Smartphones Under Review - the Nokia N900

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Nokia N900

The Nokia N900 isn’t so much a phone with internet capabilities as a handheld computer with phone capabilities. It runs on Maemo, a Linux based operating system supported by major players like Intel, and an improvement over Symbian. The phone has a clean design and the face no physical buttons, comprising almost entirely of the enormous screen. The QWERTY sliding keyboard which considerably increases typing comfort also makes the phone comfortingly chunky and substantial to hold.
The main features of the Nokia N900 are:


  • Processor: The powerful 600 MHz processor has up to 1GB of application memory (256 MB RAM, 768 MB virtual memory), and enables the running of all applications quickly and concurrently.
  • Screen: 3.5 inch touch-sensitive widescreen display with 800 × 480 pixel resolution with on-screen QWERTY keyboard.
  • Web browsing: Full screen browsing with Maemo browser powered by Mozilla technology; Adobe Flash™ 9.4 support.
  • Camera: 5 megapixel camera (2584 × 1938 pixels) with CMOS sensor, Carl Zeiss optics, Tessar lens, 3 × digital zoom, autofocus with assist light and two-stage capture key, dual LED flash, full-screen viewfinder, in-device photo editor,  TV out (PAL/NTSC) (with Nokia Video Connectivity Cable included in the box) and automatic, portrait, video, macro, landscape and action capture modes.
  • Video: Wide aspect ratio 16:9 (WVGA) with video recording at up to 848 × 480 pixels (WVGA) and up to 25fps. Video recording file format: .mp4; codec: MPEG-4. Playback file formats: .mp4, .avi, .wmv, .3gp; codecs: H.264, MPEG-4, Xvid, WMV, H.263.
  • Music and audio playback: Maemo media player with built-in FM transmitter. Music playback file formats: .wav, .mp3, .AAC, .eAAC, .wma, .m4a.
  • Storage: Internal storage of 32 GB, expandable to up to 48 GB with an external microSD card.
  • Broadband connectivity: 3.5G and WLAN connectivity, Quad band GSM with GPRS and EDGE, data transfers over a cellular network 10/2Mbps, data transfers over Wi-Fi 54Mbps and flash 9.4 support.
  • Navigation: Pre-installed Ovi maps with built-in assisted GPD receiver.

All in all, the Nokia N900 is by far the best of Nokia’s touch-screen smart phone offerings, and delivers a truly desktop-like experience, thanks to its Maemo platform. Some of the N900’s features like the camera and video recording are superior to the iPhone’s, and it is probably the first smart phone to be something of a challenger to the iPhone 3GS. The Nokia N900’s Internet capability is also superior to that of the Blackberry Storm 9530, although the email experience may be better on the Blackberry.

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