Nokia Finally Releases N900, 'Tis Exciting But A Bit Late - gHacks Tech News

Nokia Finally Releases N900, 'Tis Exciting But A Bit Late

Nokia has finally released its Maemo5 based smartphone – the N900. Maemo is Nokia’s next generation mobile OS. It is a Linux-based platform that seeks to take on such juggernauts as the iPhone OS and the Android operating system.

The N900 has intrigued the tech community and people in general with its bevy of features ever since it was first announced. But when you look at it closely enough, it seems like it is too little, too late yet again. Reminds me of the N97 really.

On the surface, N900 is an attractive package. When it was first announced, the decent sized capacitive resistive touchscreen, the new interface, large internal storage, QWERTY keypad and TV out features made quite a splash.

From the images, it also seems like there are sensors in the front. So far I have not found out what they are meant to do but they are likely to be a front facing camera and related sensors for video conferencing.

device1

Maemo5’s interface looks good, I will tell you that. If you are looking for something that really catches the eye and something that is different from everything you have seen so far – you have got to try this out.

It supports gestures but in a few instances Nokia has gone too far in its bid to be different from the rest. Take the spiral gesture for zooming for example. I would say that the pinch-to-zoom is simple enough and if you are only mimicking a gesture, there should be no shame in it. After all, you are only making a phone like this because of the entire computer-in-touchscreen-mobile-phone craze that hit the market post the iPhone.

The way you switch between things makes me think of Exposé in the Mac OS. You get to see thumbnails of the of the things you have open and you can touch to switch to the one you desire.

device2

Feature-wise, N900 has everything you might want. Well, almost everything. You get a 5-megapixel camera with dual LED flash that takes video. FM-tuner is built-in. The screen is 3.5inches with a resolution of 800x480, which is very nice. That should make watching movies a pleasure. Talking about watching movies, you get a kickstand too for propping it up when you want to. The TV via Nokia’s proprietary cable is the feature that may of use have wanted ever since our phones could carry multiple entire movies and play them back smoothly.

It supports the full meme of a formats for both audio and video, including – AAC, eAAC, mpeg4 , etc.  You get full data connectivity support via GPRS Class A, EDGE, multi-band WCDMA and HSPA, WLAN (802.11b/g). Network-wise it is a quadband GSM and tri-band WCDMA phone. Full specs at the website.

But my enthusiasm starts to wear off when I look deeper into the hardware specifications. It is powered by an ARM Cortex A8, which they clock at 600MHz. Application memory is a combination of 256MB RAM and 768MB of virtual memory.

If you ask me, for a phone that is so very multimedia rich, 600MHz is going to be sluggish at multitasking. There’s a reason why the iPhone restricts full multi-tasking. N900 will allow you to multitask but it will definitely slow you down. And with 1GHz Snapdragon-toting phones already in the market, this is going to seem real slow real soon. Also, the new big screen is 4" or more. But at least it has OpenGL ES 2.0 for graphics. I guess they will be pushing it for handheld gaming.

Next is the OS that fails to excite me. It is good looking and sounds promising too but any new mobile OS that comes out now – after 2.5 years of the iPhone OS and about 2 years of the Android OS – is going to be dealt with a healthy bit of skepticism.

Can Nokia’s toddling Maemo5 or Samsung’s newborn Bada match up to the raw numbers of Android and iPhone users? Then why should developers bet on them? I found 50 applications on the Maemo website. There's obviously more but only 50 chosen applications? May be Nokia is betting too much on the openness of the OS.

Developers want to sell as much as possible, so they are going to look at the user numbers and the future growth potential. The two giants are already in top gear. So the late starters are likely to stay that way.

The Nokia N900 Maemo5 phone is now on preorder from the website for $649. Availability is at end of this month (November ’09). Comes only in Black.

Update: One of our readers  has identified one of the sensors as a way to turn off the touchscreen when you are talking on the phone. So it's basically a proximity sensor like the one on the HTC Touch Pro 2. Also, the touchscreen is not capacitive but resistive, I stand corrected. Thanks Daniel and Manojlds.

What do you think about the N900. Would you choose it over a similar Android phone or the iPhone 3GS?

Summary
Nokia Finally Releases N900, ‘Tis Exciting But A Bit Late
Article Name
Nokia Finally Releases N900, ‘Tis Exciting But A Bit Late
Description
Nokia has finally released its Maemo5 based smartphone – the N900 featuring a resistive touchscreen, QWERTY keypad and TV features.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. David said on November 16, 2009 at 9:19 pm
    Reply

    Why don’t you either do some more research or actually get your hands on the phone before reviewing it.

  2. anonymous said on November 16, 2009 at 9:37 pm
    Reply

    yeah, dont review it if you have’nt touched it for your self

  3. manojlds said on November 16, 2009 at 9:37 pm
    Reply

    With due respect, it is clear from your article that you have no clue about Maemo 5 and N900.

    Capacitive screen? Come on. When writing articles why don’t you do at least some basic research, the fact that you sound in some places as though you have actually used the phone, notwithstanding.

    “Reminds you of the N97?” Or the botched up article that you wrote about the N97, without even laying your eyes on it.

  4. Mike said on November 16, 2009 at 9:48 pm
    Reply

    Yeah, that review is really inacturate and uninformed. Author does not know what he is talking about.

