2009-09-12 11:28 - edited 2009-09-12 11:32
I know this is a user-to-user support forum but I believe a complaint to be some sort helps users to decide whether the N97 is for them or not. Before you read on, this post will contain comparisons to competitors, so if you hate apples, feel free to ignore me! (Also I don't think users should stop harassing Nokia for what they have done to us - the more complaints the better. Igoring customers is not a very good corporate strategy. Eventually it will take them down - people buy Nokia for quality, otherwise they could buy a rip-off from ebay).
Just skimming over the posts shows me that I am not alone. So let me share my experience with Nokia and the N97. I am too tired complaining about this phone, at least I think my experience has made sure that no-one of my friends and relatives is ever going to buy a Nokia again.
When I bought the phone for then 500 pounds at the Nokia flagship store in London it seemed nice enough. Good camera, decent keyboard and features competitors could only dream of. Unfortunately, that's paperwork. For a start, the much advertised facebook application was completely disfunctional and taking into account that Nokia clearly tried to compete with the iphone (my apologies again for mentioning a competitor) frankly a lame joke. I know a firmware update has somewhat relieved the situation now, but I will come to that later.
Okay, so I have disabled the facebook application. Not a drama, surely the rest will work okay. But then after a week some of the pictures I took with the built-in camera weren't accessible anymore (broken image displayed). Again, I have another camera and I was hoping for a firmware update so I ignored it. I had now started using the joikuspot app to browse the internet on my linux box. Very nice. I started using email a lot on my phone but again was disappointed. I have a £165 ipod touch here. Without kinetic scrolling and an extremely bad UI design, by which I mean the icons and menus (ignoring the graphics flaws all the time) it is no match for the ipod, so what i did was to use joiku spot with my ipod touch. Before that firmware update the N97s browser was also still buggy so I used joikuspot for that too. I was now down to using my £500 smartphone as a wireless modem. What a shame. But I was still hoping for some kind of magic update.
Then finally, I found out about the firmware update. I had to open my phone, check the serial and visit the Nokia website. Unfortunately, the Ovi software and drivers supplied with the phone did not recognize my N97 properly. Something which I think was fixed with the firmware update (anyone seeing a circular dependency here? ) Furthermore, the built-in firmware update over 3G seemed to be disabled. So I made the journey back to the flagship store in London, explaining the problem. I was greeted by an extremly rude employee. Well, I think that's not really his fault, I guess he was just sick of all the complaints. Anyways, I told him that the 3G update was not working and he started to be really patronizing telling me that I wouldn't listen to him (he said it was "working" but "disabled"). Maybe I should have told him that I am a software engineer and that in 99.9% of the cases in which we disable a feature, the reason is that it is "not working". Anyways, he kindly allowed me to use one of their machines to update the firmware "at my own risk", which worked. At no point I have received an apology for the fact that I have paid Nokia £500 to beta-test their products.
Now of course, the firmware update has succeeded, but is all fine? Far from it.... As many report on this forum the N97s battery meter is faulty. Countless times, my phone has just literally died overnight. It even forgets time and date! This is more than bad - every phone I have had so far complained about a draining battery well in advance. I had to dig out my old phone to serve as an alarm clock again - the fact that the alarm clock itself is unreliable is a alltogether different matter... One time the battery died during the day - after doing nothing for 4 hours in my sports bag (started with 1 bar down). When I had to make a call that day, for the first time in I don't know how many years I had to use a telephone box. Progress?!
The firmware update has also barely improved the email client - just a few ui glitches solved. However, the biggest issue at the moment seems to be the weird memory organization. When I buy a phone I don't want to deal with something like the c drive problem. Reinstalling applications on the 32gb partition helps somewhat but why didn't Nokia do that in the first place? Has this phone never been tested?The phone is still way too slow.
