perhaps listening to all those clarmoring for tactile feedback, they also slipped in a pretty awesome full qwerty keyboard for composing long messages or that novella you've been dying to finish.

Running on the latest Symbian OS, the phone does pretty much everything- the hallmarks being media playing, surfing the web and running apps and widgets. Of course for me the most important aspect is video, and with this the N97 pretty much rocks. The widescreen face is great for playing movies and other vids running at a pretty perfect 30 FPS- same quality as my current benchmark for best mobile video, the iPhone/iPod. But the N97 trumps Apple with its speakers. Your video's sounds come out crystal clear, in seeming stereo sound even, which is pretty awesome and totally blows away the competition's weaker speakers. And best of all, you've got 32 GB of memory for storing all your movies, TV episodes, trailers and unmentionable media you want. All that PLUS a sharp 5 Megapixel Camera with perhaps the smoothest and most stable Video Capturing/Recording I have yet seen on a mobile phone.

I have to say, this phone was the model I was looking for a year ago, when I was desperately seeking an upgrade to my first iPhone. It has the huge screen, high quality video and vast storage I wanted (and still want), all in a beautiful package that just screams class and awesomeness. The phone is available this June here in Manila, but I guess I'll have to start saving up (just bought a freakin' sound system). Not in a hurry to upgrade right away, but if I do- I know where I'm going.

Learn more about the N97 here.