Nokia N900 reviewed and loved

N900 review french
Here’s a French review of Nokia‘s latest Maemo 5 smartphone the N900. I must say that I learned something new, I didn’t know that the volume buttons can be used to zoom-in & out in the browser and the photo album, nice touch IMO. Here’s the video walkthrough:

I can’t stop being impressed by this device everytime I see it in action. You can check out the whole review here (translation). According to reviewer the only negative points of this phone are the poor battery performance & weight.

Source: Mobinaute

Push it to the limit: Nokia N900 extreme multi-tasking video

N900 multitask
Here’s a Nokia N900 stress test video similar to the HTC HD2 video posted a few days ago demonstrating the multi-tasking capabilities of the device. You’ll see the N900 running 12 apps at the same time (all with the music player running in the background) without crashing or lagging too much. It will be interesting to see how Apple will implement real multi-tasking in the future iPhones (or iPhone update) if they finally decide to do it.

Source: YouTube

The Nokia N900 is officially shipping today

nokia_n900l
The long awaited Nokia N900 is officially starting to ship now in and should land in Europe, Middle-East, Russia & North America in a couple of days. The N900 is Nokia’s first Maemo 5 (linux) based smartphone and in my opinion one of the their most exciting devices in a while. Click here to check out our coverage.

Source: Reuters via Conversations Nokia

HTC HD2 vs Nokia N900 size comparison

 

Here’s a nice size comparison between two of the most wanted smartphones of Q4 2009, the Nokia N900 and HTC HD2. The Windows Phone is obviously thinner that the N900 which has a full qwerty keyboard. What’s interesting is that the HD2 on screen keyboard has bigger keys (it hides a lot of screen estate though) than the physical keyboard on the Maemo 5 device.

In comparison, the N900 – despite having a hardware keyboard – is more cramped than the HD2, and while we appreciate the tactile feedback of the physical buttons (the HD2 does have haptic feedback, buzzing briefly when each on-screen key is tapped) they’re smaller than on the HTC. Meanwhile there’s no error correction on the N900, only word-prediction, and as we commented in our initial unboxing of the smartphone, the top row of keys can be uncomfortably close to the lower edge of the screen. Right now we’re quicker at typing on the HD2 than we are on the N900, despite having had the latter for far longer.

Source: SlashGear

Nokia N900 Previewed and Loved

N900 preview
PhoneArena just posted their preview of Nokia’s Maemo 5 smartphone the glorious N900. They found the device to be really impressive, like the majority of those who got  a chance to handle the phone. Especially the browsing experience:

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…

If only it had a capacitive touchscreen..the circle motion to zoom in/out is nice, but not really as intuitive as pinching.

We are truly impressed by both the Nokia N900 and Maemo 5, so we just cannot wait to get a hold of a final unit. With its great functionality, the latest internet tablet of the manufacturer does stand a chance of winning over many people and we can confidently say theinternet browser is the best of its kind we have ever seen on a mobile device. Using the operating system, even on a prototype, is enjoyable and the multimedia functionality of the tablet is more than enough to please even the most exacting people. Don’t forget the Nokia N900 allows normal calls over cellular networks, which makes the device look even more appealing.

If Nokia continues to release new devices running Maemo (including normal cell phones), the operating system has the potential to gain smashing popularity, provided enough third-party applications roll out. We completely agree with what a fellow cell phone reporter said at Nokia World 2009 – “Maemo 5 iswhat Symbian should have been”. Can the tablet fully replace a normal cell phone? Well, we will tell you that when we´ve had the chance to review a retail unit of the Nokia N900.

Also check out Spotify running on the N900 here

Source: PhoneArena

Video of Spotify running on the Nokia N900

spotify
As you probably know there is currently no way of running Spotify on Linux, but it’s looks like some motivated dev decided to overcome this problem and created a QT app which access the open source Spotify client library called “despotify” and ran it on the Nokia N900 (which runs the Maemo 5 lunix-based OS.

For more info check out the dev page here

Source: QTLabs via DailyMobile & HDBlog.it

Symbian Foundation opens EKA2 Kernel source code

symbian logo
It’s been announced a while ago but it’s today that the Symbian foundation has opened the EKA2 Kernel source code making it available under the Eclipse Public License:

This is a major breakthrough for the Foundation that shows our commitment to open source and the wider community while enabling the symbian ecosystem to make business as usual. We have tried to lower the adoption barrier to a bare minimum, fostering HW innovation and empowering developers to port the platform to all kind of devices, beyond that of pure personal communication devices… netbooks, perhaps?…

Fair enough, we have only tackled the first hurdle and there’s still a lot to do but now you are fully able to help make collaborative progress on all the other ‘nice-to-have’ elements that we are all eagerly waiting for; we’re almost there with GCC (watch this space on that topic) as well as making full use of ARMv7, Thumb2 and NEON… what’s on your list?.

On a personal note, being part of the team putting all of this together has been a gratifying experience, where we have had a tremendous level of coordination in our ecosystem, across several member companies, and many individuals.

