Nokia S60 N97 mini and Maemo N900 Review -- Smartphone Round Robin

sperr_2009_tipb_nokia_hero

How does the iPhone compare to sibling site NokiaExperts.com's two platforms, trusty Symbian S60 OS as seen in the N97 mini and the next generation Maemo OS of the N900? That's the question I'm looking to answer in TiPb's first week of the 3rd annual Smartphone Round Robin

I’ll confess from the start that I wasn't terribly familiar with Nokia’s platforms coming into this review. They dominate the rest of the world, of course, but for a variety of reasons they haven’t made much of a dent here in North America yet. Lucky for me, the SPE network has reached across the pond to Seattle (hey, there must be ponds between Montreal and Seattle!) to bring Matthew Miller to the table this year. His tremendous knowledge and enthusiasm -- along with the incredible help I received from the NokiaExperts community -- are the only reason this review was able to happen. So to him and to them; thanks.

(Speaking of the NokiaExperts community, remember you can still jump on that thread and each day you reply, you're entered to win your choice of Nokia smartphones, including the two reviewed below!)

Now let's get it on... after the break!

Hardware Design

Nokia is often -- and rightly -- praised for their hardware. Heck, any company that can make stainless steel smartphones and still get great radio reception knows the deep dark secrets of telephony. Let's not even mention the 8-megapixel camera model either. (I know I won't, I can't remember all the numbered names the way Matt can).

And that's one of the first thing to note about this year's Round Robin and our platform-centric, rather than device-centric mandate. Decidedly unlike the iPhone, Nokia (and every other entrant) fields multiple models and form factors every year. In Nokia's case specifically, maybe too many (though they'll reportedly be cutting back in 2010). Luckily for me, both the N97 mini and N900 (can I call it maxi?) are horizontal sliders.

Last year I had some misgivings about the sliders as they generally felt "squeaky" and unmistakably two parts even when closed together into one. Nokia's felt solid (so solid Matt had to help me open them up the first time). If physical keyboards are a must for you, and you love the landscape, this by itself gives both one huge advantage. (Big fat camera lens with blinding LED flashes gives both another.)

Where the Nokia devices differ is that the N97 mini is a slender candybar when its keyboard is stowed. Nokia really trimmed off the sides when they slapped on the mini, and while the d-pad was lost, the arrow keys and right-aligned space bar made the smallish physical keyboard perfectly fine to type on.

Nokia_n97_mini

The N900, by comparison is a beast. It's exactly Nokia's internet tablets past with a phone thrown in just for the fun (and future) of it. It wasn't the biggest slab in this year's slobber-knocker (we'll get to the HD2 in coming weeks) but that's not for lack of trying. If the BlackBerry Bold 9000 remains the Cadillac of smartphones (and keyboards) this thing is the F150 truck -- pure power. If a netbook is still too big for you, here's an alternative. Seriously.

Nokia_n900

Neither, however, have the iconic singularity of feel or sheer solidity of the iPhone (not that any slider could). The N900 especially keeps design out of the way, but where the iPhone is the pure sex of glass and chrome and plastic so tough it really, truly, does not blend, Nokia's devices manage to be equally black and shiny, though undoubtedly less iconic. Also, having no slider makes the iPhone much slimmer and more pocketable than either Nokia device.

iphone-nokia3-400x300iphone-nokia1-400x309

Software Experience

For a great reference look at the software on these Nokia devices, check out Matt's videos:

Back? Okay, here we go!

That Jailbreak Thing

I'll state this at the outset of every review -- for the Round Robin, we're dealing with a stock iPhone. Sure, if you do run a Jailbroken iPhone, it does change the equation considerably -- full background multitasking, robust notification systems, complete theming options, apps not approved by Apple, and so on. But fair is fair, and this review compares only the iPhone that Apple gave us.

Multitasking Mania

The iPhone multitasks very well, thank you. But since the iPhone is the only entrant in the 2009 Round Robin that doesn't let 3rd party apps run in the background, we're going to start with this and likely concede the same ground for every week, and every platform that follows.

