Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Phone decisions: N97 vs. iPhone 3Gs

I keep saving and redrafting and editing this post, so I'm just going to fire it out this morning because it could go on forever if I don't hit the Publish button soon. Here goes:

So if it's going to cost me $699.00 to get a 32GB iPhone 3Gs or $699.00 to get an unlocked Nokia N97, which one do I get? I assumed that there would be a much larger price differential between the 2 and, generally when there's a $300 delta, it's easy to let the decision be made for me; in this case, the cost portion is neutral.

I'll be honest in saying that I have not ever held a N97 in my hands, whereas I am very familiar with the iPhone and a faster processor would be very cool (the rest of the features, such as video, that are not iPhone OS3-based aren't that cool to me as I will receive them as part of the OS3 update on my existing iPhone). Assuming that the N97 is as well made as other Nokia phones that I've used, and knowing that Google Sync is available for Symbian S60 devices, I do start to question which is the better device.

In the past Nokia had made US and non-US versions of its phones, and the US versions were generally crippled for reliable international use by the exclusion of a particular megahertz band, while the non-US versions did not include the most prevalent US frequencies. The N97, by comparison, is a quad band world phone, excluding none of the frequencies used by GSM carriers worldwide.

While both the iPhone and N97 have touchscreens, the N97 is a resistive touchscreen, meaning that it provides tactile resistance when pressed (i.e., it pushes back at you). Unlike the iPhone, the N97 includes a QWERTY keyboard that slides out from under the screen as an alternative to the touchscreen. However, the N97 uses a significantly slower processor (not sure why) than the iPhone 3Gs, which could lead to significant performance hits depending on how the OS handles background processes, simultaneous open programs, etc.

On all other specs, the N97 meets or exceeds the iPhone: 5MP camera vs. 3MP camera for iPhone, 32GB base memory with SD slot for an additional 16GB expansion vs. 32GB non-expandable for iPhone, unlocked GSM phone vs. contract-required iPhone locked to ATT network.

Probably the biggest hit against the N97 is the Apple Application Store. I've only been able to find a very small percentage of the Apps that I frequently use available in the Nokia Ovi Store -- all the apps are being written for the Apple Application Store. As many of you read, I tried to use the BlackBerry Bold and wound up switching back to the iPhone because the Apps were to critical to my daily workflow.

Decisions, decisions.

Link -- N97 on Amazon (for around $600 and available 6/25/09)
Link -- iPhone 3Gs on Apple's site


Anonymous said...

Just got my N97!

Anonymous said...

I just ordered N97, I do not care about applications, N97 got built in apps which is required for normal use.

Anonymous said...

i got nokia n97.. and its the most powerful smartphone today... its really nice...