What do you get when you combine two of the hottest electronic trends like mini netbooks and touchscreen smartphones? The answer would be Nokia’s new N900 phone and its custom-made operating system, Maemo.
Designed as a loose follow-up to Nokia’s N97, the Nokia N900 has a bit of an identity crisis between a smartphone with a desktop OS, or a portable computer with telephone capabilities. Either way, this search for identity has created an excellent entry in what could easily be a new cell phone subgenre. Although the price is still shrouded in mystery, this drool-worthy gadget will start to roll out on North American shelves for T-Mobile beginning this fall.
While the Nokia N900 undoubtedly has a weight problem for a smartphone, the added heft is a necessary evil in order to handle the impressive feature list. In addition to the WVGA touch-resistive screen and full QWERTY keyboard, there is also a built-in stand that can flip down from the back of the phone and is perfect for when you want to watch a video clip or movie in high resolution from your desk.
The digital camera on the Nokia N900 is also anything but an add-on, thanks to its highly technical Carl Zeiss optics, 5 megapixels and dual LED flash. It was also a great move on Nokia’s part to put a slide-out lens cover over such a rich camera, so the usual pants pocket dust, lint and fingerprints are not a worry on the Nokia N900.
One of the areas that Nokia is going to really have to work on is with downloadable applications. Thanks to the iPhone, app support is a huge key to phone success now, and the N900 does not ignore this. There will be at least a dozen applications ready at launch for the N900, ranging from games to Twitter programs, and the hope is that this software library will continue to grow exponentially in the near future.
With its 3.5-inch touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard, the Nokia N900 appears to have a lot in common with several other of the latest smartphones to be released. However, as you start to unravel the bulk of the details and specifications for this gadget, more and more unique features move to the forefront.
As opposed to a typical 360 x 640 resolution cell phone screen, the Nokia N900 rocks a significantly higher 800 x 480, giving you a picture more akin to your laptop rather than your phone. In order to effectively run this advanced mobile device, Nokia has had to do away with the standard Navi-Key format, and replaced it with a new robust operating system called Maemo 5.
Features such as a live dashboard that allows open tasks and messages to be viewed simultaneously really give the Nokia N900 a huge leg up in functionality over other smartphones. The Maemo 5 system also supports the Firefox 3 web browser and instant-on software updates for your N900.