Nokia N900 Quick Review
Here are some highlights we've noticed so far:
* The N900's Cortex A8-based core yields significant improvements in day-to-day usability over the N810's ARM11 unit.
* Maemo 5 is by far the most user-friendly version of the platform to date
* The N900 may very well offer the best browsing experience of any smartphone on the market today (yes, including the iPhone).
* The keyboard is mediocre. The spacebar and directional keys are strangely located, which might necessitate a learning curve for some users.
* This is a pretty raw phone. Basic features like MMS and portrait mode aren't supported; MMS won't be a big deal for many users, but being forced to use the N900's non-phone functions in landscape is a pretty big deal.
* The N900 may have a "good" resistive touchscreen, but it's still a resistive touchscreen, which means it's not going to be as finger-friendly as it could be -- we were repeatedly disappointed by how much pressure was required to actuate scrolling gestures in menus, for example. Thing is, the N900 is a device where we can see many (if not most) users still preferring to have access to a stylus from time to time for precision input, and that being said, this is probably about as good of a resistive display as Nokia is capable of manufacturing.
The bottom line? We'll hold back on final judgment until we use a review unit, but our initial swipe at this thing has us ready to drop a "for early adopters only" stamp on it -- for your average consumer just looking for an effective smartphone, it seems like it's got too many quirks and functionality holes to recommend.