Monday, May 24, 2010

Why the Nokia N97 is still a strong contender against the iPhone 3GS...

I have had my ups and downs with the Nokia N97, mainly due to the instability factor in the Symbian software - the primary issue has always been the random reboots that the phone does whenever it gets the urge to do so.
Firmware updates have certainly helped out on this front, but I still cannot report 100% stability.

Even so, there are some features that the N97 packs that make it an outstanding piece of Smartphone hardware, and a very worthy contender to the ever-popular iPhone 3GS.
Don't get me wrong - the iPhone is a spectacular little machine, but it does fall short in a few areas against the N97:

1. The 5MP Carl Ziess Camera
The camera on the N97 produces seriously decent photos, and fair quality video as well.
Check any review or comparison online and the verdict is always the same - it's a fantastic camera.
When compared to the camera on the iPhone, there simply is no contest.
Apple definitely did not stretch themselves in that department!

2. The QWERTY Keyboard
When you want to punch out that looooong email in record time while you are on the road, there is simply no substitute for a QWERTY keyboard - the one on the N97 does an admirable job of handling rapid-fire style text input.
Once you are comfortable with it, it becomes second nature and you will be amazed at how fast you can get text typed out - far superior to the "tap and pray" onscreen keypad on the iPhone.

3. The FM Transmitter
This is effectively the same as an iTrip - it allows you to play music on your phone and then transmit it over your chosen FM frequency, so you can listen to your music on your car radio, or any other FM radio for that matter.
Nuff sed.

4. Multitasking...
This is always going to be something that iPhone supporters will hold over Apple - while the iPhone does most things very well, it can only do one of those things at a time (up until iPhone OS 4.0, that is)
Enter the N97 - you can quite comfortably have Mail, Music and Web Browsing running at the same time. Trouble is, some people don't realise that their N97 can multi-task, and they end up with 10 different apps running in the background, and one very slow N97...

5. The huge amount of storage 
Sure, the iPhone also packs 32GB onboard storage, but the N97 ups the stakes with a micro SD slot capable of packing in an additional 16GB = 48GB in total, which is a whack-load of storage space.

Where the iPhone shines...
In my personal experience, the iPhone provides an excellent all-round experience, mainly due to the very slick navigation that the OS sports.
While the N97 tends to lag at times, I have never seen an iPhone hesitate or lag in quite the same way.
The UI just seems to flow and work a whole lot better than does the Nokia's.

Then again, that is where Apple shines in general - quick, slick, intuitive interfaces are what they are all about. The 600MHz CPU in the iPhone certainly helps out as well, while the N97 is stuck with a somewhat pedestrian 434MHz brain...

So what's your flavour between the two?


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