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Summary:

The biggest challenge for any touchscreen smartphone, no matter how good or great it is, is that it will almost always be compared to the iPhone. Some of them, like Verizon’s Droid and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Storm, seek that comparison. Others are just going to […]

n900.jpgThe biggest challenge for any touchscreen smartphone, no matter how good or great it is, is that it will almost always be compared to the iPhone. Some of them, like Verizon’s Droid and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Storm, seek that comparison. Others are just going to have to deal with it. Nokia’s new N900 device is in the second camp.

I’ve been a harsh critic of Nokia’s inability to compete with Apple and Google’s Android-based smartphones. No one can accuse me of not making it clear that I think Nokia is on a very slippery slope and unless it fields a competitive device, it will continue to see its share of the smartphone market erode. In particular, I’m not a big fan of the company’s multiple operating system strategy, but it is becoming clear: Nokia needs to move away from its aging smartphone platform, Symbian.

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Nokia apparently realizes that and has been spending a lot of time and energy building a modern, Internet-centric operating system, Maemo. The latest version of this Linux-based OS, Maemo 5, is the software that powers the N900, a $650 device likely to be released in the U.S. soon.

I’ve been playing around with an early version of this device for about three days and have some impressions. I’m breaking down the review into two components — hardware and software — because I think Nokia is getting a few things right!

Hardware: Why I wasn’t surprised

  1. The N900 resembles an old-fashioned cigarette pack; it’s not the prettiest device on the market. However, in comparison with its predecessors such as the N800 and N770 Internet tablets it is absolutely stunning.
  2. The 3.5-inch WVGA screen is actually pretty stunning as well; it’s easy to read documents on this phone.
  3. So how does it stack up against the iPhone 3GS? It’s heavier and thicker and is missing the sleekness of the Apple device.
  4. The keyboard on this device is cramped but still easy enough to use. I’ve always had problems with slider phones, so I’m not surprised that I find the keyboard on this device to be cramped. Despite the small keys, the keyboard is usable. I only wish Nokia made commonly used keys such as @ easy to access.
  5. I’m not a great fan of the resistive screen technologies and as such found interacting with the phone via touchscreen extremely painfully. Maybe it’s my brain, wired to look for an iPhone-like functionality, but N900’s touch features are extremely challenging.
  6. Nokia has a long tradition of providing the best mobile cameras in its phones and N900 is no different. The 5.8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens is phenomenal.
  7. The device has all the modern hardware trappings: Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS and lots of storage. These are table stakes for any modern smartphone, so these features aren’t really much of a surprise.
  8. The battery power is adequate — better than any iPhone but much lower than classic Nokia phones.
  9. How does it function as a phone? It is unbelievably great and I experienced no dropped calls on the T-Mobile network. Not a single one. Furthermore, the N900 model I have is optimized for T-Mobile USA’s 3G network, which makes it far more reliable that the AT&T 3G network.

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Software: Why I was surprised

  1. I have been a long-time user of Nokia Internet Tablets and as a result I have been highly skeptical of Nokia’s claims that this phone could be turned into a nice modern Internet-centric smartphone OS. Well talk about being wrong!
  2. The Maemo OS used inside the test model of the Nokia N900 that I received was an incomplete version of the software, and despite being rough around the edges, it surprised me with its nimbleness and robustness. It didn’t at any point feel like a Linux-based device, and thanks to a hefty processor the N900 feels as crisp as the iPhone.
  3. The UI of Maemo is crisp and clear, though it does look dated in comparison to Apple’s iPhone. I’m going to go out on a limb here and claim that the UI is marginally better than that of Android. Both operating systems have one common fault, however: They look very much like a PC-inspired OS. That said, I think Nokia has still not mastered the art of “no.” Apple makes its things great by leaving features out; Nokia somehow believes that adding more makes its products great. Maemo suffers from that, but it isn’t something Nokia can’t fix — quickly.
  4. The biggest problem I had with the Maemo UI is that it isn’t unique enough. It’s coming late to the market, and as a result it looks somewhat like MotoBlur — a screen with a lot of widget-styled apps. It uses multiple desktops and also multiple screens, which makes the user experience a tad confusing. That’s one of the only knocks I have on the OS.
  5. Mameo’s most stunning aspect is the tight and seamless integration of the Firefox browser. As I wrote yesterday, Firefox is perhaps N900’s single biggest standout feature. It works just like it does on a desktop and, thanks to the seamless integration of AwesomeBar, a smarter version of a URL bar that uses Mozilla Weave, I can get access to all my bookmarks, my browsing history and other preferences. (Related Post: “Coming Soon: A Mozilla App for the iPhone“) You can’t overstate the importance of this feature, especially on a device with a cramped keyboard and a challenging touchscreen.
  6. Nokia is betting big on web-styled widgets. Some of the sample apps it’s included in the phone — Evernote, Twitter, Dopplr, and YouTube — all worked well. I’m sure more will follow. I’m also ambivalent about Nokia’s OVI services, which are pretty tightly integrated into the phone.
  7. It is the basic features on the N900 which are the most impressive: an easy way to get connected to Wi-Fi, an instant messaging app, a great SMS messaging application and built-in VoIP are among the good things about this device.

Bottom line:

I was conflicted about the N900. I don’t want to give Nokia a hard time about it: The company has made tremendous progress and with the N900, is on the right track. This phone gets a 6/10 from me: mostly because of the progress Nokia has made on the software front. If you’ve never used an iPhone, this is a pretty good device. In fact, a lot of folks in many parts of the world are going to find this device much more useful than, say, the N97.

Like a great home-run hitter who has lost his swing and is only one double away from getting it back, I think Nokia is a device or two from posing a strong challenge to its competitors.

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  1. You are to biased to review other smart phones. I have the Iphone and I will be the first to confess the OS is getting old. I’m tired of unlocking and seeing all these apps staring me in the face. You did not touch on the fact you can run multiple applications, I cant tell you how annoying it is running one app at a time on the Iphone. Dont give me “well you can listen to your ipod while you surf the net man,” that is all well and good unless you are trying to run a business from road. I am seriously considering switching from Iphone to one of the many options out there that can multi-task. P.S. Maemo has been around since 2002… do your research. And your complaint about the n900 letting users do to much was classic… that was the point I realized you are an Apple fanboy… they are the only people that would say things like “Ugh this phone suck, it runs to many applications in the background and makes life more efficient in a bad way,” or “Man I can’t stand being able to load every web page on the internet and don’t get me started with being able to view flash from my phone…??” Are you semi retarded? PS Im writing this from my Iphone which I will be selling for a phone that can do more. (I have owned all three Iphones since day one) Next time get your head out of your @!# and report the facts in a non biased way. This was like watching Fox news or CNN…

    1. @John

      I would like to buy you a beer. Actually, more than one. I want to get drunk with you for telling it how it is.

      This piece was so poorly written it was ridiculous. It’s the same blatant crap we see on Cnet.com and PhoneDog.com.

      This statement reminds me of Apple Lovers: “A device that does more that costs less? We don’t want that.”

      What helps me sleep at night is knowing that iPhone owners know they got screwed over. I refuse to buy anything Apple because of the company’s tight grip on all their products. Even Apple fans were complaining on Apple’s own message boards. There were a few posters, with thousands of post, defending Apple’s decision to leave out MMS, video recording, and multi-tasking.

      To defend something with valid points is one thing. To even compare the N900, or any N Series devices, to an iPhone is a sin. It shows lack of knowledge about technology in general, not just cellular phones.

      Apple is known for two things: Charging a lot for its products and then using all the revenue for advertising. Studies have shown people pick products that cost more because they think they are “better.” Apple has consumers right where it wants them.

      1. You may refuse to buy anything Apple because of it’s tight grip on all it’s products but you probably seem to purchase anything Microsoft because it has control, not only of its products, but of chip manufacturers, software vendors, OEM’s and retailers? Microsoft has infinitely more control of the PC industry than Apple will ever have in the foreseeable future. A corporation like that I will not support.

        Microsoft has you right where they want you to be. Take a step and look at what you wrote.

        BTW: When is it a negative for a company to have control over its own products?

      2. Atleast the iPhone does what it supposed to very well. The same cannot b said for many nokia devices. By stepping into the touchscreen realm it is expected to compete with the best touchscreen device. Once again, the iPhone easily multitasks with a simple jb. The article however was made to generate attention. Hopefully the nokia does well so I can finally get something different.

      3. @Zac

        Mate, maemo in the N900 is Linux – open source – has nothing to do with MSoft

    2. Poor article for people like “easy” phones like iPhone. More practical and skill people will love N900, these phones are for different people!

    3. 100% agree with you.

      I had Iphone 2g then got 3g. It is ok, but using it was really boring. Nokia makes their phones forever, maybe it is not what today’s fans of Iphones looking for, but it is what advanced users need. Thank you NOKIA for exist. :)))

    4. good memory, a hefty amount of storage 32GB + 16GB external micro SD – qwerty keyboard – 5MP camera .. Quad Band. :D

      Ovi Maps instead of Google Maps? Where are the precious facebook and twitter apps? :(

      detailed sources: http://bit.ly/nokia-900-full-specs-details-best-or-worst

      Its good to see Nokia finally release a new breed of their communicator series, I just hope it won’t turn out to be another “average” phone.

      1. you do not need twitter or facebook apps. the web browser is so powerful you can run them from intertnet browser. when they say a desktop experience they mean it.

    5. @John

      You are an idiot for using an iPhone for serious business communications. A business machine absolutely must have rapid accurate text entry either via keyboard for westerners or a stylus for asians. I’d bet your iPhone has cost you clients by inducing you to send terser less informative emails.

      Apple sells sexy feeling consumer electronics, not business machines. You’ll also notice how Apple actually bans business oriented apps like VoIP and tethering. iPhones handle games pretty damn well however.

  2. Never ever compare iphone with this monster.

    1. Touché.

      iPhone = smartphone training wheels compared to this thing.

  3. Hey Pal, protip: The iPhone isn’t the greatest thing in the world.

    1. only 6/10????? c’mon it imposible

  4. The Crypticum Keeper Monday, October 19, 2009

    Some nitpicks:

    “Maybe it is my brain, wired to look for an iPhone like functionality, but N900’s touch features are extremely challenging”

    After using the device myself for a week, I find your remark above hyperbolic. Chalenging at times, yes, but extremely??? Come on.

    “Both these operating systems have one common fault: they look very much like a PC-inspired OS”

    I can’t speak for Android, but Maemo is intended to power MOBILE COMPUTERS. That’s what the N900 is, with a phone wedged in (admittedly awkwardly in some ways).

    “It uses multiple desktops and also multiple screens, which makes the user experience a tad confusing”

    Flick the desktops a few times, start customizing each one with unique “personalities”, and your confusion will diminish. ;)

    Overall though you were very fair!

  5. I have been a nokia user for a long time,and with minimal usage of iphone I can say that iphone and nokia smartphones are aimed at two different markets. The iphone is stylish, gives you that “premium” feeling in the hand and it also has a superior UI, but it ends there. nokia users (including myself) will never accept sleekness by losing better camera with better zoom and better flash, losing two stereo speakers or losing better antenna for GPS and/or FM transmiter ( you lose all these and probably more with decreased depth !!!).
    Regarding the N900, I think the purpose of this device has been misunderstood. Yes “The N900 resembles an old-fashioned cigarette pack” but it is also the most capable pocketable (if that is a word) mobile computer today with telephony functionality.

    1. @George, obviously the Nokia users are diminshing then as Nokia hit an all-time low on their smartphones – only 35% marketshare. And guess who took the lionshare of the rest? surprise, surprise: iPhone.

      I am a big Nokia fan myself and N900 is a good attempt but what Nokia often misses is that cramming the phone with a lot of functionality that is nearly impossible to discover and use, it actually turns away users – as it is it too complex, too much and Apple found a sweetspot in given the users what they mostly need – not everything they can possible need.

