Making Calls and the User Interface

< Prev Page Next Page >

Making Calls

A phone is still a phone. So let’s talk about the basic phone functionality: making phone calls. You can open your contacts and make calls from there. Or just click onto any name appears on the text or email messages or the call logs does the same. You can also call up the phone dialer.


Move the phone near your ear disables the touch screen, which is a pretty basic function I think. Open the keyboard switches the phone to a speaker phone, which I think it’s pretty smart. And with the tilt screen, you can rest the phone nicely on the desk. And with the application toggle function, you can switch to different applications while you are on the speaker phone. I do that often. At times I switch to the web browser especially when someone calls me and asks me “Do you know how to or where to …”. It is Google time, on my N97! At other times, I switch to notepad mode to take notes while on the call.

User Interface (and the OS)

Nokia is famous for its user-friendliness. Maybe not the most eye-candy phone on Earth, but it is meant to be a user-friendly phone that many love. In recent days, I find that there are just one too many menu items to click through in order to get something done. I still miss my 8850 a lot (in my drawer now, still working). With the touch screen technology, there is much improvement. A lot of popular shortcuts are provided on the screen in the form of big buttons (see below).


In terms of the phone’s overall responsiveness, I would say, for the frequently access functions, the bread-and-butter of what the phone is, it is fast. In some other areas, I still wish there will be improvement in the future.

Opening up the contacts, for instance, is fast. Compares to other phones I have seen. Text messaging is fast as well. So I guess, most people use a phone to make phone calls and text messages. As such, Nokia scores for what matters to most people. Web browsing is acceptable too. And if the site takes too long to load due to content size, I would toggle it to another application, do something else, and toggle it back later. In fact, most applications I have used are at the acceptable level in terms of responsiveness.

Oh, the camera does response quite fast too. Just flip the lens cover open and the phone automatically switches to camera mode. Close the flip switches the camera function off.

I do however notice that when there is a long list (except contacts), it does take time to response. For example, the application folder. However, all you need is to organize your applications into sub-folders. Then, the lag problem is solved. Besides, it is much easier for you to locate the applications too. To do so, at the application grid or list – depending on your setup – select the menu option “edit”. You can create, rename, delete folders, drag and drop the applications to different folders. It takes time, but well worth the effort. Oh, you can reorder the application icons if you want.


Another two functions that I find a bit sluggish are the email and the music (affected by the slower than usual toggling function). And I will cover that in details below. One question that people often ask me is: Does it hang?

I would say before the new firmware update, it did at times. Most of the time it is just a self-reset (which is better than needing to pull the battery out). And the phone seems to have improved with the rolling out of new firmware. Very rarely does it reset itself or require me to yank out the battery these days. I can’t remember when my phone last hanged, as a matter of fact. In any case, I think Nokia should implement a hard power off button for all their phones. I wonder why takes so long for them to figure that out.

< Prev Page Next Page >

One thought on “Making Calls and the User Interface

  1. mo

    hello, Have had my n97 for about aweek now, not really used it yet. have been reading through your website, I am finding it very interesting and plenty of info on using and getting the best from the n97. I will be coming back to read more thanks . mo

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.