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The Definitive Nokia N97 Bug List

The Nokia N97 bug list.

The Nokia N97 bug list.

Update: Nokia N97 v20 firmware was released on October 27, 2009.

It’s been a week since the N97 arrived at my door, and yet during that time I’ve seen some strange things. And not strange in a good way either. So I’m making my official Nokia N97 bug post here and updating it as I see fit.

Current status of the Nokia N97: The NAM version that I have is pretty stable. However, it sounds like the international versions are *still* having some major issues – see the comments below for more.

To anyone running v10/11/12, make sure you update to the latest firmware via Nokia Software Updater.

The following is my list of N97 problems, bugs, and other irregularities. Note that after the latest firmware update (20), some things have shifted to the “Fixed” heading.


- Playing music seems to cause the phone to run much warmer than normal, which leads to the battery dying very quickly. The strange thing is the phone might not heat up until several hours AFTER you’ve finished playing music, in some kind of delayed reaction. The N97 is rated for up to 40 hours of music playback, and that leads me to believe there’s some kind of weird issue here. Update, sort of: I think this has been fixed.

- The lens cover mechanism has a tendency to scratch the plastic above the lens. Noticeable when the cover is opened. [Thanks Tuan]

Home Screen

- The portrait/landscape wallpaper display is screwy. When you use a standard 300×640 vertical image as your background, it will not display correctly in landscape mode. Basically, instead of rotating the image 90 degrees, the phone will take the middle 300 pixels and make an 640×300 image out of it – meaning you get a nice blown-up image in landscape view. Lovely! Fix: when creating a wallpaper image, use a 640×640 image. See my N97 wallpaper post for more details.

- Hitting certain keyboard keys repeatedly causes the screen to freeze for a lengthy amount of time. Basically, whenever you hit a non-numeric key, the screen clears for a quick second, showing only the background and a broken side menu. Pressing the button repeatedly causes some kind of loop, which lags the phone to all hell. Try it with the Uppercase + top row of keys for a bit ‘o fun.


- No way to enter a url in fullscreen mode without exiting back to windowed view.


- [Help] No help topic for Sensor settings. I would love to know what sensors are affected by the “Off” settings. Proximity? Brightness? Accelerometer? All?

- [Profiles] My N97 randomly plays the Nokia tune for contacts that I have assigned a custom ringtone. Also randomly plays the tune as the default ringtone. Argggghh!

- [Photos] When viewing photos, auto-switching to landscape mode causes the menu options to disappear, but the menu option box remains.

- [Menu] No transitions when switching from one folder to another. Could just be the default themes, but the 5800XM default themes has them.

- [Menu] Quitting the Photos causes a Back button (instead of Exit) to appear in the resulting Menu screen. Pressing the Back button simply refreshes the Menu screen and changes the button to Exit.

- [Music Player] Not quite a bug, but more of a feature request: removing a connected set of headphones while listening to a song should automatically pause the song. I don’t really see the logic in having a song start blasting from the speakers just because you forgot to pause it when removing the ‘phones.

- [Music Player] Switching to another application while simultaneously playing several music files in a row messes up the progress bar. Instead of showing the current song’s progress, the bar will continually scroll from start to finish, cycling through all of the songs that were played outside of the Music Player app.

- [Messaging] The Messaging application sometimes fails to display the menu options upon loading. Instead, the phone just shows the leftover parts of the Home screen. The options are still there, and can still be activated by touch.

- [Messaging] A phone that has the option “Memory in use” set to Mass Memory, and has been disconnected from USB (Mass Storage mode) will show the error “Cannot access selected memory” for subsequent received messages. It will also change the default memory in use to Phone Memory. No fix, but you can switch back by going to Messaging -> Options -> Settings -> Other -> Memory in use -> E:Mass memory.

- [Messaging] There’s no way to transfer text messages from phone memory to Mass memory.

- [Stupid] The applications Boingo, Qik, and Joikuspot cannot be uninstalled, despite all of them being useless.