There’s a great team, I mean GREAT, behind making this kit available, ready to help as much as possible in developing it further as well as supporting you taking the first steps. To top it all, SEE09 is just around the corner and we have 2.5 hours of hands-on lab covering QEMU, Zoom2 and Beagleboard as well as a few interesting BoFs.

Some final notes… as part of the work to publish the Kernel source, we’ve also made progress on opening up the Symbian kits: from today onwards, all new Symbian PDKs and PDTs will be available to everyone under an End User License Agreement. The Kernel Taster Kit is a cut-down version of PDK 3.0.b – if you want the other 1.5 Gigabytes of stuff, the whole PDK is available from the Symbian download pages.

The question I’m asking myself is; how does Symbian fit into Nokia’s future smartphone strategy? Nokia‘s most interesting device now is the N900 which runs the Maemo 5 linux OS (all other Nokia smartphone are still using Symbian S60). Will Nokia put Maemo on the smartphone device (E & N series) and replace S40 with Symbian S60 on ther feature phones? Or are they planning to have smartphone line of products using 2 different OSes ?

Source: Symbian Blog via ArsTechnica

Nokia N900 unboxing and hands-on videos

nokia-n900-unboxing
I can’t get enough of this device so I’m sharing with you two videos done the Swedish boys at Dailymobile.se who just posted a an unboxing and a hands-on video of the Nokia N900 running Maemo 5:

First Boot-up hands-on:

They’ve also posted a fairly big picture gallery.

Source: Dailymobile.se

Nokia N900 camera and media player demoed on video

Here’s a nice video showing us the camera application on the Nokia N900 and also the the integrated mediaplayer app in action (it supports movies, music and internet radio). If only the device had a capacitive touchscreen… It’s still looks awesome thoguh.

Editing capabilities: Tapping on a photo once gives you a small icon to start the slideshow and tapping again takes you to the photo editing functions. In the editor you can rotate images, crop images, assign tags, share the image, or delete the image. Basic photo editing is nice to have and I like that the software prompts you to save the image with another file name after you make edits so you do not accidentally overwrite your original image. As you can read in the next paragraph there are more editing options available via the upper center menu options.

Options along the center top in the editor include save, save as, rename, mark as favorite, edit image, set as background image, and view and edit metadata details (including geotag data). Selecting to edit the image makes a pop-up appear that lets you flip horizontally or vertically, apply red eye removal (removes red eyes by tapping on the eyes), adjust the brightness and contrast, and resize the image. The ability to resize is essential for me when I want to blog on the go with WordPy and have an image that fits within the Nokia Experts template.

Source: Nokiaexperts

Is this the Nokia N920 ?

Nokia N920
The picture above just popped up today and is supposedly of the Nokia N920 which is said to run Maemo 6 (the N900 runs Maemo 5) and has a capacitive touchscreen. It also doesn’t look like it has a slide-out qwerty keyboard. Take this with a huge grain of salt though.

Source: CNBETA

Nokia N900 web browsing video demo

N900 Flash browser
UMPCPortal just posted a 12 minutes long video of some Nokia N900 Mozilla browser action. This thing looks amazing, the video in mainly centered around Flash support and you’ll see that the devices handles it quite well. Safari mobile looks like old news compared to this IMO.

Source: UMPCPortal

Maemo 6 UI information & N900 hands-on videos


UMPCPortal grabed some pictures of Nokia‘s Maemo keynote during the Maemo summit today. So far we now have conformation that Maemo 6 will have native support for capacitive touch panel and multi-touch support. What doesn’t change is the TI OMA3 chipset support, OpenGL ES and WVGA screen resolution. The next version will also have portrait mode unlike Maemo 5 which only support landscape. Maemo 6 ins’t expected until late 2010 and I can’t wait to see what Nokia is cooking as the successor to the N900. Windows Mobile 7 vs Maemo 6!

Here are also two Nokia N900 hands-on vidoes showing the device in action (some OGL ES 2 demo, flash in the browser etc..):

Source: UMPCPortal

Nokia releases official Qt port to Maemo 5

Qt
Nokia‘s Qt cross-platform application and UI framework has now been officialy ported to the Maemo 5 OS and a Technology Preview made available for download now yo start developing on the Nokia N900. This new version ensure that applications can be developped for Maemo 5 (and Maemo 6 in the future) Symbian and Windows Mobile and is based on Qt‘s upcoming version 4.6 scheduled for final release in Q1 of 2010. For more information head over the Qt site here.

Source: Nokia

Nokia N900 Browser in-depth hands-on video

nokia_n900l
Nokia Conversations (Nokia‘s offical blog) has just put up an in-depth 6mins long hands on video of the latest and greatest the N900. Nokia and Mozilla did a really great on the browser:

For the first time in many years I’m really impressed with a Nokia device. That thing looks awsome ‘especially the multi-task support. I just wished it had a capacitive screen though. The N900 and the HTC HD2 / Leo are IMO the most exciting phones to come out this fall.