I can't comment on the iplayer app - says it needs wlan to work. But the youtube player has crashed every time i used it. And by crashing I mean it took down the whole phone with it. I admit that my ipod crashed a few times too - in just under a year (~3 times). But the reset was straightforward every time. With the N97, the only thing that seems to help is to take the battery out!
Before I forget, the N97 doesn't even work as a phone. In a 30 minute conversation, the call got dropped 4 times. I don't know whether it was because of a calibration issue with the proximity sensor or a more serious problem, all I know is that this is unacceptable!
I am sick of the phone and Nokia's service. The joikuspot app ran out and asks me to pay... I have paid £500 pounds for the bloody phone already. The adobe reader asks me to pay... (somehow it ran out without me even using it). Maybe you see why I am getting angry now - the only use case that actually put the N97 on top of my old phone was gone. What infuriated me even more, is that Nokia bundles this software with the phone. It cannot actually be deinstalled! It just sits there merrily and takes up my hard drive space.
Last but not least, I have written to Nokia already, but not received a response! This is a Nokia forum with Nokia employees following the posts. I would be very, very, very grateful if Nokia could give me a refund. However, with them not even acknowledging the various problems I somehow don't see that coming. I'll probably have to sell it with a massive loss on ebay.
P.s.: I have all the same small issues as the other guys here - slider lock at the side not working etc. You are not alone... Has anyone complained about the music player? I have 16gb of music on the phone and scrolling is impossible! The Symbian OS is so obviously not built for a touch screen that it hurts. Of course they don't put much music on the phones in the Nokia store so people only find out when they get home...
Solved! Go to Solution.
Totally Agree ! Very Similar unplesant experience. Very well naratted.
I did attempt to post the 34 problems at the forum & for some strange reason it did not.
Well it will be a month i have bought the device and not really been able to do anything with it. The device cant event recall my contacts from the 3500+ that i have... and all the other problems like the bad UI, Reception, GPS, Photo, et all are really buggy. For the last 2 weeks the device is with Nokia under repairs.
Firmware updates can do little, and the wait is killing... if nokia has to win its best customers back, they may need to recall the faulty units & give appropriate replacement or refund.
Thank you for your support guys... I didn't have the N95 but at the time it was the real iphone killer for me. Much more thought through (iphone 1st gen did not have 3g etc). Now while the rest of the world has moved on, Nokia obviously has not. It does not help anyone to have lots of features if their implementations are merely placeholders at the very best. What do I need blogging, twittering, geotagging, videocasting etc for if the phone doesn't even have a decent email client? Wasn't Orange going to bring it out in the UK? It's on Vodafone now - but I remember the CPW guy telling me it's exclusive to Orange. Anyways, a week after buying the phone I went to an Orange store to get a case and they said they don't have any because they refused to sell the N97 because of all its bugs... Very revealing...
I was tricked into buying the N97 because of a very good review on a major German computing website. Obviously they have either not seen the phone or they were paid by Nokia - I cannot otherwise explain why they would say that the N97 is one of the fastest phones on the market.
I very much doubt Nokia is going to do anything about this. They'll just bury it with another media frenzy over their next iphone killer. It's left to us to educate everyone about the problems of Nokia's phones. I would not have said this a year ago but now I can only really ask people to get an iphone if they want a reliable, usable phone that keeps (at least some) of the promises made in the ads.
You've certainly been unlucky with your phone. Your comment about the speed of the handset was interesting. I have commented in many threads that I know I have been one of the lucky few with their N97 as mine is running fine. I have no instability issues, it's quick and responsive and the programs all work. It is still early days for the N97 and I am convinced that Nokia released it far too soon and certainly before the firmware could be considered ready for mass market as all the users on here seemed to have found out.
