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Texrat's Avatar
Posts: 11,700 | Thanked: 10,015 times | Joined on Jun 2006 @ North Texas, USA
#1
Well, I can no longer use my N900 for a reason I'll explain further so I figured I would take a breather and detail my experiences. Note that I was one of the very fortunate Amsterdam 300. Disclaimer: I am a former Nokia employee and helped launch the N800.

Look and Feel

I was initially impressed with the appearance and apparent build quality. Nice fit and finish, and the keyboard slides in and out solidly. The camera cover seems robust but the kickstand surrounding it does not. I'm really concerned it will break too easily.

The device is on the heavy side but not too much so for me. I've never been one of those to complain too much about weight, and really don't understand those who do. I'm fine with the overall dimensions as well, except i still wish the screen was a bit bigger for my old eyes.

Basic Usage

I have to admit I found the updated UI a little mysterious, even though I have plenty of experience with the N810, N800 and 770. The desktop drilldown was not immediately obvious, nor was the mode of exiting certain options (ie, clicking fuzzy background). But I got the hang of them after the typical trial-and-error.

I was hoping for a screensaver clock and was disappointed it's not there, given that I typically avoid wristwatches if I have a cell phone. I tend to keep the tablet propped on my desk at work for instant messaging, and found another disappointment with the kickstand: the single angle is not good for me. It needs another, higher setting.

I was also disappointed, as I've mentioned in other posts and my blog, about the phone experience. I don't like that I have to jump through hoops to make a call-- I wish there was a ONE touch feature to activate calling. It could be a single hardware button added to the face, a configurable d-pad, whatever. I want it.

I find the accelerometer activation of the cell interface to be problematic. Sometimes it takes too long and sometimes flips back when I don't want it to.

I'm also so used to S60 smartphones that other missing features irked me. I want to organize/filter the call log. I want to be able to SMS my contacts from the phone screen. I want more of the settings exposed from the menu. And unrelated to the S60 experience, I want to be able to access the device settings (wifi, app updates, etc) from the toolbar in portrait mode.

One thing to be aware of: some settings dialogs contain more options than the screen will show at one time-- and there is no indicator of more settings. You have to scroll down to more options by flicking over the ones that show. This needs work, UI guys.

Browser

I really like the browser though. The web experience is significantly improved over the N8xx models and better than any small mobile device I've ever used. Maybe I've been lucky but for the most part I have encountered none of the issues others complain about. Some websites like LinkedIn and email on 1and1.com give me fits but most, even heavy sites, come across very well and quickly. Scrolling is smooth on most sites I've visited, and going back through the browser history is a breeze.

One thing I don't like is that if I manually enter a URL, the only way I can see to navigate to it is using the Enter key on the physical or virtual keyboard(s). I would think that one of the browser icons (like the back arrow) would do double-duty here and switch to a Enter icon as needed. Or that the Enter key on the virtual keyboard would turn green when you opened it from a browser navigation box.

So far the browser has worked with every site I've tried, including my bank and online stock brokerage. Very impressed.

One interesting tidbit: zooming can be accomplished with the button above the NOKIA logo or by way of a spiral gesture: spiral into the screen with your finger to zoom in, vice versa to zoom out. Clever, but not intuitive.

Multimedia

I don't care for the default multimedia apps. They are very limited and a little awkward to use. The N900 could certainly use a better playlist manager, especially one that would allow the user to add or replace album/song art.

Sound is very good for a small device, but tinny from the speakers as one would expect. I do wish it was a little louder from the speakers, but it's certainly loud enough and then some in earbuds.

Internet video performance is much better for me than it was on the N8xx devices. Some sites still annoy me with their slowness but it does seem to be site specific. Youtube experience is improved but can still lag or hang. Then again, it does that on more powerful PCs I've used.

Camera

The 5 mpxl camera takes really nice photos, as many have shown here. Outdoor shots are much, much better in my experience than indoor shots. YMMV.

The camera application has decent features, including cropping, but could use redeye correction and is also a little confusing to navigate in places.

Networking

I had to change the default wifi power saving mode to get a good connection at home, which surprised me-- I didn't have to do that on the N810. But once done, performance was acceptable.

One thing that surprises is me is that I can't see my home network shares that were visible on the N810 and N800. Maybe I overlooked a setting though? It could be the router firewall-- unfortunately I can't test that at the moment.