Nokia, by stark contrast, multitasks its apps off. They’re just all supposed to run in the background. On the N97 mini, however, this creates a bit of a problem as Nokia, for some unimaginable reason, decided to drastically starve the device of much-needed RAM. So, yes, you can run many apps at once and enjoy background refreshes and streaming music and whatever you want -- you’ll just run out of memory quite often when you do so. Heckuva job there, Nokia.

The N900 on the other hand does it with RAM to spare. 4 desktops to swipe through (or press, drag to be more exact), with multiple apps, widgets, and full, live, Mozilla browser windows open all at the same time. If I could drag and drop between them, I might forget I wasn’t using a desktop OS. In fact, not being able to drag and drop is the only thing making me less worried about the iPhone still not multitasking.

Right now, the only major advantage to multitasking is speed of app update and transition. On the iPhone, for example, when I launch my RSS app I have to wait for it to check and update, which feels like it takes a long time. Having that updating transparently in the background would be great. Likewise, the old cliche about not being able to stream Pandora still applies. Otherwise, 2 factors help mitigate the lack of 3rd party notification for much of my daily use -- 1) Push Notification handles a lot of deal-breakers that would otherwise come up (i.e. you are near-instantly alerted to a new IM) and 2) the iPhone 3GS is so fast, and developers are getting so good at saving state, that the app switching between closed apps becomes pretty much unnoticeable.

However, when we really start to see multiple apps become usable at the same time, when they can interact together as peers (rather than one being in the background while the other interacts with the user), the game will change again, and Apple better be ready. (And yes, I’ll come back to this when I get my shot at webOS in weeks to come).

In the meantime, Nokia is great at multitasking but in a way that makes it a nice-to-have for me, not a must-have. I wouldn't choose S60 over Maemo or either over iPhone just because of it (or rather, because the iPhone lacks it).

Customize This

One of the first things Matt pointed out to me on the N97 mini was how easy it was to customize the experience. No, not just wallpaper though that’s certainly a snap. He could arrange his apps in folders, where and how he wanted them. More so, S60 supports widgets and supports them well. The iPhone doesn’t support them at all.

If you’re not familiar with widgets, think Dashboard on OS X or Sidebar/Gadgets in Windows Vista/Windows 7. If you’re not familiar with those, think small applets that run on the home screen and dedicate themselves to showing you easily glance-able bits of information. So, you could (and they do) have Twitter status widgets showing the most recent post or two in your @mentions, weather info for your city, breaking news headlines, and many others that you can create, enable, and slap up onto the screen.

But with the ability to manage your device to that degree comes with it the equal and opposite reality of a device that needs to be managed to that degree. If you don’t want to fuss with your phone or deal with folders or figure out what widget really should go where, Apple is more than happy to decide for you (or just decide you don’t need some of that stuff anyway). And that’s not me being obtuse (yet), that’s a very real segment of the iPhone’s user base -- people who just want something that works, not something that makes them have to work.

The Right to Remain Resistive

Plain and simple, Nokia won’t offer any capacitive multitouch screens until 2010. That means both the S60 N97 mini and the Maemo N900 come with resistive touch screens. In their favor, both work pretty well. They work well enough I never felt the need to reach for a stylus (and Matt later told me the N97 mini doesn’t even come with one -- how’s that for resistive confidence!)

Having gotten used to glass, capacitive screens over the last couple years of iPhone use, however, I’ve come to regard using a resistive device as a chore. Instead of light flicks and swipes with the finger, Nokia devices require firm presses and drags with the finger nail. Sure, resistive screens are more pixel-precise, but they’re far less immediate than capacitive ones, and that lack of immediacy results -- for me -- in a lack of connection to my device. The iPhone’s screen feels like it knows what you want it to do and just does it. Nokia’s screens feel like they do what you force them to.

If you absolutely need a stylus or want to put your long fingernails to work, you may be just fine with resistive, but especially for new users, I think capacitive is just a far more natural-feeling technology.

