Don’t be a fool by avoiding the N900.
There is this post over at The Prodical Guide stating “The seven reasons why you should avoid buying the N900“. I’ve posted an opposing comment and would you believe it, my comment has not being displayed? (The @TheProdigalFool assures me I have not made any comments or they don’t exist – ha ha ha!!! – technical glitch – no insinuation intended :-)).
So rather than try in vain to get my comments across, I thought I would make it easy for all and just post my comments here on my website. I am not going to re-write the whole post, instead I will just list the seven points and give my explanation.
I think the biggest problem with your negatives are that you did not have the N900 long enough. There is no way you could have judged the device in a short period of time. The N900 needs a month or two for a true decision and I’ll explain against your seven points:
#1 The screen is yesterday’s technology – WRONG!
That is entirely a preference and not a fact. Having had the Nokia 5800, Nokia N97 and now the Nokia N900 this is by far the best lag free resistive screen on the market. It responds perfectly with fingers, gloves, and even the stylus. The screen is bright and way better than say the iPhone. (that is a personal view like you have made, as I don’t believe the iPhone works with gloves – ha!).
#2 The software isn’t finished yet and may never be – WRONG!
Isn’t that the idea of most smartphones with firmware updates? To improve what is currently available? At what point would it have been a finished product? The software on the Nokia N900 is way beyond anything that is available on any other device or phone. You clearly got the device at the wrong time. How many other devices come with Skype built into the phone module? There are hundreds if not thousands of applications for the N900. Just install the extra repositories and discover the world of linux, and maemo, python, ruby and all the flavors of emulators. Being open source, has meant the device can grow in all areas, as an example, if one taps into the application manager there are 13 areas where you can download applications from. Finally on this point, Meego is going to revolutionize the N900 and even if it doesn’t, there are thousands of developers out there improving the N900 every day.
#3 It doesn’t work properly as a phone – WRONG!
Bear in mind the N900 is not a phone. It’s a tablet or a mini computer first and has a phone function that happens to be in portrait mode as Nokia realized that most people hold phones in a vertical way. As a phone it works brilliantly. Sound quality is awesome, and if you couple it via A2DP Bluetooth headphones (BH-905) you can have crystal clear voice / sound with noise cancelling. The address book is excellent and contacts can be easily found. One of it’s ‘Ace of Spades’ is the fact that the N900 can make VOIP calls directly from the phone function (name another phone or tablet that can do this???). Google Talk, Skype Calls are possible and any other VOIP set up you may have and this can be done FREE. It’s built into the phone function. Going back to the “only in Portrait Mode”. This can be changed to horizontal mode as well and the speaker can be used. There is a firmware update coming out soon that will address the Portrait mode for other applications on the device. In the meantime it is possible to hold the N900 in one hand and browse the internet, zoom in and out, scroll up and down. There is a handy hack for this – Press Ctrl+Shift+O and voila, single hand use is possible. With applications from the repository it’s possible to single hand text as well using the standard ABC2 DEF3 touch screen keyboard.
#4 It’s a huge, geeky brick – WRONG!
You are comparing the Nokia N900 with the iPhone and HTC Legend, which do not have a slide out QWERTY keyboard. If those two phones had a keyboard it would be thick and Geeky looking wouldn’t it? The Palm Pre is hardly a phone in the same league as the Nokia N900. You could maybe compare the Palm Pre to the BlackBerry phones in terms of it’s form factor. The iPhone or HTC Legend is no where near the N900 in terms of capabilities (please don’t fool yourself). At one point the iPhone couldn’t even copy and paste. (ha ha!)
#5 There’s very little software for it – WRONG!
See #2 above. There is a lot of software for the N900 and 99% of it is free and there are new applications every day which notify you as well when there is an update (Very clever). The OVI store might not have tons and tons of software like the Apple store or the Droid store, bearing in mind those two stores have been running a lot longer than the OVI store for N900. OVI is in the news most day breaking records with the amount of downloads. Lets wait util the OVI store has been around as long as the Apple or Droid stores to make such comparisons.
#6 It’s cumbersome to use – WRONG!
