Posts Tagged ‘Nokia N97’

Accessories: Wireless Charging with the Powermat for Nokia N97 (and powercube for Nokia N8) – First impressions

November 18, 2010 3 comments

This is a gallery of the new PowerMat wireless charger and the powercube and some first impressions. I received this on Monday thanks to Sam who’s working with

Now there were some details asked in an email but I got an out of office reply for sending it before 9am. :p

  • What is the RRP of this package and all included contents? (Possibly image of the retail packaging) The bigger 3 charger office one is 69.99GBP – RRP [46GBP on Amazon]
  • What is the precise model number (This doesn’t appear on the powermat site as it’s a new product)
  • The powercube (29.99GBP RRP) is very useful with the various included tips. But does it have the 2mm pin?


2 x Mat and powercube (product code PMM-2PA) – £59.99

N97 bundle which would come with receiver and 1X mat – £49.99

The N97 only comes in white at the moment although Powermat are always looking to update their product range

will get back to you on the 2mm pin thing

Anyway Read more…

Video: Nokia N8 vs Nokia N97 indoor video and zooming. Check out how much N8 has progressed.

November 16, 2010 3 comments

I didn’t mean to do this comparison (Sorry for the mess on the wall) but on the early hours of the morning I was just checking video on N97 to run out its battery(to test out the Powermat wireless charger for review) and noticed that the N97 digital zoom and general video quality was sooo bad in comparison to the Nokia N8 (indoor).

  • Greater depth of field on the N8 (N97 – ridiculously close though not as bad as 5800). Notice how much more of the “scene” is visible.
  • No autofocus on N97 but this active-hyperfocal focusing of N8 means pretty much everything is in focus except the closer macro ranges (I think about 50-60CM is blurry on N97, not that good for self-held vlogs).
  • N8 much better with this low-ish indoor lighting.
  • Check out the usable digital zoom with the N8. On the N97 you can see all it does is ENLARGE the pixels hence blockiness.
  • Zooming is also frighteningly choppy on the N97. I did complain before that we don’t have smooth zooming (as seen in ancient 6630) but compared to N97 N8 zooms like butter.
  • File size of the N8 video is 4x the N97, 40MB vs 10MB. Well there are 4x the pixels. Note, comparable files from say, Samsung Pixon 12 are MUCH larger.

Make sure you click 720p for N8 and 360p for N97.



Note: N900 does shoot at higher resolution than N97, at 848*480

BTW: It’s day 2 of MeeGo Conference. Check out the live streams if you can.

Videos: Symbian^1 versus Symbian^3 – what has changed?

November 15, 2010 21 comments

“Everybody says, that Symbian^3 hasn’t changed, but look for yourself!”

I’m surprised no such detailed comparison has been done. Actually planned to do it myself this weekend but caught up on coursework (which I’m half doing as I write this). But jenjaman has done an excellent job and split it into a four round match between old and new Symbian touch.

Although the comparison is with the C6-00 and not N97/N97 mini, the software is possibly nigh on identical. Screen size difference shouldn’t matter too much, neither should AMOLED vs LCD (except AMOLED looking better) though having a capacitive versus resistive indeed does.

S^3 representatives are N8 and C7.

Watching the C6-00 S^1 is quite frustrating.

Dialler, App Menu, Music Player (zomg menu in landscape of S^1 wtf 😮 the ugly sidebar), Messaging

Ovi Maps

Ovi Store


Web Browser

So there you go. Quite a lot has changed – but is this even enough?


Thanks to jenjaman for the heads up 😀

Photos: Nokia N8 vs N97

July 29, 2010 15 comments

Here’s some recent photos (taken on Monday) comparing the Nokia N8 and the Nokia N97.

via: Uploaded on Flickr by Mario Villamil Arguelles

New firmware update Nokia N97 to V22.0.110 (updated with changelog)

July 1, 2010 18 comments

On my twitterfeed, @Sheridan01 mentionoed he was updating his N97. It wasn’t the wrongly publicised V30 that Nokia mistakingly said was available, but a new firmware update is available nonetheless,  from v21.0.045 to v22.0.110.