      I am really looking forward to next gen N900.. this was the first. second should be far better.

      1. Apple has taken about half the market share drop of Nokia smartphone. Who took the rest, can’t say yet, but it was probably RIM.

      2. update, update, there is a new definition for “smartphone”

        smartphone-to have or NOT HAVE the ability to mutli-task on a cellular phone.

        remember, Nokia is the 1st company that came up with the “smartphone” with thier 9000i communicator, in 1996-97.

        then, a smartphone touch screen with the 7700 series, which was scrapped and then the basis was used on the 770, 800, 810 tablets.

        also, lets take a look at what the overall expansion of “smartphone” really is?

        just the 5800 Xpress and the N97, which were both harshly criticised, even by nokia users, sold over 2 million units in 5 months…and how many other phones have they sold with thier complete N and E series handsets which are all smartphones? then take that number and compare it to what the iphone has sold wtih thier late-night-television wonder gidget that does everything you want it to do so long as you only want to do…

      3. this is not about marketing wars, market shares, and who can sell more. nokia devices are more capable. nokia users who have switched did not appreciate that. iphone users are just too ignorant to see. with the N900, nokia is not getting close, it is actually pulling away.

      4. mrD,

        You might actually want to look at the sales numbers and not ‘market share’ given that Nokia’s alleged reduction in market share is largely because of the expansion of the US market in which Nokia doesn’t compete.

        Also, given that the US market has now been bought up to speed, Nokia actually increased YonY market share.

        http://www.canalys.com/pr/2009/r2009112.htm

        It’s also worth noting that the Apple’s growth could best be described as ‘sort of OK’ given they only shifted an extra 500K units from launch quarter to launch quarter. RIM given them a sound spanking in terms of growth.

        Finally, AAS have a graph charting Q by Q sales which show why Om is basically talking out of his backside by predicting Nokia’s doom.

        http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/news/item/10696_Q3_Smartphone_Sales_figures_no.php

      5. As a smartphone, the iPhone is very watered down. So much so, it’s not “taking the smartphone market share.” It’s creating it’s own.

        People who have no practical need for a smartphone can get an iPhone, because it’s simple to use, and learn, and watered down so it’s cost effective. They sign a 2 year contract and get it for cheap.

        I think Nokia is doing exactly the right thing in not trying to compete with them. Make it more functional, and robust, to target a different market. A real smartphone market, not some internet hipster twitter/facebook generation who wants to watch funny videos on youtube while they travel, and keep their net friends up to date on there experiences.

        Currently, this device has no carrier, so you have to buy it full retail. Without subsidy, I’d say they are obviously not targeting a normal consumer market, but a more business market, people need a serious smartphone.

        It’s just like home computing. Apple makes computers for people who don’t know anything about computers, why not do the same for a smartphone? They are good at it. Leave other company’s to make the real functional devices.

      6. Well, I really do not know your sources for the “market share” information. Hit up google and google for Gartners detailed info on Marketshare. Also check Wikipedia. Same info.

        http://ronnie05.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/g7-2/

        I hate the fact that people see all their mates buying iphones and then stating, Apple has the most market share. Oh come on gimme a break. I hate Nokia. Yes i do to the core coz of their OS “Symbian”. The worst OS Ever. Also I hate Apple iOS4, the hyped update of Apple Inc. Brings nothin extra to the table. the same damned UI. No possibility for creativity. And in such a time pops in Maemo 5, the thing that most techies out there marvell upon. The phone with a Command Line Terminal…. How wicked is that? I make up; scripts and do all kinds of wierd and geeky stuff. to be frank, my colleages, the iphone freak, had his mouth opened when i dual booted Android with Maemo. How much more can this device do, much much more, and the Maemo Devs are amazing when it comes to creativity. Apple Fanboys, we don’t wanna hurt your feelings but, guess the iphone 4 again has nothing new to make mouths drop.

  6. The author of this article is an idiot. period. iphone is just a toy. nokia n900 wins hands down….iphoe has no mutitasking, camera cannot take photos and videos in the dark, bettery sucks on the iphone, browser sucks, apple controls everything meaning platform not open….nokia 900 is a pc in your pocket…iphone is like a touch PSP with phone added.

    1. your a goof if u think the iphone cant do all that stuff. Browser is THE BEST on the market hands down (some are close), multitasking is done simply by jailbreaking and the battery will be pretty much the same if not better on the iphone. As for the whole “toy” thing, isnt a wanting a camera on a phone a “toy” in the first place?
      Dont kill the guy cause he is taking a different prespective on a phone you are hoping will take u away from your shitty n97. I have an phone but im personally sick of it. So why do i still have it you ask? CAUSE IT IS THE BEST RIGHT NOW! Im seriously hoping this phone turns out like the other reviews say it will…but this review was interesting to look at too.

      1. Let’s go over that again, shall we?

        1. – Browser: The iPhone browser supports neither Flash nor JavaScript. Claiming Flash is only used for banners is a pretty lame excuse – More pages than not use Flash and/or JS and those can’t be rendered correctly on the iPhone. Period.

        2. Multitasking: So voiding the warranty and incidently run the risk of having a useless phone should Apple decide to have a jab at disabling jailbreaking is “easy”? Maybe for you, but not for everyone I assure you.

        3. Battery: Most phones on the market actually best the iPhone. You know why? Because when your battery runs dry and you have to charge it for a couple of hours, others can just break out a second battery and continue untethered by the charging cable. Built-in battery = fail.

        4. Camera = toy: I doubt anyone in the world will buy a N900 because of the camera. There are much better cam-phones on the market (at better prices), but having one regardless of the quality is a good feature compared to none at all. Hopefully nobody has bought the iPhone because they needed a digital camera either.

        5. Different perspective: That’s notwhat he’s doing, but instead overlook most of the advantages of the N900 and bash it for just not being more like the iPhone.

        6. N97: What? Believe me, the N900 is going to cater to many more than just some odd Nokia fans.

        7. Best right now: Sure the iPhone 3GS is the best right now – if that’s what you need. If you want a hi-res screen there are more powerful options. If you like Spotify and would want to listen to it while doing something else on the phone the iPhone is plain bad. – Or stay online on your IM client while checking out a web page, no multitasking sure is a deal-breaker, isn’t it?

        Maybe you require an “pocket office” and need to be available on the go for several days without access to an outlet – guess that built-in battery was a bad idea, right? Of course, not everyone will agree a new phone without warranty is “the best” but I guess we already covered that one as well.

      2. Break it down however you want but the whole jailbreaking voids warranty thing is easily taken care of by a simple restore achieved in minutes. As for the multitasking, easily and effectively done. Battery is just as good as any other smartphone. Yes, the battery can’t be replaced mid-day but for those looking for a smartphone suited best fo a business environment usually have an office-often those offices carry WALL PLUGS!!! Do u have a car charger? Probably!!! So not really an issue.

        Once again don’t get me wrong, I want this phone to be good so I can sell my phone and have something new but the mindless bashing of a phone that really did bring out the best of the competitors and make them wake up is getting annoying. The comparisons to the iPhone must be getting old too though. I don’t know about u guys but I like reading the negatives of a phone I really want.

      3. UPDATE!

        Well, i wasnt lying about wanting to get rid of my iphone 3gs! I have the nokia n900 in my hands now for about 2 days and im very impressed. Very quick software, excellent interface, iffy camera and resistive screen but the phone is amazing. More customizable than anything i have ever seen. Well done nokia…hope this one breaks the slump!

      4. Even the jailbroken doesn’t do MULTITASKING!
        When you send the app in the “background” it saves a screenshot of it and closes the app, then you get a list of these screenshots – like a visual bookmark really – and then when you tap on it it opens the app.
        But none of them are actually running in the background so stop claiming that you can multitask on the iPhone please!

  7. Well apparently you didn’t like my post that shot holes through your entire biased article b/c you deleted it. In short you didn’t mention multitasking as well as your faulty research missed the fact that maemo has been around since 2002. Sorry the truth hurts apple fanboy. Written from my iPhone. Oh and your comment about nokia should limit what their phone dies like apple does makes absolutely no sense. You’ll prob delete this because you need to keep this page as slanted towards the iPhone as possible and your shotty article can’t stand up to the scrutiney that people who actually know what they are talking about are sure to give it.

  8. From someone who HATES the iPhone interface your review gives me hope. You seem to hold the iPhone as *the* Gold standard. Frankly it has a terrible radio (compared side by side with my Bold on the same AT&T network) and I’m one of the folks who simply cannot type on it’s on screen keyboard. I *prefer* a real keyboard. I have big hopes for the N9000.

  9. “Apple makes its things great by leaving features out, Nokia somehow believes that adding more makes its products great.”

    for some reason i find that statement of yours very funny. its like saying a 1 dollar bill is so much better then a 100 dollar bill since 1 dollar is so much smaller in amount and no problem to use as to a 100 dollar bill is a much bigger bill which carry more problem when using 100$ dollar since people always test for fake bills.

    1. Damm that was a good metafore. I totally agree with you. Saying that an eletronic device is better because it’s has less options is just retarded. Because while the iphone has his good points. It lacks more then a few and the people that tell you 2 jail break (your OWN) phone just so you can use more options are missing the point. And that is that this phone gives you total freedome without you losing your warranty.

  10. Surprisingly partial review, with no analysis at all, very surprised at your lack of knowledge.

    The N900 may not score on some user interface aspects, but you fail to mention how it has features the iphone can only dream off.

    DId you mention the phones main selling point? The multi tasking? Which the iphone can never do, the seamless integration of IM, texts, emails…you cant just compare it to things the iphone does well.

    THis is thicker with a keyboard which is a booon compared to the iphone, AND is a desktop class UI which is far more functional and quite slick.

    Disappointing review showing your lack of knowledge.

    1. If the main selling point is really a multitasking, than Nokia has serious trouble. Do you believe that majority of the cell phone buyers even recognise how does it influence their user experience?

      1. funny, nokia and sony ericsson and htc (a few) have had “apps” for years before the iPhone was even thought of.

        but that seems to be thier montra…we have an app for that…

        iphoney didnt have mms (as the n900 is not going to at launch) and they all justified that who needs it anyway…then they added it 3 years later…and it was like a holy grail had come out of the ground!

        believe me, when apple finally gives in to multi-tasking, it will be yet another ground-breaking, earth-shaking, got-to-have because apple finally invented it…and it will all be the marketing..which are paid for by the over-pricing they do on ALL of thier products.

      2. Hey guys stop crying for multitasking on Iphone, Install Backgrounder on 3GS and run as many things as you want in parallel

      3. @ Faadoo: Backgrounder is far from ideal isn’t it?

        http://code.google.com/p/iphone-backgrounder/wiki/Documentation

        I quote:
        “Applications are not designed to be run in the background (as Apple does not permit it). Thus some applications may not behave correctly when placed in the background. Also note that applications may use the suspend/resume methods to perform important tasks, such as saving preferences. If the application is not properly terminated, these tasks may never be run. For such applications, if your phone crashes or if you force power-off (by holding the power and menu/home buttons), your settings/information for that application will not be saved. Always make sure to properly shutdown such applications (by disabling backgrounding when the application is no longer needed). While this extension should work for all applications, it is recommended to use it only for background-enabling AppStore applications (which, again, are not allowed to include backgrounding code). If you wish to run a non-AppStore 3rd-party application in the background, it is suggested that you contact the author of the application and request that proper background support be added. “

  11. “The biggest problem I had with Maemo UI is that it isn’t unique enough”

    So every new OS has to be a NEW UI? I suppose if it was an exact replica of the iPhones that statement wouldnt apply?

    Have fun with your iPhone and let the big boys play with a REAL device.

    Honestly how do these people keep getting the N900 before people who actually want it and realize the full potential of it as opposed to going

    “Ooooh but its not as shiny as my iphone”

    1. “The biggest problem I had with Maemo UI is that it isn’t unique enough”

      annnd, why dont you list the numorous other units that use linux based OS for mobile devices that include telephony services that have a “floating” back screen in which all the widgets/icons seem to “float” on top of with a simlistic feeling of smoothness?

