Nokia’s New N97 Flagship: CPU Mhz Isn’t Everything

Over the past few days, there have been many arguments about the Nokia’s soon-to-be-released flagship device: The Nokia N97.’a0 According to a Forum Nokia post, the N97’s CPU will be an ARM 11 processor running at 434 Mhz.

To compare the N97’s processor speeds, another site has charted competing smartphones including the BlackBerry Bold, HTC Magic and Samsung i8910 with clock speeds ranging in the 500-600Mhz range.

My To Do About Nothing

In my humble opinion, too much is being made about one metric of a mobile handset’s performance.’a0 Depending on the handset’s operating system speed and memory usage, the amount of physical RAM in the mobile device, and many other factors – the Nokia N97 will probably “feel” snappy and efficient to most users.

When evaluating how a customer like or dislikes a phone, CPU speed is likely the last thing most consumer’s list.’a0 Other factors such as onboard features, battery life, and how well the handset’s software meets their needs are far more important to mobile handset shoppers.

Let me tell you from experience on the E71 (which only clocks in at 369Mhz) the E71 is the fastest and most fluid Symbian handset I have ever used.’a0 Activities such as traversing the phone’s menus and launching applications happen very quickly and with minimal delay.

Another benefit to having a lower clock speed handset: the battery will last longer.’a0 This will become quite important as the N97 has onboard Wi-Fi, GPS, a 5MP camera, and a widget-based home screen that will likely stress the battery continually.’a0 Having a power-sipping processor will help to extend battery life.

Time Will Tell

At this point, no one except for those lucky enough to be inside Nokia has even played with an N97.’a0 Therefore,’a0 none of us can really say how the N97 will perform with a lower clock speed processor.

However, when the new Nokia flagship is unveiled in June 2009, we will finally be able to see whether the device performs well enough to be called a “flagship”.