My Nokia N900 Smart Phone

Last week I got a Nokia N900 phone (to replace my goodness-knows how old Motorola K1). It's quite a chunky phone, but the slide out keyboard makes typing more than a text message quite easy - which is obviously something you want to be able to do on a smart phone (if you're a touch screen keyboard junkie, then you can do that too, but it's typically much slower). The N900 also comes with a stylus, which you don't always need - but it is handy when you're browsing web sites or whatever

I got things like access to my Yahoo! mail account working really quickly. I even got my works PC syncing with the phone so I get my calendar in both places. I did spend a while scratching my head because the phone wouldn't sync properly after working fine the day before. It turns out all I needed to do was switch it off, remove the battery, replace it and turn on again. Obviously not a great solution in the long term, but got me going again.

Some seemingly obvious things aren't possible on the N900 (yet?). For example, there's no easy 'tick box' to stop the phone vibrating every time you get an email. I ended up editing /etc/mce/mce.ini, which requires root access and lots of geek knowledge. Not exactly a "feature for the masses". The same is true for the alarm clock - you can't stop it vibrating when it goes off - which pretty much negates any benefit to having a soft alarm tone to wake you up gently. Also, if you hit "snooze" the alarm sort of 'disappears', so you can't turn it off very easily.

I had a proper play with the maps and directions software. It's actually pretty good. It downloads the maps from the Internet, which is both good and bad - it's good, because it's more accurate than our TomTom, but bad because it'll cost a fortune to use abroad. It's no where near as usable as the TomTom though, although it does do a fairly similar job. Hopefully Nokia's new-found map-related focus will sort this out soon.

I've got a few other niggles with the software, although I'm hopeful that it'll improve gradually over time, as Nokia seem to be releasing updates every so often.

All said and done, I'm very pleased with it. Moving to a smart phone has been really handy, and I'm glad I did it. The N900 is a bit more 'tinkerable' than something like an iPhone, so suits me rather well.

Submitted by coofercat on Tue, 2010-02-16 18:12