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Old 10th May 2011, 14:26   #1
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Default Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

There are phones which can perform a task. There are phones which can perform multiple tasks. And then there is Nokia N900, which is a Baap of Multitasking!
Exactly one year ago, after a LOT of research, I got Nokia N900. And man, it was the decision I am never going to regret!

Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!-img_0372.jpg

Things I love
  • Butter Smooth OS
  • 32gb inbuilt storage (+ 16gb expandable)
  • Full Flash 9.4
  • 2gb application memory
  • Solid build
  • Superb external slide out keyboard
  • Excellent display
  • Supports DivX/Xvid etc .out of the box. With the easily available decoders support, it can play almost any format.
  • Kickstand
  • The Mozilla based browser, MicroB. Superb browsing experience!
Things I don’t
  • Bulky. It weighs 180gms!
  • Resistive touchscreen. Not exactly bad, but a capacitive one would have rocked.
  • No out of the box office/excel. It expires in a month.

Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!-img_3233.jpg

I never thought I would buy a Nokia one day. I just hate the Symbian OS. I just don’t like its UI and don’t find it smooth. Further, I don’t like it when a phone hangs. Also, I don’t like it if I can’t fill my phone to the brim because it tends to hang when done so. Enter N900. No, it’s not Symbian! N900 runs on Linux based Maemo 5 OS. I don’t care about it being open source and great for hackers. I am not a computer guy. But, the OS is brilliant. I just cannot compare it with any other OS. It is simple, user friendly, and offers decent eye candy too. It makes the phone really functional. I cannot digest the fact that instead of working on Maemo, which received such amazing reviews worldwide, Nokia tied up with Microsoft and virtually killed Maemo.
I hate Nokia for that.
Anyway, back to the phone.

Multitasking. The phone redefines multitasking and takes it to a whole new level. You will find videos on youtube with N900 running more than 20 applications. What I love is, I can text, listen to music, open multiple tabs, surf Team-BHP and gsmarena, be on facebook, google talk, flickr, wikipedia all at the same time. One doesn't always do all this simultaneously, but if ever one wants to, the phone won't let you down.

N900 works only in landscape mode. This can be a deal breaker for many, but I am okay with it. In fact, now I can’t use a touchscreen phone in portrait mode. Sliding the screen reveals a three row QWERTY keypad. The keyboard doesn't slide out fully like it does in most phones. Because of that, you get a great grip while typing and holding the phone while typing becomes easy. The keys give really nice feedback, are tactile and are placed neatly too. This allows to achieve great typing speed. All the shortcuts like ctrl+a, ctrl+z etc work. Text can be selected using shift+direction key. There is also a shortcut ctrl+shift+p for taking screenshots!

Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!-img_3228.jpg

The phone has 32gb inbuilt storage and 16gb expandable. You can fill in all the movies, seasons, songs, photos you want. Some might think that the expandable 16gb is useless as it already has lot of inbuilt storage. But, the memory card slot helps in transferring data from computer/somebody else’s phone and is of great advantage. I love to fill the phone with movies and love watching it on the phone. There’s no need for converting any movie/video. Just drop and play. There are no lags even while playing a full fledged 1gb movie playing and the viewing pleasure is just great. And yes, the kickstand is of great use too!

Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!-img_3231.jpg

The best part of the phone is the Browser. It is the best browser I have ever used on a phone. It has full flash 9.4, it is fast, PC like and addictive. Connect it to your wireless router and browse, you won’t feel the need of a PC. I surf, recharge my phone, watch videos, upload photos to flickr, manage online banking account all from the phone. There’s a nice Twitter client called ‘Witter’ for those who like to tweet. It has a facebook application, but all it does is display status messages. There is no multitouch support, so you have to use the volume rocker for zooming in gallery. For zooming while browsing, make a circle with your finger and it zooms in, it’s nice to use. Of course, you can use the volume rocker as well. It has two speakers and the sound is nice. I usually use the earphones though.

The phone is build really well. It is not a looker for sure but is really functional, exactly my type. I would have liked if it had the call accept/reject buttons below the screen. Also, I would like to mention what amazing job the ambient light sensor does! It adjusts the brightness really quickly and works smoothly. Also, Nokia's Push Email works brilliantly.

Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!-img_3226.jpg

It has a 5mp camera that does its job well. Video recording at 24fps is decent too. Don't expect high quality low light photos/videos though.

I am really satisfied with this phone. It has limited applications, is not a looker, is bulky, but still, it is the best phone for me. I don’t mind not having killer looks, lots of eye candy and huge list of applications. I like the way the phone functions and it’s usability. I will never ever sell the phone, it is for keeps for sure. I thank my brother who got it for me from the US. And yes, it sells there for $350 today and 23k here in India. C’mon Nokia!

Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!-img_3197.jpg
In the dark, with backlit keyboard.

I am attaching some screenshots so that you get an idea about the OS and various features etc.


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The desktop with the widgets. It has 3 more similar customizable screens.



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A tap on the status bar and this menu pops down.



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The Dialer. No smart dialing.



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Texting is fun with smileys just a finger away.



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Aah, the browser! Amazing browser I tell you!



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Tapping the status bar and 'Internet Connections' after that reveals this menu.



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The media player.



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Multitasking! The open Applications Open any number of applications, the phone won't slow down!
If an application is open and you have to open the menu, you have to go through the Task Manager. You can't go directly to the menu.



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For those who are well versed with Linux.



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FM Transmitter. Select a frequency (other than the radio station), switch the transmitter On and play a song. Comes in really handy in a car.



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Available chat clients, out of the box. You can add more.


Hope you liked the phone and the review.

Last edited by driveanddrive : 10th May 2011 at 14:44.
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Old 10th May 2011, 15:26   #2
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

Great to see another N900 lover. I too have had this phone for almost 11months now. Extremely happy with it. Though I think you have missed out its biggest fallacy. A pathetically small battery. The 1320mAh battery runs out way too fast. I have had it run out on me once in 6hrs. I now carry a 2ndary charged battery with me when I am out for a long time. To compound the small battery it wont disconnect a connected Wi-Fi or GPRS connection automatically. Though I like that feature which allows me to stay online on chat via the phone, its frustrating to see that the battery ran out because you forgot to disconnect the connection. Thank god we could disable the continuous search for a Wi-Fi connection.

One other thing I love about it is something you havnt experienced yet, thanks to a 2G connection. I use a 3G connection means I can video chat on Skype and Google right off the phone. Other than that as a photography enthusiast I love the Fcamera program which allows full manual control of the camera, something which almost no standard digi-cam allows you.

Also from the screenshots, I am surprised to see that your N900 is almost completely stock, not even so much as a modified theme!!! I had even gone to the extent of overclocking the processor once and now use Meego on it once in a while, from the memory-card( another use of the slot ).

Last edited by julupani : 10th May 2011 at 15:32.
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Old 10th May 2011, 15:42   #3
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

I am so sorry! I missed on the battery part. Yes, the battery sucks. I have to charge my phone twice almost everyday. It is really very frustrating. And yes, skype rocks! Even I use Fcamera, really nice application. Actually, I got bored of all the customisation so brought it back to the stock condition. It is a good change About MeeGo, how's it? Even I am thinking of dual booting.
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Old 10th May 2011, 16:03   #4
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by driveanddrive View Post
Yes, the battery sucks. I have to charge my phone twice almost everyday. It is really very frustrating.
Sorry for the comment, but man, what's the use of all these features if the battery dies on you? Charging the battery twice a day? That's crazy. You can as well have a netbook, if you don't mind the size.
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Old 10th May 2011, 16:14   #5
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

This practically is a netbook, but one that you can put in your pocket. And I do mind the size of a netbook, which is why I think the N900 is better than any tablet out there. Once you actually experience the freedom of an open source OS and the amount that you can do with it and the overall package that the N900 provide, all of us realise that the bad battery life just has to be accepted. As they say, you cant have it all.

Only 2 features that I miss on it are a mini-HDMI out and a better camera, not necessarily more pixels but better quality.

As for Meego, as of now the overall amount of applications available for it is very low, though yes there seems to be mild improvement in performance. The performance improvement would be more apparent if we install it on the hard drive, but that would require you to completely remove all apps along with the original Maemo. Havent got the courage to do that yet.
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Old 10th May 2011, 16:21   #6
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

Are there any updates available for Meego ?

How far nokia will support its hand to meego OS for now that they are totally focusing on Windows OS Phones with Microsoft.

Wasn't nokia suppose to go ahead with meego for other devices too or they have totally turned their back towards this OS ?

Just my query was quiet eager know some things related to Meego have put it up
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Old 10th May 2011, 16:35   #7
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

I think Meego was there to be put up on only some tablet type phones like the Nxxx series only. This will be a very small niche segment OS and not a mainstream OS. I dont think any company is yet ready to go open source in the mainstream at all. All that speculation was just day-dreaming about a future world of free software.

