Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Nokia N900 Mini Review part 2

I have now been using the Nokia N900 for about a . The device is great but still have quite a lot of issues that needs to be solved before it can be a mainstream product.week and a bit

So here are a few more comments

Battery life: Well in default setting battery life is not the best in the world. Since it is dependent on usage quoting figures are not that relevant. But enough to say that you hardly get a work day from the battery. If you optimize a bit – you can get up to a work day. Wi-Fi power and Bluetooth are heavy drainers – so keep Bluetooth off and set Wi-Fi transmit power to 10mw. Default is 100mw. It will impact wireless range but better than running out of juice.


Mail For Exchange: That is the biggest disappointment. It semi works – but only if you run Exchange 2007 with specific service packs. You cannot really call it “support” for exchange. It is very limited support – and it seems like it was not born from the codebase on the S60 MfE. This rules out out as a business phone for many. No remote wipe/key. Syncs all folders you have. If you run in scheduled mode (like every 15. min.) it seems like if MfE looses the data connection – then MfE will not connect again unless you do a full manual sync. Very annoying. You can’t move mails to another folder.

Message Pop Up: When a new message pops up – why can’t you delete the message? Button is greyed out.

Message Notifications: Unfortunately the message notification sound when you are on a call is the same as “Call Waiting” – so you get bugged down checking the phone again and again – only to find out it is a message notification.

Ovi Maps – enough said – just lousy. Give us V3

Camera: Camera takes great pictures in the right conditions. But give it a bit of light that hits the metallic frame around the lens – resulting in distorted and blue tinted pictures that are less than good looking.

Web Browser - Web Gestures: Does mostly only work if you use the stylus. Does not work very well unless you have a pointy finger or long nails. Most of the time the browser is fast. But sometimes it gets kind of stuck and takes forever to load pages. It has been reported some flash applications can stay running even if you close the browser – and thereby eat the battery without you noticing it.

Touch: In general nowhere near iPhone. To many mistakes resulting from touch. Browser is terrible with touch – even with stylus – and have a habit of confusing scrolling with tapping on links every time.

Screen : For indoor use it is great. But not as clear outdoors as the iPhone. Resolution is good. Screen cover is really bad and needs a screen protector. My phone is already so scratched it needs a new “glass”

Bluetooth: Hmm not really ready for prime times. Crashes my Nokia BH-905 headset so it needs a complete reset. Limited support for using the Phone as DUN device (sharing Internet access with your computer)

MMS: Nope not available (yet) – I don’t care – since I do not use MMS – but for some people it is important.

Skype: Works quite well – but not as well as Skype on the iPhone. Lots of fall-outs in speech in my testing. But great Skype can stay loaded in the background.

The worst thing with the N900 is the constant “fight” with Linux Geeks who sees the phone as the 2nd coming. They can make up all kinds of excuses to why the phone (yes phone) is not a phone, why the applications are not up to scratch, If a user asks the wrong question about how to get things to work or why they do not work in another way – they are like vultures attacking dead pray.

The product is an end user product. But the biggest threat to success is the availability of high quality software and the Linux community attitude to “You are stupid if you don’t know how to operate this device”. That is what is killing Linux on the Desktop and it can kill the N900 just as well. So guys – help people. Always think that your mother or grandmother should be able to use the device. Think of your fellow users as people who are not stupid – but people who you can and should help understand all the great things about a Linux based phone. Help fellow developers develop with end users in mind. Not just for users who create arbitrary RegEx statements while playing Doom and know what Bash and BusyBox is.

If nothing is done the N900 will end up being another niche device where interest will dwindle within a short period of time.

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