Nokia N900 Smartphone Review

By on November 25, 2009
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Nokia’s latest Smartphone takes a giant leap into becoming a full-fledged handheld PC.

Editor's Score
The Verdict:
The N900 is an extremely powerful device that feels more targeted towards geeks than the average Smartphone user.

My first mobile phone was a Nokia and that was thirteen years back. I’ve used a lot of Nokia phones over the past decade and while lots has changed, two things remained the same. All of them had the Send (Green) and End (Red) buttons and were based on some variation of the Symbian Operating System. With the N900, that changes as well- gone are the Send/End buttons and the Symbian platform. And though Nokia has used the term “computer” for some of its previous smartphones, the N900 is really their first device that could possibly fit that bill.

For a phone that is so different from anything else than any other phone by Nokia, the packaging is surprisingly very similar to the N97. Like the N97, the N900 comes in a minimalistic black box with the phone sitting on the top level of the packaging and everything else underneath such as the wall charger, USB and A/V cable, the wired headset and applications CD.


The length and width of the N900 are within limits but what spoils it is the thickness. Measuring 18mm, its a pretty chunky device that sticks out from your jeans. On the top of the device you have a power, camera and volume keys while a lock switch and a 3.5mm A/V sits on the right and the USB connector on the left. The face of the device features a gorgeous 3.5″ resistive touch screen with a resolution of 800×480 pixels. Its one of the best screens I’ve seen on a mobile device. A forward facing camera and a notification LED are present on the front as well. Under the touch screen sits a slide-out keyboard very much resembling the N97. Unfortunately, the screen does not tilt on the N900. I liked that bit about the N97.


Nokia has left no stone unturned as far as the internals of the N900 are concerned. It packs the powerful ARM Cortex-A8 CPU much like the Apple iPhone 3GS and offers hardware graphics acceleration and 1GB of Application RAM along with 32GB of built-in Storage and a microSD card for an additional 16GB. It has a GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 2G radio along with a HSDPA 1700 / 2100 / 900 3G Radio. 802.11b/g Wi-Fi is also built in along with an FM transmitter, an InfraRed receiver, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2Dp and an A-GPS for navigation with Ovi Maps. You also have a Proximity sensor for auto turn-off and an Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate.

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Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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  • Sucker

    Strange, you got this phone in dubai. the phone quality is worse than ever. worst phone of all nokia till date.

  • calvin

    This is the worst nokia, i have ever used, it is already started freezing and unlike other touch screens which have some smart keys,this one doesnt have…. I have used nokia for about 11 years and I have always stuck to nokia, preordered this n900m and only got dissapointed …. I might be the only one dissapointed , but the only difference from n97 is that of the maemo, but whaT is the use of the maemo, bla bla bla when the interface is not even friendly…. if it was palm top , it would have been fine, but a smart phone really needs to be smart. This phone is bulky and you really have to keep it somewhere … but not in your pocket. I have always criticized the iphone, but in this case i really dont know what to say now

    • fdk

      If you're not a tech freak, N900 is not for you. The things you can do with a N900… :) Anyways, the phone is a bit bulky.

  • MC

    What is the obsession with capacitive screens? The Iphone has the magnifying bubble when trying to enter text, but it is still woefully inaccurate. Now think how bad it is going to be at double the resolution. Resistive are also better in sunlight (killer feature out here in the Middle East, I’d have thought), and you can use any old object to press it. IPhone’s screen is almost too sensitive for my fat fingers.

    I’ve never had a problem scrolling resistive screens and can’t believe you actually made that part into a whole article.

    Maybe also mention that the lack of portrate apps is on the list of things to address for the Maemo devs and will happen. This is very much the equivilent to Iphone software 1.0 so by the time it is developed, it should be something special.

  • markzenegar

    The Nokia N900, which we used for a week, runs on Maemo 5, a lightweight version of Debian, one of the major Linux distributions that Nokia chose to Android. An ambitious strategy, even foolhardy for a Nokia is increasingly isolated on the front of the smartphone. But moreover, it was dealing with a telephone, an Internet Tablet or a Pocket PC? The manufacturer of mobile computer speaks and highlights the “extreme speed and unparalleled performance” of its mobile. The camera will be available in early December in The Phone House stores, for about 650 euros, excluding subscription promotion.

    For more detail you can move at :

  • logan frye

    ya this phone is getting a lot of bad reviews but I like it. touch screen is awesome and pictures are incrdible, feel like i paid 500 for a camera. i upgraded from the nokia N97 and bought a n900 and BB9700 from and gave my wife the bb cuz she’s obsessed. i’m going to keep this one until a better nicer nokia comes out so i’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  • imp

    Used this phone for almost 2 months now and it is brilliant. Good keyboard, great screen, great web experience, loads of my usual Linux apps. It's better after each OS update
    One caveat – I'm techy. I would not recommend it for anyone not of the geek genus, but then it was never ment for them.

    That said, maps is pretty pants and it needs deaper profile customisation so emails and IMs don't wake you up at night. Mail could be faster too.

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  • logan

    great phone. a little thicker than i’d like. processor is faster though than my old unlocked touch screen phones. simple to use, texting and web browsing is good. my partner loves it for the gps and the wifi and my family loves their unlocked at&t phones for the facebook and games. speaker is really loud and it hooks up to my computer simply. also the camera and recorder are great. got our last couple unlocked cheap phones at 2 thumbs way up

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