In part three of my N97 review I'll focus on how the various text input methods work for me.
Both the on-screen and built-in keyboard work great for me. I am a quick T9 user and the virtual keyboard on the touch screen works very nicely. I can type almost as fast as on the real keyboard of an N95 for example and the haptic feedback helps a lot with the experience (the phone vibrates when pressing a key). In silent mode there is no haptic feedback which is also great in some situations where even a short vibration for every key press would disturb. In that respect, it's better than the N95 which makes a mechanical sound when a button is pressed. And: T9 can be used with a single hand on the N97 just like on the N95, another important feature for me!
Typing in usernames and passwords with T9 is often a bit difficult as especially passwords are usually just a combination of characters and letters so it is necessary to deactivate T9 first. That's where the three-row hardware keyboard comes in for me. It works great for usernames and passwords! For longer texts, however, I prefer the T9 input especially when I can't use my Bluetooth keyboard, e.g. while standing in line or with very restricted space like in the metro.
One of the most important features of Nokia S60 phones is the support
of Bluetooth keyboards as I sometimes write lengthy e-mails or blog
entries. For The N97, there is currently no supported driver for
Nokia's SU-8W keyboard. However, the S60 3rd
edition driver works on the N97 and installation is quick and smooth. After updating the device's firmware from version 10.x to 11.x, however, the
driver always crashed and I had to re-install it to get it working
again. It would be nice to get an officially supported driver where these things don't happen.
So much for today. Next stop: e-mail