    2. @Bratag: exactly! iPhone fanboys keep complaining that the UI doesn’t look like the iPhone so I can’t use it coz it’s too complicated and don’t understand it… But if a UI looks similar to the iPhone’s than they say oh that’s a rip-off copy of the iPhone! So what do they want???

  12. Pretty fair review. I managed to get my hands on a really (really) unfinished pre-release piece at the NY store a month back. Surprisingly compact, and felt very quick. Still not sure about the keyboard; felt the keys could have had a higher profile to make them more accessible. The biggest disappointment was Ovi Maps, but I hear they are work to get the latest version on the a future firmware update is well underway.

    The only thing holding me back from buying this phone is the battery life, which currently seems to be an unknown. Does it genuinely manage to outlast a 3GS with all the radios on? If it lasts more than a day (which my G1 currently limps through), I’m sold!

    1. I as know with the latest firmware it’s battery life is very good: takes you through the day with WiFi & 3G & everything swithced on & loads of apps running in the background etc..

  13. I did a fairly detail comparison of the N900 with the iPhone and some Android devices. If you are interested see here:

    http://temporaryland.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/nokian900-not-just-an-itoy/

  14. “The UI of Maemo is crisp and clear, though it does look dated in comparison to Apple’s iPhone. …
    Both these operating systems have one common fault: they look very much like a PC-inspired OS. …

    It uses multiple desktops and also multiple screens, which makes the user experience a tad confusing. That’s one of the only knocks I have on the OS.”

    Your 2 only “knocks” with this OS are what makes it better than anything out there right now.

    The simple and clean UI looks awesome. And i’m a designer, so i know a little of what i’m talking about.

    And remember, opposite to the iPhone you can customize EVERYTHING on the N900, and install almost anything that works on Linux. You can install codecs to play any kind of video and audio files. Heck, if you dont like the included media player, just install another one!

    The browser behaves like a real desktop browser, so there’s no need for useless apps.
    If it’s on the internet you can run it.

  15. So, it would have gotten a 10/10 if it had a capacitive screen, bigger/roomier keyboard (though you mention (correctly) that the device is already quite large), and ‘newer’ UI? Is that correct?

    I seriously don’t intend this to be disrespectful at all, as I have a great deal of respect for you, Om, but do you mind my asking how long you’ve been using the N900, and if it’s been used as your *only* device, or if you’ve been tinkering with it periodically over the past few days?

    The reason I ask that is because I also have an N900 and I hated it for the first few days – I’ve come to realize that its experience is closer to that of a netbook with a SIM card embedded than it is to a phone or and iPhone or an Android device.

    Taken that way, it’s actually quite brilliant, though there are currently far too many caveats, IMO.

    I just always wonder, when people say, ‘well, it doesn’t beat the iPhone’, what exactly *would* beat the iPhone (and no one ever seems to have an answer)?

    1. Well that’s easy for an iPhone fan the iPhone is everything that they ever wanted so FOR THEM NOTHING beats the iPhone apart from obviously the next iPhone!

      What you say about the N900 makes sense because Nokia positioned the N900 as an Internet Tablet Multimedia device with phone capabilities. This is the 4th step out of 5 for Nokia to release a totally user friendly noob optimized Maemo 6 OS that will have an ease of use UI with all the openness and powerhouse under the hood. This Maemo 6 device is coming this year with capacitive screen and no hardware keyboard in a sleek sexy formfactor as I hear.
      This device is more for the early adopters, geeks & tech-enthusiasts so I’M DEFINITELY GETTING the N900 as soon as possible. I like resistive more than the capacitive anyways and I cannot live without a hardware keyboard…

  16. Yes, thank heavens it’s not like the iPhone. Even jail broken, it’s still a highly polished turd that reminds me of using a 15 year old PalmPilot with its only one app can run at a time model.

    I’ve got 3XL hands and struggle with my iPhooey (landscape or portrait mode) and with my Nokia N810. However, I still can get better accuracy using a physical keyboard vs. virtual.

    I look forward to some new themes to replace the bland symbian styled ones on the N900 and since the device is open, it won’t take long to find them.

    What location were you in where you had the outstanding T-Mobile service?

  17. Please give us your most in-depth review of the N900 after toying around with it a whole lot more with ‘ready-for-the-market’ Maemo instead of the beta version. I liked your span of coverage on the pros n cons a lot. Looking forward to above. Good one Om !

  18. Hey Om Malik…..the iPhone does not have flash!!!!
    All it has is a bunch or useless..dumbing down applications…can it make money for you? no. because it can’t browse into real browsing mode for trading websites..what a jacka…
    That’s his bottomline?!

  19. hahaha you can tell whatever you want… but there’s nothing like THE N900.

  20. Well at least you didn’t call it a review. But you should have at least titled it an opinion piece. Yes if your 16 to 20 years old you will still prefer your Iphone because it is more of a status symbol than an actual usable piece of equipment. If all you want to do is look good at the club, frat party, or you just want to play games on your phone and watch u tube. Stick to the Iphone If you need more than this. There is a market chock full of better phones.

    1. lmao…yes, if you want to look good at the club, frat party…etc

      you too can look good….just like everybody else!!!

      its like everyone shopping at the gap!

      i totally agree with your post.

  21. why would people compare capacitive and resistive touch screen? it is not fair to say capacitive is better than resistive, for people from china, thailand or UAE, hand writing is a must and capacitive touch screen does not support this. also, once you get use to resistive touch screen, it is very easy to navigate. what is so good about iphone apart from the fact that it has capacitive touch screen. I;m not a nokia fan but your review is very bias.

  22. Absolutely hilarious – the posters above, calling Om a iPhone fanboy. Have they ever even read this site?

  23. I think most Apple users are in the dark about what technology is really is out there and what is possible with that technology. They exist in a little sheltered box protected by the badge of arrogance oddly shaped like a half eaten apple. Ask an Apple user these semi-simple questions and they are lost:

    1) Do you know what tethering is?
    2) Do you know what multi-tasking is?
    3) Do you want to load flash based applications in your browser?
    4) Did you know that Bluetooth was designed to open up the world of connectivity for your small portable electronics? Do you want to connect to an external GPS through Bluetooth? Or perhaps, send your GPS coordinates to another Bluetooth device so that it can use it? Perhaps you would like to share files without restrictions through your Bluetooth connections? Or is connecting to your Bluetooth headset everything you would ever need in life?
    5) Do you want to categorize your apps into different menus. Sure you can move an icon from one of the screens to another screen but is that organized? I have about 100 apps on my iPhone but can’t place them under “Communication Apps”, “Utilities”, “Work”, etc.
    6) Do you want to pick anything smaller than your finger without first zooming IN? If two items are side by side you can’t, with precision, pick one from the other.

    I use to stump iPhone users when I asked them to copy a link from the web browser and put it into an email for me. Boy, things have really moved along for us.

    1. I want plenty of the things that you mention, but functionality beats availability every time. I have had multiple Nokia tablets for testing and use. Flash was unusable. They are now — finally – using a top end processor in the devices. Maemo needed work, but I appreciated the effort and the insight into “personal area networks.”

      I use and develop for the iPhone, primarily because of tools and market opportunities. It is still rough, but there is little to no market for the N900. Android however should be about ready this winter or spring. As a user of devices like SE 800s and such, you really should try to understand the user not your personal opinions. Mostly I agree with Om — not quite. It is a pretty damn nice device though, but that is no longer our measure.

  24. Bas Heetebrij Monday, October 19, 2009

    I have not used the N900 and only seen videos and reviews, but from what I can gather the UI is not as confusing as you describe it to be. I guess if we compare any UI to that of the iPhone, we can always say it is confusing, because in the end the iPhone’s UI is as straight forward and simple as it gets.

    Personally, I like the possibility to personalise your home screen and move between apps by use of the dash board. The iPhone way of using the centre button to return to a non customisable home screen with only app short cuts, drives me insane.

    Maybe I am alone in this, as I know people think iPod’s are great, and I also believe the iPod’s UI (not Touch) is too simple.

    In any case, I’d argue the N900 caters to a different audience that expects a more sophisticated UI that will take a few days to make it their own. I wonder though whether descriptives like “confusing” or “not unique enough” are appropriate.

    Lastly, I’d also like to second a comment made above by the Crypticum Keeper that considers yourr comment about calling the touch features extremely challenging a little exaggerated. I’d imagine it can’t be that bad.

  25. “Nokia needs to move away from its aging smartphone platform, Symbian.”

    I agree. Nokia has gotten a lot of mileage out of Symbian, but they need to transition their Symbian resources to Android ASAP & get some great devices to market…before it is too late.

    Android would allow them to stay competitive, in the entry-to-mid-level smartphone range, while buying them time to evolve Maemo for their high-end devices. Maemo could even be adapted to run Android OR Maemo apps, making it even more attractive, as a high-end platform.

    1. Too late for what? To loose the 30% odd market share they have?

    2. Android needs a 1GHz snapdragon platform to run smoothly! How could they sell entry level phones with that?

      While I’m not a big fan of Symbian I still think it’s great for the “simple” users and Nokia now positions the revamped 3 times quicker and better looking Symbian for the entry-mid level phones. I’ve never been a Nokia fan but now I’m getting the N900 and for my wife I’m considering the Nokia X6.

  26. Not even a single word about N900’s amazing multitasking capabilities…

  27. Wow, lots of iPhone – haters commenting I see. It’s interesting because the whole iPhone vs. everyone else debate going on the past few months to a year is very similar to the whole Apple Mac vs everyone else debate going on the past decade.

    The gripes:

    – Anyone who uses the (iPhone / a Mac) just uses it for status, prestige, for looks.
    – The (iPhone / Mac) is so closed off and proprietary etc. Apple controls the whole thing.
    – You can’t customize the (iPhone / Mac) as much as you can a (Nokia, Android, Palm / Windows PC).
    – The (iPhone / Mac) is a toy, junk, for kids, for people who don’t know tech unlike (Nokia, Android, Palm /
    Windows PC) which are for the big boys. lol
    – “The iPhone with it’s closed off App store and tight Apple control is going to fail”. “Apple with
    its closed system and tight control is going to fail.”

    We heard it back in 2000 up till now with Apple and we’re hearing it again with the iPhone.
    The PC fan bois complain about lack of features and the closed system while bringing up the laundry list of things missing from (iPhone / Mac). The Apple fan bois complain about the clunkiness of Win PC and the user experience.

    Of course I as an iPhone user wishes there was more functionality and options. Multi-tasking would be great, tethering would be cool, and Flash would be very much welcomed. Not to mention a better camera and some customizable options I want. The thing is, I and alot of other people (according to sales figures) are able to put up with the lack of these because of the overall user experience and ecosystem.

    It’s just different strokes for different folks.

    1. I personally prefer practically every single Linux-distribution (including Gentoo, as well) over Windows/Mac OS. I don’t hate Apple. I even prefer Mac OS over Wind OS (it blows). I have user experience with a couple of iTouches and an iPhone 3G, of which the touch screen is sometimes too sensitive in my opinion.
      But heck, you can’t really argue over matters of taste.

  28. using the iPhone as the gold standard to compare the N900 is specious when it is obvious that the iPhone does not support multi-tasking, Flash or a physical keyboard. What the iPhone offers in comparison is basically a sleek body/interface, lower battery-life, horrible radio, 3 MP camera, no-tethering support combined with a completely locked-down user-experience that screams for freedom.

    The N900 is superior in many aspects but your premise exposes bias. 6 out of 10 would then be a logical conclusion.

  29. You clearly shouldnt be writing on this subject because you know squat about handsets.

  30. haha, iPhone Lovers, let me tell u the truth. An iPhone is just a GameBoy, a really good one and the magical n900 ist just a Professional Device.