- [Nokia Messaging] Deleting consecutive emails too quickly in Nokia Messaging using the delete key (with delete confirmation turned off) sometimes crashes the program. Update: The new version of Nokia Messaging ( now shows a dialog box that says “Deleting” without actually deleting anything. It also freezes there unless you hit the Cancel button.

- [Active Notes] Entering a note with the keyboard in Active Notes is uncommonly laggy. This does not occur in the regular Notes application, or if entering notes with the virtual keyboard.

Fixed in N97 Firmware Update 12.2.024

- The lock/unlock switch is still seriously buggy. A good amount of the time the phone will either NOT lock or NOT unlock even though the screen will flash. Come on, Nokia.

Fixed in N97 Firmware Update 11.2.021

- 3G causes the N97 to crash and reboot endlessly. This only seems to happen in certain areas, leading me to believe that the N97 has problems with one of the two 3G bands on AT&T (850 or 1900). Any use of 3G causes endless reboots in any application that uses 3G. Fix: switch your phone to use EDGE, or get a new SIM card from AT&T. More info at [Nokia Support Discussions]

- Unlocking the phone via lock switch will not activate the backlight most of the time. This happens on the first unlock after an idle period – subsequent unlocks will activate the backlight until the phone goes into idle mode again. Seems to be a pretty universal problem. Extremely annoying because I have to hit the unlock switch a minimum of three times, usually more. No fix yet. Workaround: Hit the Menu Key [thanks Jasz] or Camera Key [me] to turn the backlight on before hitting the unlock key.

- Unlocking the phone via slide sometimes shows the message “Use keyguard switch to unlock screen and keys” for 1-2 seconds.

- Unlocking the phone via slide while in landscape mode will sometimes cause the screen to reset to portrait mode for a quick second before reverting to landscape mode.

- The phone can’t be locked or unlocked if the keyboard is open. This comes into play when the backlight bug above is triggered – you can’t just lock and unlock the phone to turn on the backlight. [no more backlight bug]

- Opening the browser and selecting Options -> Exit while loading up a default page sometimes crashes the application.

Final Notes

If you’ve found a bug, please add it in a comment below. Make sure you specify your phone model (RM-5xx) and software version (ie. 10.2.012). You can find your model/version by typing in *#0000# in the Dialer (or go to Settings -> Phone -> Phone mgmt -> Device updates). Thanks!




2:41 pm

The Nokia N97 is indeed crappy. I have used this phone for 4 months and here are the problems that I’ve had to deal with:

1) One time, all SMS text messages (inside inbox/sent folder) disappeared after a reboot. At first, I thought it was the setting that defines the storage space for the text messages, “C:Phone Memory” and “E:Mass Memory” but I tried both options and there were no messages in either storage. I don’t use an external memory card.

2) In another occasion, the time setting were lost after a reboot.

3) The Integrated GPS died after a few hours of usage. And just to be clear, I mean the GPS that does not require a data plan to function, as this phone has two GPS systems to help you navigate around. I Master Reset the phone and cleared both storage devices, but it did not fix anything.

I feel ashamed to own a Nokia phone compared to the offerings from Apple or HTC or Samsung. Nokia should never have released this problematic phone to the public. In addition, the Symbian interface is absolutely POOR. It has no visual effects and the layer upon layers of menus will even drive the advanced user nuts.

Specs: N97, v21., RM-505

10:52 am

To be fair to the N97, NONE of the recent Nokia smart phones have worked properly, and with Nokia’s stubborn insistence on sticking with the Symbian OS which is the root cause of all of the problems, they arent likely to produce a decent smartphone in the forseeable future either.