You are sounding like an iPhone user again. Who needs buttons to get back to the main screen? There are multiple ways of getting back to the desktop (all 4 or 6 or 9 of them), or to the task manager or the application manager or even the application menu. There are long press shortcuts and short taps, double taps and single taps. In the browser one can zoom in with clockwise motion and zoom out with anti-clock wise motion or double tap or using the volume rocker, it’s the one device you can use standard windows shortcut keys on the keyboard (e.g. Ctrl+C = Copy, Ctrl+v = paste, Ctrl+A = Select all etc, there is a whole list of shortcuts). You can bring up a mouse and select text, highlights words, paragraphs etc. You can even load up a terminal window, take root access and run command scripts to do all sorts of OS functions that would be normally not be possible on a device. Cumbersome to someone who doesn’t know how to use the device, most certainly. Cumbersome to the masses that use a single tasking iPhone – Most definitely.
#7 It looks and feels a bit cheap – WRONG AGAIN!
Are you sure you had the N900? 😉 The battery cover doesn’t peal off as you have suggested. It clips off and it’s securely clipped on. At least there is an option to remove the cover or to replace the battery, unlike the iPhone. There are no rattles or cheap materials used on the N900. It’s got a good solid body, has an awesome screen and a very good keyboard, which has a very good feel to it. Keys are nicely spaced out and positioned well and feel good to type on. I have dropped my N900 a number of times and the battery cover has never fallen off or unclipped and the device has not picked up any scratches. The screen didn’t crack or smash like a lot of iPhones do. I don’t have a silly plastic cover or rubbery protector over it either like many iPhone users out there. (why do they have that? Is the iPhone that fragile?).
@TheProdigalFool Your negatives are very personal, especially your “final note”, which I believe clouds your judgement on this wonderful device. Like I said at the top of this post, you can’t judge a device after only having it for a few weeks. That is not fair on the device and certainly not fair on the people looking for Pros and Cons for a device. You have failed to mention a ton of advantages that no other device could possibly have (7 Pros do not do it justice).
Having had the N900 now for 4 months, here are my list of negatives:
- For a heavy user like myself, the battery lasts 5 hours. (solution – get a DC-11 battery)
I define heavy as – on a hourly basis I would be surfing the net on about 11 websites, using twitter, facebook / facebrick / listening to music via bluetooth to BH-905 headphones, scrobbling to Last.FM at the same time, SMS via conversation, downloading new apps or updating them via the automatic updater, sending, receiving, reading 5 email accounts for my various websites etc).
- To much emphasis is placed on the touch screen and not enough on the qwerty keyboard.
It would be nice to be able to user the cursor keys or control keys in all applications that have long lists, such as the address book, dedicated applications such as facebrick, tweego, the application manager. The keyboard if used correctly can be a lot quicker than the touch screen, especially if shortcuts are used. Currently I found the keyboard can be used in the browser to scroll left or right, up or down and in the calendar etc. If anyone knows of any other applications that make use of the keyboard (don’t say conversation, twitter, facebook etc, as they are obvious).
- Nokia missed a trick not putting in a Xenon flash on the back.
Photos are great in sunlight, but are poor in low light or night scenes. One needs to do a lot of tweaking in the settings to take a good photo. All settings are via the touch screen again. All those extra keys could be extra functionality.
- The raised camera makes the device wobble if you are typing with the N900 on a table.
This is one thing that annoys me terribly especially since I like using the N900 in front of me when I am sitting at my desk. It is possible to stop it wobbling by holding it firmly down, and I rekon it could have easily being resolved if Nokia had added a small lip on the right side of the battery cover.
- No right shift key.
Man oh man, what were they thinking? Even though I am left handed or left thumbed, using the right shift on a keyboard seems so right! I notice they have introduced the right shift on the Nokia C6.
There you have it and no I am not a tester or on Nokia’s payroll.
We are Mike and Jo Bowen. Originally from South Africa, we now live & work in the United Kingdom. Mike is the blogger, beer drinker, gadget man, reviewer and Jo is the proofreader, wine drinker, cat lady, sanity checker and “don’t you dare put that on lookatbowen.com“. Together we travel the world and have fun wherever possible. If you are new to this website and want to know more about us, check out the the longer version.
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