State of the Apps

It's tough for any platform to compete with the (as of this review) 116,000 plus iPhone and iPod touch apps in the iTunes App Store. Nokia is going to try with the Ovi Store, already launched for the S60 and coming soon for the N900. Then again, there will be no approval-style gatekeeping that I'm aware of on Nokia either. So, while there are less apps, there will also be less apps rejected or simply not allowed because the platform owner doesn't want them.

In fact, Symbian is in the process of going open source with the Symbian Foundation, which claims it will be even more open that Google's Android platform. So if that's your scene, it's certainly something to consider.

There are some inarguably excellent S60 apps as well, including the social-network powerhouse, Gravity, and two way video calling with Fring (the iPhone can only receive, not send, video calls via Fring). For the N900, you have to be a higher level geek and get into repositories if you want 3rd party apps, but come on, the thing runs a full Mozilla desktop-style browser. (That includes Flash, and Flash-ads, for good and ill).

For those contemplating making the switch, however, it's a mixed bag of hurt. You'll get more apps on the iPhone -- more variety of apps and variety of choices within each type of app, but only so far as Apple approves them. For new-to-smartphone users, Apple providing a managed (would that we could say well-managed) environment is likely more positive than negative. It's a dictatorship but a mostly benevolent one, easier and safer, and ultimately that's a comfortable way to start.

Conclusion

People get the iPhone because they want the iPhone. In North America I think it's fair to say people have to really want Nokia to get a Symbian S60 or Maemo device. While you can only get the iPhone on AT&T, that also means it's subsidized down to $199 or $299 ($99 for the 3G). Nokia hasn't been able to come to terms with US carriers for most of their devices, which means you'll have to pay full price on top of your monthly cel service (though perhaps absent a long term contract). Even then you'll be restricted to GSM carriers AT&T and T-Mobile, and if they don't have T-Mobile's unique 3G bands, restricted to EDGE speeds.

Likewise, all the power of Nokia's platforms demand greater responsibility from the user. The more you can manage, the more you typically have to manage. Again, that's what many Nokia fans love, but it's not something everyone will want to bother with, and its what makes me say you really have to want it want it.

The real crux of the two Nokia platforms, however, comes down to the fact that there are two Nokia platforms -- one struggling to remain relevant and the other working to become credible. That Nokia is the world leader in smartphones with a fortune in the bank means there's no real risk in adapting either -- Nokia isn't going anywhere. But it is a little disturbing that they're keeping both horses in the race. Pushing a smartphone platform into the forefront of consumer mindshare is tough. Pushing two, when North America has eluded them so in the past borders on the strategically unfathomable. Sure, S60 is transitioning to open source and theoretically won't be entirely Nokia's burden alone, but considering what (and who) else is happening in the space, it will still be almost entirely Nokia's burden alone.

These are the dichotomies that face Nokia and its platforms -- globally popular yet locally unknown, past its prime yet not ready for primetime, targeted at emerging markets yet embraced by high-order geeks. And given the strength of other options, I'm not sure it's one most consumers will be willing to investigate.

At the end of the day (and of this review) the best advice I can offer is this -- if you're trying to decide between Apple's iPhone and Nokia's N97 mini or N900, get the iPhone. If you know the iPhone is not enough for you, if it's too limited or you're just too much geek, then get Nokia, and seriously consider the N900. Better to brave the future than get stuck in the past. (Heck, if you want the world's tiniest Linux netbook with a phone bolted on, get the N900.)

iphone-nokia2

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 36 comments. Add yours.

d.allen says:

I can't wait for iphones 4.0 os.. I need an update, and a reason to no longer be jailbroken.. please apple.. bring me catagories, and customization. Thanks for the Nokia review.. just makes me want my iphone to do more though.

icebike says:

Quote:

Likewise, all the power of Nokia’s platforms demand greater responsibility from the user. The more you can manage, the more you typically have to manage. Again, that’s what many Nokia fans love, but it’s not something everyone will want to bother with, and its what makes me say you really have to want it want it.