3:54 am

i had problem with my N97 mini i try call and send messages but i couldn’t made it even thou i have credit on my mobile i there anybody could help me please.thanks

3:45 pm

I’m very disappointed about this phone. I owned a Sony Ericsson (K800i) for years and no problem, a perfect “brick” phone. However Nokia…
The last failure: ignore the unlock button. The only way to unlock the phone is to put away the battery: an elegant solution for a >300€ product.
It have the last update and this is the sixth time it happens in only two months.
All the times a conection to de usb port was involved.
As a conclussion: A PHONE NOT TESTED AT ALL.
I’ll never buy a Nokia phone again, that’s for sure.
Looks like they don’t take care of their image and their customers. Companies like that don’t must be supported.

4:38 pm

I agree with all the posts that this is the shittest handset I’ve ever owned. Oh how I wish I’d bought an iPhone! It crashes, the apps are pitiful and take ages to load/ use, all messages have been wiped, it never seems to connect to my emails 1st time, more like 10th attempt and often just hangs when trying to disconnect from accessing emails. This means when you try to go into any message function like to send a text it won’t let you. The Internet is ridiculously slow.. if you’re ever in a hurry to find something font bother trying! The 5mp camera is awful and often pictures are out of focus! All I use this high-tech overly priced useless gadget for is text messaging and calls. Anything else is too slow and just hard work… I use black berry or iPod touch instead. Enough said!

10:18 pm

I think some of the bugs also applies to Nokia 5800 too…

5:23 am

I’m having a few problems with my N97 but the one that really bothers me is I can’t recieve my texts unless I send one out! Does anyone know how to solve it? I need to limp through until 3 sell the iphone! Nokia could have had an phone to rival apple but they dropped the batton on the last leg of the race! Biggest waste of £500 in my life!

10:40 am

i have most of the problems posted obove in my n97 and until now i don’t have sole any of it for example:
-suddenly rebooting after a call
-the lock key don’t respond
-Offline profile turns to General suddenly
and many small tricks that i don’t remember it right now
Sincerely i regret buying my n97 and i advise every one who want to by a phone do not !!! ever think about N97

6:02 pm

the worst fone i ever owned, reboots all the time, taking pictures at night the half the picture is blur this is def my last nokia ever

Steven K.
6:38 am

My N97 has been okay until two days ago it started acting up.
When i swipe to answer the call, it picks the incoming call i speak the when i finish, it still showing like a phone is coming in and then hangs at that point. I have to remove the battery. Any suggestions??

1:32 pm

I had the same problem. When i updated to the latest version this problem was resolved.

1:46 pm

I’ve got N97 RM-505 recently I did update firmware 21.0.045 and it actually fix few things but broke another few as well so now I cant use my software updater, ovi store app and many more besides it keeps freezing itself. I’m just thinking is that so difficult for nokia to make software that works properly and can they get it any worst? For now I just have lost all trust I had to Nokia.

6:57 am

i have had my nokia N97 for 6 months now and since i got ive had nothing BUT trouble, first the internet was disconnecting me while i was logged into websites like banking, when the phone went died and i recharged it, i had to pull the battery out and turn it back on.
Then when i was ringing people they couldn’t hear me.
Then my navigator was telling me that it had expired when ive only had it 6 months, and my battery was faulty.

Now after waiting 2 weeks to get my phone back from nokia (yes it took them 2 weeks to get a battery) i cant make or receive calls and my internet is done but only in selected areas.
I rang Vodafone & nokia and they sugested i get a replacement phone but the store i got it through said i couldn’t.

1:19 pm

i am frankly surprised to see all these complains…i have my n97 since aug,2009 and it was working preety well with no issues..i download loads of apps and games from ovi store and they have worked well for me but yesterday i downloaded few games from the ovi store and they were working fine but today i had this issue with my phone not switching on and not charging….so i googled and this trick worked for me without any hard restart…its on nokia discussion page posted by ddingbat..

Do the following –

Take out battery to fully power off

Replace battery

Plug in MAINS charger (it must be mains, not USB cable) – do NOT turn phone on.

When screen goes white, remove charger quickly

When screen goes black, press power on, getting usual “pulse”

As soon as the screen goes white, plug in mains charger

Voila! Phone will now start in the usual way.


