Nokia arranged an N900 “Meet Up” in Dubai where they invited quite a few tech sites and bloggers from the region and walked us through the device. The N900 is one of the most anticipated Nokia devices in a while and brings the Memeo Operating System to Nokia Smartphones for the first time although Nokia has used this O/S on their 800 series of Internet tablets.
The 600MHz CPU found on the N900 along with its 1GB of application RAM and 32GB of Storage memory allows you to multi-task applications with ease on the N900 and this is one of the strengths that Nokia is banking on.
There were some pretty interesting questions raised about the device- one of them being why Arabic was not supported at launch. Although Arabic text is rendered correctly on the device and can be read without any issue, writing in Arabic is not supported at the moment. Nokia is hopeful that it would be added to the device soon.
Why was a resistant screen used over a capacative one was also asked right away to which the guys at Nokia replied that beacuase of the resolution, ppi ect. a resistant screen was the more feasable option at that time. I myself was a bit reserved over this but after playing around with the N900, I realized that its not going to be as big as an issue as I thought it might’ve. Yes, its not as responsive as the iPhone but I it worked better than the Storm.
Another question raised was that since Nokia is targeting the N900 as a “computer” would it be possible to install an alternate O/S on the device. Surprisingly, Nokia said that this could be possible although didn’t provide any details. There were a few questions about about applications and developers the most popular of which was about developers making money. The way it was explained is that you have a Maemo repositary where almost anything can be submitted and then there is the OVI store where Nokia will filter applications. One comment suggested you could very well create your application and sell it on your own website- maybe through Paypal.
SIP is supported out of the box and Skype will be available as well, however, Video calling would probably not work at launch- neither in Skype nor over 3G. This will be fixed at a later date. Microsoft Exchange is also supported out of the box and you can have multiple calendars on the N900 however, Google Calendar sync is not yet supported which is a bit strange since Google Talk is. A nice 3rd party application will allow you to match your contacts with Facebook and twitter to get status updates and pictures directly into the contacts database on the phone.
Battery life should last you an entire day which is really where all Smartphones are at the moment. My iPhone or my Bold start giving me warning signs around 8PM and the N900 will probably be no different. Assuming that you’re using it to stay connected all the time, the Nokia rep assured us that it will last you an entire day.
The N900 seems pretty awesome from the limited time I played with it, however, I feel that it will need another few months and software updates to realize its potential. For example, gesture based zooming works on the browser but not in your photo applications and you can post pictures to Facebook but not twitter. Its these “little” things that will need sorting out. Lets see how much is fixed before its officially released in the next few weeks when we review it.