I picked up a Nokia N900 from the kind people at WOMworld when I was in London two weeks ago. This is my quick review..
Summary: I like it, but I don’t think I’d like to use it on a daily basis. It’s a step in the right direction for Nokia, but it needs some refinement. I used the phone for two days. I would have used it for longer but I stopped because:
- The battery only lasts one day.
- The Notes application(s) were not very useful. I need my notes.
- Calendar syncing was broken, duplicate calendar entries when using iSync and no Bluetooth support.
General (radom) notes:
- It has Xterm by default, pretty cool, but no SSH by default.
- You need root access to use ping? Getting root access is pretty easy.
- I’d like to be able to set the Xterm background to black.
- 3G modem works well, nice and snappy when using SSH.
- The device is a bit bulky.
- Keyboard is ok but I think the E72 allows me to type a bit faster. Spacebar location is a bit weird.
- The touch screen is ok, but not as responsive as you would expect. It comes with a stylus which worked better than my fingers, but using a stylus in this day and age seems wrong.
- Tetris (Blocks) was cool.
- General voice call operation worked fairly well but for some reason the touch screen made the thing have a life of it’s own, somehow it was always doing something I did not want it to do.
- Firefox on the N900 worked well.
N900 vs E72 vs iPod Touch
In the same week I also used an E72 and a new 4G iPod Touch. When I think about the features I really use.. calendar, notes and making calls.. the E72 is a better phone. It’s just more practical and quicker to navigate.
Comparing the N900 to an iPod Touch may seem a bit strange, but let’s ignore the GSM radio for a moment and think about price and features you would expect in a mobile internet device. To be very honest, the iPod makes the N900 look pretty sad. N900 is 5 times the price of the iPod and the iPod works way better for web browsing, twitter facebook, skype, connecting to wifi networks etc.
I hope MeeGo goes somewhere. Maemo showed promise but it needs a lot of work.
When I was in Boston last month I met a guy who works for Nokia. He was using an iPod Touch which routed through a Nokia N71 using a wifi hotspot on the N71. I thought it was a bit strange. I asked him why we did not just use the N900 but he told me Nokia did not want to give him a more expensive device. I hope the people at Nokia start using their own devices. Eat your own dog food, kids.
Thanks for letting me play with the N900. I’d be keen to play with the new Nokia E7.