I did mine OTA, just hit *#0000# and update from there. It’ll take 5 minutes depending on your connection.

Not checked yet whether this is available via NSU and data cable, but most likely it is (or will be). Not sure when this came out but it’s new to me. 🙂

As for changes: haven’t checked yet, nothing major. Will update this post when I find the changelog.

  • Is Maps 3.04 there by default? Not sure as I already had it.No 3.4/3.04
  • It seems a minor touch faster, menu pretty instant before the button is properly released it changes.
  • Boots up a bit quicker than the 50+ second v21  (took ages when using custom theme, 70+seconds, then it reverted to default black and is now booting faster at 35seconds)

Update: Official Changelog from Norman John from SymbianWorld at end of this post

It’ll restart and your screen will change into the first image above. Then after booting, you’re on v22.0.110

Have you updated your N97? Noticed any changes? Maybe your operator hasn’t even let you go past v20, if so what firmware are you on?

Changelog from v21 to v22 via Symbian World

Data package content, corrections or changes :

  • Corrections to TOP ~15 issues reported in the field
  • OTC cases fixed:
  • Wrong Cherry number used in Russia and Spain
  • “System error” displayed occasionally at first start-up. Reported e.g.  by Vodafone.

Genius cases fixed:

Contacts performance improvement:

  • #144324: Voice dialing not working when there are 2000+ entries stored in Contacts.
  • #134637: Phone prompts “Memory full” when searching for names

Localisation & language variant specific:

  • #154188: Message editor crashes and writing fails if predictive text input is On. (Arabic UI, v15 language variant)
  • #146139: Scrolling to left and right works the wrong way around in Photos – Captured when using Arabic UI
  • #147509: QWERTY keypad input does not work correctly with Calculator. (Chinese language variants: v19, v25, v26)
  • #139207: “Slide to Answer” localization error  (Hebrew)
  • #140654: Localisation error in Bluetooth Audio – “Set as (un)authorized”  (Czech)


  • #141675: “Security module error” shown in display occasaionally at start-up
  • #147863: Occasionally device hangs and restarts soon after start-up.
  • #137558: Device keylock opens (although it shouldn’t) when dialing a number using a carkit. (CK-300, CK-600, also some non-Nokia, factory installed car kits)


  • Default Nokia tune is played as ringing tone for incoming calls instead of the one user has defined in Profile settings. Also sometimes device ahs stopped alerting for incoming calls. Both issues are now fixed.

Pics: Nokia N8 Photo Samples

June 22, 2010 10 comments

[update; More samples here and here]

Here are some sample photos by the Nokia N8 uploaded by Camb078 (the more colourful photos) and apyykko.

The one below is a full 9MP image. According to the Exif (image data) this was taken at 10pm with the Jenga photo around 11pm. PM?

Crop of the chair (with MS paint so artefacts most likely gained). This is from a 9MP image, you would have gotten more to work with of course cropping from 12MP but for me, I prefer these 16:9 shots made for viewing in widescreen.

apyykko’s photos are probably just every day photos (NOT ‘artsy’ photos like NokConv’s samples designed to show case the camera capabilities by composing a shot that make the subject more interesting)

That said, I’d really love to see how a photographer or budding enthusiast would push the N8.

I mean, just take a look at what Ralph Higgo does with the Nokia N97.

We first wrote about Ralph in our post prior to N8 launch in April:

“Ode to Nokia N82′s successor – the upcoming Nokia camera phone king; killer of the digicam.”

For the most beautiful photography, the biggest determining factor is the eye and talent behind the lens. That’s not to say any phone camera will do. Nokia CZ Cam phones have great picture quality and so much versatility compared to its rivals. JeeBus phone is only just getting freakin digital zoom this summer!

The potential of these Nokia devices as tools for serious photography is showcased by the phenomenal work of professional commercial photographer, RALPH HIGGO who is based in Cape Town, South Africa.  His portfolio on using just the Nokia N97 (yes N97!) is absolutely unbelievable

Where camera phones win over digital cameras and even bulky D-SLRs is that they’re always with you. In your pocket. When an unpredicted, beautiful scene presents itself to you out of the blue, you won’t have time to go back home for your camera. But as mentioned, you’ll want to maximise getting those great spontaneous photos by having a great camera phone.