Bluetooth has been decent enough with 2 exceptions: the devices will not stay connected long to my BH-900 headset (and it was an all day exercise to connect it in the first place) and refuses to connect to my printer over bluetooth at all (N810 and N800 can). All other devices have worked well though, including another newer Nokia headset, the BH-201.

Communications

One pleasant surprise: Ovi mail integrated quickly and easily and has worked great ever since. I can't get results like that from the internet interface! Very nice.

I added Ovi and Gmail contacts to the device and they were immediately tightly integrated with communications apps. Sweet! I really love what Nokia has done here. Not only that, but twitter feeds show up flawlessly in SMS. Calling and Instant messaging are a breeze, with the annoying exception I mentioned above.

I should add here that I don't care at all about missing MMS.

Applications

The device comes well loaded, and installing others is easy once you get past the unique drilldown method. I do wish Applications was one of the most prominent icons, however, rather than buried under a "more" selection.

Rumor has it that Maemo Extras will be enabled by default by a future firmware upgrade but for now simply enable it via the Application Manager settings to access more apps.

Overall

Quirks and all, I can't bash the device as some have because I find most of the drawbacks to be mere annoyances-- most of which will undoubtedly be addressed by updates. With one exception.

Yesterday when I removed the charger cable from the device, the female USB connector came out with it. Sooo... no more charging for now, and certainly no more connecting to other devices via USB. I am sure I'll be returning the device to the Maemo team soon for investigation.

I must add that prior to this incident, the cord had been yanked violently by a moving chair and the device pulled from a low surface onto a wooden floor. Obviously this severely weakened the solder joints, so I certainly recommend caution (as always) with devices connected to cables of any kind.

Anyway, I have to say I'm mostly pleased with the device, including as a phone. Much moreso than I expected to be. I look forward to contributing where I can to its continual improvement and success.
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Last edited by Texrat; 2009-11-29 at 02:13.
 

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Texrat's Avatar
Posts: 11,700 | Thanked: 10,015 times | Joined on Jun 2006 @ North Texas, USA
#2
Ok, wait... I must have done this wrong.

Where are the arguments? The flames? The exaggerations from all sides?

Where are my 4,997 replies???

*sigh*
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zerojay's Avatar
Posts: 2,669 | Thanked: 2,552 times | Joined on Apr 2007 @ Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
#3
Sorry dude. The world agrees with your comments. I know it's rare, but there's always the next thread.
 
Texrat's Avatar
Posts: 11,700 | Thanked: 10,015 times | Joined on Jun 2006 @ North Texas, USA
#4
Dude. Say it isn't so!
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somedude's Avatar
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#5
I dont like this.
I hate it.
( I have not even read it yet, posted to make you happy)
 
javispedro's Avatar
Posts: 2,330 | Thanked: 5,197 times | Joined on Jan 2009 @ Barcelona
#6
Let's go straight to the point:

So the N900 sucks, doesn't it?




Jokes aside, I agree with you too. Specially in the missing hardware button point.
 
Texrat's Avatar
Posts: 11,700 | Thanked: 10,015 times | Joined on Jun 2006 @ North Texas, USA
#7
Oh, thank you somedude and javis. I was just looking for some balance!
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zerojay's Avatar
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#8
a) Agreed on the stand.
b) Network shares won't be seen because NFS/CIFS/Samba is no longer supported.
c) Double clicking on text in the browser will zoom to fit.
 

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Sopwith's Avatar
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#9
tl;dr


...just kidding. One thing I noticed, a couple of comparisons were in favor of N8x0 (screen size, WiFi settings, bluetooth connectivity). Understandably this could be bias, but I choose to believe some things indeed were better in the older NITs. I wish we knew there was a N810 follow up in the workings -- a N900 on the inside (sans phone), an improved N810 on the outside ...
 

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Texrat's Avatar
Posts: 11,700 | Thanked: 10,015 times | Joined on Jun 2006 @ North Texas, USA
#10
Originally Posted by zerojay View Post
b) Network shares won't be seen because NFS/CIFS/Samba is no longer supported.
AAAAaarrrrrgggggg!!!!!
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leaving rat droppings, the rat is at it again, what am i at?? :p

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