I received my n900 just a few days ago from Nokia USA. For the purposes of this review, I will compare it to my previous phone, the HTC G1. My opinions are solely based on the user experiences in the past days with the n900, and since Ive never owned an iphone, I will not compare it to such.
*The N900 is a pretty beefy phone, and rightfully so. While having some heft to it, the n900 is solid and well-built. The black metal rim is a nice touch without being too gaudy. The slide is not spring-assisted but gives a nice click upon opening and closing. I have not noticed any creaks or wobbles from the screen. Few have complained about the back being hard to open. Although true, I rather have that with the peace of mind that the battery wont pop out if I dropped it (God forbid)! the n900 is of comparable size to the G1, albeit being slightly thicker, and not a problem for me.
*I dont really understand all the fuss about resistive and capacitive screens. The n900s screen is gorgeous and is incredibly brilliant. There is a little give to the screen, but Ive yet to have problems with it. The screen is quite responsive and supports kinetic scrolling. I did have some difficulty clicking on small links in the browser, but thats because your index finger isnt exactly the most accurate pointing device. This was easily solved by zooming in (more on that later).
*The keyboard is pretty good. It is a different experience coming from the G1 (as you have to type with the chin in the way on your right hand) so naturally, it felt better. The keys have a grippy rubberized texture feel to them, and although the buttons are smooshed next to each other, (like a real keyboard) they have good response. I do miss the 5-row keyboard on the G1, and I dont understand why the n900s screen doesnt open up a bit more. For those with large hands, it might be a little uncomfortable. However, one plus for the n900 is that my thumbs dont have to travel as far to type.
*I love that the placement of the speakers are on the sides of the phone, as opposed to the back on the G1. I do a lot of talking on speakerphone, and so Im not forced to flip it upside down during a call. Sound quality is good and the speakers are decent.
Maemo 5/ Software
*This is the ultimate customization OS. When they meant open source, they really meant it. The 4 desktops make things a lot easier to navigate. For example, one page is devoted to my common phone contacts, another utility apps, the third has bookmarks to frequent sites (the homepages of those links are previewed on the desktop, fyi), and so forth.
*The way Maemo multitasks is ingenious. The overview page where you see all your actively running programs makes navigating between windows and programs very easy and efficient. One thing to note is that you have the ability to close out any of those windows upon your choosing, as opposed to the G1 where the 6 app limit neither allowed to you open more nor shut them down, making it very sluggish, especially during critical times (ie texting someone directions while running gps).
*SMS (called conversations in Maemo) is pretty similar to the G1, but has one added step - conversations either in text or IM by the same person are displayed in the same window. The ability to have the other persons contact image in the text box (that is if you set one up for that person) is a nice touch. I personally dont care about MMS, so no gripes there.
*The email client is pretty decent, I set up my gmail account with a few simple steps, but it isnt nearly as accessible as the gmail app on the G1. For example, I havent found a way to delete an incoming email when it first comes in. I have to leave the letter, go into the inbox, back into the email, then delete it.
*Browsing experience is comparable to the pc, and is nothing short of awesome. Full flash means I can access full youtube pages, and among others. I think the swirling zoom gesture is pretty neat, and helps me to click on the smaller links. I figured out that using your index to swirl zoom produces the best results. Alternatively, you can double click the screen or use the volume rocker. Going to previous pages not only allows you to go to the last page, but scroll through the entire history of that window. Neat.
*Applications-wise, there are not many out there, but Im certain many will be out soon. You can also access the Maemo repositories for more (google it) but be careful as many of them are still in development and are potentially dangerous to your phone. Noteworthy apps include Hermes (connects your social sites, like facebook to your contacts so you get contact phones, birthdates, etc) and Qik (live streaming recording).
*Fast, fast, fast. Need I say more?
*No hang ups yet, since I can close apps at my own will.
*The camera is good, that is for a 5mp phone camera. It will never compare to a dedicated camera, but is more than effective for quick shots to upload on facebook.
*The FM transmitter is a great add-on. Now I can share songs without having to look for an aux cable.
*Battery life seems to last a little over a day with some text and internet. Wifi is on all the time when Im at home. My G1 would be down to around 70% by noon.
Of course, no phone/mobile device is perfect. Here are some things that came to my attention:
*The volume rocker is on the right side (in portrait), meaning it is nearly impossible to use as a zoom when the screen is up. Same goes for the lock switch, which is on the bottom (in landscape). Would have been much better on the sides, as it would be easier to lock after a phone call, for example.
*Copy and paste is kinda sporadic. While you can copy all you want on webpages, I couldnt copy a phone number from one contact to another in the phonebook.
*The stand is nice, but it swings out way too deep and feels a bit too weak. Im afraid Ill break it someday.
*Little portrait support as of now, but I think itll be fixed soon.