12:17 am

Thank you so much Shumaila.I was suffering from this problem since 2 weeks. I tried it and it worked in my phone. Last time I had the same problem and I sent it to repair to the Nokia Repair Center and wasted $12 on shipping.

arun kumar singh
10:41 am

my god, and i was thinking that my phone is the only one. I have faced only five or six of the above mentioned bugs. Probably i am lucky. Really i want to switch back to my nokia E71. It is the best phone nokia has ever created and n97 probable the worst ever. Here are some of my problems:
1. Irecently upgraded my software to After the upgrade, many times when a call comes i cannot do any thing to recieve the call.
2. The shortcuts on the home screen disappears and i have to press the menu button(long) and then select the home screen to get the shortcuts.
3. This phone is completely by its own will. Some times no application would open and the again pull off the battry.

Can any one tell me how to wriye to nokia directly and say them thanks for making such a phone.

1:44 pm

Well my phone won’t recieve text messages unless I send another text or restart the phone. And it has now stopped recording missed/recieved/calls which is now really starting to annoy me. I have performed a factory reset, and absolutely nothing has changed. This phone is the most annoying phone I have ever bought.

4:41 pm

the phone got problem with memory overload when im trying to surf in the web this is a realy shity phone

10:40 pm

totally trash phone locks up all the time error messages all the time loses files and photos camara blinds itself with the flash runs slow turns itself off an thats with v21 ! N95 1000x better nokia have gone backwards last nokia i’ll ever buy. Iphone next ! I feel we should all return our 97s not fit for purpose. The law is on our side ! ! N97 final word CRAP !

10:32 am

OMG… i have experienced nearly everything that you guys have said with my N97…. and now i can’t even recieve my text messages unless i restart my phone

11:31 am

Issue: If I unplug the headphones while listening to the radio (or even after switching off the radio and then unplugging the headphones) I HAVE to re-start the phone in order for the radio to work again!!
I am using the latest version (v 21.0.045)

4:50 am

i bought my nokia n97 two days ago and i had a problem with the lock button & lock code , when i try to unlock my phone the screen light do not turn on and the touch screen freezes it happened 3 times in the same day and after i cancelled the lock code the problem was gone !!

1:33 pm

Nokia should be ashamed of the shit known as n97.Nothing worse could ever be made.The funniest part is that nokia is doing no shit about it and they dont even own the problems that are being faced by the consumers.They should tested n97 before launching.THEY DID TEST IT BUT ON THE CONSUMERS.I dont think anyone owning nokia n97 would fall for anything made by nokia again.Nokia company should be sued.F*** you nokia.

3:20 am

does anyone have problem with n97 auto-rotate display? It doesn’t work on me even though I have activated the auto-rotate display on setting>phone>sensorsetting

I’m thinking about selling it and then switching to iPhone.

3:49 pm

almost all of the above happened to my phone .. i have version 20. .. and also wen taking pics even though the lens is not scratched the image would have a blur after the pic is saved .. so in conclusion i took it back to nokia for the third time and they’re gonna replace it with a brand new one… lets hope i don’t have any more problems

11:02 am

has anyone experienced the same prob?
i imported an audio book and when I listen to it, it plays the songs in the following sequence “cd1 track 1, cd2 track 1, cd1 track 2, then cd 2 track 2″…
same prob i had with my n95, but at least I could go under THE ALBUM TITLE and choose “PLAY ALL” and then it would play in the right sequence,… on N97 you’re not given that option of PLAY ALL, you start off with track one and then you’re effed with the sequence… am I just dumb or is this a bug?!? of course I called nokia and they’re like “use the OVI player”… HELLO!?!?! don’t you get my question?
anyways.. would appreciate your feedback. thanks.

3:47 pm

i have n97 mini with latest updated firmware 11.x
when i switched the sensor on i came across few problems.
1. motion sensors are pretty dud on this. i own ipod touch and comparision is almost meaningless.
2.strange was the behaviour of the phone once the motion sensor was turned on … now when i get a call this volume thing comes on automatically on the scree and hits the maximum or minimum and starts making annoying beeping sound. i turned off the motion sensor and problem went away.

any ideas? or does nokia listen?