  5. Daniel said on November 16, 2009 at 10:07 pm
    Reply

    This isn’t a review, people, put away your angst. It’s an opinion piece. To the author, one of those sensors is a sensor to deactivate the touch screen input while you’re talking on the phone.

  6. Wayne said on November 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm
    Reply

    If its not made by apple, I don’t want it. When will these companies like Nokia
    and Motorola learn that Apple is unbeatable? Give up already, people, your
    phones suck and always will. Apple FTW!

    1. zelrik said on November 17, 2009 at 1:15 am
      Reply

      if it’s made by Apple, I dont want it.

    2. debroq said on November 24, 2009 at 8:03 pm
      Reply

      if it’s made by Apple, it’s stuck with AT&T’s crappy 3G network.

    3. iPhone user said on November 28, 2009 at 11:13 am
      Reply

      I’m with Zelrik. If its Apple, forget it.

      Until I got an iPhone I never realised how dictatorial & restrictive Apple were towards device users. They have hobbled a potentially good piece of hardware with such draconian software restrictions that the device is reduced to the status of a toy.
      It is utterly uesless for business purposes.
      Its a bimbo, looks good but no brains.

      I would take the N900 or a HTC touch HD2 over the iPhone for sure, just to be unburdened by Apple’s absurd restrictions.

  7. Roman said on November 17, 2009 at 12:10 am
    Reply

    This review failed!! When he said the phone definitely slow down after looking at the system specs. It sounds like he’s basing his comment on looking at the specs and not actually seeing how the device perform itself lol!! Saying things like the device has everything and then later not actually…sounds like he doesn’t know enough. When he said pinch zoom should be implemented and don’t know why Nokia opted for circle zoom shows the lack of understanding that this is a resistant touch and can not do multiple touches.

  8. isaac said on November 17, 2009 at 1:10 am
    Reply

    This so-called review/opinion statement seems a bit biased. i mean the strong point of n900 is that its a internet tablet phone n there’s nowhere mentioning about the awesome Mozilla browser with full flash support which makes surfing the net on a phone such convenience.

  9. walter said on November 17, 2009 at 2:40 am
    Reply

    The sensor is infrared for tvs and stuff….

  10. matt said on November 17, 2009 at 4:55 am
    Reply

    maemo is not a bran new operating system its been around for years, yes maemo5 is new but dude i have one and i have to say you have never actually used one as your review is flat out wrong and sounds like rantings of a iphone fanboy

  11. raghu said on November 17, 2009 at 5:55 am
    Reply

    Sorry to say, but the review seems to be the work of an imagination, rather than an review of an actual product. I have been using the N900 from the past few months and honestly i can’t find much truth in most of the reviewer’s comments.

  12. Sam said on November 17, 2009 at 8:00 am
    Reply

    IS THIS MORON REAL? DID HE JUST TALK ABOUT AN OS THAT JUST CAME OUT AND COMPARED TO OSs THAT HAVE BEEN OUT FOR YEARS? HOW THE HELL IS NOKIA SUPPOSED TO HAVE APPS FOR THIS OS IF IT HASN’T EVEN BEEN OUT YET YOU TART? DO RESEARCH AND GET A PHONE, PLAY WITH IT THEN TALK. I HAVE A TEST SAMPLE AND I CAN TELL YOU, HAVING USED IPHONE 3Gs I MUST SAY THIS NOKIA N900 WAS NOT MADE WITH THE INTENTION TO COMPETE WITH THE IPHONE, IT WAS WITH THE INTENTION OF CREATING AN INTERNET TABLET, WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU COMPARING IT WITH A PHONE? IT DOES HAVE A PHONE IN IT, BUT IT IS NOT A PHONE, IT IS AN INTERNET TABLET PC, MUCH MUCH FASTER THAN THE IPHONE I MUST ADD. SO SHUT UP AND GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK, YOU HAVE TEST TOMORROW

  13. rnx said on November 17, 2009 at 10:55 am
    Reply

    When n900 will finally be released in UK? It is just a rumour that it “finally releases” :(

  14. Peelaa said on November 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm
    Reply

    Nokia says..

    Estimated delivery date: week commencing 23rd November

    http://shop.nokia.co.uk/nokia-uk/product.aspx?sku=10208380&culture=en-GB
    (end of item description)

  15. dpr said on November 17, 2009 at 7:47 pm
    Reply

    As other comments say.. This auther does not know anything about this phone and probably cannot analze properly.

    This phone has real desktop browser. Why you still think you need an app to do anything.
    the screensize is not 4″, It is 3.5″.
    Well, there are lots of mistakes in this article.

  16. omg said on January 5, 2010 at 1:59 pm
    Reply

    This the downside of the internet. Clowns with little actual knowledge get space for their uninformed,
    biased bullshit. How can you write about the specs without even having played with the phone? Whoever
    let you post this piece of crap on their site? Realize that Maemo has been around a while. Realize that the you
    can do pure C/C++ apps on it. Comparing MHz numbers is soooo lame. The one thing in the article that is worth
    anything is the comment about applications – and that developers need a big user base to make money. True, and
    it did worry me a bit. Still now it at least seems there is a healthy community around maemo and the number of apps is increasing.

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