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Friday, 6 February 2009

iPhone vs. Nokia N97

iPhone vs. Nokia N97Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to the ongoing grudge match that is our iPhone Killers series! And this time round, the iPhone has all to play for after it’s beating by the Nokia 5800. It left that fight with its nose bloodied, and now it’s time for it to try and reclaim its crown.

However, that might prove to be a bit difficult for it, because today, the iPhone takes on its toughest challenge yet…

After the massive interest people were showing in the 5800, it was only natural that Nokia would take their brand new touchscreen operating system, and build it into an Nseries phone. After all, the 5800 was only ever meant to sit in the mid-range. Another phone was destined to take up the top-end, and that phone, as if you hadn’t guessed, is the phenomenal Nokia N97.

Ohhhhhhhh yes folks, the iPhone really has its work cut out for it here…

1. How useful is it for doing actual work on?

The iPhone’s proved in various face-offs that it’s actually pretty good at being a useful tool for doing something productive, with an ace email client, a superb web browser, and downloadable Office software from the App Store. But the thing is… the Nokia N97 can do all that really well, too, which pretty much ruins any advantage the Apple wonderphone may have had. Add on the fact that the N97’s got a really rather spiffing QWERTY keyboard, and the fact that the screen opening at an angle lets you type on it like a mini-laptop, and it’s clear right away that the Finns are going to take this round…

Winner: Nokia N97

2. How good is the phone for mucking around and not doing any work on?

Ooh, again, the iPhone faces a tough challenge in an area it should dominate in, just like it did with the 5800. Only this time, it could potentially lose the round in an even bigger way. Sure, it has the App Store and iTunes, but the Nokia N97 has the Ovi Portal and N-Gage gaming, which evens things up nicely. Bu the Nokia N97 has a 16:9 widescreen for watching videos and movies. And double the memory of the biggest iPhone, to store more of your stuff. And it supports Flash, for viewing websites you just can’t view on the iPhone. And, therefore, it wins, hands down.

Winner: Nokia N97

3. How many opportunities for showing off to my mates will the phone give me?

Since the iPhone beat the 5800 in this round, it’d seem logical that it’s also going to beat the Nokia N97. But the thing is, y’see, it doesn’t. The iPhone may do gaming, but so does the Nokia N97, and what it lacks in multi-touch, it makes up for in sheer screen size for playing on. And whilst the iPhone has Youtube, so does the N97, and the N97 can do Flash, instead of the lower quality format mobile Youtube shows its vids in. So, it looks sharper, it has better sound through the stereo speakers, and I reckon it’s a prettier phone too. So, the N97 wins!

Winner: Nokia N97

4. How easy is it to use the phone to cheat at pub quizzes?

No contest, here. The iPhone may have a super-slick web browser, but so does the Nokia N97. The iPhone may now come with 3G data, but the N97’s got broadband-esque HSDPA. Admittedly, both have WiFi, but unless you know the landlord’s password, that’s not a great deal of use. But there’s one thing the iPhone hasn’t got, and that’s a honking great QWERTY keyboard. You can argue all you want about the merits of the onscreen keyboard, but the fact is, the physical keyboard on the Nokia N97 beats it in every possible way, making trying to find answers on Wiki much, much easier. The N97, once again, is victorious.

Winner: Nokia N97

5. How good will I feel using it, and how GOOD will I look using it?

Hmm, this last round is actually a tough one to call, because, whilst the Nokia N97 is a nicer looking phone, and whilst it has that superb keyboard, the new Symbian interface is, whilst being good, not as slick as the iPhone’s. But then, to mitigate against that, the Nokia N97 is a lot more powerful. It’s a very close match-up, making it really difficult to pick a winner, but the fact that the N97 doesn’t have the flicky-scrolly, inertial-scrolling menu-things isn’t good. And I do like flicky-scrolly, inertial-scrolling menu-things. So, grudgingly, I have to concede that the overall satisfaction of using the iPhone is marginally better.

Winner: iPhone, just

And the winner is…

Oh dear. Anyone who hoped for an iPhone win, after its defeat at the hands of the 5800 is disappointed yet again, as it turns out that Apple snobbery, as shown by every single Apple fan in existence is no match for the sheer power of the Nokia N97. Once again, the Cupertino Kid has to go home with its nose in a sling, as the N97 is (using the formula competitor score divided by iPhone score times 100) 400% as good as the iPhone. It’d better rest up again, because its next competitor is one I’ve blogged about before, in direct competition to the iPhone, and it’s one that soundly kicked its bottom last time: the HTC Touch HD…


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