  31. Wow, this is where smartphones are headed and I’m impressed. Power, ability to take whatever and from where ever apps the user throws at it. This is no toy. Truly a computer-in-a-phone, this is the start of the netbook killers.

  32. Strange review. Makes comparison to iPhone, but doesn’t even mention the biggest selling point versus iPhone: multitasking.

  33. in My opinion the IPHONE is stylish, easy to use and a great for everyone who has never used a real smartphone before or prefers style over functionality. that being said IMO the iphone is not all that.
    hey 6 out of 10?? you got to be kidding me. that doesn’t feel like this is a fair review. you can list pages of things this phone can do and the iphone cant. the browser alone should get it 8 out of 10. that is just my opinion. the only thing i don’t like is that it has a 3 row keyboard and the price. i guess you have to pay for all that functionality somehow .

  34. Just a fan-boy I’m so getting the n900 I had a iphone and hated it same boring square icons Apple its my phone I bought it if I want to customize why not ? Anyway seeing the comments I do the math and more and more people see the truth iPhone sucks.

  35. THE Nokia N900 is the best device at the moment. Or at least the most COMPLETE.

    Stop comparing devices with eachother, every decive has its own purpose…

    As for the N900, it’s aimed to be a strong device, which you could compare with a netbook, or PC platforms.

    But the iPhone is compared to nothing, because it’s in its own league. It’s basically aimed to be a stylish phone with basic, premature features. But that’s all it offers.

    1. Yep, they are hardly in the same ballpark let alone in the same league.

      1. Yeah iPhone is for the “simple” or “convenient” users like kids, girls and pensioners. Oh an the so called “Stylish” people.

  36. may be its big than other smartphone.. but its doesnt mean that it dont have their own market.. i believe Nokia fan will get it.. but for me i’m much prefer that one which is small.. its easy to bringing along/.. :)

  37. Apple single greatest achievement is they made a “smart phone” for the general public who never had the need to buy smartphone’s before.

    Setting the benchmark as the Iphone is setting a poor benchmark. The Iphone is great for multimedia and internet browsing but with its poor security features would any business use it ahead of Blackberrys that you can manage remotely? NO.

    Everyone wants a piece of the Apple cachet and the Iphone will continue to sell well. The only way to beat the iphone is something disruptive rather than Nokia approach which is akin to trying to build a better mousetrap.

  38. How original? Another website comparing the iPhone with a Nokia phone. If both phones were “like for like” then one could compare the two phones, but they are no where near the same.

    Display Resolution iPhone: 320x480px Nokia N900: 800x480px
    Input / Navigation iPhone: Touch Screen Nokia N900: QWERTY Keyboard Touch Screen
    Internal Memory iPhone: 16GB Nokia N900: 32GB
    Camera Resolution iPhone: 3.15 Megapix Nokia N900: 5 Megapix
    External Memory iPhone: nothing Nokia N900: microSD
    OS iPhone: Apple Nokia N900: Maemo
    FM Transmitter iPhone: nothing Nokia N900: Present

    Those are just a few of the differences between the two phones, there are many more, so how you can possibly compare the two phones is beyond me?

    How many iPhones have been returned to Apple with broken screens or cracked screens versus Nokia 5800 phones??? I use the Nokia 5800 as a similar phone to the the iPhone (not direct comparison) only because it is 95% touch screen. I bet NO or very few 5800’s screen crack when dropped on concrete. From personal experience I’ve dropped my phone many times and it just works.!

    The Nokia N900/Nokia 5800 can multi-task (can run multiple different applications at one time). Right now my Nokia 5800 is running 7 applications (PowerMp3, Gravity, Web, Mobbler, Nokia Messaging, Google Maps with streetview and Calendar and I am sure I could open up a few more without it stopping.

    How many of those 50 000 applications be opened on the iPhone at any given time?

    :-)

  39. The iPhone is a pacifier.

  40. Do you realize that the N900 can multitask? Do you know that Maemo is Debian-based and runs Qt now? That, for some people, a physical keyboard is a prerequisite to getting any real work done?

  41. Avneesh S Balyan Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Wow.. so many comments…
    And people who are calling Om a fanboy of Apple, are nothing but the part of Nokia herd (and may be, Om is part of Apple herd…)
    Comments like, “xxx is nothing but a small computer in a pocket…”… C’mon guys, except very small crowd, no one wants computer… people want “sexy” and useful device… period… Thats what Nokia used to make (before current small computer and after toilet papers business)..
    Nokia needs to go back to basics how it became a prominent player in telecom (when it launched Microwave MUX in early ’80s, which was about half the price of available MUX and sleeker than other boxes)… When Nokia launched its mobile phones, it was its UI which differentiated it from other’s aged text only screens phones.
    Nokia is simply evolving and confused between tablet, computers and phones UIs…. Is Apple good, havent owned; but after using for few hours (multiple times), Nokia needs to do lot before even becoming a real NOKIA of ’90s and early this decade. Just gaming is enough for Apple to keep beating Nokia..

  42. you haven’t got a clue have you i have used both for a while now and the n900 is far better device

  43. never knew nokia fanboys were soo insecure!!

    1. and i never knew apple fanboys were so stupid

    2. You see the difference is that I never liked Nokia but the N900 totally excited me, so I’m the last to be called Nokia fanboy. Actually I don’t think there are many so called hardcore Nokia fans. As I see it Nokia is just selling very very well because people like their products, they are simple and they just work. So Nokia doesn’t need fanboys while Apple has hordes of fanboys, it’s like a sect… :|

  44. how can you give it a 6 out 0f 10 your joke

  45. 6 out of 10…right.

    pull my left leg, it plays jingle-bells!

    when a company believes that its customers cannot make decisions on thier own and feel compelled to make those decisions for the user, what is the difference between communism and that?

    apple constantly dummies its users into being just like everyone else on thier equipment.

    actually, apple products can do anything you want them to do…they are quite remarkable….

    ….so long as apple thinks they should be able to do it! :P

    here is the most in-depth, open review that has been written on the web.

    http://my-symbian.com/other/preview_n900.php

    and if you want to see some of the decent videos on youtube:

    be sure to watch the very end of the video and then let me know about your “6”

  46. “Nokia Still Not Close to the iPhone”

    Strange that you would compare the N900 to the IPhone, they are a different class of device and comparison are difficult it seems.

    “I’m not a big fan of the company’s multiple operating system strategy, but it is becoming clear: Nokia needs to move away from its aging smartphone platform, Symbian. ”

    Symbian S60 5th needs a rework, thats for sure and its coming but why would they abandon such a strong brand? Multiple OS’s give Nokia flexibility to address different sectors easily and is surely a good idea, no?

  47. oh, and remember, this is pre-production versions of the software.

    i hope your iFinger is doing better after you over-abused it using the resistive screen. :/

    pleeeease!

  48. sudeep bhattacharjee Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    hi hello,,

    Having seen N900 only in T.V.

    Nokia N900 is the best device,

    compared to other devices

    N900, is a stronger device not less than a Note Book or a PC.

    iPhone campared to N900 is a Toy, or an ordinary Cell phone.

  49. I don’t like Apple because of there politics, so this would be a reason to not buy iphone. Of course I admit the 3GS with it’s UI. On the other side I’m questioning if you are not bored of the stupid static homescreen finally.
    Just another awesome feature of N900 beside others on posts here is the deep Skype integration into the OS. No opening the one and only app and try to make a skype call with another contact list in the skype app. Also you see the history of SMS, Skype calls and others all together. It’s just perfect made on the N900. Incredible phone, another league though.
    This guy did scratch only on the surface, not more.

  50. The iPhone is HUGELY overrated. The interface is clunky and cluttered looking, the firmware updates are far too regular (reflecting its rush-to-market development methodology) and its big brother style of application management is a slap in the face to anyone who is sick to death of the proprietary locks that have held back the cell phone market for too long now.

    That said, I am reserving judgement on the N900 until I’ve used it myself, but this “review” smacks of someone who is emotionally invested in Apple products.

  51. LOL 6 out of 10! i don’t think you like smart do you ? your a guy who only thinks what apple thinks. sorry this phone is going to destroy the iphone.

    1. Ah yes, Another in the long list of phones that have/has/will destroy the iphone.
      One thing I’ve learned is that i’ll believe it when i see it.

  52. I might seem out of place here….but while i adore smart phones….i hate those bloody touch screens…i’m sorry…but quite frankly…i probably get the wierd ones, but it stalls and gives me a headache…nokia…who has been my sidekick since i was allowed to have cell phones, in my opinion, and yes it is biased, has come out on top….thank god they put regular buttons.

  53. Rational Person Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    “Apple makes its things great by leaving features out; Nokia somehow believes that adding more makes its products great.”
    You sir, are a brainwashed retard.

  54. My god. This article is so biased! Om Malik, you sadly are an example of a huge apple fanboy! Sad that you are actually allowed to write articles that are published.

  55. Rational Person Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    I repeat, R-E-T-A-R-D-E-D

  56. I’m wondering if half assed articles like this only serve to give your website a few more views.
    If that was the objective, Mission Accomplished.

    But now I also know to never come here again for objective information / comparisons about anything.
    It was the first and last time.

  57. I’m a Nokia boy 4 life. Additional reason why i love the n900 is beacuse i can boycott the at&t’s data plan. Stay w/ me on this 1.

    Amazon.com has the n900 for $582.99. the n900 has multitasking and even the “unlocked” freedom to use it w/ any network. So You buy the iphone for $100 and have to pay extra $30/month for two years and thats the end of the iphone except you buy another two yr contract. in the long run you end up paying $30x24months= $720.00 plus additional $100(the actual handset) giving a total of $820.00. WHAT THE F***, ONLY RETARDS DO THAT SH*T. PLEASE BUY THE N900 AND BE HAPPY.

  58. This won’t destroy the iPhone – no phone ever will.

    Simply because majority of iPhone users have the IQ of a ant, and using a more complex and powerful device would be too much for them.

    In fairness, the iPhone web browsing is THE best, and it brings apps to the mass market. iPhone is not a power users device.

    This IS a power users device. So if you want more from your phone – this is what to get. And if you just want it to be easy to use. Get an iPhone.

    1. “In fairness, the iPhone web browsing is THE best”

      It is not true, as Iphone does not support flash and java, it loads the website faster. If you change the setting in nokia web browser to exclude all the flash and java content, the speed would be the same.

  59. Why does everybody have to argue about COMPLETELY different devices?

    It’s like arguing about a house or an apartment… there’s people who prefer one to the other…

    WE (the customers) are just buying the device… We’re not entitled to argumentative privileges…lol
    IF anything, then the founders and workers of the device can argue which is better.
    Can you all just please buy your device that’s convenient to your purpose and keep those immature opinions to yourselves?…

    I, as a customer of NOKIA…will buy the N900, because it matches my criteria.

    the iPhone is all good and dandy, as so is 100 other devices, but just not for what I need/want it for.

    Peace out, make love not war. <3…it's never late for human evolution…

  60. A kids review basically. Wake up kid!!

  61. Robert Morrison Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Christ, even the Nokia N97 is better than the iPhone! The iPhone is a toy, its browser is no good, its camera is no good, its OS is brain dead (one app at a time, come on!)… I can’t wait to get my hands on the Nokia N900, I never even wanted an iPhone and I wouldn’t carry one if you gave it to me. The new Nokia phones (N97 and N900) should not even be compared with outdated junk like the iPhone, that’s like comparing a donkey to a thoroughbred racehorse.

