As I was holding the beautiful pearl white Nokia N97 during the preview session held in Nokia’s Headquarter in Singapore, lost in words I was. Researchers say that most car buyers make a decision within minutes of stepping into the cabin. I say the same for the wireless phones. Or shall I say, the world’s most advanced mobile computer a.k.a. Nokia’s upcoming flagship Nseries device has captivated me like no others. No doubt the lovely, very attractive ladies from Nokia must have felt a bit jealousy that all the guys in the conference room were so engrossed with the phones and not, erm, them their presentation. When they asked if we have questions, my immediate response was: When will N97 hit the stores?
Nokia products and I have gone way back. One long decade. Since November last year, I have upgraded my N95 to N96. And I have finally converted Cynthia into a Nokia user, bought her the 5800 Comes With Music. Needless to say, both of us are wonderfully happy with the products and services. Despite some of the cautious messages from our friends on the product quality – touch wood – so far, so good, so lovely. Today, we must have downloaded over hundreds of free music albums from the Nokia Music Store. English, Chinese, Italian, French, instrumental, 80’s, latest releases – you name it, we have it.
So, let’s talk about the upcoming Nokia N97. I am not a techie, so you won’t find the super long list of incomprehensible Symbian A, B, C, and D here. I am a regular dude who likes my wireless phone to be elegant, stylish, and functional – a statement of *ahem* who I am (kidding!). There are two colors available: classic black and pearl white. My instinct took over and I grabbed the white one. (Just curious, which color would you prefer?)
The phone doesn’t feel light, I must say. But it just feels right, resting very comfortable onto my palm. It is still compact compares to other brands in its class. I was told that this phone is specially designed by Japanese. I would associate the overall contour of the N97 with a top of the class luxury car (imagine you behind the wheel of a BMW or a Lexus). It is hard to describe the feel of the pearl white material at the back of the phone. You ought to try it out yourself. It seems futuristic, and lasting. When I slid the phone open, tilting the screen at an ergonomic viewing angle, the full QWERTY keyboard is breathtakingly impressive. You know you can tell how expensive the car is by the feel of the car door? The sound and feel of this phone’s opening and closing mechanism reminds me of just that. I have seen quite a few phones of this sort during the recent phone shopping trips with my friends. I have not quite seen something like a Nokia N97. So much detail has gone into the design of the tiny keyboard, with the blue function keys lit up when the phone is in operation. I thought the new Nokia E-series non-slip keyboard is impressive, this one is an art.
Like many of you (and some of my friends whom I have talked to), using the full QWERTY keyboard and the full touch screen input mechanism can be a brand new and at the same time, alien experience. During the hands-on session, I have opened up some of my favorite websites and intuitively, I used my thumbs like a computer mouse and in just a short time, I was able to type out a message in Facebook like a pro! I guess touch screen features such as photo flipping, webpage scrolling, and quick screen lock (imagine your boss appears out from nowhere while you are Facebook-flirting with that special someone) are standard functions and nothing to wow about. The local edition of N97 does come with some unique widgets that worth a look.
What are widgets and why should you care? Imagine this: latest headlines from The Strait Times and Bloomberg constantly streamed into your phone and displayed on the homepage, live stock quotes from SGX (believe me, I got some of my friends really excited by this feature), live feed from Facebook … live feed from Facebook?! I often wonder how some of my friends manage to be so in touch with Facebook. Now you too can! And beyond the local contents, you can add new applications available from the Nokia OVI Store.
I am sure there are lots of other cool functionalities that I have not mentioned here, mainly because I have yet to experience them. Towards the end of the session, I have transferred one of the songs from my N96 to the N97 via Bluetooth and tried out the sound quality. It is just as lovely as its predecessor. I was so engrossed that I have totally missed out the closing statements from the event organizer. When I looked up, all the bloggers have already left the room and I was left with several pairs of eyes looking at me possibly wondered why I was not heading home in the late evening of a Wednesday. I may not be driving a white 7-series (yet), but I can so see myself getting one of these pearl white beauties as my Christmas present.
Note: Nokia N97 should be out in Singapore some time in June, 2009, priced at the range of it predecessors, and will come with “Comes With Music”.
Related Link: Official Nokia N97 Singapore Site