Coming from two years of steady iphone usage with a little change while trying out the Palm Pre for a couple weeks I took a look at the Nokia N900 as being the mother of all phones spec wise that I’ve seen in quite a while.
After nearly two month of backorder from amazon it arrived and I started using it. After installing the current software release which was a flawless experience i started using it.
Things to say:
– It does not sync with a mac on the contacts/calendar side. Not at all at this time. You can import contacts by doing an addressbook export, copying it on the device and importing them. Syncing is something different.
– Having skype, jabber and google talk running all the time is a nice experience. However do not even thing about having the battery last for more than three hours at a time. Good way to crash the phone for me at least was to simple send a picture in skype. I really like the permanent skype connectivity especially since it does run in background as compared to the iphone.
– I had numerous crashes – what I did find out was that there are hardware releases that show this behaviour and there are others that do not. Once I had it crash so hard that I actually had to reflash it which lead to partial loss of user data (email settings for example). Finding out why it crashed – “/proc/bootreason” is your friend.
– The email client is slow and broken, unsuable at this time in my opinion. Haven’t tried exchange support, however what I heard is that it is very buggy.
– There is no support for MMS, not that I do miss it. However it is simply not there.
– After enabling the extras repository in program manager you can actually have an ssh client and server on the phone enabling you to log in and play around on it. This is nice and you do not even have to have any jailbreaks for it. For people curious, here is the output of /proc/cpuinfo:
Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 3 (v7l)
BogoMIPS : 499.92
Features : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant : 0x1
CPU part : 0xc08
CPU revision : 3
Hardware : Nokia RX-51 board
Revision : 2101
Serial : 0000000000000000
– The front camera sucks quality wise, the back camera is usable but not great. At least it does record video and it does have sort of a autofocus.
– In its newest version Nokia Multimedia Transfer for Mac does support the phone and can transfer audio from itunes as well as pictures to the device. It does mainly work but some things take forever.
– From the user interface point it does not even come close to the usabillity of the iphone or even the Palm Pre. However as it is open source that can be fixed by the community and that at least leaves the abillity to do it.
– It is a great phone for geeks that love to have something to hack with them, definetly not the right thing for a user only at this time. And absolutly no competition for the iphone.
– I am definetly missing a good twitter client like Tweetdeck on iphone. But I believe those will start to show up pretty soon.
After two weeks of usage, it goes into secondary phone only mode for playing around with it occasionally from time to time. Primary phone is back to the iphone now.