  62. Wow. All the iphone hate, for a device that REVOLUTIONIZED mobile computing. When the iphone was introduced it was a paradigm shift for smartphone users. All of a sudden it wasn’t okay to just be feature-laden you needed to have a GOOD user interface, not the crap most companies throw out the door. Talk all the smack you want but Apple changed the market, smartphones weren’t just for nerdy types that stayed home on friday and saturday nights multi-tasking away and tethering their phones to their laptops “just because I can”. ANY new phone will be compared with the iphone because no one has been able to displace it as the top seller and best user experience. I have yet to use a phone with anywhere near the user interface of the iphone. Yes it is simple, but guess what that is what is so brilliant about it. Yes the new feature laden supermobilecomputer 5000 is impressive but is SUCKS to use on a day to day basis unless you are the kind of person that gets a hard on configuring your phone for 8 hours a day. In summary the N900 is a feature laden new age mobile computing device that costs and arm and a leg. In 12 months something more feature laden with more memory and better resolution will be available, but do I care ? No I don’t. I want a phone that works well, that is easy and fun to use. I have a laptop if I want to use a computer. Can the N900 run octave ?

    1. Maemo is easy to use and very user friendly, just because it can do nerdy hacker things too it doesn’t mean it has a command line interface only!?!
      Yeah but can you run octave on your laptop on the go? It’s about mobility. And just for example N900 runs the full desktop version of Quake III arena even in multiplayer mode @ 30 fps!!!

  63. @ AW

    The iPhone also costs an arm and a leg, so what are you trying to say?

    The iPhone is a RIP-OFF. END OF.
    With the N900, you get MORE for LESS price. So why would you want a plastic-toy-device that looks like its made in a corner shop in China :S:S:S:S when you can get something that’s worth your money?

    lolit dont cry because you have no money left to buy the N900!!!+¨11+!!!111loool

    1. Ummm… $650 is not less than $200. We can sit here an argue about contract length, jailbreaking, which carrier, and life cost all we want but the bottom line is that the N900 has a 3x higher initial investment. I could explain the time value of money to you and how an investment today of $650 and $50 every month thereafter is much worse than a $200 investment and $60 every month thereafter. Or we could talk about how the N900 will be “obsolete” to those that care in about a year or less and you will buy the next fancy phone to come out to be “ahead of the pack”. But the bottom line is that if you see the value in spending that amount of money on a phone that will *NOT* be the most feature laden in 1 year then do it, I could care less, just don’t bad mouth a phone that re-defined the industry and has an infinitely superior UI.

      1. The N900 has a feature that will not be obsolete in a year, two, or however long the device lasts – freedom and openness. Besides, the interface of the N900 is much, much better than the iPhone’s.

      2. AW,
        People around me who use iPhones for some reason seem to need to upgrade their iPhones just as often as you bash the Nokians here for. When the second-gen (i.e. “iPhone 3G”) was released they suddely just had to replace their first-gen units and interestingly enough the same thing happened when the iPhone 3GS came out. Just because Apple retains the iPhone name and general design it isn’t the same thing as nobody upgrading.

        I agree the iPhone in a way revolutionized the industry, but calling it “an infinitely superior UI” is just as pretentious as preposterous. The internet browsing experience for one thing is drastically handicapped compared to this one just for leaving out flash support.

        What most people here are upset by (and which spills over in what you see as iPhone-bashing) is that the iPhone/N900 comparison is faulty in the first place. Imagine a car magazine testing a new Ferrari with spectacular performance and dismissing it because it has poor visibility when parking and can’t fit enough luggage for an entire family. These two hones cater to different markets – so why do this direct comparison?

  64. I’m looking forward to getting this device.

    Good review, but I’m not sure what was meant by “It didn’t at any point feel like a Linux-based device”. What does a Linux-based device “feel like”? I think that shows some prejudice or ignorance regarding what Linux is.

  65. But for $650?! I think not.

    1. Actually, found it on Newegg.com for $559.00, pre-order till 11/14/09.

      I still think $300 is the most I’d shell out. Are you people getting bonuses monthly or something?

  66. On the subject of the cost of the iPhone vs. N900…

    In Singapore, the iPhone 3GS is available, whereas the N900 is not expected to be released anytime soon or ever. The iPhone is heavily subsidized by the only carrier that is currently allowed to sell it, but regulations here are such that it is illegal to lock a phone to a specific telco. I happen to be with the iPhone carrying telco. Thanks to the iPhone hype, lots of ppl on the other telcos want the iPhone but can’t get it. I don’t want it. What did I do? I recontracted and bought a subsidized iPhone. Immediately I sold it to someone on another telco. With the proceeds I can almost (I’m short of approx. USD100) finance my purchase of a N900 from the US, incl. shipping and taxes. I’m only trying to figure out the warranty side of things right now…

    Thanks to the hype surrounding the iPhone I can get the N900 almost free! Isn’t it great?

    1. WOW! Well done mate! Haha, I guess when that bloke you sold the iToy sees your N900 will go green and explode from enviousness

  67. Wow. What a completely schizophrenic review. Seriously. What was that, because that was a mess? I’m going to cut YOU a break — because it’s clear that everyone before me has already ripped you a new one — and simply say.

    If you hate Nokia products that’s fair enough, a lot of people do. But aren’t you supposed to review a product on it’s OWN merits? That’s what a “review” does? You take the product, you have a “STANDARD LIST” criterial. You make a judgment based on THOSE standards, and the standards of the company’s history, and their customers base. Not a completely DIFFERENT company and their customer base.

    When everything is said and done. That’s YOUR JOB. Your job as a reviewer is to have an unbiased view point, and stick to the standard criterial for reviewing. To make SO MANY unprofessional comparisons makes it really clear that you do not know what your job is. Which means you are NOT trust worthy, and not worth my time. Thank you good-bye.

  68. It’s understandable that people would get so obsessed about specific features and just want more more more, but simply having a longer bullet list of features does not make something great. There have already been smartphones with more features and more of this and more of that than the iPhone, but they come out to great fanfare and then are just “another” phone with more features and higher this or that.

    It’s very easy for a company to just add features by bolting things on…that’s not the hard part. The hard part is streamlining the device by making tough decisions on what should be left out. Yea I know, “what? taking away options makes it better!?!?!!?!”…..newsflash, yes it does make it better in many respects, and not just in the phone/computing industry. Note I said many respects, I did not say take away ALL features. Of course there are things I wish the iPhone did, but getting the balance between feature set and user experience elevates tech to an artform. And yes, I did just imply the iPhone is a work of art.

    There are phones that can tether. There are phones that can multi-task. There are phones that can do alot more than the iPhone, yet they fail to garner the following let alone revolutionize the industry as the iPhone.

    For the groups of people out there who need specific features or bragging rights of higher specs and longer list of features, there are other phones out there that will do the job well. But for most people out there who want a supreme user experience, there’s the iPhone.

    1. Its ot funny that when Apple takes away STANDARD features , it by itself is a feature.

      Or remember when Apple took away ability to line up songs sequentially (which every player could do) and called it shuffle mode – it became a feature …

      You guys CAN learn to live without standard features if its by Apple. Is that what is the definition of “Fanboy” ?

  69. “yet they fail to garner the following let alone revolutionize the industry as the iPhone”

    Garner the following, yes. Revolutionize the industry? Nah… There is only one word: Hype.

  70. 6 out of 10? I think he’s being generous. You sheeple whining about how the N900 is the greatest handset ever are either nuts or you’ve never even had a chance to touch/use the device… I have and it’s a disaster. The build quality is atrocious… I still have a Nokia 6310i that’s close to 10 years old and compared to that phone the N900 feels like a cheap piece of plastic junk. The vaunted multi-tasking that you love to point out should have never been allowed out of alpha builds… the idea of multi-tasking is great… the Nokia implementation is a horror show of slow-downs, lock-ups, and crashes. The whole OS is just a mess… doing things that should be dead simple end up making you want to pull your hair out after jumping thru hoop after hoop of ridiculously convoluted menu options.

    This is going to be another handset that all the Nokia fanboys will get their panties in a wad about but the rest of the world will ignore. Oh sure… they’ll descend on the comments section of any website that even mentions the N900 spouting off about how it’s the greatest thing ever and pointing out all the great “features” it has that the iPhone doesn’t… they’ll whine and cry about anyone who doesn’t agree with them being an iPhone fanboy or an Android fanboy but in the end this is just another in the long line of Nokia’s latest efforts that will just fade into the background once people actually get their hands on the thing… and in the meantime Nokia’s market share will continue to plummet as their fans continue to fill website comment sections with post after post about their precious Nokia being the only “true” smartphone. Sorry guys but based on the numbers the rest of the world has figured out that Nokia is dying a slow death… relegated to providing cheap, lowest denominator handsets that nobody really wants… and all the posts in the world ain’t gonna fix that.

      1. Dave = Wrong :)

      2. WHy do some people have this idea of Nokia dying while Apple takes over as #1? I mean Nokia’s smartphone market share is 40%, RIM’s 20%, Apple’s 17%. But Apple’s 17% is a spike in the 3rd quarter when they release the new iPhone, otherwise they are around 9%. Nokia’s and RIM’s sales are stable throughout the year. And that’s only the smartphone segment, Nokia sells a huge amount of normal handsets too. I’m least a fan of Nokia just thought I try to clear this up since everybody is hyping Apple up.

    1. Apple have had their fears come true with the launch of N900, and they are now paying reviewers to write crap about N900….whats more, they are even paying people to top up the review with similar comments, as was done here by Brian….He has given such an extensive review of N900 on 24th October…can he please explain how did he got hold of the device by that date???

  71. the reviewer does not have a clue; this new phone does far more than the iphone and is incredibly more flexible given the Linux foundation

  72. I believe that there is truly no comparison between both the iPhone and the N900. These two devices are not even to be compared. I just wanted to know more about the N900. These phones are about convenience and everybody has a different opinion and that’s the bottom line. The comparison for the BEST touch-screen phone will be close to non-existent as more phones with different options are becoming available. At this rate, you might as well wait 10 years as the technology will be far more superior beating both the N900 and IPhone.

  73. @ AW

    You stopped making sense on your first post…If you buy the iphone unlocked, it doesnt cost that much more than the iphone unlocked. Plus, what does it matter about price? The N900 will also get cheaper and better offers. The iPhone is just a fashion statement, as the N900 is technology and future.

    There`s no questioning that, whether you like it or not, sorry.

  74. correction: ****I meant the N900 isnt much more than the iphone unlocked****

    1. ummm….i predict you are not much of a heavy user then…because you clearly do not know the difference between x86 and arm11, customizable and non-customizable, multi-tasking and non-multi-tasking, etc.

  75. if nokia n 900 gets 6/10 i phone 3gs is getting 0.01/10……………………how do i know ………i bought them both………..pls buy my i phone its a complete loss and save my computer from i tunes

    1. Who’s the bloody liar? You claim to have bought a N900 and the phone isn’t available yet.

      – Until you post a pic of your unit with gigaom.com on the screen I’m afraid you’re the joke of the thread.

    2. this is a good one…i have had 2 n900’s on pre-order since 9/10/09….still not shipped.

  76. this guy is a marketting officer who works for apple……………bloody lier

  77. You are clearly too much of an Apple fanboy to be able to give someone looking for a phone a good idea of what to go for. Anything Ipod does will always for you be better. For example if it was Apple that came up with the ability to have four home screens you will be saying it is the greatest thing ever.

  78. Jonas Lihnell Monday, November 2, 2009

    I’m surprised none of you seem to get the real benefit of the maemo platform. The “linux” part.

    If you thought any previous cellphone ever had this great an opportunity for expansion or development then reconsider. This phone is capable of carrying and playing every single console game dated before SegaCD/Playstation1, it is probably capable of playing an extremely wide range of media formats as well.

    Seriously, what other phone can you find that has a realistic opportunity to be able to play Vorbis audio and Theora video?

  79. This is ridiculous. The N900 has not been released yet and the guy wrote this review.
    We can not even realizing that Hi’s a big fan of the Iphone.
    When I buy something I am not just buying something. I am buying an idea.
    I do not like the idea of feeling in a jail. Even if I decide to “jailbreaking”, then I am really a outlaw.
    That is the feeling of having an Iphone.
    I’m hoping to get my N900 soon.

  80. @Jonas: 99% of the iPhone crowd would’ve had a brainfart at the mention of Vorbis.

