This isn't the first time I have played with the Nokia N97, but it is the first time I have handled one that isn't tethered to some anti theft device or for longer than 10 minutes. After a day of playing around, I find that it is not as horrible as I imagined it to be. It is running on firmware v12 which fixed many of the bugs reported in the first couple of months it was out, but it is still pretty slow, though it does not feel as slow as my old Win Mob devices like the HTC Universal.
It isn't a match for my quick and trusted sidekick (the now classic E51) that is for sure, but then again the E51 runs on a pretty darn mature and stable platform, and also comes equipped with an unbeatable keypad. S60v5 does have some potential to evolve into the future Symbian Foundation platform, but Nokia really ought to have fitted the N97 with their 600Mhz processors that exists on their new none-touchscreen devices. Regardless an okay first impressions - not something deserving the title of a flagship device (that probably belongs to the E72), but not too bad either.
I am currently filling it up the 32GB of storage with my music collection. Transfer speed is similar to the Walkman X-Series, so it may take a while. I will comment about audio quality once I have the chance to listen to it properly. After all Nokia markets this as a multimedia device and audio quality is an important equation to that.
Also included in the presser is the first clue with a coordinate that points to a secret location somewhere in East London. Hmm...