(more pictures to come – need more connection speed!)
Today Nokia announced the Nokia N97, the new flagship of the Nseries line.Â The N97 brings a QWERTY keyboard to Nseries for the first time as well as continuing the touch UI (S60 5th Edition) introduced in the 5800 Express Music.Â The home screen is all new and what I can only describe as a widget-top, giving you instant access to content that matters to you in your connected life.
There’s a clear emphasis on context which enables you to get both geographically and time sensitive information delivered at a glance.Â The N97’s homescreen will be customizable to allow both Nokia and 3rd party developers to activate WRT (Web Runtime) widgets without having to launch an application.Â Â Essentially live feeds at a glance.Â For the connected the social networking enthusiast, this will be a must have device.
The keyboard slides and tilts from the longer side revealing a very comfortable raised typing surface.Â While I only had a limited time to type around it seemed very easy to get used to and absolutely like something on which I could do ton of messaging.Â It’s great to see QWERTY FINALLY on an Nseries!Â Nokia has typically made you choose between E and N series for a device that does what you want most of the time and with the N97 there’s finally a single unit that can handle everything.
The new homescreen is an awesome way to provide direct access to information within an instant.Â During our briefing with Nokia we learned that they consider the N97 a new category of device and one that is more a mobile computer than the prior generation of multimedia computers.Â The N97 offers a massive amount of functionality in a very reasonably sized package.Â The screen is 640×360 and is just gorgeous.Â Contrast was excellent and colors (all 16 Million of them) seemed quite vibrant!Â You can customize every part of the homescreen which is remarkably something that we’ve not had previously in S60 devices.Â You can add, remove or just slide any of the widgets around to make things just how you like them.Â When you rotate the device between portrait and landscape modes, things nicely re-align.
On first glance the N97 compares to the 5800 in size and seems like it’s older brother … until you slide the keyboard out and realize you’ve got an altogether new breed in hand.Â While it’s not a small device, the N97 feels great in your hand and can easily be used while walking without needing two hands in most cases.Â The virtual keyboards (numbers and T9) were clear and the softkeys seemed eas to access for quick data entry.Â Of course for larger text needs a quick flip and you’ve got a real keyboard at your disposal.Â Weight (Approx. 150 g) felt semi-comparable to the E71 and in the front pocket of my jeans it was not in any way uncomfortable.
There’s much more to this device than I can possibly do justice in an initial post.Â When this goes live I’ll be listening to the keynotes and will report back after further Q&A.