1:43 pm

just bought a new nokia device n97
after usin it for hours i switched back to my n95
this new n97 sucks i have all the problem u said guys but the most one i hate is that when friends call me ma phone act as it is turned off
or in the most good case that when u call me u can hear the ton ton ton as that ma phone is ringin but acctually nothin happened even vibration i just got over 10 calls in one day
(almost ma first day) that others thinks that i m not replyin while even ma phone is idle as nothin happened
sorry nokia but n97 is sux

12:00 am

n97 RM-507, version 12.2.024. Noticed bugs.
1) occasionally phone starts draining its battery really fast, while all functions perform normal. The only clue – power button does not work any more. Battery pullout required.
Reason is still unknown to me.
2) After terminating calls, phone reboots occasionally. Reason is still unknown to me.
3) Maps – while navigating in USA, speed limits are screwed up. N97 thinks they are in km/h. So expect speed warnings, if option is enabled in combination w/Imperial system.
4) Using Map and voice navigation with FM transmitter cause phone to re-start and its lost all secondary storage drives.
Al least Maps could not access them, until phone re-boot by pulling battery out. Power button reboot is a joke on N97.

1:21 pm

oh my battery been draining really quickly for couple days and ried turning phone off just before and power button wont work. So glad to see this is not unique or a broken button. Or so i hope, i’ll be pulling battery out now. Fingers crossed my phone turns back on :) heh

4:48 pm

I had the same problem with the ringtone playing the nokia tune instead of the one i set! and now i had to reset my phone n it has buggered my home screen the short cuts wont work my clock wont display and when i try to add it says full, when there is nothign there!!
also how do you set the mass memory as the default memory instead of the phone as tht is rubbish as it keeps saying not enough memory for simple things as texts when there is loads of memory left in the phone!

Sumit Desai
7:51 am

My N97 seems to be worst of the lot. Apart from the problems mention above – I have had a terrible experience with the Touch. Most of the time the (T)ouch Pad seems to be non responsive. The Phone goes in to a slow motion mode.

Whenever there is a call or a new message the phone simply becomes non responsive. You keep on trying to somehow receive the call but everything would be futile. FOr the Records My N97 is RM 505, SOftware version v 20.0.19.

It is by far the worst phone ever made. Makes your pocket bleed but gives nothing but frustration in return. I have used many Nokia models before this – but this is the worst.

The Touch Pad is HORRRIBLE. Even cheap chinese phones have a better responding touch screen.

DO NOT BUY – is the only advice.

Nokia – if you are listening – Do a mass recall of all N97 models and give back the customers their money.

4:41 am

I received a mail from the supplier. My N97 does not meet the EU requirements, what ever they might been. Nokia want to sent a new phone. Nice, but why?

4:25 am

I’ve had my Nokia for almost 6 months now. The most annoying bug is when you update your emails, you have a new email icon. When you have read/deleted all you unread emails, the new email icon is still there. When you press this is takes you to the messages menu. Only way to fix this is to turn your phone off. Also, the phone has crashed and deleted all my messages about 2 months after I got it. It’s also deleted all my contacts when trying to save a new number, the phone crashed midway, then when turned off and on again all contacts were gone. Now the phone has crashed again deleting all my messages, but now is running very slow. It won’t open the browser, sending a message is impossible and it won’t do anything it doesn’t want to… I haven’t found a fix for this yet!!!!!

3:00 pm

Hi, I found three more bugs on my Nokia N97:

1) RealPlayer bug: You cannot browse folders in RealPlayer (you can only acces “Video clips” and “Recently played”).
You can, however, play videos in RealPlayer by selecting them in FIle Browser.

2) Sometimes, when someone calls, the pone doesn’t recognise the contact, and it shows on screen only the number (no name, no picture, no personalised ringtone).

