Build Factor and Design
Plain and simply put, the Nokia N97 felt great when I held it in my hands. The device offers a length of 117.2mm, width of 55.3mm and is 15.9 mm thick. The size makes it perfect for throwing in your pocket, but it is still large enough to navigate around without the need of a stylus (finger friendly).
The N97 is dominated by the very large 3.5 inch touch-screen display that takes up most of the device's frontside realty. The only other buttons you'll notice on the front side of the screen are the call and end buttons which are flush and touch compatible, offering a nice blended option that keeps the front of the display smooth, while offering simple dialing functionality. You'll also notice a video conferencing camera option on the front which is also flush to the device.
The back of the device features a 5 MP camera with a dual LED flash that isn't as flush as the front side of the device, but which offers a nice lens cover to protect your camera.
Users can also slide their display in an upward motion to reveal a rather large and useful full size QWERTY keyboard. This keyboard is complemented by soft keys that can access screen functions in landscape mode and a D-pad to the right of the keyboard which offers some of the best non-touch-screen navigation I've seen on a touch-screen based device. The keyboard also offers keys that are well spaced and raised high enough to make for easy typing with a fast learning curve.
The rest of the options on the device are pretty standard, including the microUSB slot for charging and syncing.
The device feels well built when you hold it, except for the battery cover which feels more like cheap plastic than a type of high-end plastic or metal. The sliding mechanism didn't show any signs of gaping or loose components either, although the thin plastic piece that holds it up worried me since it's rather thin and looks ready to break.
Overall the build quality is comparable to the HTC TouchPro 2 and didn't give me any problems.
Here's a look at the design factor of the device: