The Competition: Nokia Goes Maemo, Announces N900


Nokia has announced a new, Maemo-powered N900 which our good friend Matt Miller of is beaming about in an iPhone and Palm Pre competitive sort of way:

I have to say I have not been this excited about a Nokia product for quite some time and with the T-Mobile USA 3G support I will definitely be picking one up as soon as I can. The N900 fixes all that is wrong with the N97 and then throws on a slick Maemo UI and feature set that should have most any geek drooling.

32GB, OpenGL 2.0, ARM Cortex A8, 800x600 screen, 5mp camera... Pretty clear that Nokia is doing their usual hardware magic, many specs closely mirroring the iPhone 3GS, in fact (though what's up with 1GB of application memory?!) And Maemo 5 UI...

Does this mean Nokia is abandoning Symbian on the high end for this hot new Debian Linux-based OS? Will they be able to really come up with a user experience that can take mind share away from the iPhone and Palm Pre? And will this device finally give them some sort of presence in the North American market?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

The Competition: Nokia Goes Maemo, Announces N900


The question of the 1 gig of application memory can be answered by multi-tasking.
Unlike the iPhone approach that maintains performance through limiting open applications (core apps +1 for the most part) the nokia appears to have been designed around acting more like a computer than a iPhone. They claim to allow dozens of apps to run at one time. Though whats the value of running 10 or 15 applications at once - seems to be more wasteful than anything else...
Also with such a nascent platform "ovi" wont be able to supply more than a few hundred apps in the first few months.

can not stand the layout of the keyboard cool looking phone just not my thing. wonder if nokia tweaked the ui and put their bloat ware in there. the whole multitasking things i dont understand however i would like to respond to a text in a pop up window instead of having to go to messages then back.

Phone looks awesome.. Hope the next iphone has a little different look to it then the current model.. as.. well, its getting old on my eyes.. still love my phone, just a little tired of the look(which was helped a little with winterboard.. but not much)

I like the way it looks! If I didn't have an iPhone I'd get it. The keyboard does look really small but I'm sure I'd get used to it eventually. The specs are really good too. 1gb of ram sounds great!

OMG...I wanted a N97 but was hesitant because there was no T-Mobile 3g support...butthis is going to be the best phone ever....Nokia has always been good!!!!

Ick. That keyboard is raunchy. Right side located space bar, no thanks and that top row looks cramped against the screen. I'm a virtual keys kind of guy though so some might like that.

The next iPhone model will top this:
-Redesigned looks.
-1-1.2GHz processor (possibly Apple-made, optimised for iPhone OS).
-Hi-resolution OLED display
-HD video playback and recording.
-32/64GB memory
-Enhanced voice-control (controls app launch, search, UI change)
-Adaptive home screen UI (depends on the time of day, "mood")
-One more thing!
Here it is.

I posted in the forums about this last week.
There is an extensive review about it here:
Its far more detailed than Nokia Experts review.
And kids, please stop whining about the keyboard ok? Get old after a while.
It has an on-screen keyboard as well so you can continue to ignore spelling, paragraphs, punctuation, and everything you ever learned in the 6th grade, just like you do when you post from your iPhone.

And kids, please stop whining about the keyboard ok? Gets old after a while.

Not as old as the nine whining Google Voice threads. :roll:

Why are all the iPhans hating on the keyboard? Isn't having one better than none at all? Its an optional input method, not the only one.
BTW, although the N97 isn't stable enough to do so as of today, I routinely ran 15+ apps at once on my N95 8gb and N82. I'm pretty sure some of you guys have that many windows open on your PCs or Macs, so what's so hard to understand about multitasking? Why is it useful on the desktop and wasteful on the mobile? I couldn't make it without it!
When you're streaming music from Skyfire, browsing via the default browser, chatting in Nimbuzz while exchanging files, downloading torrents with SymTorrent, P2P sharing and downloading via the Symella Gnutella client, copying text from emails into my wordpress app, and uploading photos to Ovi, all while tracking your movements with sports tracker at the same time, you'll begin to wonder why the iPhone wastes its hardware for a serial app platform common with featurephones.
Catch up with the times! Its not a phone, its a portable mini PC.

"Why is it useful on the desktop and wasteful on the mobile?"
Battery life and/or processing power....or lack there of. My buddy's Pre runs dry in a matter of a few short hours if he's heavily multi-tasking not to mention bottlenecking.

I have to admit good specs. Apple could add 5 MP camera but knows it's useless without a bigger lens. I do LOVE the screen resolution though. I think apple will next year add a 480 and 720 models. (2 different models and prices). That would be AWESOME. And those models with a 1 and 1.2 GHz processor. Maybe even two cores?
Btw. 1.2 GHz is the same speed as the low end Dell adamo (LOL!) and apples about to top that with a phone within 8 months!!!

800×600 screen...(though what’s up with 1GB of application memory?!) -- I know this is not a Nokia centric page and mistakes happen, but please don't post wrong specs when they are not misquoted anywhere else:
The device has a WVGA screen (which makes it 800x480) and 256 MB memory which can be boosted to 1 GB by up to 768 MB of virtual memory. Nokia should not have mentioned this at all as it is misleading at best.

now this is the true internet and pc in your pocket not the iphone which cannot multitask and HTML internet. It's a PC and a phone and more than a smartphone. It's not for iphone "kids" but for serious gadget users. You can do anything a computer desktop can do on this. plus good camera with flash! and debian linux!

Yeah iphone will come out with something but at that time nokia will come out with something better! Again silly fanboys.... iphone future versus nokia now. chicken and egg thing. apple is still behind in camera and battery technology. they are just good in software GUI!

It looks great but I'd love it if it had a radio and an 8 megapixel camera. But those are minor complaints.