Sep 11, 2010

Motorola Milestone vs Nokia N97 Mini, QWERTY Head On

Yet another exciting price match on the prep, Motorola Milestone, an Android Éclair powered device being sold currently at PhP17,000-18600 in retail stores and Nokia N97 Mini, a Symbian^1 running device sold at around PhP16,200-17,300. Booth phones are very much available for purchase SIM Free with Nokia N97 Mini sold everywhere around the country while Motorola has limited retail reach, mostly major cities only.

I have to mention that my comparison is based only on the company’s given hardware and technical specifications, features and sample videos that can be seen in the web or in any video sharing sites. I have no hands on experience whatsoever on all of the aforementioned devices except NOKIA N97 Mini that I have trialed 6 months ago. The phone had several firmware upgrades ever since and that it might be currently running a far more better OS.

Operating System: Motorola Milestone. The graphic and feature riched Android system weights huge here compared to the limited capability of the Symbian^1 that is why I’m choosing it as the winner in the category. Then again, Symbian^1 is a very solid OS but it lags far behind the Android Éclair in usability and features. I would love to see how the final Symbian^3 play against the current Android but nonetheless it’s being taken care of.

Browser is part of the OS and the Milestone inherited the very capable browser of Android with all the added perks like pinch to zoom among others.

Outer Case: Nokia N97 Mini and Motorola Milestone. Of all the matched I did in the blog, this is the first time that I cannot decide which one edge the other when it comes to the outer casing. They are both very solid and robust being tinged with metal around them. The both have a very solid sliding mechanism that could stand abuse. Yes I have hold and snap a Milestone!

Size and Dimension: Motorola Milestone. The phone is a bit longer and wider compared to the Nokia N97 Mini but way thinner by few millimeters. Its dimension and size gave way to a bigger screen that is why I’m choosing it over the N97 Mini. It’s a lot heavier too, weighing 164 grams compared to the 138 grams of the Mini but I can live with that. Not all phones with small size or lighter wins in this criteria, the usefulness of its dimension to the phones functionality also counts.

Display: Motorola Milestone. Both phones have TFT screens with 16 million color resolutions but Motorola Milestone has a wider screen size, a higher pixel count of 480 x 854 making the screen color more crisp and clear, and a capacitative screen with a mulititouch support. The 3.7 inches of the Milestones is very much manageable like that of the Nokia N97.

Memory: Nokia N97 Mini. Call it small yet storagefull , the phone only had an 8GB internal storage compared to the 133MB of the Milestone. That would be 800 times higher! The N97 Mini only has a 125MB of RAM against the Milestone’s 250MB but the Mini running Symbian^1 is not RAM hungry that can handle phone operation flawlessly and multitasks with less crash unlike the Milestone that occasionally bug users with memory full incidents. The Android system automatically close running applications in the homescreen without asking users which app to be close whatsoever so it’s bothersome. Users will have to re-set and re-run this applications again in the homescreen.

Connectivity: Motorola Milestone. They almost have the same connectivity feature, Quadband with GPRS, EDGE, WiFi b/g, Bluetooth, microUSB, etc, except that Milestone has faster 3G HSDPA with 5.76Mbps speed compared to the 3.2Mbps of the other and has a Bluetooth 2.1 version. The Milestone can also charge via USB so it adds up to convenience.

Camera: Nokia N97 Mini. Both phones have 5MP camera with autofocus and LED flash to boast but the Mini carry no less than the Carl Ziess optics and Tessar lens giving a distant superiority difference compared to the Milestone. Milestone is capable of handing out an HD quality video with 24fps according to the specs sheet but the actual results were horrible. The Mini could produce far better video result. Milestone has no Secondary camera for Video call so it’s a big upset.

Entertainment: Nokia N97 Mini. The phone is an entertainment prowess having to support all of the possible media thrown under the hood most importantly, DivX/Xvid support which was already on the roll and in beta stage for all Symbian devices. The Milestone like most of the high end Android devices except Samsung’s doesn’t support DivX/Xvid files and it’s a huge mistake on their part. The Milestone could edge the Mini in the Flash support arena having the more advance 10.1 version compared to the v3 of the latter, and in handling 3D games having a dedicated graphics accelerator but having weight all this and Xvid/Divx support, I’m still choosing Mini because of its limitless entertainment feature.

CPU: Motorola Milestone. A runaway winner I would say having an ARM Cortex A8 600Mhz processor plus the aforementioned 3D graphic accelerator against the oldie ARM 11 434Mhz of the Nokia N97 Mini. The phone is faster and sleeker overall with vengeance and it’s undeniable.

Features: Motorola Milestone. Threaded SMS is here, voice and memo dial, Social Network integration with the contacts, among other useful features.

Battery Life: Nokia N97 Mini. So how could a 1400mAh powered Milestone be defeated with a 1200mAh battery capacity of the Nokia N97 Mini? Simple, the phone could manage power efficiently having a less power corrupt Operating System, smallish screen size and lower speed processor. The Milestone gains a lot of negative feedback regarding its battery life which is said to last less than a day in normal used and 5 hours on heavy used? (Shorty!) I could rich a day and a half with N97 Mini on normal mode and less than a day on heavy used!

Customer Support (Care Centers): Nokia N97 Mini. Nokia have strategic Care Centers all over the country so I am assured that if anything happen to my device, I have somewhere near to bump into. Both also have ready to use accessories, parts and supplies to purge.

Final Score:
Motorola Milestone – 7 points
Nokia N97 Mini – 6 points

Motorola Milestone wins overall! Cheers Moto Pepz! The phone is undeniably better than the N97 Mini and lowering its price to the Mini’s level is a smart move. I may be Nokia’s biggest fan but I can also recognize the effort of other companies to compete and I believe Motorola nailed it big time here. Perhaps what Nokia can do is lower the N97 Mini’s price further so it gets away with the Milestones price reached or better yet introduce another phone with better Operating System (Symbian^3) and capable specs as soon as possible and throw it within the bracket. Harsh truth!


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