The Xenon flash gives more situations where the N8 can be useful, being able to capture your friends in low light and freeze the action into digital memory. You can see a demo of N8 with and without xenon flash here, (as well as samples of how well N82 performed against LED rivals)


Why the Nokia N8 WON’T be like the Nokia N97. Nokia N8 vs Nokia N97.

June 4, 2010 33 comments

Click X now or prepare for a mighty wall of text.

For crimes against the smartphone and flagship name.

This time last year, we were all in anticipation of Nokia’s hottest flagship – the Nokia N97. A year later, N97 is a dirty word, encapsulating Nokia’s failure to understand the high end.

Unfortunately, many N97 users got burned. Myself included. Although there was some initial love, eventually, it easily provoked frustration like a troll. Many firmware updates eased certain annoyances, but even this was not enough. It was so bad, even Nokia acknowledged this disaster.

Whilst N97 sold quite well and indeed it’s baby sibling, N97 mini, the N97 damaged Nokia’s reputation (especially amongst tech enthusiasts, even Nokia and Symbian lovers alike) pushing them to other platforms. Thank God for the N900 showing me at least that there are some at Nokia who know what they’re doing. Unfortunately for Nokia, the N97 was the last straw and many left Nokia’s greeny-blue pastures completely (and some strengthening their disdain for Nokia). [And even worse for those trapped in a contract with N97]

Now with the imminent release of the Nokia N8, many are (and rightfully so) apprehensive whether they’ll be getting a touch of déjà vu. In all fairness, the N97 isn’t completely all that bad. There are some users who still enjoy it. Nonetheless, this battered reputation for the N97 will never be rescued. It is best put aside and forgotten. And what better way to forget than setting things right with the Nokia N8?

Here’s some reasons why you can rest some of those fears. With Nokia aknowledging mistakes in the N97, they also learned NEVER to repeat them.

1. N8 has the best overall hardware of all the Nseries.

N97 was basically the N96 in a different form factor.

N97 and endless hard reset was really pushing me to the brink. Looking at the positive side, this N97 problem brought a lot of traffic to (which is a bad sign showing many users in same fate)

  • 5mp cam, no xenon, nHD mono audio video recording.
  • N97 had resistive TFT screen
  • Meak, single CPU, no dedicated GPU.
  • Anorexic RAM
  • Microscopic C drive for apps.
  • Plastic body, plastic screen. Scratch ahoy!
  • Relatively chunky due to the so so QWERTY keyboard that had different tactile feedback between different N97s. Some OK, some appalling.
  • Self destructing lens cover
  • Paint peeling
  • Never ending need for a hard reset.
  • Was priced as the flagship. 550 EUR Unsubsidised, minus tax.

Nokia N8

  • 12MP, largest sensor on a mobile device, 28mm wide angle, xenon flash, 720p HD stereo audio recording!

We finally see a successor of both N82 and N86. N8 wields a mighty camera and video recorder. You can be snap happy and be confident that photos and videos you take will look great. Since using the N97 (and to an extend the N900) I’ve been taking photos less. Often resorting back to a digital camera or the trusty Nokia N82.

Had the N97 simply had xenon flash, I’d still find uses for it. Now every time I try to come back to it, I’m just left with a bitter taste in my mouth and a longing to jump back to Maemo 5 where everything just works.

  • N8 has capacitive AMOLED display with multitouch

Whilst S60 5th was already difficult to interact with as a touch interface, the claggy resistive screen made it even more of a pain. It’s not necessarily resistive vs capacitive, it’s just that capacitive would have been the easiest answer to providing that feather light touch.

Note that the N900 has resistive screen but it’s extremely sensitive. If you compare N97 with Capacitive S^1 counterparts like X6 or i8910, even though it’s still S^1, the capacitive phones feel much better, simply because with flicks and swipes, you want that delicate touch, not a shove.

AMOLED display should also give N8 users brighter, more vivid colours (and some N8 users have said readability outdoors is not an issue – though need to see for myself)

  • Arm 11 680MHz CPU with dedicated (Broadcom?) GPU.

