Feeds
85%
Nokia N900

Nokia N900 Linux smartphone

Finnish phone firm fights back

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Review Once the unequalled leader among mobile phone manufacturers, Nokia still returns impressive sales, but ceded its dominance of the smartphone market with the arrival of the iPhone. It's been playing catch-up ever since, sticking rigidly to a Symbian OS that only seemed to grow older looking with each new device.

Nokia N900

Symbian successor? Nokia's N900

Now, with the N900, Nokia is trying something new, with a brand new OS in Maemo 5 – a slimmed down version of Debian Linux – plus a host of top-end features, including a sizeable 3.5in touch screen, slide-out Qwerty keyboard, 5Mp camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, quad-band and much more besides.

We were torn on the appearance of the N900. We like its glossy black minimalism, with no hard buttons on the face to break up its smooth lines. But it's a chunky chappy and a very solid pocketful at 111x60x20mm and 181g – svelte it is not.

Around the sides are a volume rocker, power key, shutter button and a rare example of an infrared port. Top and bottom features a brace of stereo speakers, micro USB power/sync port, a lock switch, 3.5mm headphone jack and a plastic stylus. The back hides the camera lens behind a sturdy sliding cover, which is surrounded by a fold-down kickstand for viewing video.

The slide-out Qwerty keyboard alarmed us at first, since it only has three lines of keys. A quick comparison with the Nokia E75's four-line keyboard, however, confirmed that it only appears to have lost one key. There are 38 keys in all and, although they're very small, they’re actually surprisingly easy to use.

Nokia N900

Video viewing made easy thanks to the rear prop stand

The rubberised plastic keys have raised bumps that are easy to distinguish under the thumbs and the amount of feedback they deliver is just right to help you with fast, reasonably accurate typing. There's a control key too that delivers access to standard keyboard shortcuts, like cut and paste.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Will It Blend? Maybe. BlackBerry’s secret comeback weapon
The Desktop PIM buddy: A 1990s idea finally done right?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?