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Nokia N97 Mini (photos)

CNET takes a hands-on look at the smaller sibling of Nokia's flagship N series device. Learn more about the Nokia N97 Mini here.

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Bonnie Cha

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1 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nokia N97 Mini

As a follow-up to the Nokia N97, the Nokia N97 Mini offers an improved design and better performance. It's available unlocked for $479.
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Still feature-packed

Though smaller in size, the N97 Mini's features list is still pretty long and wasn't scaled back too much. The major difference between the N97 and the N97 Mini is that there's less internal memory (8GB versus 32GB) and it lacks an FM transmitter.
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Smaller package

The Nokia N97 Mini measures 4.45 inches tall by 2.07 inches wide by 0.56 inch deep and weighs 4.87 ounces, compared with the N97, which came in at 4.61 inches tall by 2.18 inches wide by 0.63 inch thick and 5.29 ounces. The difference might not seem that substantial, but it's definitely noticeable as the N97 Mini is a much more pocket-friendly device, not to mention a more solid one.
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Right side

On the right spine, you'll find a volume rocker and a camera activation/capture button.
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User interface problems

One of our biggest complaints about the N97 was its confusing user interface. Though some issues were fixed, the N97 Mini still has a number of inconsistencies, making the phone frustrating to use.
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Navigation controls

Below the display, there's a Main Menu button and touch-sensitive Talk and End keys.
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Revamped keyboard

The keyboard on the N97 was an ergonomic mess, so we were glad to see that Nokia reworked the keyboard on the N97 Mini. It did away with the D-pad on the left side and elongated the space bar and move it to the left slightly.
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Better user experience

We found the typing experience on the N97 Mini much better than on the N97, since the removal of the D-pad eliminates any awkward hand placement. That said, the keys are slightly stiff to press, which slowed us down a bit.
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Camera

The N97 Mini features the same 5-megapixel camera as the N97. It has a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens, dual-LED flash, autofocus, 14x digital zoom, and can record VGA-quality video at up to 30 frames per second.
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Picture quality

The camera produced great-looking photos with clearly defined objects and rich colors.

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