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Nice review. The N900 reeks of being a prototype to test the waters. I suspect we'll be seeing slimmer, cap screen models in late 2010 early 2011.Quite tempted by this - it's a bit big but I get the feeling that the development community are going to do big things with it in terms of software.
Couldn't agree more, I was convinced on getting this device. I'm sick and tired of being treated like a Beta tester with Nokia, and now they release this, I feel like an Alpha tester nowDon't get me wrong, this devise is brilliant. But it's just not quite the finished product it should be. No excuse for a resistive screen (Not multi-Touch) and the shoddy video recording. With Symbian 3 and 4 just around the corner, and only one other Maemo 5 device coming out in 2010, I just don't know if it's an OS I want to warm to. They could scrap the project all together. It's too confusing for my liking; they should have just stuck with Symbian.Nokia’s Cogs are just too big, and turn too slow. But hopefully by 2012, they should be back to the former glory they once had, they need to slim down and streamline their products.
One major issue that you didn't mention is that it does not currently support SIM cards from 3 that a newer than a couple of years old. The issue has been fixed internally, but we are just waiting for it to be released. I have had mine for a couple of weeks, and it is an excellent device. The UI is really fluid, the browser is excellent. With youtube videos I have found that the first few seconds are a bit jerky, but after that it is perfectly watchable. The maps application is terrible compared to Wayfinder on the previous Maemo Devices, there isn't an option to purchase Voice guidance as it is an older version, and getting maps on it is currently a pretty manual process. There is a good selection of applications being developed and ported from earlier Maemo versions. The Ovi store is still 'Coming soon' but the Maemo 5 repositories are starting to fill out. Personally I prefer the resistive screen, as you can use a fingernail to click a link instead of zooming in all the time, which with the high dpi screen is common. It gives you the feeling of using the whole web, instead of through a little window with masses of scrolling.The camera isn't brilliant, but it's OK. I do like having the lens cover, which was something I was worried about with my previous phone. It's fine for quick photos, although they can get a bit grainy. The front facing camera is pretty terrible, but it's something that most people never use. Overall, it's good, and Maemo is showing real promise. For non geeky users, it's probably best to give it a couple of months to wait for the infrastructure to be there, and some bugfixes to be released.
i own a N900 (in fact am making this post with it) and am very happy with it. Having moved from a Palm Pre which admittidly had to most user friendly o/s i have ever used... I have no issues with the screen no being resistive... infact i probably prefer its accuracy when selecting specific links on the web. The review failed to note that portrait mode is coming in an update before the end of Dec (according to Nokia) & neglected to mention that the screen resolution is the highest of any mobile phone available.speed wise the devise is fine, is not lighteningly fast buts its not painfully slow either. speed increases are liekly to come in time... have not tried the video recording... so cannot comment on that.
This is sad. I am not used at seeing TR "reviewing" products they have not had in hand... An advice: if you want to keep having people browsing your website, please do not copy paste other reviews again, this is blatant here. Thanks.
@Hoisin: The screen resolution is the same as many other models that have been out for a good deal of time. Also, I'd say it's fair to criticise it for not having portrait mode, even if it is coming soon - it should be there in the first place. @csencil: On what do you base this ascertion that Niall hasn't actually reviewed the product? Or more importantly that he has copied and pasted it? Also, please don't email us directly AND comment at the same time. Choose one or the other and give us a moment to respond.
@Hoisin: As Ed says, the display res is relatively common now on other high-end handsets. As for portrait mode, I can only really review the phone on the basis of what it has now, as promised updates/new features don't always actually appear. @csencil: I can assure you I have the N900 sitting right here on my desk and there's no copy and pasting going on. Frankly, I find your comment offensive. The review is from my experience with the handset, and most who own it and have posted here seem to agree with all the main points I made.
Perhaps adding to the review then that pervasive portrait mode is coming in a near future firmware update would be fair?I am looking forward to trying this phone out, the multitasking looks seriously impressive and having a usable flash implementation in the browser is a real boon.I think that the built in Gtalk and Skype implementations look on paper to be a great chance to use my data allowance on 3 that little bit more.... ;-)
@ Ed You are right in some ways re screen resolution. However when you compare it to many of its closest rivals.... Pre, IPhone 3gs, HTC Hero etc then there is a huge difference. Portrait mode - there is a valid arguement to have included it, however it is due out relatively soon after release and perhaps worth a mention in the article.
