As I posted previously on a different thread, when I recieved the N900 from Womworld I was initially very excited and impressed, although there were problems in getting the phone to recognise my sim card (3uk), I had to find a friend who had wi-fi so I could get the fw updated, two updates later and I was up and running.
I've tried to structure the review under headings to make each aspect of the review clear. I have been comparing the N900 to my E71, which is maybe an unfair comparison, but as I do all my admin work here on the forum with my E71, it made sense to think of the N900 in the same way.
The Look and Build Quality
The N900 in my opinion looks very plain, with a matt black finish on the back and chrome surround to the camera cover and of course the full shiny screen at the front, the surrounding of the screen I have found to be a magnet for finger prints. Even with the qwerty keypad slid out, I still felt it looked kinda unimpressive, it seemed to be hiding its value with its plain design, which could be a good thing in some ways, not drawing unwanted attention to itself when your using it out and about.
The build quality, compared to the last N series phone I had (the N95) is quite impressive.. Its a solid (though quite heavy) feeling phone, the slider mechanism for the keypad feels strong, with a satisfying click as it slides in and out of position and the camera cover feels reasonably strong when opening and closing, although I feel this may become weaker after extended use.
The battery cover, compared to the N95, is so much better, it took me a while to figure out how to get the damn thing off at first for fear of breaking something, but in the end I discovered that the cover is a lot more sturdier than I initially gave it credit for, and I dont think there is much danger of the lugs breaking off at any time in the near future.
The kickstand (surrounding the camera cover) is a cool feature. I do think that this is the one part of the phone that could easily be accidently broken though as it feels quite flimsy compared to the rest of the phone.
I found two main problems with the design, the first being the locations of the charger port and the headset socket, when you have either, or even worse, both of these plugged in, it makes using the qwerty keypad very very awkward, I feel it would have been better if they had swithched the locations of the speakers (located at the top sides of the phone) with the ports. The second issue I had was the fact that they put the socket for the memory card UNDER the battery cover, in my opinion memory cards are meant to be hot swappable, no matter how much onboard memory you have, they should have provided a slot on the outside of the case like other symbian phones.
Interface and Useabilty
First off I'm going to talk about my experience using the browser. As most of you know I use my phone in my position as co-admin of this forum, so my requirements in a browser are primarily speed and funtionality (I use ucweb 6.3 on my E71 which does the job perfectly for me). Unfortunately, with the built in browser, which I have to admit, gives you the "full web experience", I didnt find the speed part that impressive. Yes, it looks nice, it renders the pages very clearly, the zoom function is very useful, but for my purposes it was just to slow, I'd have to say it even seemed slower than Skyfire. I did try and give firefox a go as an alternative, but for some reason I found firefox didnt like Symbian Freak and crashed instantly lol. So I think for someone who is looking for that full experience, and wants to browse the net as a normal user then they will certainly be impressed with the phones ability, but for me, it slowed me down.
On to the music player now. Interface wise, I was impressed, simple, clean and fast. I always found on my E71 the in-built music player sometimes lagged when reading my music from the memory card, but the N900 had absolutely no problems with this, and it would happily skip through tracks with no lag what so ever. The only thing I found to be missing was an equalizer, I cant think of any reason why Nokia would leave such a useful function out of a device thats geared towards multimedia, maybe they forgot lol. The sound and volume are reasonable when plugged into an external set of speakers but the built-in speakers, compared to the N95, sounded a little tinny and disappointing. The management of the music is pretty sensible but simple, with four basic categories, All Albums, Artists, Genres and Playlists.
The main menu for the Media Player is nice and simple, with four options giving you access to Music, Videos, Internet Radio and an option to Shuffle all Songs.
I didnt get to experience the N900s video playback capabilities apart from watching the pre-loaded trailer for the film "9" by Tim Burton. When I did watch this though, I was very impressed with both picture and sound quality, so as long as whatever films you load on your device are of a good quality, then I dont think you will be disappointed.
Too bad the browser doesn't work for you. There is a third party browser in the repositores, I don't remember the name, that promises to be faster. I didn't tested it myself, but you could take a look.
As for the looks of the device, I liked the plain look, it feels stylish, but maybe it's becouse I didn't give further thoughts at what it could've been with a diferent design. (my imagination = fail! ) The only bad part is that is resembles the iPhone (in the front at least), and I was asked once if my N900 was an iPhone, and I don't like to be offended!
In the rest I'm with you. The N900 is really a work in progress, but nevertheless a wonderful device! My only regret in buying it, is the amount of bright pixels I have on my screen.
Waiting for the second part!
A proud N900 owner and formely N95 8GB user!!!
My english is getting better since I started to talk here in the forum! Thanks for the hospitality!!!
Thanks bro I think my problem with the browser was the speed of the scrolling with the touch interface, it really got on my nerves lol Never really thought of it lookin like an iphone lol And hopefuly part 2 should be coming sometime over the weekend
Thanks Rol bro, I'll hopefuly be starting part 2 today if I can make sense of my notes lol. Womworld finally contacted me yesterday sayin my trial was over(technicaly a 54 day trial ) so the phone will be goin back next week sometime