Home > Maemo, Nokia, Nseries, Rant, Video > Trusted Review’s Video Review of the Nokia N900 – 9/10 performance…but…

Trusted Review’s Video Review of the Nokia N900 – 9/10 performance…but…

Back in December, Trusted Reviews published their review of the N900. There were some concerns with the review (commissioned, no live photos at the time) after apparently seeming to be no more than a preview (it was a commisioned review, originally  without any pictures), not fit for a gadget oriented site.

Over a month later, the video review has been added, with actual in house pictures for the written review too:

You’ll have to head over to trusted reviews to check out that video.

Like every other review, size/keyboard/resistive are big sticklers for them. However:

  1. Keyboard, “bad layout, negates the purpose of having one” – you won’t instantly be typing at break neck speed, but after a couple of weeks USE, you can type really fast and without having to look at the screen. It surprises me at times that I might be replying to a text on the N900 but reading an email on my computer at the same time, without paying attention to the N900’s screen. Actually, I find that I can type faster if I don’t look at the keyboard at all. It isn’t the best layout, but it’s certainly not as bad as Ed makes out. e.g. The N97 and N97 have that same “ridiculous” spacebar layout, which many of the users would defend and say, actually, Nokia were right on that one.
  2. Screen is resistive and THUS not supporting multitouch” – I’m being anal here, but resistive doesn’t mean no multitouch. N900 does not have multitouch but that’s not due to resistive technology. Multitouch aside, was the responsiveness ever mentioned? I’m in the Pro Capacitive camp, but not even mentioning responsiveness of the resistive screen is a tad annoying. Even Engadget had no qualms with it.
  3. TV-out functionality is glossed over,
  4. The brilliant multitasking is left out in the video – One of the greatest strengths of the N900  – it handles tons of tasks you throw at it and screams for more. No waiting around to do something else. It is mentioned briefly in the written review.
  5. Browser is glossed over – N900 has one of the best, if not the best, raw browsing experience on a mobile device: “Crown Jewel – Glorious browser”, Engadget. It renders pretty much everything you see on your computer. Check out N900 using native youtube.com. No mobile version, no app. It’s also very smooth and very fast. More time was spent talking about the micro USB slot and converter accessory than the the N900’s browser!
  6. Also not mentioned, wide range of video codecs meaning .avi/.DivX/.Xvid videos play smoothly without needing conversion. (And it does help that it’s now on the new standard of higher resolution screen sizes)
  7. “Homescreen that doesn’t make it’s ability obvious”...but when it does, is it not extremely versatile and customizable? My homescreen makes getting to where I want on the N900 so much quicker than ever before. I hardly ever go to my menu to search for an app. After unlocking the screen, I can get to where I want in ONE click. The homescreen in the video looks unmodified to how it’s normally shipped.
  8. Great email with instant notifications? I must have not heard it
  9. IM messaging and skype integration? Same, no mention.
  10. Video/Audio Recording – Autofocus video at 848×480. Simply the best crystal clear audio recording. I’ve been doing some note write ups of lectures played over my speaker system and it’s like I’m in the lecture hall. No harsh sounds, absolutely bliss for audio recording unlike the majority of phones with video recording. I’ve put up samples on youtube/mynokiablog of early post production video samples and they looked pretty good. For comparison, in another  TR video review, we see subpar video by the Bold 9700 and it’s called “impressive results all things considered” eh what?
  11. I don’t really know how long Ed’s been playing with the N900, but he calls maps “Super”. Is that going on other experience because Ovi Maps is far from being Super on the N900. Ovi Maps is fantastic on Symbian but is shockingly bad on Maemo 5 at the moment. I only ever use it to check where I am, all the time wishing I had my N97 to give me turn-by-turn directions.
  12. The most annoying thing on the N900, possibly in the UI is the whole Menu/Desktop/Multitask confusion. Once you get over that, the N900 is great. For pick up and play factor, I really wish Nokia would just add an additional “button” that separates desktop/multitask and desktop/menu.

RANT Continues

Ed says the N900 is not for day to day use. Actually, I beg to differ again. This grows with you. Not like how Nokia said the N97 would grow with you. It’s actually true with the N900. (As long as you stay away from Extras testing and extras devel apps, you won’t come into avoidable problems)

Once you get your head around the OS logic, N900 is marvellous. It’s a bit like learning the shortcut route to a new place. At first it’s confusing, “why the hell am I taking this route”, but afterwards you’ll realise that you’re getting to your destination faster. 2010’s consumers seem to be all about pick up and play. If the shortcut isn’t obvious, it doesn’t matter if it’s more functional as any “learning” is considered unintuitive.

There are areas of improvement still to come with firmware updates, but the N900 is a stonkingly good day to day phone.

I’m not being pro Nokia here for the sake of it. I’ve made several rants against how frustrating my N97 got. With the N97, there were some really obvious and horrendous errors in the OS/UI. With Maemo 5, it’s much more streamlined. In this ranting post again, I just feel that rather than just echo Ed’s positive findings from the N900, I’d point out areas which shouldn’t have gotten a bad a reaction as the video review implies.

The whole video seems to dwell a lot on negative points of the N900, but glosses over places that it does extremely well or not even mentions it at all. I don’t know, maybe I’m a little agitated with other looming deadlines and becoming really evangelical over the N900. :p But I’d be one of the first on the list to point out N900’s flaws. I’m aware of the N900’s shortcomings, and know there are several areas that could be improved. <<click<<. [Some in that list have after the last firmware update, e.g. portrait browser]

Overall the written review gave the N900 7/10, Scoring highly with 9/10 on performance, 8/10 on features, but only 6/10 for both value and design.


  1. Bodestone
    January 30, 2010 at 2:29 am

    A few comments from a first timer to both querty and touch screen on a mobile of my own.

    Screen responds really well for me. Thumbs on it may get a bit confused on occasion but fingers work fine in the general ui. Stop biting your nails for the higher res stuff like zoomes out web sites.

    Space bar on the keyboard is totally natural for me but then I’m not a lefty.

    UI was a snap to get used to straight away. That muili use button top right fits the bill. Watch the tutorial and all is good.

    Not had much of a chance with the camera/vid yet but would love to see one one day with a forward facing mic for vids so the cameraman is not 3 times as lous as the subjects. OK, not 900 specific but….

    No compas??? nooo that would have been good but I suppose at some point they had to stop putting stuff in.

    Browser. Oh yeah. Definitely the best I have seen while fixing other people’s.

    Multitasking: Big bonus though not often used. I’ve been playing and modding. For the average phone user this may not be immediately apparent but the phone is one app, the contacts another. Whack the headphones in, phone someone and they say “bill’s changed his number” top right, back into contacts, edit while you are on the phone. Have a noe stored with thise tv seies and bands you entered at the pub and remember next phone conversation? Get sent a phone number just in a text you need to copy and paste and need text and contacts open, you’ve just transfered a list of peoples birthdays in a text document you want to ad via copy paste……. Just for average people.

    Oh and they never mentioned the moobox.

    OK, so I’m a big fan, now for some bad points.

    I had to get new spare cables.. for.. the standard.. they… OK, never mind
    Edinburgh only have bus tracker software for the iphon

    And the biggie: Nokia are absolte pants at their end of the support.
    The essentials of PC Suite works
    Ovi Suite does not work despite being advertised by a picture of an N900
    Software Updater still does not install on win7
    Browser Plugins are installed without permission
    They do not respond to online queries asside from the automated response (well 1 out of 4 over last 5 weeks last one a week ago)

  1. January 30, 2010 at 8:51 pm

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