I won’t (more can’t) go into CPU numbers other than noting that S^3 is more GPU based. The OS is more reliant on the GPU. (There are many factors involved too. Pricing maybe.) But what is important to know is that processor number is not the end all and be all.

  • 256MB RAM –

well, this should have been the minimum in 2009 and it would have been great to see 512 or 1GB RAM, but Symbian enthusiasts will poke you and say Symbian does not need that much. (Symbian maybe, but what about 3rd party apps used to guzzling RAM.) N8 videos of Proto/preproduction firmware shows N8 multitasking 15 apps simultaneously with ease – though whether it can do the same with third party, RAM hungry apps will be another matter.

  • Anodized aluminium build, slim, keyboardless, with glass screen. Lighter too.

N8 has somewhat more of a premium build and should stand up to more knocks than the virtually all plastic ensemble N97. With glass screen, there maybe an increased risk of shattering, but none more so than other glass capacitive screens on other devices.

The N8 is also much slimmer. 12.9mm and fits the hand and more important, pocket better than previous Nokia touch devices.

  • No lens cover –

hardened glass to prevent scratching (though I am concerned with smudging destroying photos – though iPhone/5800 etc users have managed well without).

This issue has fixed in later N97 builds and you could drop your N97 off at Nokia care for repair. But this should never have been an issue in the first place.

  • HDMI out with Dolby Digital Surround sound

N97 had great VGA tv out. The N8 has that too. But on top of this, the N8 has HDMI out to display your photos, HD clips and movies in glorious high definition.

  • N8 has pentaband 3G so it should work on all 3G networks globally (bar CDMA)
  • Other great stuff like Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11N wifi and dual charging options via standard Nokia Pin and MicroUSB as well as USB on the go

A feature seemingly welcomed by the masses. With USB OTG, you can plug USB sticks, pen drive, external hard drives and other phones to the N8 and access their stored files. Combine this with HDMI out and you’ve got a portable movie player. Though the N8 already has MicroSD storage and 16GB on board memory to fill up.

  • N8 is more adequately priced. 370 EUR Unsubsidized, minus tax, and is NOT the main Nokia flagship.

Whilst the features suggest flagship, being better in almost every way compared to the N97, the N8’s price suggests otherwise, starting at 180 EUR lower (minus tax and subsidies).

It’s a debate whether the N8 is THE Nokia flagship. At that price, lack of proper launch event and being titled a “symbian flagship”, this suggests more to come at the high end for Nokia.

What this is about, as J. Fourgeaud would say, is managing expectations. Like the 5800, the N8 gives you a lot of bang for the buck.

2. N97 was on S60 5th Edition. N8 is on Symbian^3.

It’s not an OS issue. Symbian is a mature OS with features the others could only dream of. But clunky UIs prohibit the seamless use of those features.

Superficially S^1 and S^3 are extremely similar. But at the core there are many subtle changes and tweaks to the UI that makes S^3 more suited to a touch interface than S^1 which was basically S60 with a touch screen slapped on.

Whilst it’s not perfect and not the big change everyone’s been expecting (that comes with S^4 and of course, the all mighty MeeGo) Symbian^3 fixes many of the critical issues from S^1 making it much more of a pleasure to use. Single tap consistency whilst minor change is a huge improvement.

Users on proto/preproduction firmware have voiced praise with S^3. More importantly, these are the users who were failed by N97.

The combination of S^3 with a faster processor, dedicated GPU and more RAM should make N8 and S^3 a completely different experience to S^1 on the N97.

My N97’s favourite past time was to freeze, crash and eventually require hard reset. I did give it the benefit of the doubt of being faulty, but so many other users have been experiencing the same frustrations.

S^3 may also offer up other new features. e.g. N8 and S^3 also apparently plays .avi/.DivX movies fine, something which we needed alternative apps for.

3. N8 will have better apps.

N8 is the first Nokia device to bring Qt out of the Box. Qt is Nokia’s solution for cross platform apps, making app development easier too.

