Nokia N900 first impressions

I’ve been using the Nokia N900 since unboxing it 5 days ago, and I’m still blown away!

I wrote “the N900 is brilliant”, and it’s true – I have not been this excited about a Nokia device since the N95, and that was pre iPhone.

For better or for worse, the iPhone changed people’s expectations. Suddenly, having the best hardware was secondary to having the best software, services, and user experience…

Post iPhone, I was looking forward to S60v5, but I was disappointed with both the Nokia 5800 and the N97. I feel that even the awesome X6 and Samsung i8910 can’t compete, and I’m a Symbian fangirl.

Although others disagree, I think that with the N900, Nokia can finally compete with the iPhone – not only is the hardware great, but the software, services and user experience are fantastic.

All this goodness is the result of using Maemo 5, which was already awesome in its last incarnation on the (slower, larger, phone-less, camera-less) N810.

What’s hot:
- Fast and mean :)
- Power of linux
- Seamless multitasking
- OS-level integrated services (Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, Google talk, OVI, Pixelpipe, Jabber, SIP, Skype, Twitter)
- Intuitive UI
- Fantastic web browser (with Flash 9)
- Usable keyboard
- Great camera
- DVD-quality video recording
- Beautiful display (3.5″, 800×480 resolution)
- AWS (1700 MHz) 3G support

What’s not:
- Resistive touchscreen
- No portrait mode (except phone and image viewer apps)
- No MMS support
- No built-in Twitter support (Mauku not pre-installed)
- No Bluetooth DUN (but USB DUN)
- No iSync support (but vCard support)
- Small battery (same as the 5800)

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39 Responses to Nokia N900 first impressions

  1. jb says:

    Does the system work well with leaving a web browser open all the time? This would allow twitter and facebook to always be on regardless of a stand alone app.

  2. [...] has been using the N900 for a few days now, and brings us her thoughts over on her [...]

  3. Richard says:

    How is the Exchange support? I understand that it has Nokia’s “Mail for Exchange”, yet Mail for Exchange is sub-par on my N97…

    • tnkgrl says:

      I’m not an Exchange power-user, but it works. It appears to be similar to what’s available in Symbian. I’m using it with Google for my calendars but it only shows my main calendar.

  4. Travis says:

    Currently have an E71 on AT&T but really like this phone based on reviews and am tired of dropped calls on AT&T. Worth the switch to T-Mobile?

    • tnkgrl says:

      I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for 6 years and an AT&T customer for 3.5.

      Although there’s less coverage on T-Mobile (especially 3G), the network is significantly more reliable that AT&T’s.

      T-Mobile also walks all over AT&T when it comes to customer service and pricing.

      If you like your E71, I suggest you look into the upcoming E72. The N900 is not a business device, it’s a power user’s device.

    • tnkgrl says:

      Yes, it does email, calendar and contacts via Exchange :) The N900 keyboard is decent, but the E71 keyboard is better.

  5. Eickhel says:

    What about battery life? is that bad?

    • tnkgrl says:

      I’m getting a day from the battery – this is in line with most other devices. The N900 uses the same battery as the 5800, which is lower capacity than the battery in the N97.

      • Eickhel says:

        Could you please elaborate a little bit more?

        Could you give me an example of a daily routine with the phone?

        Thank you very much for your response and time

    • tnkgrl says:

      Since I’m a blogger, I always have several phones on me, so my usage patterns are very different from most people’s, not to mention, I’m currently on a road-trip/vacation, which is far from routine!

      I cannot be more specific. I can only compare with other devices, and for me the N900 battery life is similar to the iPhone 3GS, with similar usage patterns…

  6. Janne says:

    Seriously, no Bluetooth DUN? So I can’t use it as modem for my netbook over Bluetooth?

  7. varun says:

    Odd question, but one that will sort of make or break my decision to buy: does unplugging the headset cause the music to stop ala iPhone? If it works, does it work even with the music app backgrounded?

  8. Kalpesh says:

    Silly questioon but… does it have usb port that i can directly attach pebdrive or so ??? by the way have a great vacation.

    • tnkgrl says:

      What’s a pebdrive? The USB port is for charging, syncing, and turning the N900 into a mass storage device (32 GB built-in flash storage + micro SDHC card slot).

  9. John says:

    Could you explain what is so bad with Resistive touchscreen?

    It seems like only iPhone fan-boys say this.. From what i heard it is just as / more responsive then about all Capacitive screens, you can use it with everything from gloves, you fingers to a nail. Since it’s a smartphone you might need to use the stylus pen and on some webpages with very small icons..

    • tnkgrl says:

      I’ve used the all iPhone models, several Android phones, the BlackBerry Storm, the Samsung i8910 (Symbian), and a pre-production Nokia X6 (Symbian) – all capacitive…

      There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that capacitive is better for touch-based interfaces, except when wearing gloves – most tech-savvy people I know agree!

  10. medah4rick says:

    does the desktop version of google docs work on the n900? can you create a google doc on it and start typing away ?

  11. Dushyanthan Devadoss says:

    I recently gave up my Nokia N97 for an iPhone 3GS. I have been a Nokia fan for years, and the N97 in my eyes was nowhere close to competing with the iPhone. Then comes the N900, and i am unsure if the N900 is just another N97 with a few more specs

  12. Sick says:

    Hi, I have to ask, when running the xShell, does it have python pre installed on the device ??.

    ThnX :)

  13. Das N900 von Nokia kommt doch später….

    Mobiltelefone mit großem Touchscreen sind nun mittlerweile bei mehr als 30% der Handybesitzer extrem beliebt. Da ist das N900 von Nokia natürlich perfekt um diesen Bedarf gerecht werden. Das Nokia N900 sollte ja bereits im Oktober auf dem Mark kommen. …

  14. Zohal says:

    Hey,
    ohk wierd question..I wanted to know how loud n good is the music through the N900 speakers??
    And what (if any) drawbacks were faced using the N900 web browser??

    • tnkgrl says:

      The speakers are loud enough – similar to other Nseries devices from Nokia.

      So far, the web browser has been surprisingly versatile – no complaints here.

  15. Dzenan says:

    How is the on about to get their hands on tester phones? Contact companies? Any department in particular?

  16. jho says:

    Have you tried any apps that utilize OpenGL on the N900? It might be interesting to extract the libraries to try out on the Palm Pre.

  17. Phiit says:

    How about the root rights? No need to hack/jailbreak the phone as it allows the user to gain su rights?

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