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 thoughts on “Nokia N900 first impressions

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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?

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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

    2. 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…

  3. 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?

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

    1. 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).

  5. 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..

    1. 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!

    1. I can’t speak for Maemo 5, but I had an N800 tablet and Google Docs ran in that browser. The only problem was that it was fairly slow, but the N800 is quite a bit less powerful than the N900, so I’d assume it works much better now.

  6. 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

  7. 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??

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

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

  8. 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.

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