I want to also state that while perhaps not as bad as this is, the iPhone was certainly not free from its own issues when it came out. Buggy firmware plagued early handsets (mine included, which resulted in multiple reboots each day) and when Apple finally released their 2.0 firmware which brought the app store, many handsets became more unstable. Their crowning glory was the 2.1x series which killed network connections, prevented SMS from working and destabilised wifi but curiously not for everyone. While these issues will be sorted out by now, it has taken Apple a long time to get the iPhone stable and to have features that a cheap £30 would have gotten you from the start.
Nokia should certainly not be applauded for their lack of robustness in the N97 firmware but they are far from the only manufacturer that does this.
I do admit that it is extremely frustrating as a user when I see how my N97 behaves compared to the problems others have. I s=do still reboot my phone each night before I go to bed and then put it on charge. This is a routine that came from being an iPhone user and it doesn't seem to have done any harm with my N97. Maybe if you could restore your handset to 'shipping condition' this little tip may help you.
Thanks for your response. I am glad at least your N97 is okay(ish)...
Yes, the iphone had A LOT of issues and that's why I said the N95 seemed superior at the time. But that is exactly what I predicted it to be as Apple surely wasn't a mobile phone company. However, as you have said, they have resolved these issues now and produced quite a stable, working device. Maybe this was because they have not implemented those features that a cheap £30 would have gotten you. Let's take the radio for example, the reception is very poor which makes it quite useless in my eyes. Also the great 5px camera - scratched lens and lame image processing algorithms (not to mention the led flash) - quite useless. Fastest 3G chip plus a browser which cannot handle the caching properly. 32GB but no way of browsing through music properly. Homescreen widgets but then only a handful of those. I was never an apple fanboy and I needed much convincing to buy the touch, but I haven't been disappointed for a single day! I can even use skype on it - something Nokia promised for the N97 and never delivered.
I find the speed generally sluggish when compared to my ipod. I have tested the iphone a few times in the regent street store and it seemed to behave in a very similar fashion. A lot of my friends have an iphone and noone has complained about issues like these. As I said, I have had to reset the ipod a few times - but that is straightforward with only two buttons. Taking the battery out of my N97 feels just wrong.
When I refer to sluggishness it is mainly considering menu transitions but also the web browser and applications like email and facebook. I don't see why the menus react so slowly when they are merely list with no special graphical effects whatsoever. Quite often, however, this sluggishness just grinds the phone to a halt and I have to wait a few minutes for it to recover. That usually happens when the web browser was open and I suspect it is because of the caching (using C drive?). Multitasking is fine but when the hardware doesn't support it, what's the point?
I would be curious to know what you think of all this trial version nonsense. Why does Nokia put a trial version of acrobat reader on a £500 phone? Why a trial of joiku spot?You have had an iphone - how does the multimedia compare to the N97? I was watching a videocast on my ipod the other day, no problems - somehow I don't see myself doing that on the N97.
What do you mean by shipping condition? Can I reactivate joikuspot that way too? I have done the normal soft reset - where you have to type in some code - 12345 I believe. That hasn't helped at all. I have deleted all sorts of applications - to no avail. I only got up to 28mb on my c drive. Do you know how to delete unused apps?
You are right about it being the early days - but the phone has already dropped in value by almost a half. I have to consider minimizing my losses and getting rid of the phone while I still can. It's not easy waiting for the next firmware update if your property looses value by the day. I am on a 3GB plan and I haven't had a single month where I came even close to using that - solely because the internet on the N97 is not what it should have been.
I also have the n96, it does work.
But the beginning started also terrible for me.
I first had the samsung omnia but after sending it back 5 times they send me a coupon, so i could choose new phone. So i choose the n96.
I received the n96 straight out of the factory (they told me).
But i only received the phone.
just image, you pay big bucks for a phone, and you receive it in a air enveloppe in a plastic back. SO i received the phone, and the battery.
I did not even receive a box, manual, charger, headset whatever.
This is my first nokia, altought it works well, i had to invest a lot of money into it, and i have to charge it 2 times a day (it lives from 8:00 till 14:00 - and from 15:00 - 22:00) and i will put it back to charge, change sims and go out with a old siemens phone. (because i need the phone during the day time for work).