@hoisin: That's not really the point. I wouldn't call this a rival to any of those devices you mention. It's, frankly, a brick so competes with the likes of the HTC HD2, HTC Touch Pro, and Motorola Dext. And, as I say, that resolution really is nothing special. It's been on devices for well over a year and hasn't really added much to the overall user experience. There's much more that defines the quality of a device than its screen resolution. As for portrait mode, I take your point that it's out soon and I'll add a note to say as much but, as I say, it should've been there already. Also, just as csencil points out, we should be reviewing a real device and what was real at the time was a phone that didn't support portrait for many of its functions.
@Ed and @Niall: Don't get too worked up about trolls. We can spot them a mile off by now, so please just ignore them :).As for the review, it seemed a bit short for such an anticipated handset, but I think you made valid points.
My Hero only has a HVGA screen but to be honest I'm totally happy with it. I used to have a Diamond before which was VGA and wasn't happy about the downgrade but to be honest I've never really noticed. The phone is just so much better in every other way and I've never though the image wasn't sharp enough.
No offence, but the review was kinda disappointing.For a high end device, Neill did not go into it as much as I think he should have. Where is the gallery for camera? If the LG Bl20 can have a gallery, I think the N900 deserve a bit better than a so-so comment. Also with 32GB of on board storage a paragraph or two about audio and video playback capabilities is to be expected. While I do not doubt that Niall has the actual device in hand, the review just came out more like an impression than an actual review. Nothing wrong with that, but I expected something a bit more than a Tracy & Matt review. And for a site with access to plenty of cameras, live pictures of the devices would have been great. TR gave the iPhone 3G a 8 page review (not including the video review), and more for the 3GS (which is more or less the same device with a newer OS and processor). And here we have a Nokia flagship - the first Nokia smartphone with Maemo, as well as a new version of Maemo OS - which is quite a departure from previous versions. What gives?I hope you take the critism to heart. Some of us genuinely like TR and want to see it improves.
It seems to me that one issue is at the root of the flaws that Niall pointed out, which is that this device isn't really a 'phone' per se. It's an internet tablet with some phone bits bolted on. This explains its penchant for landscape viewing, its initial lack of onscreen keyboard, the resistive touchscreen, the unusual choice of operating system and its chunky form factor. Nokia themselves don't refer to the N900 as a phone, but they use the term 'mobile computer' instead. It just seems that if you really want a 'mobile computer' that also makes calls, you have to be willing to sacrifice some of the refinement that we've come to expect from our mobile phones.
I agree with farki80..This review is very disappointing, a four page review, it's almost an extended preview that have been done. This is Nokia's first Maemo OS phone for goodness sake!It is also the first Nokia which allows playback of Divx and Xvid codec files without needing to be converted. Also even though it does not have a radio, Nokia have already posted up on the Maemo site whereby you can install a radio no problemThe camera is not the best 5mp one, it is not as good as my N85; it certainly does not have as many settings.Now that Vodafone appear to be the first network (in the UK) to take this up, hopefully this will get Nokia to hurry and get the N900 ovi store up and running as VF are also carrying the iPhone from next month....
@farki80: Essentially, Niall is a freelancer that gets paid a set amount to write a review of a certain length. Photos from and of the device are not stipulated as part of this deal. In fact, this review is longer than he was comissioned for. That's pretty much the long and short of it. Also, within the remit of writing a review of a set length it's important to pick out the salient points and gloss over the less important ones to save words. So whether this phone plays audio or divx video particularly well is given less emphasis than pointing out the fundamental failings of the device which is what most people want to know, i.e. should I buy this device or not? The answer is no, no matter how well it plays video or how new the operating system is.Us in-house writers do, as you say, have access to cameras and (as we're not getting paid by the word) can have a bit more freedom to go to town on those products that we feel are more important or interesting. But, as I say, this simply isn't a device to get excited about unless you're a hopelessly rabid fan of Nokia. All this said, we do appreciate your points in general and will endeavour to get pictures where and when possible. For a start, I will be getting in one of these to do a video review of it.
@Ed: I'm sorry to say your latest post didn't do TR any favours. Though I think I'll leave it to farki80 to point out why.
