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Review: Nokia N97

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Apps

A pretty good selection of third-party apps are pre-installed on the N97. They include Qik, Facebook, YouTube, Boingo, Bloomberg, Amazon, AP, Accuweather and a handful of others.

The N97 also works with the Nokia Ovi Store. I downloaded the Ovi Store application to see how the store works. Installing it takes but a moment and thankfully doesn't require a re-boot of the phone. It far surpasses the usability of the old Nokia Download service. It has apps that fill up the first screen you see. There is a sliding tab at the top that you interact with to sort through games, and other categories. You can also use the options key to further sort through the titles. Many of the apps are free, but other cost a few dollars. In order to buy them, you need to have an Ovi account and register a credit card. The apps all have ratings 1-3 stars, as well as user reviews.

Nokia's Ovi Store has potential. It's not as slick as some of the other apps stores out there, but it's the best avenue S60 phones have for discovering new content.

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Bluetooth

Name a Bluetooth profile and the N97 probably supports it. I was able to pair it with pretty much every Bluetooth device that I own, including other phones, PCs, headsets (mono and stereo), and so on. Sound quality through mono and stereo headsets was excellent. I was very pleased with both. No goofy noises or other weirdness.

Clock

The N97 is a frustrating watch replacement. There doesn't appear to be a way to get the time to show up nice and large when you want to. When the phone is locked, pressing any of the keys just generates the "you need to unlock the phone first" message. You can't see the time on this page. You have to go all the way and unlock the phone to read the clock on the home page. Lame.

GPS

The N97 has GPS and Nokia Maps are pre-loaded. I downloaded and installed Google Maps, too. The GPS is able to lock onto satellites quickly and accurately. The worst it ever performed was about 100 feet off from my actual location. Most of the time, it pegged me dead-on. It also plays nice with the software. Directions between points were easy to generate and worked well.

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