Well, it’s my last day using a trial Nokia N900, a monster of a smart phone – or internet tablet – powered by the Maemo OS. My wife is ecstatic about that because I’ve been literally glued to it since the DHL guy James (yes I know his name) dropped it off 2 weeks ago. I was told NOT to ask for another trial phone from WOMWORLDNOKIA because it’s taken up so much of my time!
I feel I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect smart phone (for my use anyway), and the N900 could be the one!
My few gripes are…
- Battery power is netbookish.. You really have to be conscious of what you’re doing, or have a backup battery or charger handy. Heavy use will not last an entire day. It’s very power-hungry, precisely because it’s powerful.
- The lack of apps. It has so much potential that it deserves greater number of apps. Need to put this screen and accelerometer to good use!
- Camera shutter speed lags a bit, video recording quality could be smoother. Camera features are fairly basic.
- Entertainment apps could be richer. Music player needs EQ settings, and built-in podcasts.
That’s about it! The things I’m able to do with the N900 are spectacular.
- It’s “unlocked.” Many Nokia phones are available to the US as ‘unlocked’ GSM phones, but are priced higher since they are not tied to a cell carrier and the ubiquitous 2 year contract. So you can just find your own plan (without a long-term contract), insert a SIM card and you’re good to go! Great for travelers, since GSM is the network used most widely around the world.
- Multitasking. Switching back and forth between apps is quick and easy. I’m blogging on it as I listen to my instrumental collection. I can then switch to the terrific web browser. Sweet!
- 32gb of built in storage! Wow! Not bad for sub $500 unlocked phone.
- Runs on T-Mobile’s 3g network. Most unlocked gsm phones use att’s 3g frequency bands.
- 3.5″ resistive screen is bright and responsive, rarely need the stylus. Imagine this beast with a capacitive screen…hmm
- Nokia conversations: text and IM all threaded, and all FB, skype and other voip contacts are integrated into the contacts list. Setting up multiple email accounts was a cinch. With Gmail you also get all the “labels,” not just the Inbox.
- Skype calls were easy to make, and with the front facing camera, you can make skype video calls. I tried it unsuccessfully over 3g, sound was jumbled, but should work over wifi speeds. I did see the video of the other party, as well as myself, and was very clear.
- Detailed touches- built-in stereo speakers, camera lens cover, kick stand for table top viewing. Using volume rocker switch to zoom in and out with the browser is very smart, I prefer it to double tapping.
- Of the few apps, APNews is great, nice legible fonts, pics and news video clips. How about more, like NY Times?
- Geekiness: many pc desktop keyboard shortcuts work on the N900, like ctrl x c v for cut copy and paste, ctrl shift p for taking screenshots. You can find a comprehensive list online. It’s geeky b/c those short cuts were not obvious, I had to do a little digging to find them out.
- Four home screens, in landscape only, but nice continuous wallpaper is eye-catching. The OS is very friendly and easy to use too. I’m still finding tricks the more I use it. 2 weeks was not enough!
So, is this finally my world-travel worthy phone? I like it better than a netbook because it can do just about anything a netbook can in a pocket-size form factor. As a travel phone, the only deal breaker would be the battery life. Otherwise, I can see myself traveling, checking my online classes, email, and connecting with family and friends easily with this one device. A solar charger & improved collection of apps would seal the deal for me!
The last pic is the Nokia bluetooth stereo headphones BH 505, which was used sparingly. To quote the Brits, it’s quite brilliant- clear call quality at both ends, and great for music. Can’t comment on long-term comfort, since I never had it on for more than 15′ at a time. I was on the phone with my parents when A walked in, and she gave me a look like I was Sulu beaming in from the Enterprise! I do wonder how one would wear this jogging with sunglasses, due to the over the ear design.
I’ll finish with several screen shots followed by pics taken from the N900. (App “mastory” was used to create this blog entry)
Oh I better upload this post…battery is running low!