Nokia N900 Review
When it comes to pictures, Nokia´s latest internet tablet relies on a 5-megaixel camera with Carl Zeiss Tessar optics and double LED flash. Its interface is profoundly different from the versions found on handsets running previous Maemo editions and the novelty features are mostly positive. All elements are properly implemented, simplified and optimized for bare fingers. The list of available options includes focusing mode, white balance, exposure, ISO sensitivity and picture resolution, but there are no various scene presets or night shooting mode. Some people may think this is a definite drawback, but everyone who just wants to get down to taking pictures right away – all you need to do is open the camera cover and start shooting, no need to go into complex settings and menus. Ultimately, as we have emphasized on many occasions, it is the picture quality that is of utmost importance, not the interface functionality.
There is nothing about the images that will impress you and their quality is mediocre. The colors are real, but appear rather thin. The situation with the image details is, however, much worse and the excessive sharpness does away with them almost entirely. Things get worse with snapshots taken in artificial lighting conditions, although worse overall quality in this case can be expected. The double LED flash manages to properly light up nearby objects when there´s not enough light, but its performance in pitch dark areas is a far cry from what the xenon flash of cameraphones like the Sony Ericsson C905, Satio and Samsung Pixon12 deliver.
You don’t have almost any configurable options to fiddle with when taking videos, just white balance and exposure. Videos are captured at resolution of 848x480 pixels, 22-24 frames per second and bitrate of around 3,200 kbps. Their quality is nothing to write home about, but the worse thing is there are clearly visible hang-ups every several seconds that affect the final capture result. We aren’t pleased at the performance of the camera of the Nokia N900 at all.
Nokia N900 sample video at 848x480 pixels resolution
simplified interface, just like the camera, but looks quite cool. On stating the app you can choose what you feel up to – listening to music, radio, watching videos or just randomizing the audio playback.
The N900 shows its strength at video playback, thanks to the built-in Xvid support and what´s even more, the tablet handles DivX files as well. For some reason Nokia hasn’t mentioned the DivX capability of the handset, but we can confirm this is the case indeed. Ultimately, the N900 makes it possible that you download a clip from the internet and watch it right away, so you don’t need to transfer the file to a computer to convert it.
It´s great that the N900 copes with Xvid and DivX video playback of files with resolution of 800x480 pixels, 30 frames per second and bitrate of 1,700-1,800 kbps without a hitch. The image quality is great no matter the codec and we didn’t encounter any artefacts, hang-ups or video and audio tracks playing out of sync. The beautiful 3.5-inch display that supports 16mln colors contributes to the great video performance and the N900 sports TV-out (through the 3.5mm jack) that transfers the video interface of the tablet to a TV-set, so you will be able to watch videos on a big screen.
The audio menu visualizes all albums and their art (if uploaded), but all available tracks can be also filtered by artist, genre and relevant playlist. The large audio controls pop up when you start a track, along with the relevant album art (if present) and pressing the picture itself gets you to the track list. The audio player, however, comes with several shortcomings like the lack of equalizer and sound effects, plus you´re unable to control volume while the screen is locked.
The audio playback quality is quite good. The boxed headset packs enough punch and would appeal to people who´d go for thumping bass rather than balanced audio output. Trebles remain unpronounced in the background, but you can always change that by plugging in another earphone pair thanks to the presence of the 3.5mm jack. The N900 is equipped with stereo loudspeakers that are also powerful and produce clear sound, although they are less shrieking than the one the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic comes with.
Aside from music, you can use the Media player to listen to Internet radio stations. The corresponding submenu contains several preset radio streams, but you can add more. In addition, with the player you can play the multimedia resources, shared by other devices via the Wi-Fi.
1. fortegag (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Nov 2009)
The flash on Nokia N86 8MP is dual led. Good review as always.
2. LA6507 (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 May 2008)
This was an excellent review! Great works, guys! I am looking for a succesor for my E71, but it looks like I am going to have to wait for Exchange Support! I'd also like to see better performance in the Maps program, as well. Everything else sounds like it's pretty much the perfect device. I don't see portrait mode as a drawback, for the type of device it is, although with all that power under the hood, I would expect most of the applications and OS to work in some capacity in either orientation.
4. hisham2k (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Nov 2009)
From what I have read, the N900 supports exchange.
3. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 851; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)
Really disappointing to see all the things missing from the software. I have come to expect Nokia to include lots of options for things like the camera and video recording, and to see half of that stuff missing is just sad. I really do hope that if Nokia plans on using this in other Nseries devices in the future, not internet tablets, they add all the things that are missing, and fix that maps program. Hey PhoneArena, you never said what the stereo speakers sounded like. How do they compare to the N95, N97, and 5800?
5. chocolatebear (Posts: 4; Member since: 06 Oct 2009)
apart from the ovi maps not as good as google's,i recommend this phone to any one that want to take their laptop with them 24/7,you will be entertain,cos just bought my n900 since then it has put smile all over my face,thank's NOKIA N GREAT JOB,phonearena points review did not do N900 any justice,sad!