From the day Nokia announced its latest smart phone model, the N97 at the Nokia world 2008 in Barcelona, the battle between two of perhaps the biggest companies with the most ardent fan following had begun.
Speculations were rife back then about the features that N97 would come packed with and how the iPhone would stand in comparison to it. Now that the N97 is here, it is only befitting to begin comparing the two. iPhone has had a stranglehold in the smartphone market. Even the arrival of G1 didn’t do much towards taking significant amount of market share from the iPhone.
With regards to the physical measure, the N97 is slated at 117.2 x 55.3 x 15.9mm (LxWxD) as compared to the iPhone 3G’s 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm (LxWxD). The N97 weighs about 150g while the iPhone 3G weights about 133g. The iPhone 3G boasts of a 3.5 inch screen at a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. The touchscreen facility of the iPhone is provided by a capacitive touch screen. The Nokia N97 on the other hand has a 3.5 inch screen at a resolution of 640 x 360 pixels, which implies that at the same screen size, the N97 is better with its better screen resolution.
What makes Nokia N97 formidable is the fact that it is shipped with a fully functional slide out QWERTY keyboard to go with the virtual keyboard. Such a fully functional QWERTY keyboard is significant in that it helps in keying in longer texts such as sending emails. The iPhone 3G though, lacks such a keyboard and the users have to rely only on the virtual on screen keyboard.
The multimedia features offered by the Nokia N97 and the iPhone 3G are directly influenced by their respective companies’ services. The iPhone 3G S provides access to the iTunes store which has a huge range of content while the N97 provides its users with the access to the Nokia Music Store for their music needs. This feature apart, there is very little to choose from with both supporting popular video and audio formats such as MP3, AAC, MPEG4 etc. N97 though, has a slight bit of an advantage over iPhone in that it supports WMA, Windows Media 9 and Flash Lite.
The Nokia N97 comes equipped with a camera on the front for video calls and a five megapixel camera with LED flash and video capabilities. The videos are shot at a decent 30fps. In comparison, the iPhone 3G only offers a 2 megapixel camera without flash and without any support to record videos. The recently launched version of the iPhone, iPhone 3GS is an improvement over the earlier versions in that it has a 3 megapixel camera which has features such as auto focus and video and voice recording features.
On the navigation front, the iPhone 3G makes use of A-GPS and Google Maps while the Nokia N97 has A-GPS and an electronic compass to go with Nokia Maps for the navigational requirements of the users.
Internet and communicational features on both phones include HSDPA and WiFi connectivity with the N97 supporting Bluetooth 2.0 and support for Flash Lite 3.0 which implies that web pages can be rendered more completely on a N97 as compared to the iPhone 3G which lacks any kind of support for Flash content.
Cost of iPhone 3G S and Nokia N 97 in US:
The base price of iPhone 3G 8GB variant has been greatly reduced recently and is now available at $99 at the Apple store while the price of the iPhone 3GS 16GB and the 32GB variants is fixed at $199 and $299 respectively. These prices though are subsidized by the network providers and therefore cost less. The Nokia N97 is priced at $600
Cost of iPhone 3G S and Nokia N 97 in India:
In August’08, Iphone 3G launched with a price tag of around Rs 31,000 Considering the major debacle it witnessed in the Indian market, my guess is this time it should be tagged between Rs 20,000-25,000. Nokia N97 is expected to cost approximately Rs 33,000 in India.
Release Date in India: The exact date for 3GS is yet to be announced for outside US markets. In India going by the previous year launch it should come around 2nd-3rd week of August.