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printed October 25, 2014
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Review: Nokia N97

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The N97 gets the core basics right: the phone works really, really well. Beyond that, it's a mish-mash of good features, bad features, and recycled features that have clearly had a coat of S60 5th Edition paint slapped on top of them in the vain attempt to cover up the fact that they are not new at all.

The build quality and materials don't match the $700 price tag. The camera and video recorder work well for capturing those special moments, but the music player and gallery applications fall a little flat. The touch screen works well enough, but the physical keyboard is a disaster. All the right messaging functions are represented, but there's still no native threaded SMS/MMS and the email app is stale. Nokia fails to build in its Ovi services more naturally throughout the user interface, but the nifty home screen is a great way to collect a lot of content into one spot.

If you're the type that has to have the latest and greatest device -- no matter how good or bad it is -- clearly the N97 is for you. If you can get by with less-than-the-best, there are many other phones out there that do everything the N97 does for a lot less money.

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