We first heard about the upcoming Nokia N97 Mini via an accidental leak by Vodafone staffer on the Vodafone Ireland message boards in June.
And last week Engadget scored some live pictures of Nokia N97 Mini posing next to its bigger brother – Nokia N97.
The pictures sparked quite a discussion of whether this device is real, what are its specs and what the heck Nokia is up to, prepping a smaller copy of its flagship only a few months after it started shipping.
Well, this week, always helpful and usually well informed Eldar from Mobile-Review.com chipped in, providing us with some details and background info on a new Nokia N97 Mini.
First, let’s clear all the doubts about existence of Nokia N97 Mini out of the way. Yes, the device is real and will be announced at Nokia World 09, in Stuttgart on Sept. 2-3.
And yes, its trade name will be Nokia N97 Mini. Rumor has it, another major handset vendor was prepping the launch of smaller version of its flagship phone with the name “Mini” attached to it, so Nokia marketing guys decided on a spoiler and leaked their own version of Mini name first. Oh, the games those handset marketers play to one up each other…
And now let’s get to the important details. Like specs.
Well, actually there’s nothing much to talk about here. Except for the overall and display size, the specs are practically the same as on the original Nokia N97. Except for the internal storage, which has been reduced to 8 or 16GB, depending on model.
Eldar says that display specs are very close to the ones we’ve seen on Nokia 5530 XM. That gives us about 2.9” size, 16M colors, 640 x 360 px resolution and automatic brightness control. The savings in overall device size come from dropping the Nav button.
So, to some it up, Nokia N97 Mini has all the features and specs of Nokia N97, in a smaller body, with smaller display and lower internal storage.
And the point of having Nokia N97 Mini at all? Price and size.
Nokia N97 will be about 100 EUR cheaper then it’s bigger brother. As for the size – not everyone is happy to carry around a brick of N97 size in their pocket. But might be tempted to get the device with similar features in a more traditionally sized format.
Nokia thinks that these two factors combined will open significant new markets to Nokia N97 Mini, and even have some expectations for it to repeat the success of Nokia N95. Which does not look too realistic for me.
Overall, Nokia performance in a touchphone segment is starting to look more and more worrisome.
So far they’ve managed to come up with only 2 new full touchscreen devices – Nokia 5800XM and N97. Almost a year after these two have been announced, we only see minor dumbed down variations of an old models. While Samsung, LG and everyone else around them is churning out one interesting touchscreen phone after another.
I know that touchscreen is not everything in a mobile handset. And Nokia is doing great with their in non-touch smart devices. But touchscreen phones is an important and rapidly growing market segment, and Nokia seems to be asleep at the wheel here.
I hope that it’s because Nokia is too busy in making a new type of Maemo/Qt based touchscreen device, that will blow our socks off when it’s announced. In the meantime reducing their efforts of making great Symbian touch handset, until the OS catches up with QT based touch UI in Symbian^4, sometime in 2011.
But I really want to hear something about this in Stuttgart… Because the patience is starting to wear thin even among most rabid Nokia fans. And if Nokia N97 Mini is the main device announcement of Nokia World 09, things will only get worse.
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