Issuu on Google+

Radar 360° first review

The Linux-based Maemo 5 OS is intuitive, flexible, and makes Symbian look frankly awful. You can swipe through four home screens, each customisable with web pages, RSS feeds, live-updating applications, contacts and shortcuts to your address book, calendar etc. With a resolution of 800x480 the screen is fantastic (see “Killer features” on the following page) and the ARM Cortex-A8 processor, coupled with a generous 1GB RAM, means you can run multiple applications simultaneously. We gaily skipped between the music player, a YouTube vid, multiple web pages, the camera and various contacts and message folders without any of the sluggishness you get from other handsets. Cane the web and you’ll need to carry a charger around with you, though. Instant Messages are displayed alongside SMS in the Conversations tab and it’s very simple to synch contact information across apps. Push email is a cinch to set up too, but is kept separate. It would have been useful 

2

The details

Specifications

1 3 5

STYLUS

The stylus is useful here for activating small buttons when browsing

2 LENS COVER

Slide back the lens cover to activate the camera

60mm

82mm

3

18mm

Flip the plastic stand out to rest the N900 on a desk and watch a movie

111mm

KICK STAND

4 CONNECTIONS

4

Charge via micro USB and use the 3.5mm jack to play your media files on a TV

5 APPLICATIONS MENU

Press this to enter the menu. With shortcuts on the home screen, you might not use it often

OPERATING SYSTEM Maemo 5.5 SCREEN 3.5 inches, 800x480 CONNECTIVITY 10Mbps HSDPA, Wi-Fi (b/g), Bluetooth

2.1, USB, AV out, A-GPS, 3.5mm socket

CAMERA 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss Autofocus VIDEO 800x480 plus a VGA webcam STORAGE 32GB plus microSD up to 16GB BATTERY 5 hours Talk (3G) SIZE/WEIGHT 111x60x18mm/181g

J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 0 T 3 3 9

T

1

S

The Finnish behemoth’s latest multimedia tablet-cum-phone sees it back on top form

E

NOKIA’S BACK

F

T

NOKIA N900

irst impressions aren’t auspicious with the N900. The open-source Maemo 5 OS is untested and unheralded and the handset is an uncharismatic, 18mm deep brick. Sure, it’s a solidly built brick, and the 3.5-inch screen slides back to reveal an excellent QWERTY keyboard, but with a screen that only works in landscape mode, it’s near impossible to operate onehanded and the whole thing exhudes a kind of meta-dullness not seen since the heyday of John Denver. Play with it a while, however, and a whole other picture becomes apparent.


Radar 360° first review

S

T

Killer features of… Nokia N900 1

3

Bright, colourful and sharp, the N900’s touchscreen is great for video and browsing alike. Flash 9.4 support lets you play back YouTube clips as nature intended, albeit with slight juddering and lag

Select albums, iPhone-like, by clicking through cover art. The supplied headphones are comfortable and sound better than average, but still feel cheap. As there’s a 3.5mm socket, they are easily replaced, however…

T

E

Screen

2

Bizarre fact: The N900’s screen can only be displayed in landscape

 to have emails alongside tweets and Facebook updates – hopefully an app will fix it. The rest of the spec impresses. The 32GB of internal storage and a microSD slot is plenty. Geotagged, five-meg pictures are fine, though with an LED instead of xenon flash, it’s no Satio. Ovi Maps is there for the habitually lost. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Nokia without some niggling issues and a faintly foolish

Music player

Web browser

4

The Mozilla browser is excellent, swiftly displaying full web pages – T3.com came up in just eight seconds. You can scroll around with your finger or via a movable navigation arrow and zoom by tapping, or with the volume slider

Apps will soon be available from Ovi Store for Maemo 5 when it launches, as well as developer portal Maemo Select, which already has 50 apps including FaceBook and Amazon. It’s open source so anyone can develop for it

App stores

The Contenders Nokia N900 versus Apple iPhone 3GS

N900 IS A COMPUTING/ INTERNET SOLUTION, SAYS NOKIA. IT LOOKS LIKE A PHONE TO US… marketing claim. The touchscreen doesn’t support multi-touch and the one on our early sample was unresponsive. There’s no support for MMS. Why? Because Nokia says the N900 is a “computing/internet solution” and not a phone. Err… it looks like a phone to us, chaps. It’s also not obvious when you’ve missed a message. A light flashes and the menu glows, but there’s no indication what or who you’ve missed. However, with a customisable interface, superb multimedia features and capable browser, the N900 is better than any Nokia of recent vintage and superior to most smartphone rivals. Nokia can call it what it likes – as we said, it looks like a phone and quacks like a phone. Whatever it is, it rocks.

MAKE/MODEL

NOKIA N900

APPLE IPHONE 3GS

PRICE

TBC

TBC

WEBSITE

WWW.NOKIA.COM

WWW.APPLE.COM

USER EXPERIENCE

Fully customisable widgets and apps over four home screens. Even with multiple apps running, it remains quick, effortlessly loading web pages. Message notification is poor, though. LOSER

With a slick interface, a great browser and an iPod built in, the iPhone 3GS is our #1 phone, even though it can’t beat the N900 for multitasking and it also lacks its Flash support. WINNER

APPS

Limited to 50 from Maemo Select, but will soon support Ovi Store. LOSER

With 90,000+ apps, the App Store won the T3 group test on p84. WINNER

STORAGE

32GB onboard, which can be expanded using microSD cards. WINNER

Choose from 8, 16 and 32GB variants, but there’s no card slot. LOSER

CAMERA

A respectable five-meg camera with autofocus and a dual LED flash. There’s a secondary video camera too. WINNER

The 3.2-megapixel camera takes decent shots, but the lack of flash limits its usefulness indoors. LOSER

BATTERY

Five hours talk but all that multitasking demands regular charging. LOSER

Five hours talk again, but in day to day use the iPhone 3G lasts longer. WINNER

Details

KEYBOARD

The QWERTY is easy to type on, but the virtual keyboard is cramped. DRAW

The virtual keyboard really flies once you’re used to it. DRAW

LOVE Speedy and powerful. Great interface. Excellent

SCREEN

While bright and clear, the 3.5-inch, The screen is also 3.5 inches, but 480x800 touchscreen is frustrating and multi-touch technology makes it far more enjoyable to use. WINNER often unresponsive. LOSER

LOOKS AND BUILD

Solid, chunky and less than inspiring, like its N series colleagues. LOSER

Slim, sexy and polished, the iPhone is an acknowledged design icon. WINNER

RESULT

LOSER

WINNER

TBC, WWW.NOKIA.COM

browser. Plenty of storage. HATE Unresponsive touchscreen. Landscape only. Lacks apps thus far. Bulky and ugly as hell

4 0 T 3 J A N UA R Y 2 0 1 0


Nokia N900 review