The Nokia N97 Mini with Symbian is a bit of a classic with its sharp screen and first class slide-out qwerty keyboard, but we reckon the Nokia Lumia 710 with Windows Phone 7.5 makes for the perfect upgrade. Here’s why.
Nokia Lumia 710 software review
You might not think that the Nokia N97 Mini and the Nokia Lumia 710 bear comparison – after all, the N97 Mini is all about the physical qwerty keyboard, while the Nokia Lumia 710 has none. But here’s why we think an upgrade from one to the other makes sense.
Physical qwerty keyboards on phones were in a lot more demand two and a half years ago. Touchscreen technology was at the point where more affordable handsets used resistive screens, which require a lot of pressure and are much less sensitive than the screen we’re used to today. They can also only accept one touch input at a time – no pinch to zoom here.
With such a relatively vague input method, it made sense for the Nokia N97 Mini to adopt a slide-out qwerty keyboard. And what a fine keyboard it still is!
But the Nokia Lumia 710 makes such an additional input method unnecessary. Its 3.7-inch display is half an inch bigger than the Nokia N97 Mini’s, making typing on its virtual keyboard that much easier. It also uses capacitive screen technology, which is far more responsive and accurate than the N97 Mini’s.
When it comes to the Nokia Lumia 710’s virtual keyboard itself, it’s the one that comes with the Windows Phone 7.5 OS. This is a fine, responsive and intuitively laid out example that even goes so far as to suggest which word you might want to use based on what you’re typing! This can save an awful lot of time over the day.
But the Nokia Lumia 710’s superiority goes beyond its screen. It’s hugely more powerful than the Nokia 97 Mini, with a 1.4GHz CPU that’s more than three times faster than the older device’s. The Lumia also has a dedicated GPU, which means it can handle advanced graphics and 3D games far better.
While both phones have 5-megapixel cameras, the Nokia N97 Mini comes up short if you want to shoot good quality video – it can only manage VGA. Meanwhile the Nokia Lumia 710 can shoot 720p HD video – well worthy of YouTube or playing on your HDTV.
The biggest improvement, though, has already been mentioned in passing. Windows Phone 7.5 is a massive step forward in mobile operating system design. The Nokia N97 Mini’s Symbian OS just doesn’t compare. Windows Phone presents an ultra-modern, touch-optimised interface. It also tightly integrates all the things you need to do on a modern smartphone, from updating your Facebook wall to initiating a web search. It’s seamless.
But going back to the original thought, the major sticking point for Nokia N97 Mini fans could well be that physical qwerty keyboard. Can you really do without it? It may take a little adjustment, but we’d say that there’s never been a better time to make the switch to a virtual keyboard than with the Nokia Lumia 710. It’s powerful, easy to use and very affordable!
Have you upgraded to the Nokia Lumia 710 recently? Let us know how you’ve been getting on with your new phone in the Comments section below.