For two weeks in Southeast Asia, I had the privilege of using the beautiful (yes, I said “beautiful”) Nokia N97mini (free trial phone from WomWorldNokia) smart phone as my primary camera. As a lazy guy, it was great to have a pocket-sized camera to take shots at any given moment. Compared to my experience using a Nokia E75 in New York, these photos were much more satisfactory, in my humble opinion.
Overall, the Nokia N97mini is a well-built phone, with very good call quality, quad-band GSM, 3G (not that I would know, being in Thailand~no 3G networks yet), wifi, GPS, full qwerty keypad, and a 3.2″ resistive touchscreen. The mechanism to reveal the full qwerty keypad is not really a “sliding” action, but a “flip” action. A bit of an odd sensation, and takes more effort to “pop” open the keypad than the typical sliding action, though it feels very well constructed and I liked the viewing angle. Since I used the phone primarily as a portable camera, with occasional use of the Facebook app ~using wifi ~for uploading pics, I cannot comment fully about it’s smart phone features (as in email/calendar/web/apps).
However, the phone has very good camera specs: Five Megapixel Carl Zeiss lens, with dual LED flash.
If I were shopping today (heck, when am I NOT shopping for a phone?) for a new Nokia as my travel-camera-blogging-phone, I would look at the new gorgeous (yes, I said “gorgeous”) Nokia N8, with a 3.5″ capacitive touchscreen, 12MP camera (CZ lens) with Xenon flash, and HD video capabilities, along with a freshened OS, Symbian ^3. Note that I haven’t tested an N8 as of yet -only obsessing – but the word amongst initial reviewers is that it’s quite good. The N8 is touchscreen only, so those of us that like “real” buttons (we’re so OLD School), there’s the 4″ touchscreen with qwerty, the Nokia E7.
In any case, I really enjoyed my 2 weeks with the N97mini (I agree, that sounded weird), and I can honestly say it’s much more difficult to take spontaneous pictures since I have to consciously carry a camera wherever I go. I know of two instances lately (while stopped in traffic) where the camera phone would have come in handy: 1) A pickup loaded, as in stacked, with live pigs, presumably going to slaughter; and 2) a motorbike with 4 female students on board!
Enjoy the photo slide show of the GotPassport Family gallivanting around Thailand and Laos,
by clicking HERE.
For full-screen version: click “Return to Gallery” then click “Slideshow” button.
Please keep in mind that I’m an amateur photographer, so be gentle…constructive feedback is appreciated!