3) Volume control bug: Sometimes, while in a phone call, the volume slider is going up, and when it reaches the maximum level, I can hear continuously high tone beeps.

If I touch the side volume control to lower the volume, then the volume slider is going town to the minimum level (when I can hear nothing, but continuously low tone beeps).

This bug was in both older version of firmware (12.x.x.x) and in the last version of firmware (20.0.019).

There is NO problem with the hardware volume controls found on the side of the phone, because in Media Player, the volume can be controlled with no problems. It seems more like a software bug.

It seems that this bug does not affect all N97 phones, but it was noticed by someone else here: http://discuss.slashgear.com/topic/nokia-n97-mini-review (I know, it’s for n97 mini, but I have a N97 that is affected by this bug as well). See one of the coments, where the user say: “The volume button shoots up to the top or drops to the bottom and continuously ‘beeps’ at me whenever it feels like it.”

10:31 am

I also want to add two more bugs:

1) If there is an alarm set to a certain time, and the phone is turned off with its battery disconnected, when you turn it back on, it freezes and becomes unresponsive (although I can still feel the vibration when I touch the screen). The only way to turn it back on is by removing the battery.

Note: this bug happened only once; I haven’t been able to reproduce it anymore, but when this was happened, I had to remove the battery twice in order to turn on the phone properly.

2) It seems that this bug was not fixed properly after all:
“- The lock/unlock switch is still seriously buggy. A good amount of the time the phone will either NOT lock or NOT unlock even though the screen will flash. Come on, Nokia.”

6:42 pm

my n97 will not switch on and wont even charge up with either wall charger or usb can anyone solve this problem please

7:44 am

Somebody listed a trick on Nokia webbie for phones that only show the Nokia screen but don’t turn on.(not my words) –
“Anyway, what can I suggest instead of this “hard reset” – I found some very strange trick but it is really working on my phone: you should take the battery and just connect it to the phone without placing it. The idea is following; during the boot time (a seconds after the white screen but before the Nokia splash!) you should quickly disconnect the battery from the phone, then connect it again and restart the phone. You should repeat this procedure few (2-3) times. Then wait the Nokia splash screen and cross your fingers :smileyhappy:… If the phone is still not booting correctly try this trick again. Sometimes on my N97 this trick is working on the first try but usually it takes several times. And something else… be patient – the phone will not boot immediately after the Nokia splash. It may take 20-30 seconds. Just wait and try again if necessary.” http://discussions.nokia.co.uk/discussions/board/message?board.id=smartphones&message.id=182816.

Worked for me! Love my N97 but hate it at the same time, it can do so much, but Nokia screwed it up!

3:46 pm

This has to be the most frustrating problem. I’m afraid to turn off my phone unless absolutely necessary. Every time I shut it off I have to spend 5 to 15 minutes trying to get the phone to boot up again. Very disappointing.

6:39 pm

I am experiencing almost all of the problems you describe here with my N97 fw version 20.2.019. Now I am also experiencing the enigma of the never disappearing headset logo which renders it useless as a phone unless I have the headset plugged in, I did fix this briefly by cleaning the connections and hard resetting then reinstalling fw (took 4 attempts before success). Once fixed, then it started asking me what enhancement i wanted to connect when I REMOVED the headset, press cancel to exit options menu, then try to activate fm transmitter and get error message ‘can not activate fm transmitter while enhancement connected (none connected). Now I once again have the permanent headset logo on screen.
Also, with no email widget activated and wifi scanning set to off, it constantly interrupts what i am doing to ask what network i want to connect to.
The predictive dictionary is far less useable and intuitive than my old 6120 navigator.
This phone is the worst phone in the world, this coming from a fifteen year loyalty to the nokia products.I want to violently destroy it and get a nexus or iphone and never ever return to nokia.
Ovi suite is much worse than nokia pc suite, nokia support is no help at all. So much for taking care of the people who buy the expensive phones huh. If you have shares in Nokia, SELL SELL SELL.

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