So no dont expect a flood of Meego phones, unless Intel the co-makers of Meego decide to enter the phone processor business soon. But Meego like Maemo will have its small group of people who will take care of it. FYI Nokia hasnt officially supported Maemo in anyway at all. Here too a small group of developers are keeping it going.
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Old 10th May 2011, 16:44   #8
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A350XWB View Post
Sorry for the comment, but man, what's the use of all these features if the battery dies on you? Charging the battery twice a day? That's crazy. You can as well have a netbook, if you don't mind the size.
I will clarify. Charging twice thing varies with my usage. If I browse a lot on wifi, say for like 4 hours, then it needs charging. But, when I use it normally, say one hour of browsing a day, normal phone calls and text messages etc, it runs more than a day. It all depends on the usage, usually my usage is heavy, so have to charge it. And it would be the case with most of the smart phones, surf for hours and the battery dies.
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Old 10th May 2011, 21:36   #9
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by driveanddrive View Post

N900 works only in landscape mode. This can be a deal breaker for many, but I am okay with it. In fact, now I can’t use a touchscreen phone in portrait mode.
Have you tried CSSU updates? This would give you 'forced' landscape and portrait mode based on orientation of the phone.

Since many application in N900 are not designed to work with portrait mode, this would make few application appear odd when seen in portrait mode.
eg. Messaging application is ok. But media player would not realign the icons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by driveanddrive View Post
FM Transmitter. Select a frequency (other than the radio station), switch the transmitter On and play a song. Comes in really handy in a car.
Have you installed FM car kit? This would make even calls to be transmitted over the FM. Works like a hands free bluetooth set. Biggest advantage here --> Your HU need not have any BT capability, but you could stream calls to the Car speakers.

Last edited by anToNIcHeN : 10th May 2011 at 21:40.
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Old 10th May 2011, 21:50   #10
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A350XWB View Post
Sorry for the comment, but man, what's the use of all these features if the battery dies on you? Charging the battery twice a day? That's crazy. You can as well have a netbook, if you don't mind the size.
netbook won't receive calls for you
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Old 11th May 2011, 08:38   #11
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post
This practically is a netbook, but one that you can put in your pocket. And I do mind the size of a netbook, which is why I think the N900 is better than any tablet out there. Once you actually experience the freedom of an open source OS and the amount that you can do with it and the overall package that the N900 provide, all of us realise that the bad battery life just has to be accepted. As they say, you cant have it all.
I agree with your comment. But that's one of the reasons why I'm hesitant to go for an all in one phone. When I travel, I would like to have my phone working even if my other devices die on me. If a charging point is available to you, its not a problem.

Quote:
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netbook won't receive calls for you
Not nitpicking, but it is possible to convert a netbook to receive and make calls
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Old 11th May 2011, 08:52   #12
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

Well carrying an extra battery around like I do is still easier than requiring to carry a whole netbook around isnt it. Also, chances of a charging point not being available is not exactly an issue nowadays.

There are a few companies making direct power kits for Nokia phones, I have seen many N900 users take this option. Some others go in for massive 2400 or 3000mAh batteries.

As for netbooks being able to make call, so can my laptop,but I cant hold the laptop or a netbook to my ear can I??
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Old 11th May 2011, 13:15   #13
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What a brilliant review!! I never knew all thease things about the N900 and always thought it was running on Symbian.

Totally agree to your point where you say Nokia should have gone the meego way. IMO, meego is better than Win Phone 7 in a lot of ways. But as we all know Nokia is known for it's stupidity or maybe Mocrosoft saved them from their financial troubles, thats why this decision from them.

What will happen to Meego now? Will Intel carry that forward and start funding for it? It would be a shame if meego dies!

Back to the review. Dude, you should start writing a gadget blog! I would be the first one to subscribe!!
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Old 11th May 2011, 18:30   #14
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A350XWB View Post
Not nitpicking, but it is possible to convert a netbook to receive and make calls
Quote:
Originally Posted by julupani View Post

As for netbooks being able to make call, so can my laptop,but I cant hold the laptop or a netbook to my ear can I??
As he said, he is nitpicking , so let's stop right there. I had a nokia n-gage which had it's speaker sideways to I had to hold it perpendicular to my ear, and that itself was horrible.
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Old 11th May 2011, 18:53   #15
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Default Re: Nokia N900 - One year with the beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by anToNIcHeN View Post
Have you installed FM car kit? This would make even calls to be transmitted over the FM. Works like a hands free bluetooth set. Biggest advantage here --> Your HU need not have any BT capability, but you could stream calls to the Car speakers.
Where can i find FM car kit? Is it online or in some app store or something like that?

thanks

great review. I gifted one to my brother and he loves it. his phone is stock like yours is.
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