    2 phones, 2 demographics.
    iPhone = ‘OOOH SHINY!!!111″ . It’s for people who are technology-illiterate, or basically don’t care about paying extra, being locked in etc etc (all the negative points that detractors have been saying). They don’t mind shelling out money to Apple for whatever benefit it offers them. This demographic is probably 99% of everyone who bought an iPhone anyway.

    Everything else: People buy what suits their needs. I’d buy an N900 when the price reduces a bit more, because I value the flexibility, the extensibility and feature set. Also I have quite a few working brain cells to figure out a UI that isn’t made by Apple. The same goes for WinMo or HTC or whatever else.

    Oh and finally- I don’t live in the US. Hence I’ve been accustomed to multitasking, 3G, sharing content via Bluetooth/IR/MMS, copy-paste etc for over 5 years now.
    Hint: Before iPhone, what did people go for in the US? The Motorola Razr series, that debuted in 2002 and continued selling for the next 5 years till the iPhone came out. It isn’t even a smartphone, FFS.

  81. Om Malik …you are a stupid fat pig….obviously you have never used the phone….

  82. Google ‘A Tale of the iPhone People’ for another take on this ongoing ‘debate’.

    1. Hahahahahaha lol! That’s EPIC! So funny and so true, actually it was nearly the conversation I had with my friend over the time since he got his 3GS. He was “bullied” into getting an iPhone because he wasn’t cool anymore with his Nokia N95?!? Lol, like a kid. He is like a sheep: get what everybody thinks is the coolest/best otherwise you are out! LOL…

  83. Have you even seen or played with the Nokia n900? Everything is copied everything from the net. Dont comment based on something you never have seen or used.

  84. Apple Iphone’s are for those users who don’t know much about technology and is inspired by its ease of use and popularity. Nokia’s are for those users who got brains to think what they can do with their device and modify them.

    Plus Apple has copied about more than 100 patents from Nokia and Palm, yet Apple refuses to pay for it as of now. Nokia was the leading phone seller based on technology and Nokia still stood against its competition.

    I have seen Apple Iphones not withstanding harsh temperatures and the screen breaking when dropped. I wonder if an Apple would survive if it was sunk for half an hour in water. Apple’s restriction on the user is greater than Nokia users.

    And of course every company will have a sales drop once in a while due to competition. Apple is so gonna get pwned this time. Nokia phones are usually user friendly than other phones. Even those users who don’t speak English much use the Nokia more. Apple as other users say is a status symbol more than a user-oriented device. Even in the case of signal strength nothing can beat Nokia. Nokia has been in the telecommunication field since ages. Only if Nokia has improved more in the visual department can it succeed as of todays market. I as a Nokia fan would stick to Nokia. Its more like AMD vs Intel. But Intel still did it.

    One advantage would be the price drop because of competition. Newer technology being bought is another advantage.

    And for those losers who says that Nokia will sink, ur wrong. Nokia will fight back and Apple users can just start wearing diapers then. I despise the reviewer for giving such a lame review. I wonder if he has even touched the Nokia N900. Copy paste? No pics of unboxing or using the device. It’s as if this review was written in a rush blaming the Nokia altogether without explaining the fine details. If u wanna write a review, write it in detail rather than judging a device without even trying to discover all the functions.

  85. fuck sake you iphone users piss me off this nokia n900 makes the iphone 3gs look silly get real man your just jelous get your facts right iphones are all the same there shit with no keyboard nokia n900 is the best phone made to day take a look at the videos of it the things it can do its a tv remote it can do anything and it gets better the more times you use it fuck u iphone users i really would love 2 meet you and slap u hahahahaaha lol

    1. punctuation my friend. I feel like slapping you with a bunch of period’s and comma’s.

  86. My opinion, N900 is real working tool for people that likes to have control of it’s life in a fun way, iPhone is the best toy so far, that does what Apple want you to do.

  87. I think N900 is the Best device from nokia and what a browser it has that is capable to run “Google Wave
    ” . can a iphone browser run a google wave in it’s browser ? I think that From iPhone 2G to IPhone 3G and IPhone 3G to IPhone 3GS , Apple is only working on it’s UI but they can’t think about the basic requirement of a Smartphone is Multitasking . N900 hasthe great Multitasking ability i have seen the video on youtube in which it is capable to run about 25 appplication at a runtime and in it’s task manager if u r watchiing a video it is also running in task manager same as Vista an Win 7

  88. The N900 can do something that I personally have been waiting for for a long time (and I don’t think iPhone can do it): stream music over my home Wi-Fi network from my PC.

    Combine that with the 27GB usable storage in mass memory, and this means that I no longer need my iPod. When I’m home, I can access my entire music collection (not just 30GB of it as with my iPod) over Wi-Fi, and for away from home use I can store nearly 27GB of that collection in mass memory.

    This feature is also the source of my biggest complaints about the device. First, it can also stream video over Wi-Fi, but the feature is useless because the buffering never gets far enough ahead to provide smooth playback. If this worked, I could use the device to watch videos/movies stored on my PC while sitting in my backyard on a summer night.

    Second, the device is supposed to be able to retrieve images via Wi-Fi, but I can’t get that to work. It can see all my shared media directories, but no images ever show up in them.

    The only other significant complaints I have about the device: not enough apps switch orientation upon rotating the device, with the web browser being the most significant of those, and there is no feedback when sending a text message (and so I have sent messages twice, thinking that the first send failed).

    Oh, and I have found one bug: photos from the camera that are transferred to a PC cannot be edited (e.g., rotate via right-click menu) until they are read into a image editing program and saved. Vista complains about “invalid image properties”, so I suspect that the camera software doesn’t generate fully valid image files.

    1. Was that a final production unit?

      1. Yes it was. However, I have since realized that the video issue is probably of my own doing.

        When I stream a full length movie to the device, it plays back as smooth as silk. It is only when I stream tiny videos made from a digital camera that the choppy playback happens. I converted those videos from the camera’s native format (which the N900 doesn’t support) to .avi – I can probably fiddle with conversion parameters to eliminate the choppy playback.

        I still cannot get the N900 to see the images on my server, though. Those are normal .jpg images, so I can’t imagine what the problem is. Perhaps it is related to the apparent incorrect/non-standard format the phone’s camera generates? Maybe the file permissions are somehow not what they need to be?

        Anyway, at this point I much prefer the N900 to the European HTC Hero I was using (and the 5800 XM before that). I’m in a fortunate position, however, since I write software for smart phones, and hence my company gives me use of the latest and greatest devices. ;-)

      2. Thanks for the feedback! This will be my next computer and phone! :-)

  89. Funny to compare the N900 to the iPhone. Seriously, the iPhone is a dumb-phone compared to the N900. The iPhone would probably win a beauty contest, though.

  90. With no offense to anybody, I found out 2 things from this article:
    1) The reviewer totally is underrating the Pocket Dynamo (Yes thats the name I would refer N900 to as after reviewing many reviews and videos over the past 8-10 days).
    2) The reviewer is highly-overrated given the limited points he put forth (or rather due to many he missed), and also due to the interest he has generated given the replies here (OK…I am too a culprit)

    Why do comparisons always start with IPhone whenever Nokia or for that matter any other company comes out with a touchscreen phone. Atleast with respect to N900, there cant be any comparison at all. Both of these phones have totally different target audience. IPhone is for girls (and also for girlie boys), who really dont care what all features are there in their phone, but want a shiny pompous device to be seen in their hands. N900 is for real boys and men, people who really dont care if their phone is not the shiniest, not the lightest, or not really one which they can flaunt (though this cant be said for N900….It is a hella of a device to flaunt). It is for people who buy a phone (or rather I should say a mini computer) for the features, which Nokia have always been obliging nicely to providing in their devices.

    People talk about that IPhone has been since years with their Capacitive touchscreen, still why cant Nokia come out with one. Do such people ever think why is Iphone still not able to multitask?? Or why even Iphone 3GS still lacks behind quite a few sub-200$ phones in camera quality?? Simply because these are not required by people who buy cellphones for features (now my “Iphone is for girls” point may seem logical”.

    More than the release of N900, I am more interested in the thought of the devices which would come out subsequently on its line. N900 is only a beginning. I hope it doesnt disappoint me. Otherwise I will still have to wait before I upgrade my 5800.

  91. I hope it will be available in Australia for 850MHz UMTS.

    Yes, N900 and iPhone are two different markets at the moment.

    The iPhone maybe lacking in features and specs but it is a joy to use and hold. It is easy to use, with absolutely nothing to read or to check how to do this. You can put the iPhone down for a couple of months, pick it up again, and no thinking ‘where was that feature now, can’t find it’. The iPhone is designed with this in mind and that’s what ‘tech’ people don’t want understand.

    But for me, the N900 suits me. I hope they get the portrait feature addressed and add MMS. Also I’m hoping it will sync with my Ubuntu Linux system.

  92. It makes me sick to see how every single tactile screen phone is compared to the iphone.N900 has a 5 mpx camera,and so many more capabilities than the iphone,i dont deny that the user-friendliness of the iphone cant be found elsewhere,but its not the best phone ever.The lack of real keyboard makes life difficult

  93. Apple makes toys. Big boys toys, but still toys. It appeals to supposedly understated yuppies. Their act is getting old not because their phone is not competitive but because of how annoying the people who carry it is. It’s just way too cute.

    Kudos to Apple for this revolution they started, their software is getting old.

    If you don’t believe me just see how many times this reviewer proclaims how stylish Apple is compared to everything else. Sigh.

  94. uhmm yeah comparing a device like this to an iphone or any “iphone like device” is like comparing a Semi-Truck to a Compact vehicle. Totally pointless!

  95. Om, i think you have just disturbed the crowd a lot, in a bad way of course. As a new audience here, i’m totally doubtful about your journalism. This article had earned you a very bad reputation.

  96. 6 out of 10 is appalling. I haven’t even seen the phone and I would give it an 8 out of 10 just on the specs alone. And if it lived up to what it decribed in it’s features: fast web browsing, stable connection, no drop calls, I would give it a 9. I am reserving 10 out of 10 when I actually test one myself. The more tech savy individual would be able to realize that the author is skewed / biased in another direction and is not giving an honest review of this phone.

    I have used the Iphone and Itouch and regard it as a beautiful work of art, and I have enjoyed many hours on it but the practical side of it, ie: no expansion slot, no access to battery, must send it to Apple to change the battery (to name a few) is annoying and frustrating. I would want choice. I would think consumers would want choice. Iphone gives you no choice.

    I plan on buying this phone when i switch carriers in Jan.

  97. dude..i still dunno why people keep comparing any new released device with iphone?what so special about it that others didnt have?can someone explain to me?i need the resolution of this thing

  98. Not a bad review but i wander at times whether apple pays for or at least influences these reviews. I own an iphone but i want the truth not some biastly negative review cleverly dressed up with a few positive comments in order to avoid suspicion.

  99. There is one thing that the IPhone has done and that is stimulate innovation in the phone market, the IPhone FORCED nokia to make changes to it’s products. Which for consumers can only be a positive.

