Nokia N900 Preview
First, we would like to tell you more about Maemo. This is a Linux-based operating system that powersall Nokia internettablets. The N900 runs the latest version that brings forth many improvementsover the previous generations. Despite the presence of a built-in accelerometer, the interface switches its orientation to portrait only when you use the telephone functions and remains in landscape mode in all other cases. Nokia promises Ovi Store is coming to Maemo soon, so we should be able to see a growing number of applications hit the marketplace and provide richer OS functionality.
Compared to its previous version, the home screen now consists of 4 separate pages, much like on Android-powered devices. They all feature their own wallpapers, although you can turn off three of them if you don’t like the idea. They all host widgets and shortcuts to phone contacts, applications or web pages and you arrange them to your liking. This actually means you can have quick access to all major functions of the device and never open the main menu. The options relating to all applications and submenus are called up by pressing the upper middle part of the screen.
One of the functions of the N900 that Nokia just keeps talking about is multitasking. A single press of the button in the upper left corner shows all applications running in the background (and if none are active, the main menu is called up instead). They get visualized as a grid of images that change in real time. We have to admit that switching between them is as easy as ABC and we are extremely impressed by the multitasking function of Maemo 5.
Now, this is what the Nokia N900 is all about. The device is equipped with own Maemo browser based the Mozilla technology and sports full Adobe Flash 9.4 support.
Web pages get visualized just like they do on normal computer screens and are automatically downsized to fit the display. When this happens, you will typically need to zoom in to be able to read the text more easily. This can be done by double-tapping the screen or making a circular motion clockwise, with a counter-clockwise gesture assigned to the zoom out function. This reminds of the HTC Touch, because you make the same motions to do the same things when browsing pictures only. The Flash support is smashing – all Flash elements get properly visualized without a hitch, even the video players on websites like Viddler.com and Vimeo.com, games on Facebook (say Mafia Wars), our own 360-degree views and we must say the latter are heavy indeed. We are most impressed, so fingers crossed the retail N900 will perform just as well and why not even better. Well done, Nokia! We wish all smartphones had such a browser…
We have already mentioned the Nokia N900 sports a built-in GSM module that will allow you to use the device as a normal cell phone. This is good news indeed. On one hand, carriers will just love to sell you one on a contract and at a subsidized price. On the other, the device will let you take full advantage of the services that your telecom offers. Moreover, you get VoIP functionality and the interface itself sports built-in support for Skype, GoogleTalk, Ovi, Jabber and SIP. You just need to enter your username and password and the N900 will connect to the services automatically, adding your online buddies to the phone contacts. Once you´ve done that, you will be able to see the online status of your friends in the phonebook.
If you decide to give someone a ring and once the virtual keyboard has popped up on screen, you will be able to choose whether to use a VoIP service or make the call over the cellular network. Similarly to the Nokia N97, you accept and reject calls by using one of the two screen sliders.
Setting up your accounts in the email client of the N900 is relatively easy, because the whole process is automated, at least in case you´ve signed up with a major service provider. To make up for it, once you´re registered with Nokia Messaging and entered the details about your email accounts (up to 10), the N900 will automatically set everything up for you. When you finish composing a message, you can choose the account to send it from. This comes in really handy, because you don’t have to switch between mailboxes. Finally, the application settings allow you to set automated retrieval times for each email account.
3. david_the_gom (Posts: 114; Member since: 20 Dec 2008)
everything looks great except that 3-row keyboard... hmm... am i too used to my tp2?
4. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 863; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)
And I disagree with whoever made that comment about Maemo 5 being what Symbian should have been. At least Symbian can be used in portrait orientation and it has MMS capability built into it, and at least with Symbian I have my hardware call send and end buttons, and how about my music equalizer I can custom adjust, or any equalizer at all?? No voice dialing, and a lack of multiple customizable profiles either with this. If a Maemo device doesn't have any of that, thanks but no thanks. I'll take Symbian any day and deal with the average multitasking ability and it's decent web browser. Add all that, and you've got a winner in terms of software.
6. James Dang (Posts: 16; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)
I think Window Mobile & Android can beat Symbian flat!!! Many cell phone manufacturer is avoiding Symbian and go to Window Mobile & Android specially Sony Ericssson.
5. AlaneCzeQ (Posts: 19; Member since: 12 Jun 2009)
now, that is one hell fat brick phone ... no way it will fit into any pocket imo its still not a phone enough ... portrait mode + normal phone functions
7. sonisoe (Posts: 336; Member since: 06 May 2009)
heard this doesnt do mms ? what about yahoo messenger instead of google talk ?