Nokia N900 – In the hands of a N97 Fanatic

by Mike Macias on May 27, 2010


It sure is hard to call myself a N97 Fanatic without being laughed at. To this day, even after all the problems that we’ve experienced with Nokia’s current flagship, I am still using the N97 as my main mobile device. Since the N97’s release nothing from Nokia has hit the market that I’ve wanted to spend another $500 on. Many of my mobile blogger buddies have been hounding me to try out the Nokia N900 so I finally got my hands on one. Right now it’s going for $479.99 at Amazon so if I fall in love with this thing it just might be my next phone until the N8 ships (if you don’t know about it, you gotta check it out).

Taking Questions!

So for the next few weeks I’ll be using the N900 of and on. I’ll take any questions that you have about it and compare it to the Nokia N97. Hopefully this will help some of you who have been on the fence about the N900 like I have. I’ll also be open to video reviews of the N900/N97 comparison and post them on Youtube. Just ask. Leave your comments below or find me on twitter @mikemacias. I’ll be posting most of my N900 thoughts & comments on twitter and closing out my trial with a full review that will be posted at a soon to be announced website. Stay tuned for that!

Teaser: Now This Is A Homescreen


That is just one of my FOUR homescreens on the Nokia N900 – fully customizable. I can arrange each single widget wherever I want.

Lastly, be sure to check out quality coverage of the N900 and the Maemo operating system over at where you’ll find our popular author Kyron (EverythingBlaxx) showing the mobile world what the N900 is capable of.

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  • Guest

    You guys really need to review SPB Shell for Symbian now it is released. It is the UI the N97 should have had all along, including multiple customizable homescreens as mentioned in this article.

  • Rich C

    This thing would have to turn water into wine for me to buy a phone that didn't support AT&T's 3G bands, but I'll be interested to read your review.

    I guess my only questions are a) how well the browser works with problematic flash streaming audio/video sites such as hulu and sirius. I am able to stream sirius radio with skyfire (hulu blocks skyfire), but I was curious if/how either works with the native browser on maemo (you can sign up for a free trial sirius subscrption). b) what the app selection is like, in general. Are there any good apps you have on your N97 that you can't find for maemo or the other way around?

    I've also heard the N900 browser is also its weakness in that because it renders pages like a PC, you're going to spend a lot of time scrolling left and right to read what the native N97 and Opera browsers resize for a mobile screen.

    Also, I saw a video online where someone loaded Android onto their N900. Not sure how well it works or if you want to be that daring with a phone you may want to turn around and sell, but the concept is pretty bad-assed.

    I took a quick peek at the N8. Looks solid enough, but I don't like that it only has 16GB of internal storage. One of (if not the) key reasons I haven't switched to Android is because of its unmatched storage capacity. I hear the new iPhone is supposed to include 80GB (!!!) I still won't buy one, but I'm not sure why Nokia decided to take a step backwards in this regard.

  • audioxbliss

    @Rich C:
    As an N900 owner for roughly 6 months now, I think I can answer a few of your questions.

    a) As far as my experience, Hulu works decently well while over WiFi, better if overclocked. I don't use Hulu that much, so I'll test it out a bit tomorrow and let you know. As far as radio goes, there are plenty of options available for streaming internet radio. The default media player can handle a few, and other, third-party applications can handle most. I'm not sure on Sirius specifically.

    b) Applications for the N900 are currently based on fixing issues. For example, I have fMMS, which enables MMS capability. Another example would be my Enhanced Power Kernel, which allows me to overclock my N900 to 1GHz (no stability problems!) AND lower the voltage, increasing my battery life. Since the Maemo community is quite small, there isn't a huge number of developers focusing on the OS, but the ones that do are very dedicated (I get a notification for a new version of fMMS almost every week).

    The standard browser has its flaws, definitely. There are other options, however. Opera is available, as is Chromium (community-supported version of Google Chrome) and a few others. I don't really have problems viewing sites on my N900's standard browser, though.

    Virtually everything on the N900 is “unlocked” allowing some epic things. I've seen people put Mac OS X, Windows 7, and Windows Vista on it, to name a few. Some have even started experimenting with MeeGo.

    I sincerely doubt the new iPhone will have 80GB of storage. The highest estimates I've seen are 64GB. And really, it doesn't matter, because MicroSD slots are full of win. SanDisk just announced the first 32GB cards :)

    Lastly, keep in mind that the N900 is not the average user's phone. It comes from a pretty solid heritage of tablet computing (N770, N800, N810) and hasn't really deviated from there. All they did was add a SIM card slot for phone usage. It was never meant to be an iPhone-killer, or a top-of-the-line phone. It was meant to satisfy a relatively small group of enthusiasts who like tinkering with their mobile devices. The second you start thinking of the N900 as a phone is the second you become sorely disappointed. If you're looking for an easy-to-use phone that doesn't require you replacing and recoding kernels, coding your own scripts for overclocking, etc., then look more towards Symbian or Android, IMO.



  • Cartervt2k

    Is 3.0 even in the works? I'd be satisfied with another 2.x update that fixes some of the lingering stability issues and fixes remaining music player bugs (ie, sometimes the back button correctly brings you to the upper directory, sometimes it takes you to the home screen, and that other bug that “misses” many newly added music files when you scan).


    And what about that HIGHHHHLY ANNOYYYING BUG in N97 latest 2.x that turns off the screen when you're making a call, and wouldn't turn back on, unless you press the screen for a while, and it turn itself off again automatically when you lift your finger from the screen. Practically it doesn't let you to interact with the buttons on the screen. Worse yet, those useless red button is really useless (not working in that situation). So you have to unfold the phone (reveal the keypads) so that the screen turn itself on again, etc. FUCK NOKIA FUCK N97. FIX THIS SHIT.



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