    The only thing that really grinds my gears about nokia is the TERRIBLE customer support when comparing it to Apple, being in the UK we have the best of both worlds so one can easily compare these two companies. But as a consumer I think its useless trying to be customers loyal, as a consumer you should think for yourself and weigh the products up and decide which is best for you, instead of becoming a consumer whore. These arguments are getting old ATI vs Nvidia, Apple vs PC, AMD vs Intel etc we have seen it all before and its nothing but very good marketing departments manipulating customer perception…

  100. American mobile users never saw the smart phone experience till Iphone came out. So lets put it this way….Iphone came out looking pretty and external beauty is wshat attracts buyers that only go for looks and not its features…… 1000s of people lined up outside to buy the 1st generation Iphone not knowing that it wasnt 3g, didnt have video recording, bluetooth data transfer was restricted……so one can see who buys Iphones…People that have owned Nokia smart phones since 2004 like the 6600 symbian and have gone through the whole N series experience, will find hard to switch over to an Iphone 3gs simply because of the fact that Nokia doesnt has no restrictions……take the N95 for example ..it probably came out 2 years ago and still has features that are still missing in the newer cell phones……built in GPS reciever for one (hardware) Nokia 91 was the first phone in 2005 to have a 4gb hardrive……that was 4years ago….Nokia never marketed their phones in the US because American customers werent ready to pay the price of Nokia…….Nokia is probably the only brand that holds its residual value ( go check Ebay) Europeans were using VOIP on Nokias 2 years ago which just now became avaibale on the the 3gs…..
    Dont comepare the Iphone 3gs to the N900…….Nokia N900 doesnt look pretty but its bundled up way heavier than the Iphone 3gs…….Who ever will buy the N900 would only buy it if they are technologically inclined……majority of the iphone users buy the phone because it is the IN thing in cellualr phone market here in the US……..majority of the Iphjone users dont know crap about smart phones as they go for looks …

  101. Very strange how almost exactly your impressions are to mine as you seem a loyal follower of nokia like i am…

    But in reality this is soon to be 2010 and they are always one step behind somewhere maybe if they were not so concerned on their profit margin as they would be in making a great device they could come out on top but the overall hard headiness of them will soon set in if it hasn`t already.

    3rd party makes the phone use-able so that needs to be there focus for now but they are on the right path but wrong approach. Symbian needs to just r.i.p now not 2012.
    The touch will be soon and they are fighting Apple over so said copy right infringement and vice versa.
    I have seen multi-touch on a soon to be possibly snapdragon device with 1gb processor with capacitive but will be no muti-touch till they sort out legal issues with apple. (top secret) NO B.S will be 3rd quarter 2010. Keep an eye out and remember i said it first even though i can go to jail for doing so. The balls i have.. LoL

    The Nokia x6 will release soon with capacitive screen but guess what it is running symbian no maemo. but is a very sleek device.

    you do seem a bit fanboy of the iphone but your opinion to me is honest they need to just team up and say the hell with it and waitch the money pour IN!

    1. Umm… 1 gigabit processor? Were on acid writing that comment?
      BTW, double-post.

    2. I think you will find that Apple has a massive profit on anything they sell.

  102. Very strange how almost exactly your impressions are to mine as you seem a loyal follower of nokia like i am…

    But in reality this is soon to be 2010 and they are always one step behind somewhere maybe if they were not so concerned on their profit margin as they would be in making a great device they could come out on top but the overall hard headiness of them will soon set in if it hasn`t already.

    3rd party makes the phone use-able so that needs to be there focus for now but they are on the right path but wrong approach. Symbian needs to just r.i.p now not 2012.
    The touch will be soon and they are fighting Apple over so said copy right infringement and vice versa.
    I have seen multi-touch on a soon to be possibly snapdragon device with 1gb processor with capacitive but will be no muti-touch till they sort out legal issues with apple. (top secret) NO B.S will be 3rd quarter 2010. Keep an eye out and remember i said it first even though i can go to jail for doing so. The balls i have.. LoL

    The Nokia x6 will release soon with capacitive screen but guess what it is running symbian no maemo. but is a very sleek device.

    you do seem a bit fanboy of the i-phone but your opinion to me is honest they need to just team up and say the hell with it and watch the money pour IN!

  103. Tip: use some fingernail on a resistive touchscreen, and you get more precision than from a capacitive screen.

  104. Well… I can’t agree with you…
    I agree with “The company has made tremendous progress and with the N900″, and I think they could make it better… but I think that it can’t be compared to a smartphone like iPhone. It’s primarily a tablet with phone features…
    Next time you’ll compare Vaio P’s to iPhone? (just to flame a bit :P).

    it isn’t perfect, but surely more useful for a devel than iPhone (and it doesn’t need 99$ tax every year to “play” with it as developing platform…).

  105. Out of all seriousness. The iPhone is a childs toy in the world of gadgets. Sure, it looks good. But that’s because it lacks a lot of features that it should have. Sure it’s easy to use. But that’s because it’s designed for those people that need ease of use without all the functionality.

    I am finding a lot of people are using the iPhone these days. A lot of people with a lot of know how. But I know these people. I know that up until now, they thought a windows mobile phone was great because you could check your email on it. These same people never ventured down the path of digging deep into the phones guts to completely modify the OS. They never even cared about having a decent camera on their phone. Most of these people still can’t understand why you would want one device for everything let alone even realize that they can, and it can fit in their pocket.

    The N900 is the current epitome of mobile technology. Sure it may be a bit complicated for you to use. Sure the keyboard may be small (yeah, it’s on a phone, not a laptop). But keep in mind these things address issues that you may not see. Some people do want a fully functional phone that acts as a personal computer day in an day out with real multitasking capabilities. Some people may actually want to type something on their phone without having to stare at a flat piece of glass. Some people might even want to take photos with their phone that they can save for generations without their grand kids wondering what sort of barbaric picture capturing device they used to take them.

    The deal here is people want simplicity. They want something that takes the work out of brainpower and actually being a geek. I know, 100 different fart apps are certainly going to be useful to you someday. Perhaps you need to watch Idiocracy again instead of buying an iPhone.

  106. Having been a Eseries Nokia user along with being an iphone user. I find that the N900 would be a great bridge. I have been reading up on various people who have been using the N900 to power their 37 inch TV’s and adding a bluetooth mouse and keyboard !

    Voila’ you now have a nice desktop/laptop/phone all in one. I can see this device being used in this fashion, With a full web browser and all the cloud computing apps out there, even Microsoft Office online or Google Apps you won’t need to lug your 6 pound laptop anymore. You will be connected all the time, facebook / twitter running constantly, all your chat messages and GPS.

    Just be carefull being online all the time will have your Girlfriends/Wives and Mistresses wondering…..”I thought he was online all the time blah blah blah”

    Enjoy !

    Raj

  107. Nokia is very close to iPhone, and Maemo have better future because it is open source!
    Look here: http://www.maemocommunity.com/forums/

  108. This article is extremely biased. Ask Apple to become popular in 3rd world countries where 3G services are mere dream and sell phones without contracts. Nokia on the other hand gives many better features with lesser price than iPhones. Nokia has been successfull in maintaining quality, durability and offcourse service in most parts of the world. iPhone is just an American craze for 3G.

  109. You have totally misunderstood things here or, maybe more correct, are a apple fanboy. When you say MAEMO isnt unique enough then how do you mean? In iPhone. it looks all the same, apple decides how it looks, you cant make it personal. In MAEMO you can change it yourself and make it…what?..U N I Q U E !! cmon, did you miss that?

    iPhone is like disneyland…everything so princess lovely and made right for you…. android is like a theme park…. MAEMO…is like the real world… you can make it disneyland or you can make it the slum and become robbed… whatever you do, you have one thing… freedom and the power to decide for youself. if disneyland is more unique than the world in change i must be nuts…. or you be so wrong.

  110. You say…

    It’s heavier and thicker and is missing the sleekness of the Apple device.

    What else was negative but your subjective preference for a capacitive screen? I saw no negative comments besides those! Where is the critical thinking? Does appearance mean do much to you? If so, you might be shallow…

  111. I found this while googling for a comparison of the N900 and iphone. Needless to say, after reading the article I was disappointed. But the comments have really helped me make up my mind. I think the author is right in the sense that the N900 is not an iphone killer. I’ve had several iphones and I’ll admit there is something slick and cool about the whole iclone world but it’s sad in a way too. It reminds me of the ad where the guy says he travels his own path, that’s why he buys a dell. I find it comical that after all the years of listening to the talk of the irrelevance of market share by Apple lovers when talking about the Microsoft monopoly, market share is now suddenly cool in the iphone world. Anyway, I have decided to get a N900 and the article and comments are a very big reason. The article helped because it was obvious the author was biased and if your biggest knock on something is that it has too many features. I would rather integrate my cellphone into my life instead of integrating my life into my cellphone.

  112. You are definitely an isheep “N900 resembles an old-fashioned cigarette pack”. WHAT?
    What does a new fashioned cigarette pack look like, hahaha. I will tell you, it doesn’t have the word “old” in it when you describe it and that’s what you wanted to do here.

  113. according to my experience i am using Nokia mobile phones from last 12 years and i used many mobile. So now i don’t like other companies mobiles to use (even these companies are good).
    why you preferred I-phone because i think you don’t like to use or you don’t like the style of mobile (this is the reason). This is a human nature when we don’t like any thing we showed its negative point we forget what’s positive in it.
    according to the my experience Nokia N-900 is one of the best mobile.
    In terms of price, the iPhone is cheaper to buy than the Nokia N900. However, the iPhone is locked to certain networks.
    Another Nokia N900 fact is that it’s better at multitasking. As we all know, the iPhone can only run one app at a time, which is a tad rubbish. Unlike the iPhone, the Nokia N900 will let you run as many apps as you like, so you can listen to Last.fm, browse the web, download tracks, talk on the phone, and keep 10 games running in the background, which again, if we’re honest, is pretty sweet!
    many,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,features

    1. you know i think that iphone is much better then n900 as it has many more downloadable applications and also the n900 looks like a packet of cigretes. infact it also has a crappy querty style keyboard that makes the phone even more heavy!. i think that nokia should totally cancell this project and try to think how to copy and ipod.
      yours faithfully
      sherjeel khan

  114. i agree with john completly. dont have to read any other comments. kid is a apple fan, borring one :)

  115. Actually, Nokia surpassed Apple’s iPhone since the N95 or even before.

    1. you are right man even in that case nokia is a winner

  116. I posted earlier on this thread, so I thought it might be interesting to post additional comments based on almost two months of using the device.

    The most significant comment I can make is that after experiencing what I think is hardware breakage, I found out exactly what is most important to me in a cell phone.

    About two weeks ago, I brought up the bluetooth control panel to turn it on before getting in my car, and found that the device name was gone. I re-typed it, turned bluetooth on and exited … and found that bluetooth was still off. I repeated the process, and still no bluetooth. Then I noticed that the list of paired devices was empty, so I tried adding my earpiece, but nothing happened when I pressed the button for doing that. When I got home, I did what I think was a hard reset, restored everything, and still bluetooth wouldn’t work. Given that, I concluded that the bluetooth hardware had broken somehow.

    Perhaps there is some other form of reset I don’t know about that would restore bluetooth, but I realized that bluetooth is the make or break point for me as far as using the N900 as a cell phone goes. I have to be able to make/receive calls while driving, so this forced me to switch back to another cell phone – this time, the N97.

    The N97 has it own set of problems, but once I switched, I really noticed the N900’s lack of polish as a cell phone compared to mature Nokia cellular products. The key bit of missing polish is voice dialing. The N97 has that, the N900 doesn’t. The N900 doesn’t really even have any kind of dialing via an earpiece. Pressing the earpiece button when using the N900 led to baffling results. Sometimes it appeared to dial the #1 speed dial number, other times it appeared to dial the last number called – which happened more than once while driving, basically leaving me without dialing capability unless I pulled over.

    I still use the N900 at home as an iPod replacement and internet tablet, but until I get bluetooth back, I can’t justify using it as a cell phone.

    Mark Peters

  117. 6/10 is not only unfair but criminal.I am extremly sorry for bieng a bit rude ……for starters IPHONE lovers DONOT compare NOKIA WITH IPHONE both the companies make excellent products but have different approach which is their right and we smalltimers donot have a say on this issue.
    when you talk about smart phones dont talk about people who get confused by multitasking or multidesktop and moreover people who want to use such phones are the ones who want more and more possibilities from the device and they dont like RESTRICTIONS. the n900 is a device which is for those special people who are not looking at MMS and all these apple gimmicks of multitouch and stuff.You are entirely missing the point.If you get confused with the panaormic desktop in the first place you should stick to your iphone and PINCH AND ZOOM!!!!!!!