So there you have it. My impressions of the n900. There is still a lot of exploration to be done, but I can honestly say this is the best phone/mobile device Ive ever owned. In spite of a few shortcomings, its an amazing piece of technology. A lot of things I didnt mention probably will be fixed within a firmware or two so that isnt a problem. I hope this helps anyone who is on a fence on buying one, good luck!
If someone needs disassmebly instructions for N900
vinny, 07 Dec 2009have fun carrying all those in your pocket. ;)Spend another £20 on a nice bag ;-)
xxx, 07 Dec 2009iphone 3gs is faster, better touchscreen, tons of apps. Besides that, it is inferior to nokia n900. Just because iphone has alot of apps doesn't mean it's faster lol your a real noob
N900 is faster cause of the OS and UI and more RAM
im writing this review using the phone itself...
lets begin with the speed...
speed is great... i never encounter lagging yet... changing from one apps to another is fast and smooth... it can also handle lots of apps in the same time as it can do multi tasking....
touch screen is very nice... good resolution.. with resistive touchscreen.. u cant even tell if its if really resistive.. the responsiveness of the screen is good..
apps... well its a open source os.. and when you setup the download section of the phone.. u have hundreds and going to thuosand free apps... very nice phone.. i tried to down load irreco for n900.. and ur phone can be a UNIVERSAL REMOTE CONTROL on tv.. and other appliances...
web browser is the best feature... theres nothing i can say with it.. very useful for me.. coz i can even do my homework online using this.. or even making document files and presentation...
camera and video.. not very impressed with the camera... for me n97 has better camera quality than this.. but its almost the same..
maemo os.. well if your new on it.. ull find it hard to set up some stuffs... but it will give you a real computer experience... with the panorama desktop.. it a nice place to put all ur apps...
tv out is nice feature of this while ur surfing the internet or watching a movie.. it shows a nice picture resolution on a 50 inch hdtv... very clear...
there are some issue with os.. but i have no worries on that because with just an update it will bw fixed... when ur using the browser the use of the volume button is zoom in and out.. so u need to go on the desktop and adjust the volume... on some items.. that need to be tapped twice to openn.. with just one tap its opening... theres only two prfile and its general and silent...
keyboard is very nice.. its easy to type on it.. well i dont want to waste time typing here if it is not... stylus is long enough....
i used t own an iphone and still having my n97.. well this a better phone than both.. but still there are some feature that this phone behind on the two..
so if ur planning to buy this phone... i recommend this to all of you... and just clear things up.. this is not a phone, smartphone, this is a internet tablet that just happen to make call and sms.. but for me its not a internet tablet either.. its a pocket size computer...
Julius, 07 Dec 2009I was afraid it would happen, but it did. Point is, I still didn't bite, but my friend did ... moreTell your friend to take it back and exchange it for a proper retail version. He obviously has a pre release model. I had exactly the same issue, I took it back for afull refund and bought my N900 from a completely different retailer. Problem solved. My N900 is absolutly fault free!
I was afraid it would happen, but it did.
Point is, I still didn't bite, but my friend did (probably after I told him I would be getting it).
The phone is now rebooting. I managed to talk to him and could see that he, too, is having the "wd32_to" problem, which seems like a hardware fault.
Unfortunately, this seems to be a common problem on the N900, as there is a bug filled. Did anyone get this problem already?
I will wait until this get sorted out before buying.
i kept the cam shutle closed and i went to cam in the menu and it asked me to open shutle to open cam , secondary did not open, so did any one try it?
elli, 07 Dec 2009Does anyone know if this phone is going to be available on contract in the UK? and when? :....... morehiya
yes it is on contract.
mobile phone direct(nokia's retail) is giving this phone on contract but you have to pay some money for the phone if you want a 12month contract. i have ordered mine from here and will recieve it on thursday :)
also vadafone will have it in january 2010. i rang them and asked them.
to be honest am on the phone with a phone sales man talking about the n900 right now as i want a second contact for my son.
Anonymous, 01 Jan 1970- No need BT file transfer bcos you have laptop
- No need flash, you are not going to take picture at dark anyway
- No need secondary camera, you already have webcam.
- no need stereo speaker, you are not listening anyway
and the list will go on and that is how I-love convince themselves
Hello, I'm thinking about buying a Nokia N900, and someone can tell me if it is compatible with microsoft outlok and creates files for office? How exel and word.
Another question, the phone has multimedia messages? Thank you all.
medhat, 07 Dec 2009dear all, any one knows how to use the secondary cam in n900? Thank youTo use the secondary camera i would imagine it's the same as other nokias. leave the camera shutter closed. then go to the camera and it will automatically use secondary camera.
Does anyone know if this phone is going to be available on contract in the UK? and when? :....( I cant wait much longer.
"The Nokia N900 is a 3G, Linux smartphone with XTerm built in. If the idea of hacking your phone down to the command line with the manufacturer's full approval sends you into paroxysms of joy, forget reading the rest of this review and just buy one now. This is the ultimate Linux geek phone."