I don't wish to labour on the points previously raised regarding the quality and depth of this review, I only wish to agree with them at this point and can only hope that a 'proper' full length review that gives this phone the attention it deserves will be provided (perhaps after the first firmware update). What Nokia have achieved with this phone is to set the foundations for what could and in my opinion will be one of the most impressive mobile operating systems for a long time.The key selling point for this phone is the 'desktop' like web browsing experience and this was only glossed over in the review. Its a truly fantsatic experience for a device this small.Also why is this not being reviewed constructivly?? When the first Andriod phone was released it was nowhere near perfect, jeez when the first iPhone was released in 2007 I could provide a list as long as my arm of the features it was missing (basic features that other os had for ages)!!It should have been made fundamentally clear that this phone / os is effectivly the first iteration and the first update will fix most of the key issues rendering all your negative points irrelevant. I must say i'm left feeling quite dissapointed with this, and hope readers will not be put off buying this!!
I was looking for these info, but didn't find in the review:- photos taken with the camera- self-made screenshots of key applicaitons: calendar, contact list, home screen, web browser- video recording of phone playing video from youtube (if speed is an issue for playback?)- battery life with 3G and GPS enabled all time - why would I buy a table-phone device, if I switch those off; max talk time- photos of the device in handI would be very happy for an update.I see it uses the same battery as the Nokia 5700/5800 (BL 5J), this can be bought for a quite good prices in amazon etc. Why not charge an extra battery and swap - works great for my camera, mp3 player, bicycle lamp, laptop.
Hi there everyone....just to throw my own two 'paisas' on this, to everyone who's saying this review of the Nokia N900 is not 'constructive'... Is this an Android device or a new iPhone review? NO!! So, there you have it... I mean... I love TR but sometimes their scores just baffle me. a 6 for design? Now I know it's a brick and weighs 181g but it never was competing with the LG BL40 on the design front... The way this device looks and feels, it just screams 'NO NONSENSE FUNCTIONALITY AND PERFORMANCE'. And that's half the battle won right there kids... Then again a 6 for value? It's not a 1st gen. iPhone or the G1 so shouldn't have been priced higher than a couple hundred bucks really! Despite sporting some of THE highest end features... I don't know why it doesn't deserve to be in the same price bracket as the N97, HD2 or the Moto Milestone... Everyone is entitled to their own opinions though... there are some guys who'll take one look at this and they'll be like, "I can't fit this thing in my 'Man Purse'" and many will think of it as a beta device and wonder why they were not handed one for free testing.No more change...
Hmm, I think all Ed did is confirmed that not all reviews here should not be taken seriously. Please mark future reviews done by freelancers so we can decide. Many of us are disappointed because this review is something many would expect to read in something like The Times, and not a dedicated gadget site like TR. "So whether this phone plays audio or divx video particularly well is given less emphasis than pointing out the fundamental failings of the device which is what most people want to know, i.e. should I buy this device or not? The answer is no, no matter how well it plays video or how new the operating system is."For a device marketed as a multimedia tablet, I do think that audio and video playback feature is incredibly important - and it is sad that no mention about video playback and audio quality is mentioned. Not everyone cares about the other aspect that you personally think is important. A good review on the other hand is supposed to cover everything and allows the reader to make up their own mind as to whether the supposed flaw is indeed a flaw.Remember that Maemo and the N900 are desktop-like OS that is competing in a different market than traditional smartphone OS like Symbian. I am personally sticking to Symbian because I rather like my phone to perform as a phone first, but no doubt many (and I have friends who has the N900 for a couple of weeks - press kit) has agreed that the N900 offers a great mobile computing experience.As for value, I paid £400 sim-free for an imate JAM (hardly cutting edge even in those days), so I personally think with 32GB of storage it offers incredible value. Hell, you can't even buy 32GB microSD cards yet and I am sure the first of these cards will retail above £100 when it appears next year.
"Us in-house writers do, as you say, have access to cameras and (as we're not getting paid by the word) can have a bit more freedom to go to town on those products that we feel are more important or interesting. But, as I say, this simply isn't a device to get excited about unless you're a hopelessly rabid fan of Nokia."I would like to add that this statement is pretty insulting. Plenty of none-Nokia owners have seen and played with the N900 (yes I have had access to it) and are pretty darn excited about it. Not everyone cares about Google Android.
What a waste of time it was waiting for and finally reading that review. I had been genuinely looking forward to the N900 being reviewed here and finding out whether my choice to opt for the E72 had been a wise one. I think I would have rather no review that what I just read.
Nice to see the Nokia fanboys all came out to play today.
Okay, I'm not going to say anything else on this until I've had one in myself and shot a video review. Incidentally, I'll add pictures of the device and pictures taken with the device at this point as well. I would like to apologise for the 'rabid' comment, though, that was unnecessary.
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