I have been playing with a Nokia N900 for the last 1 day. Here are my first impressions…
Package and Hardware
The pacakge was very similar to other Nokia N-series devices… I was a little afraid to hold a 181 gram device in my hand – but I was suprising deligted to see it is not as heavy as the number might indicate – it feels good in the hand.
I was suprised that this device had ARM Cortex-A8 written on it.. I dont expect a common user to know what this is…. BTW this is powered by OMAP3430 platform (which has not only a ARM Cortex A8 but a SGX540 Graphics hardware, a TI C64x DSP, Dedicated camera HW etc)…. this marking lead me to belive the device is targetted at linux phone hackers!
Over all usabilty has been pretty good. The hardware is very capable and can easily handle multiple application and effortlessly switch betten mutiple apps (something that iphone does not do still). However, I was not fully satisfied with the multiple operations/steps needed to do simple things e.g., if you need to move from a full screen browser to start a media player you need atleast 5 taps. The UI transition efforst are nice and beautiful.
The 3 row keyboard is a painful to use – but, as with most small keyboards it may get better as I get used to it.
The device browser is a awesome to say the least with native support for Flash 9.4 (iPhone is lacking this critical feature). The lack of potrait mode support (except in phone app) is a big -ve .. but I have heard that it will be fixed in a software updated comming soon. I have been trying to get fully functional on this device (I have been using E71 and Blackberry curve in the past) – but I cant – Nokia missed out 2 key features that make it work for me:
- Lack of SyncML via HTTP – to enable to sync my contact with Ovi.
- Poor support for Exchange email – Does not work with Exchange 2007, does not work with various provisioning features that IT admins required (e.g., non numberic device lock) – overall it does not work with my corporate email account.
The camera is good with Carl Zeiss optics and it nicely geo tags and uploads pic to various services with ease (I have tested this with flickr). I have used the email client with Gmail and it work very well .. it does support HTML email!
The media player is rock solid and has support for almost all format I need or will probably need in near future. The audio quality is very good… I really like the built in 32GB memory … (Apple you need to work hard to beat this media player!)
I also really like the desktop feature with like and updating widgets – this is really cool and very handy. I am predicting that apple with steal this feature for a future iPhone SW update… 😉
The browser is so good that you can easily use google docs (for your office software needs), google wave (yes it works in N900 browser.. )
I have tried the FM transmitter feature – but it was not very clear on my audio system – I need to test it out further.
I think N900 is a great next step in the evolutions for internet tablet and some of the issues I have mentioned here can certainly fixed via software update which I am sure Nokia is working on – but it is not the device I want to carry in my pocket at this time (without exchange support that works with my office exchange server). But, this may be a device for a lot of hackers, Nokia entusiasts, Bleeding edge technology adopters, and people having a need to fit a mobile computer into their pocket!.
- N900 works great with Nokia PC suite (not the Ovi suite)