I expected better from nokia.
As im interested in soon upgrading from my Nokia 8800 arte to the n97 it is disturbing to read so many users threads in connection to issues that are being encountered.
As many users only post on negative issues they are having and are seeking assistance, it would be also fair to say that there will be many end users out there who are having no issues, and have no need for support thus there are few posative posts to balance the scales.
I am in no way disputing any of the issues reported so please dont think I am.
I was under the impression that Nokia used 'test pilots' , before releasing handsets !
Has this changed ?
Just looking for balanced views to help me in my decisions to buy or not to buy !
or possibly wait for the n900 to see if this carries less issues !
Well i got mine from three network and in 3 days i've had 3 new n97's all with the same problem i've asked for my contract to be canceled customer services will do it by request of the shop but the shop wont do it saying its not a network problem but they will send it off to nokia for repair.
Thats what everone wants to have a brand new phone only to send it back to nokia for repairs 24 hours after getting it :manmad:
Well i got my last one on wednesday not even opened it so today i gave it to my wife because i've last all faith in nokia and lone and behold the same happend a few contacts, songs, email on the phone and it starts to freeze, lock up & telling her she has no memory.
so once again ill be going back to the three store to see what b*lls**t they come up with.
But lets remember one thing folks their is a very good program on bbc1 called "watchdog" and yes i've been on the website tonight and complianed to them cos not one person has come up with a solution for me and it seems as though aslong has these companys have your money they dont give a damn even when your working your backsides off due to the recetion and such likes
Every who is displeased with their N97 please write to The History Channel and suggest that they do a special on the N97--it covers both their "Modern Marvels" and their "Engineering Disasters" theme series programs!
I think that this will be my last Nokia device.
Well said, same thoughts here.
I think we have said enough, we are just repeating ourselves, the N97 is a big failure.
Now, we just need to find a way to sell this damn phone for an acceptable price. The problem the phone price is already starting to drop. Here in Hong Kong, the price when it was launched was 5488 HKD and now its 5188 HKD officially (only in 3 months). So my advice is to sell this failure as soon as possible before the market price will reach the bottom.
my only concern is that after all this complaining, how come there is no one form gnikcuf (read frm right to left) nokia to even show sme sympathy for there loyal customers who spent their well earned saving of $1000 on a dekcuf up phone which they claimed to be flagship phone.
da other thing if the new firmware was show at the nokia world which was on 1-3rd sept, so how come they are not releasing it and waiting for october. if they wanted to release it that late thn y show it off early enough.
i too have complained to consumer affairs about the way nokia have riped me off, hoping to get sme sort of a geniune answer form nokia.
finally a small piece of advise, dnt waste ur time by going to nokia care as thy will just reinstall a frimware and say "try it for a couple of day, and if there is any problem bring back. take a ticket and wait for an hour to get hold of an assistant, give them the phone.......any the same routine goes on which will be endless."
rip nokia n97
Mine too, how can they expect us to be loyal to them if they produce rubbish like the N97 and back it up with the worst customer service seen, i have had 100% better service from Medion...............and that says it all.
get on to BBC's watchdog show by email, 100's have already and if more do so we may get some national coverage.
I am not an n97 user, I own a 5800 and I (we) share a lot of the same complaints since the devices are technically similar. I initially looked at the n97 and chose the 5800 for the price, boy am I glad I did that. If I paid more I would be twice as **bleep**. I have gotten my phone to a point where I can tolerate it, although a new bug seems to pop up all the time. I do honestly believe that we bought ourselves into a beta testing program...and that I did not intend to sign up for. I am very patient and hopeful...but if Nokia doesn't make the stars align and make this situation right for many many many customers, they will loose many of them, me included.
Nokia if you read these forums...take heed and take action because people (your customers) are getting very restless and other vendors are just waiting to sell us phones.