Nokia N900 preview: First look

GSMArena team, 19 November 2009.
Pages: 12345

Tags: Nokia, Maemo, Touch UI

Nokia N900 360-degree spin

Design and construction

We can't quite decide what it is with Nokia and the side-sliding QWERTY handsets recently. At the start of the year, the Finnish company didn't have a single mobile phone in this niche form factor and now they have seven of them. Obviously easy texting is high on their priority list.

Nokia N900 Nokia N900
The side-sliding QWERTY is a favorite around Espoo recently

Don't get us wrong - we are not complaining about anything here - it's just an interesting trend we are pointing out. And frankly we are pretty fond of the N900 hardware QWERTY keyboard as it improves web browsing experience (and messaging of course) greatly. Whether it's an address that needs to be entered or a form to be filled - onscreen keyboards are no match for those regular tactile feedback keys.

Whether or not it's worth the added weight and dimensions in everyday usage, where bookmarks and auto-form filling come into play is a whole other question of course. And it is certainly one that we cannot answer for you.

Usually we are giving phones a hard time when they come with all-plastic bodies but we are willing to let it go this time. No, we didn't get soft and lenient all of a sudden but the plastic used for the Nokia N900 is both sleek-looking and nice to touch. Besides standing at 181 grams now we wouldn't even dare to think how much an N900 with metal-finish would have weighed.

As far as dimensions go, this smartphone/tablet surely is on the larger side of devices we have seen. It doesn't slide as much as, say, the Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO and that makes it look less scary when opened but holding it in hand reveals the truth. In almost every case one-handed usage is a no-go with the Nokia N900.

Nokia N900 Nokia N900 Nokia N900 Nokia N900
The Nokia N900 next to Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO

The 3.5" touchscreen display of Nokia N900 takes most of the front panel of the handset. It's the first one from the Finnish company to feature WVGA resolution (800 x 480 pixels), putting it on par with the latest WinMo devices.

As one could have expected from a manufacturer as good at making displays as Nokia the image quality with that kind of specs is splendid. The contrast and vibrancy is making even not so impressive pictures spring to life. The brightness isn't quite as good though.

Nokia N900
The WVGA screen looks great in the dark

The sensitivity of the display is decent, but not as good as the best we have seen. It needs a slight push (rather than just a touch) for a click to be registered but that's to be expected with resistive touchscreen. There are some exceptions where you can hardly find a difference but still.

Finally we are really pleased with the sunlight legibility of the display. It's pretty easy to see what's on the display when outside on a sunny day even if the colors get a little washed out.

Next Page »

Pages: 12345