Text input is still hugely neglected by everyone, Nokia included. The marketing people at Nokia are obsessed with photo sharing on the web, perhaps because the expensive marketing consultants they hire tell them that. Or focus groups are loaded to "rich media". But the "content" that most of users "generate" is text. Even Apple makes its SMS app needlessly obtuse - although typing on the iPhone is much easier than any of Nokia's Qwerty keyboards.
Look, no buttons
Nokia is very coy about battery life, but says the N900 should fulfill the goal of getting through a day. Talktime, I was told, should be comparable to other high end devices. [Update It's five hours, Nokia says.] I'll be astonished if that's true. Nokia's own E71 sets such a high standard here for the entire mobile industry, I can't imagine how an OpenGL device pushing five times as many pixels around is going to get close.
What of the apps? Messaging looks pretty slick. Email supports Mail for Exchange as well as conventional IMAP/POP3 mail. I have painful memories of the N800 taking a minute to shake hands with an IMAP server, and while I'll report back on email performance later, the N900 is a great improvement. Messaging still isn't quite "unified" - but given the quantity and low value placed on IM messages or the Twitter deluge, compared to the high value of personal SMS messages, that's a good thing.
The P900's PIM functionality is surprisingly good. It supports multiple calenders and integrates to-dos.
The browser is based on Mozilla. It's much improved on earlier versions, and the performance here brings it into the Android and iPhone class. But somewhere near the back of the class, where the slow children sit. It doesn't feel quite as slick at loading pages or scrolling as these rivals - while you really need a heavy site to slow down the 3GS, but my dusty personal archive took about 20 seconds to load on the N900, which felt like ages.
It doesn't support Java, but it does support full Flash, so YouTube works fine. It's stolen some of the iPhone's gestures (double tap to zoom) and a really wacky one where you corkscrew clockwise to (slowly) zoom, or anti-clockwise to zoom out.
I fear some blogger, who probably spends half the day licking the window, told Nokia they thought this was "way cool".
It's about text, stupid.
For now, the browser may be good enough, but there's room for improvement. For example, the purpose of double-tapping in the iPhone's browser is not merely "zoom", but "zoom to fit" a block of text. The former may require you to faff around for ages, the latter lets you get reading much faster. Has Nokia got some cultural prejudice against both reading and writing?
Given the work that has gone into every other aspect of the device, the browser is the N900's weakest link.
So what's the verdict?
Next page: The snap judgement
compared to E90.....
I've been using an E90 on Vodafone UK for the past 18 months and will never leave a full Qwerty keyboard. Brilliant phone for work and play; Mail for Exchange works brilliantly as well as POP3 and IMAP. Shame there's no dedicated numeric keys. And same that they haven't adopted the lovely very responsive E90 keys. Thankfully it has a stylus so fat fingers can cope. I don't know enough about Maemo OS but I'm a little worried that the application source will be limited to a few, whereas S60/3rdEd is more widespread, especially due to the many Java app databases out there for S60. Can anybody help with that? Is Maemo5 big enough to be developed enough to combat S60 handsets? Charging via USB....so I don't have a choice about creating a data connection to a PC? Or is it a mains charger?
yes it does have a vibe
"Virbrating alert (internal)" says http://maemo.nokia.com/n900/specifications/
(of couse that page also says "Full QWERTY tactile keyboard" which is a joke.
It will be interesting to see ...
... how this fares. Seems that the success of the Apple iPhone delivered Nokia a desperately needed kick in the nuts about the importance software in their business ... then again reading the T&Cs at Forum Nokia (the acceptance of which is somewhat stealthily made a pre-condtion for obtaing the development tools) makes one wonder whether they in fact want to attract or repel 3rd party developers.
Slow loading 3GS vs N900
>while you really need a heavy site to slow down the 3GS, but my dusty personal archive took about 20 seconds to load on the N900, which felt like ages.
I have tested it on my device, and N900 load that archive for ~7sec (3G connection), iPhone 3GS ~13sec (wlan).
OK, so I had a blind spot and read 95 hence my confusion.
How's the camera and video by the way. I pretty much got my 95 based on them since I had twin nieces on the way and wanted all in one for easy flights.
I'm assuming cam quality is about the same but is it any faster and have they stuck with the 640x480 30 frames?