Saturday, January 23, 2010

[N900 REVIEW] Part 12 : Final thoughts !

Posted on 10:39 by SlipKoRnSaad

After this full N900's coverage, i can say that the Nokia N900 is different from anything else i have seen recently in the touch phone market. Better yet, it's different with a purpose. The Maemo platform is all about simplicity and multitasking !

In my personal opinion, the N900 is completely successful. The hardware is powerful enough, the operating system is set up fast, stable and logical. There is a large community that already makes vast amounts of software.

The best web browser and the best multi-tasking and instant messaging experience of any comparable device out there right now !

Maemo does take some getting used to, especially if you’re coming to it from a Symbian device, but, invest the time to learn all the neat tricks and extra features and you will be handsomely rewarded ;)

Build quality is second to none. The N900 gives an impression of raw power, both inside and out.

The camera is slightly under supported when compared to rivals on the market. Nokia have never been known to overload a camera with features but simple additions such as face and smile detection and a Xenon flash would have been welcome ones...

The built in GPS receiver is aided by A-GPS (assisted GPS). These two combine to give the N900 an incredibly quick response time when opening the Ovi Maps application. Upon opening the app, the N900 pinpoints your location almost instantly and despite being inside a building (which can hamper the GPS signal) found our location correctly almost to the meter.

Then, the operating system is fresh, intuitive and begging to be explored and really does succeed in putting a desktop experience in the palm of your hand whilst the device itself is well made, well designed and loaded with features that will come in handy for both work and play.

What's hot :

- Lens shutter manage to keep the lens clean
- The micro USB port (which doubles as the charger connection)
- Good level of feedback and a quality feel.

- There's none of the S60 one-click-here-two-clicks-there inconsistency to be witnessed with the Linux-based platform.
- Clicking somewhere outside to get the main menu or going back a step
- Three levels organization of the UI rather than two. (The extra step added between the homescreen and the main menu is reserved for the task manager, so you'll always have your open applications at hand).
- 4 side-scrollable fully customizable screens/desktop
- Plainness of the homescreen management
- Best resistive screen on the ever had yet ! and one of the sharpest ones
- Task switcher as the Maemo OS cornerstone
- Kinetic scrolling
- Very rich status bar
- a decent amount of eye-candy with the main screen getting out of focus when a dialog pops-up (Apps also disappear with nice effect when closed from the task bar and the automatic rotation in the phonebook is pretty nice)
- N900 always remembers in which home screen you were recently using and it will always show it, even after you reboot the device.

- Full integration between mobile and VoIP telephony is really impressive
- Mature support for telephony when comparing to previous tablets.
- Turn-to-mute feature
- Turning control feature
- Merge Contacts feature
- Among strongest native support of contacts synchronization with plethora of options

- Calendar works well and is very usable and viewable on the excellent N900 display.
- Multiple calendar support and management.
- Alarms are disabled by default for birthdays.
- Smart Calendar (birthdays) enable to sync with contacts.
- Option to select which calendar a Note is associate with.
- Turn- to-snooze feature for alarm application

- Virtual QWERTY keyboard for text input in addition to the regular one
- Native HTML support for the Email client
- Powerful IM support and integration
- Smilies integration
- Personal status with your geographical coordinates support !

- Support of Flash 9.4
- Support of Adds-on
- Support of multiple windows
- Support of copy/paste
- Interactive mode

- Default audio quality is good in comparison with other Nokia's brand
- FM Transmitter
- DivX and XviD videos support out of the box
- WVGA display provides excellent clarity, detailness and resolution, and the playback is smooth enough
- Kickstand
- UPnP client easy to set up (all set up should be done from pc's server)
- Internet radio out of the box

- Quality of stills and videos is really a very decent one
- Tag filtering offers you a great way to quickly find your photos
- Geotagging feature works flawlessly
- Many sharing possibilities
- Fast browsing
- Auto pre-focus on video mode
- Installing an application is pretty easy
- Powerful hardware as enabler for huge developer community
- Possibility to add as many applications repositories as available
- Automatic notification of available update including the firmware's one
- Restoring a backup make the App Manager redownload your software from the repositories (with latest versions)

- Highest transfer speed on a device until the time i'm writing this !
- More than one way to grab and keep your data up to date
- UDP Support

- GPS receiver very sensitive
- Battery life not "bad" as that !

What's Not :

- The microSD slot is hidden under the rear pane
- Resistive screen (i still love manipulate my Omnia HD)
- Volume (mainly, thickness side)
- Hardware screen/key lock that is located at a very odd position
- Lack of "full" qwerty keybord
- Battery cover removing system

- The lack (at the moment) of portrait mode in the whole interface (after all this is a phone too, isn't it?).
- Scrollable screens in horizontal only.
- I wished if there was a capacity screen instead (you know it matches very well with the kinetic scrolling).
- The lack of Multi-select feature in some applications (email, for example)

- No option to assign specific ringtones to particular contacts
- No option to scroll contacts with the help of the arrow keys of the QWERTY keybord
- No alphabetical search in contact application (except in portrait mode)
- No option to multi-select different contacts in order to interact with them (like a Symbian device)
- Weak call log
- "Introductory" attempt to implement telephony when comparing to a Symbian device.
- Contacts fields are not renameable like on S60 OS
- No Option to select a standard number for SMS or call !

- Smart Calendars (birthdays) doesn't allow to call or text the call the contact directly from the event's entry
- Google Synchronisation is currently not (directly) supported.
- There are no custom recurrence options such as every Monday and Wednesday, etc.
- Tasks part of the application is a basic utility that doesn’t give you any priority setting or other functionality
- Handwritten notes are not supported
- No native MMS support.
- No option to sort conversations (by sender, time, nicknames etc.)
- No option to create folders for conversations.
- No handwriting recognition though, despite there's a stylus onboard.
- No option to get only the headers of emails if you're stingy with the data traffic.
- No option to subscribe IMAP folders yet.
- Swirl to zoom feature is slow to be useful. You need to make four or five circles instead of two short taps.
- Some compatibility issues with flash videos other than Youtube
- No equalizer
- No decent FM Radio out of the box
- No advanced video tagging like on the photos viewer
- Despite the sound is clear, stereo speakers are somehow weak (volume, bass rendering) from what we saw in other N-Series
- Built-in media player is a UPnP/DLNA client only
- No self-timer
- No advanced mode (for still photos and video capture)
- No alternative resolutions
- No LED flash as a video light assistant when recording in low light conditions
- No 3D-view or some Cover Flow-like animation
- Portrait and landscape mode aren't automatically alternated
- The only way to zoom in and out is by using the volume rocker key
- The availability of third-party apps
- The lack of automatic notification for new applications (out of the box)
- No automatic backup schedule (daily, weekly etc) like on Symbian
- No multimedia or photo transfer mode for USB event.
- No possibility to import SMS from other devices
- Sync issues between two N900 (will upload a demo when i'll have a correct internet connection)
- Lack of digital compass so, no Augmented Reality style apps i guess
- Lack of voice-guidance

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