Source: Nokia Conversations

Another in-depth Nokia N900 Maemo 5 hadware and software preview

n900picture
Wow this must be the longest phone preview I’ve read in a while. Michal over at My-Symbian took an in-depth look at Nokia‘s latest and greatest a slapped a 4 pages long preview of the device and the Maemo 5 OS filled with screenshots, video samples, picutres etc. There’s so much info in there I don’t even know what to say. Just read it! Here’s his pros and cons:

What’s hot:

- VERY high performance: powerful OMAP3430 processor, hardware gfx and video acceleration, lots of operating memory
- rock stable
- great, high quality WVGA screen (I wouldn’t mind it being capacitive, but it’s responsive enough for it not to be an issue)
- fully functional as a mobile phone, well integrated with the rest of the system
- all connectivity options one could think of
- fast and stable 3G/HSDPA connectivity
- great, fully integrated support for VoIP, e.g. Skype
- BEAUTIFUL user interface, powerful, intuitive, easy to use
- advanced home screen: four separate desktops, support for widgets, fully customizable
- both stylus and finger friendly control
- Calendar, Contacts, Office suite finally present on Maemo (compared to previous Tablets) and more advanced than on S60 phones
- GPS receiver is very fast and sensitive, much faster than on S60 phones (except for the Omnia HD)
- high quality camera and video recording
- hardware keyboard
- good and fast web browser, compatible with virtually all websites I tested it with, fully supporting Flash (and all kinds of Flash videos), Ajax, Javascript, etc.
- fantastic video playback, crisp and smooth.

What’s not: (maybe just on the tested prototype?)

- no handwriting recognition
- storage memory for installable applications limited to ridiculous 256 MB, all the remaining gigabytes available for documents and data files only WTH??
- lack of d-pad (it’s an Nseries device, so some people would like to play games on it!)
- the keyboard is nice, but could be even better (to attract Communicator users)
- the display seems to be easily scratchable; screen protector or carrying case are recommended to protect it
- lens cover does not scratch the lens (like on the N97) but it does scratch the part of the casing it slides over
- since the memory card is hot swappable, why there’s no access to it from the outside?
- some sort of hardware “Home” button quickly switching to the Desktop would be really useful
- no audio equalizer
- Nokia, PLEASE, add voice dialing!
- no Java support, even just Java MIDP
- very limited support for Profiles, only “General” and “Silent”, no possibility to create own profiles, no timed Profiles, etc.
- the touch display “de-calibrating” from time to time on the tested unit, probably due to early, pre-release firmware.
- no MMS support.

What hasn’t been tested on the current proto and will be updated when I get hold of a newer firmware:

-synchronization
- voice navigation
- Bluetooth
- FM transmitter
- power consumption / battery life
- FM radio (if it’s there, which is unclear).

Source: My-Symbian thanks for the tip ceroberts75

Massive Nokia N900 Maemo 5 review

Maemo5
Eldar over at mobile-review just posted a massive review of Nokia’s Maemo 5 OS running on the N900. Nothing is left out, from the UI to the mapping software, the task manager, messaging application, social media integration etc.
Here’s a snipet:

Owners of the previous generations of Nokia’s Internet Tablets (Nokia N800/N810) will find the N900 familiar to a certain extent, although its interface has undergone a whole plethora of minor, yet welcome enhancements. The first thing you come across is the absence of the Back button – to dismiss pop-ups (context menus) that are brought up by clicking on the screen, all you need to do is press on any area of the screen outside the menu. Needless to say, it’s a very intuitive way of navigation, and what’s more it works across all applications, or, I should say the vast majority of them, as I managed to find one place where it didn’t.

As far as the mass market is concerned, the Nokia N900 and its Maemo5 interface is in a league of its own. Although Maemo5 does employ some icons from S60′s UI, as well as from the previous version of the OS (Hildon UI), this doesn’t mean it offers even remotely similar experience. Being merely small gears in the user interface, these icons can change from theme to theme, along with wallpapers. Speaking of which, Maemo5 offers pretty flexible tools for setting up the user interface, in fact they are not much worse than those found in S60.

The N900 has 2Gb reserved for user applications (as opposed to 90Mb in earlier firmware versions).

So if you have some free time head over here and educate yourself.

Eldar also notes that another Nokia Maemo 5 device is planned to be released in 2010 (possibly an N900 without the sliding keyboard)

Source: Mobile-Review

Awesome Nokia N900 hands-on video

I just came across this Nokia N900 video on youtube (showing the Maemo 5 OS) and thought it was really nice. Multitasking on the device seems to be the killer feature. Everything is so snappy! Check it out :

Another Nokia N900 video hands-on

nokia_n900l
Here’s another piece of Nokia news for the day. A fairly long hands-on video of the Nokia N900 running Maemo5. If only it had a capacitive screen instead of the resitive one it currently sports, this devices would be perfect.

Source Kiamanokia.it

New Nokia N900 Maemo 5 UI promo video

A new promo video showing Nokia’s N900 Maemo 5 OS in action has surfaced on youtube today. It does look really nice (although you must remember that it’s a promo vid and that the actual device won’t be as smooth/fast). I just which the N900 had a capacitive touch screen and not a resistive one…oh well..

Source: Nokia Conversations