Nokia Announces the N97 – The Holy Grail

Nokia today announced it’s newest NSeries handset – the Nokia N97. This new offering from Nokia will feature a beautiful 3.5″ touch display combined with a tilt-out full QWERTY keyboard and will run the newest version of Symbian S60. The new handset from the Finnish mobile phone giant is being called the first “true mobile computer” and with that description, they’ve hit the nail on the head.

Putting YOU In Control

The home screen on the 3.5′ display is customizable in every way, allowing for you to add widgets and applications to display the content YOU care about and want to show constantly. Options include social networking sites; web windows; email from Nokia, Gmail, Hotmail, and others; and other applications.

Wonderful Hardware Setup

On the hardware side, Nokia didn’t leave us out to dry. The N97 features 32GB of on-board memory, a 5 mega-pixel camera, DVD video capture capabilities, Wi-Fi, and HSDPA data access. The widescreen 16:9 display is perfect for showing media including videos and pictures. With the addition of an external memory card, the N97 can be expanded to up to 48GB of storage.

In other HUGE news, the N97 is expected to cost $550 and be available in the first half of 2009. This is an amazing price for the amount of technology you are acquiring with the N97.

With the N97, Nokia is introducing the concept of ‘social location’. Using A-GPS, the N97 will constantly be aware of where it is and can thereby update your social networking sites appropriately. That’s right – no more asking your friends, “hey, where you at?” Your N97 will constantly update your location, adding a whole new level of usability to Location Based Services.

The Holy Grail?

The N97 is the Holy Grail for Nseries enthusiasts and mobile lovers alike. Since the E71 came out and long before that, Nokia NSeries watchers have been clamoring for a full QWERTY keyboard device. Additionally, Nokia analysts have been curious to see when Nokia would release a bonafide touchscreen capable device. With the N97, which I was able to play with last night, you get a beautiful, functional handset that is yours to customize, unlike the iPhone experience.

Does the iPhone do customizable widgets on its homepage? Can the iPhone do full video capture at very decent resolutions? What about taking decent pictures or adding any application off the web you can find? The answers are all no, making the iPhone a closed platform that I can’t buy into as a mobile enthusiast.

Update: Nokia Is Not Asleep At the Wheel

With the recent release of iPhone 2.2 software and the Google G1 phone, many Nokia enthusiasts were afraid Nokia was asleep at the wheel and perhaps unable to compete with the exciting developments coming from other mobile handset makers.

After seeing the N97 and it’s capabilities, I can assure you that Nokia is still innovating and delivering handsets that are tailored to their user’s requests and requirements. I met with Nokia folks last night at dinner her in Barcelona who said many of the capabilities of the N97 were taken from user feedback.

It seems to me the folks from Espoo are going to make a huge splash with the N97 and I can’t wait to see what comes next from Nokia!

Handling the N97
Happy Gadget Guy

Happy Gadget Guy

Handling the N97