  118. The Nokia N900, which we used for a week, runs on Maemo 5, a lightweight version of Debian, one of the major Linux distributions that Nokia chose to Android. An ambitious strategy, even foolhardy for a Nokia is increasingly isolated on the front of the smartphone. But moreover, it was dealing with a telephone, an Internet Tablet or a Pocket PC? The manufacturer of mobile computer speaks and highlights the “extreme speed and unparalleled performance” of its mobile. The camera will be available in early December in The Phone House stores, for about 650 euros, excluding subscription promotion.

    For more detail you can move at :

    http://www.techarena.in/review/24395-nokia-n900-mobile-phone-review.htm

  119. What an absolute biased article! If you try to use the N900’s screen as the iPhone’s than of course it will feel unresponsive and hard to use, because that’s not how you use a resistive screen! But you know thius very well, don’t you?
    It just WORKS DIFFERENTLY. It is the best resistive screen I’ve ever came accross. It’s very finger friendly but it does not work that well with you thumb but with you tip or nail. In this way it’s much mor precise than a capacitive screen where you can only use the flesh part of your thumb that covers out a massive part of the screen! The resistive screen works with anything! In gloves too. It’s -14 Celsius here in the UK now and I – just as many people – wear gloves! Also with the 800×480 you get much more detail in your webbrowser and the stylus comes very handy than and you don’t have to zoom in and out constantly. Stylus is a must for drawing too!
    I prefer a GOOD resistive screen to any capacitive screen so stop saying that it’s a negative because it’s quite the opposite.

    1. zolton pls ask this guy to writing for the sake of humanity

  120. “Apple makes its things great by leaving features out; Nokia somehow believes that adding more makes its products great.”

    Wow.

    1. Yeah I know :) Some people really are brainwashed :D

  121. I can’t believe someone wrote this article without the phone launching yet, what a bunch of bull…t!

  122. Bud, I’ve no idea which iPhone you’ve been using, and I’ve no interest in getting into a a debate on what matters opinionated, especially with cellphones, but wow, your ignorance is astounding.

  123. Wow, theres alot of war between the two devices here.

    So i’m just going to add what i think,

    This review is definately biased, as The first poster “John” kindly put forward, again, this is another review trying to put phones next to the iphone.

    The whole resistive vs captive thing, i agree that captive will be always that little bit more responsive, but from what i can see, people are saying its a massive difference, well i’ll tell them, its not and the N900’s screen is definately of more responsive. I’ve used resistive all my life, and i’ve never experienced problems with delay or too much accuracy, but then thats what a stylus is for right?

    Next native browser plugins, from what i can see the N900 apserlutely F***s the IPhone right over here, i mean the N900 can go to youtube and play videos directly, i mean Wow, just wow, both the iphone and n900 are running roughly the same hardware (well i’ll focus on CPU and mGPU here) and i was very suprised to find the Iphone cannot play from the site directly, but prehaps that is to come.

    Now i’ve been on a nice brand spanking new IPhone3gs of my friends recently, and its been, ok…My first comment is “Oh, no multi tabbing of windows?” and he was like yep, but i have to go and download it from … (I believe his was also jailbroken.) but i never got to see that work.
    Also i was dissapointed with the Bluetooth support of the 3gs? His refused to start up full stop, no matter how many reboots we would try. And third, for a jailbroken product, i was astonished to find the majority of his apps were plain old basic versions, its alsmost as if jailbreaking the device had no real plus’, just reskinning which looked, quite frankly cool.

    Thirdly i want to talk about Maemo!, version 5 seems fantastic to me, the more users that get their hands on the device will effectively mean, more free/improved apps, new games! ports from other LINUX based OS’s in relatively small time, the freedon to do anything really, i mean sure its very immature at this point in time, but the maemo community will pull together to bring some of the best features out of the n900, its potential is huge. The IPhones is good, dont get me wrong, but even with the ability to change the odd bits here and there, it’s aging a fair bit.

    Camera on the N900, suprisingly good with the Karl Ziess optics, i’ve seen some pretty crystal clear pictures, with images taken at 5mp, a small downsize takes out any distortion, and this i’m very happy about at the moment.
    The IPhones is fairly good, but the resolution is just not there yet.

    Style of devices, IPhone hands down if you like to be stylish, but personally i dont, I’m a massive fan of keyboards (but more complete ones i must say,) i dont know how i will fair with the n900s, but change is nice!

    Both have their respective ports, 3.5mm jacks etc, im happy about that :) i hate propietary formats.

    Both are great, but i think over time the N900 may just edge out over the IPhone, i know people really can’t be bothered to buy apps and that these days, so we will either see some good price reductions on apples behalf, or more free apps shifted onto the market.

  124. Peter Robertson Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Having been given a brand new N900 from Nokia to trial I can say the following:
    1) Part of my trial means that I agree to use the phone for at least three months and upload my usage data and thoughts/feelings about the device to Nokia.
    2) At the end of month three, I will be selling the N900 in order to buy an Iphone!!!! Any prospective purchasers out there ??!!

  125. Apple lost the game man. The Iphone never ever will have suport for other programming platform. For exemplo: Flash, Java, PHP C, C++, etc… Every body knows that the apps made what the Iphone is today. Apple don’t want allow PC programming make apps for Iphone. I can understand that because Apple will loose anyway. Apple was winning before, just because got a brilliant idea of turn the Ipod touch in a mobile phone(more then a half of the job was done) and a good programming environment. That pediod did have anything good enough to kill the Iphone. But now Nokia made the n900 with a Maemo that is just a child compared to Iphone OS and is already causing trouble. Now It is just a metter of time to see the Iphone fall.

  126. Okay iPhone fans! I have a couple of things to say! And it doesn’t even
    matter what you think! I have both iPhone 3Gs and Nokia N900! And the sad part is, the iPhone doesn’t have a chance against the mighty N900! Seriously! The GPS was compared on both at the same time! And even the maps! iPhone was slow and acting stupid! While the Nokia was working like a charm! On the iPhone you get bored seeing always the same layout! Yeah the design is nice but what good is the design when you don’t have the speed amd functionality? for All of those searching for the best phone! Buy the N900! My vote Is 10/10 on everything! It’s not a pretty phone! But who cares? It’s fast! An the functionality is a blast! And! You can have more apps on the iPhone! But! You can’t use them all at the same time! And even if you could! Your battery would just go in a few hours! The iPhone gets a 6/10 it’s not the best phone! Maybe if you really don’t understand nothing! and I mean nothing about technology! Like my wife fir example! But wait! Even my wife that doesn’t even know what a OS is or how a computer works! Or even how to reboot it! But she absolutely LOVES the Nokia N900! And she had the iPhone before! She hated it when compared with the Nokia N900! so if you are considering a new phone! think about the Nokia! it’s without a doubt the best choice ever!

  127. That just shows how much of an idiot you are, the n900 is in a totally different class to the iPhone. Please stop comparing the iPhone with everything else, it’s pathetic.

  128. n900 smashes the iphone, and i have an iphone. you on crack or something.

  129. Seems to me this a biased review by an iphone fan boi.

    I will get the nokia N900, I think it looks fantastic, unlike the iphone i probably will not want to give it back after 5 mins. Iphone is nothing more than an itouch with a bad phone.

    I do not pledge sypport to a particular brand in fact I have had so many brands of recent its hard to say which is best.

    But the N900 top me is a breath of fresh air, decent processor, decent RAM, Decent OS, decent camera and it multtasks 21 tasks at once.

  130. Still think most people are missing the point here…..they arent really comparable at all.

    The iphone is exactlty that a phone with some bells and whistles thrown in. The N900 is pretty much a portable computer with a phone thrown in.

    People think because they both have phone functionality these two devices are comparable.

    The iphone will always have its place and always be a top selling phone world wide, the marketing campaign is great and the usability is so easy.

    The N900 is for people that want more than just a phone.

    So simply said, if your looking for a new phone to buy. Buy an iphone. If you looking for a mobile computer with a phone built in buy a N900.

  131. I have been the proud owner of the N900 for nearly a month now. I also own an HTC Magic and think the N900 is a far superior phone. I am a Linux user (Linux Mint and Sabayon) on my computers and love how open this phone is.

    I am still playing with the phone and learning but am getting to grips with it. I have added the testing repo which has opened up a lot more to play with.

    Look forward to chatting to all the other N900 users at http://www.NokiaN900Forum.net this really does feel like an enthusiasts phone, not just another run of the mill handset.

  132. How about an updated review, now that we are in 2010?

    On a “complete” N900, with the full O/S installed.
    And then another review when Meego is available for the device.

    I chose the N900 because I was sick to death of hearing “iPhone, iPhone, iPhone, iPhone” I went against the advice of the sales assistant in the shop, and after doing my sums (on my N900), I realised if I’d have gone the other way I’d have been paying a hell of a lot more than what I’m doing now.
    When the iPhone was announced Apple came on like they’d saved the world from impending doom (much like Microsoft did with Vista).
    I’m enjoying the N900 and the freedom it offers. The freedom to install what I want, the freedom to get my music from wherever I like without being snooped on, the freedom to install a new battery if the original packs up, without calling down the wrath of the iGods.
    I got sick of the iPhones at work over the past months. When I introduced my N900 and the iPhones stayed in the pockets and handbags for a change.
    And I’ve just heard that Apple have been officially told they don’t “own” the letter “i”. Lots of things start with the letter “i”.
    ice-cream, icicle, iced finger, idiot.

  133. contrary to popular opinion, computers and smartphones require intelligence and not just a mindless consumer to operate, understand and appreciate… this is where apple fanboys fail>>EPIC FAIL.

  134. Man, to be honest iPhone suck! (in some forms)
    but when the Nokia N900 comes in hand, sure it takes some getting used to but when you know how to use it, it kill’s the iPhone.
    because the iPhone just misses most of the normal phone factors. And all the iPhone is just music ,calls ,internet, videos and apps.
    but the Nokia N900 is just more than that,
    the N900 can actually go up to 3.5G, not like the iPhone slow bulky only 3G.
    Just the Nokia N900 is just better in every way

  135. Well dud if the phone doesn’t mean to be compared to an iPhone, well than it shouldn’t be compared to an iPhone. The Nokia n900 isn’t aimed at the iPhone for many reasons because it is completely different from the iPhone alright simple as that you don’t truly know the awesomeness of the n900 until you truly learn how to use it ok. Anyways many great touchscreen phones yet they all end up compared to the iPhone alright not everything needs to be compared to the iPhone some phone I would say are aimed at the iPhone some are not example Htc Touch Pro 2 and Nokia n900 and some phones are example Palm Pre and Motorola Droid. Also why does every touchscreen phone have to be called a iPhone killer maybe did it ever occur to anyone that touchscreen phone just wants to be an awesome phone Jesus biased much.

  136. “With N900, Nokia Still Not Close to the iPhone” Dream on dude, The n900 matches everything the iphone has to offer and betters some of it too

  137. good review. very to the point. i like my new unlocked world phones. easy to use, the n900 is very practical. processor is faster, email is nice for me and my business. gps is great to get around and the camera is crisp and recorder great for family moments. facebook is easy to get around and stocks are easy to check. second favorite unlocked phones this year. got our last couple at gsmallover.com and we love them. my kid loves to play with it too because the games are fun. battery life is great too. it’s a little thick and texting can be hard but that’s ok. the slide out keyboard is great to use. i give this unlocked gsm phones a 7 out of 10.

  138. nice phone. like my n900. it’s easy to use and me and the wife love it. seems simple enough. my daughter hasn’t gotten of hers in ages! very practical unlocked phones. games and apps are fun and i havn’t gotten sick of the web browsing and fantasy football yet!! much better than our old unlocked verizon phones. i like that i bought 3 of them! speaker is loud enough to never have to hold up to my ear and it connects with my bluetooth really well. email, gps, wifi are great for the business side of things. picked up my last couple unlocked gsm phones at gsmauthority.com very happy

  139. I do not agree with this review, it’s the first time i read such a thing
    N900 is better than the 4G in overall, but thanks for your effort

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