One downside of using a resistive display is that it doesn’t support multi-touch. However, Nokia has tried to get around this by using gesture controls instead. For example, when you want to zoom in or out on a page in the browser, you just draw a spiral on the screen in either clockwise or anti-clockwise direction and the display will start to zoom. However, it doesn’t work quite as well as pinch-to-zoom on the iPhone or Hero, as when you begin the spiral action the page initially jumps around – as if you were moving it in a circle – before the phone finally recognises that you’re actually trying to zoom in and starts to magnify the page.
We really liked other parts of the Maemo operating system, however. For example, much like on Android phones, the home screen is divided into four sliding screens and each of these can be populated with a whole host of shortcuts to RSS feeds, websites, contacts and applications. The web browser is also impressive as it’s based on Mozilla and does a good job of rendering demanding pages. The browser also supports Flash so you can use it to view YouTube videos as well as those embedded in other websites, although the latter don’t always play as smoothly as they should.
Nokia has included a good range of applications including its Maps software that works beautifully with the phone’s speedy onboard GPS chip. The handset supports proper multitasking too, unlike the iPhone, and switching between applications is very quick. There are also many nice animations and transitions used throughout the OS giving the whole thing a very slick and polished feel, much more so than even recent versions of Series 60.
However, the OS is not without its quirks. For example, most applications can only be used in landscape mode; in fact, one of the few that can actually be used in portrait mode is the phone dialler (this is apparently being addressed in a soon to be released update). Another annoyance is that by default the phone isn’t set up to use an onscreen keyboard; you have to enable it in a sub menu first.