Apps made for one platform, e.g. Symbian can easily be shared onto say, Maemo or MeeGo, reducing fragmentation and increasing audience sizes.

We’ve already seen some fantastic gaming titles from EA, such as Sims 3, NFS Shift and Monopoy as well as Asphalt 5 from Gameloft coming soon on the N8. This demonstrates the N8 as a capable platform unlike with the N97 which could barely manage versions of the same games from 1980.

Where it might N8 stumble?

  • Battery life. Non easily removable battery

1200mAh? Hmm. Reports from users and claims from Nokia say it would equal or better the N97 (which has 1500mAh). I’ve got my Proporta Portable Charger if I ever do need to use the N8 heavily for a full day.

  • The web browser.

This is my biggest fear with Symbian^3. How will the browser fare? I’m not too convinced by early demo videos. Plus, N900 and MicroB has set my expectations extremely high with Maemo5’s Mozilla based desktop like performance. Then again, they are non-final firmware.

Alternative browsers include Opera Mobile of course, which will provide a closer desktop like experience (moins flash).

  • Mono Speakers

Though much better than both N97’s speakers combined as these speakers are loud and clear not tinny like N97.

  • Symbian^3 quirks

S^3 UI may still be confusing and may lag. Certain videos and quick personal demos show otherwise, but it’s worth being cautious.

  • 3.5″ nHD screen may not be enough for some

For mass market, 3.5″ might be most ideal, though technology leaders may want larger 4-4.3″ screens with at least WVGA resolution.

  • Lack of physical QWERTY keyboard

Physical buttons may have drawn early N97 users and those same people might not be willing to give up an interface without real hard buttons.

Larger 4″ with QWERTY may appear at Nokia World 2010 with the rumoured Nokia E7.

Conclusion: N8 has what it takes to be successful, both for Nokia and for end user.

All in all, it seems the N8 is not destined to follow the same tumbling path of the N97.

The N8 has a much wider target audience than the N97.  With the stupendous camera alone, it carves itself within the market of those interested in mobile photography, video and over all just fantastic imaging any time anywhere. This couldn’t be said for the N97.

The N8 makes for a fantastic gaming device. As titles trickle in, you’ll enjoy the N8 for its gaming capabilities too. N97 wasn’t really blessed on the games side. There were some uber simple games. There was also a brief stint with N-Gage but the execution was flawed and of course that died.

The N8 is a great video and music player out of the box, with wider codec support for video needing less conversion. Unless you had SmartMovie by Lonely Cat Games, you were pretty much limited in the videos your N97 could play.

At it’s core, Symbian delivers all of your expected smartphone and telephony functionalities. This is shared between N8 and N97, except that N8 has a touch more polish to it.

The price of course, might make it easier to stomach too than the N97.

Overall, the N8 user experience is really more than just the sum of its parts. Combined, it does seem to equate to a high end multimedia and smartphone experience that can both effortlessly consume media as well as create it.

If all that still isn’t enough to tempt you, as mentioned, for those looking at the big UI changes, this comes with S^4 and revolution arriving via MeeGo. When these OSes mature, we’ll have some unequivocally irresistible offerings from Nokia.

New Nokia N97 Firmware v30.0.016 Available according to Nokia

June 1, 2010 18 comments

Nokia’s Firmware update checker says that the N97 has a new firmware available, v30.0.016.

But Nokia Software Updater and Over The Air update can’t find anything yet. But what we do know is that it’s coming soon.

I’ve somewhat lost hope in the firmware updates for the N97. Fingers crossed it lessens my frustrations with it (decrease the lag, lessen the crashes) but I’ve been waiting for that since V10.

What are you hoping for in V30? Has your network even let you make the move to v21?

via @breathlesstao /@cambo078 who were chatting about V30 on twitter thanks to post by @Sirajsoft

New Sports Tracker on Ovi Store (N97/S60 5th Edition Screenshots inside) Freeware

April 14, 2010 7 comments

I saw @Camb078 and @gerrymoth tweet about an upcoming new version Ovi Maps. Good thing I managed to sort out Ovi Store today (been having installation problems yesterday)

If you check out Ovi Store there’s a NEW version of sports tracker. It’s so new, it doesn’t even over write the old sports tracker on S60 5th Edition. (If you have old sports tracker, it will automatically import your old data)

Sports tracker is an awesome GPS based app that tracks your location, be it for sports (running, cycling, casual walking) or you just fancy tracking your movements. It keeps a track on your speed (current and average speed), distance covered, altitude, Steps (and step rate) as well as showing you the exact route you took on apps like Google Earth or Ovi Maps. With an additional accessory you can even monitor your heart rate.

You can review workouts later, check out calories burned as well as all the other stats when live tracking.

It also geotags photos you take and sticks it on your route as well as music tracks you might be playing on your run.

(I had also had the most awesome time testing out this application for Nseries Urbanista with MsJen and Devin from TheNokiaGuide touring the world, tracking our travels. Sports tracker has come a long way and it’s nice Nokia continue to develop it. Please bring it to Maemo too!)

I have just installed the new ST so I haven’t had any usage time with the new Sports Tracker to give any feedback except show you some screenshot of the new look of Sports Tracker.

The icon’s changed, as has the start screen. The main Sports Tracker features persist.

I took the screenshots in offline mode and haven’t used it to track me yet (stuck trying to finish coursework – will update sometime maybe)

Some screenshots below. I haven’t used it yet so there’s no data (and also there’s no screenshots of the live graphs  – there’s nothing to display on them as I’m stuck on my desk for the next two hours)

What are you waiting for? Head over to Ovi Store now and DOWNLOAD sports tracker!

Symbian Artificial Intelligence App with Nokia Beta Labs’ Nokia Bots – for Nokia N97/N97 mini

March 26, 2010 2 comments

This is a supremely cool application called Nokia Bots from Nokia Beta Labs. It basically learns how you are using your phone and so adapts future phone behaviour to anticipate future actions.

Alarm Bot

“Setting up a wake-up alarm and silent profile for night time has never been easier! Alarm Bot learns at what time you use to wake up, and suggests alarms and profile changes on your homescreen nightly. Create a new alarm and automate night profile with a single click, and never again forget phone to silent profile in the morning”

If you set certain alarms frequently, it will learn to ask you in future if you want to set that alarm again (just in case you forgot). For a morning alarm, it’ll even set your phone onto silent so you don’t get disturbed during your sleep. Just before the alarm, it triggers back the usual profile. But that’s only if that’s what  you normally do. How cool is that?

Profile Bot

“Do you ever forget to silence the phone for meetings? Or when the meeting ends, forget to switch back to normal profile, and miss calls? Profile Bot is here to help. Profile changes are suggested on your homescreen: confirm automated profile changes for each meeting with a single click, or let them be fully automated for you”

I’ve been longing for timed profiles to become more prominent in Nokia phones. Great app to change your profiles for a certain time period and revert back, useful in meetings/lectures so you don’t miss calls when you forget to take your phone off silent mode. Currently, the Timed Profiles feature in Nokia phones is hidden in settings making it appallingly difficult to use on a daily basis. I wonder if Profile bot takes into account calendar content. e.g. automatically setting meeting profiles when at a meeting.

Shortcut Bot

New apps from Ovi store make the phone more useful and fun. With the help of Shortcut Bot, you get quick access to your most frequently used apps straight from your homescreen without configuration hassles: your preferences are learned in the background, and shortcuts automatically updated.

Your shortcut homescreen apps change depending on what you’re using most frequently. No toggling them around. Hmmm..not to sure about that myself but may help others. Tis a bit like Window’s frequently used apps at start panel.

Battery Bot:

Battery Bot observes your battery status. In case the battery is likely to drain while you sleep, it reminds you in advance to connect the charger. Otherwise you might wake up too early because of “battery low” alerts, or too late if it drains before wake-up alarm.

Wow, ok I like. There are too many times that I miss my phone alarm because the battery died whilst I was sleeping.

Head over to

Nokia Beta Labs

I love the intuitiveness of these bots. These are the types of apps that bring functionality to the masses. It makes features more usable, more human in a way.

I think it certainly passes the “Grandma” test of simple and easy to use.

Via Camb078