Its interesting that the above issue is raised while still pretending it does not apply to the iPhone.
One really can't own an iPhone without also owning a computer. But instead of viewing the whole package (phone and computer and iTunes account), and the management tasks that package imposes, the article focuses on the management tasks one might CHOOSE to use on the Nokia phone. Nothing obligates you to use these features. They are optional. Not so much for the iPhone where they are virtually mandatory.
Also overlooked (Due to the rules of the Round Robin) was gargantuan increase in risk, management, and warranty issues that come into play when jailbreaking an iPhone, which, I suspect Rene as well as half the other frequent contributors here do.
The entry level user won't jailbreak, nor will they mess with the default Nokia configuration.

Rene Ritchie says:

@Icebike -- I don't jailbreak. 95% of the time I'm using a stock iPhone. Only when I need to test something specific do I jailbreak and usually I reinstall frequently enough that it doesn't last long. My primary reason for not being jailbroken is that it doesn't give me enough to want to handle the management of it :)
As to iTunes, I'm working on an article involving running an iPhone completely from the cloud to see how close to functional it is and for what kind of user it could be a realistic alternative. We'll see.

LzarEus says:

I'm with U all the way D.allen about jailbreaking and customization. Truth be told I want to be able to customize my iPhone whenever I choose and if Apple gave me that option I'd be one happy man. Until then, jailbreak is my only answer.

smchrist2 says:

Cool Rene. They would need a whole new OS though to base all this stuff out of the cloud

devonair says:

While I appreciate a powerful smartphone, I've just never been able to get my head around the "clunky" feeling of Nokia OS's. Maybe I've tried it on underpowered devices (I'm not much of a Nokia person). But WinMo always felt more responsive (and just as customizable and power-user friendly). In the choice between these to, I'd definitely go iPhone.

Dennis says:

Nice review.
Capacitative touchscreens feel more natural because there's a tight connection between the part of your finger with the most light touch receptors and the screen which detects the electrical properties of your finger. Resistive technology requires two films to come into contact with one another, so it will probably never give the same feeling of immediate, interactive responsiveness. I'm curious which technology will do better for larger screened devices; both have their individual problems to overcome.
The reason the N900 has a resistive screen is probably that the N900 isn't the final development stage that has been planned. It's just the Internet Tablet turned into a phone, which I don't think anyone in the Internet Tablet community was expecting at all. While Maemo has noticeably improved in browsing, messaging, and multi-tasking, the fact that most of the interface is landscape-only shows how much it's just an incremental step beyond the N800 and N810. Switching screen technologies would have added extra steps to the development process, while Maemo is evidently being developed in other ways right now.
The fact that the N900 is a phone at all is a sign that Nokia gave up on their earlier idea, which was an internet browser companion to a feature phone with wifi and BT-tethering. Nokia did briefly manufacture that N810 for Wimax for use in ... Baltimore? But I guess Nokia realized that a smartphone instead of a MID is the way to go.
Nokia is probably as surprised about the high level of interest in the N900. They've never spent a lot of resources promoting their Maemo devices. For that matter, they've never spent any resources promoting Maemo itself. They went with open source for their OS before Android, etc., but Nokia has never developed an app store for it. Apparently, European corporations are very patient. Nokia's line of Maemo devices would never have been developed by a U.S. company. The N900 is in that sense really a geek's phone; geekdom is the community that really raised the N900 out of obscurity just by being interested in it.

Modnar says:

I find the N900 interesting, but not finished. Also I am little concerned that the upcoming change in toolkits for the OS will cause a reset in the platform. So the Maemo may be years away from having a polished feeling.

Modnar says:

Are there any smartphones out their that have an IR transmitter on them? It would enable a smartphone to replace a Harmony remote.

icebike says:

@Modhar:
You missed the point of Naemo being a thin skin over Linux. Like Gnome or KDE, its just the desktop layer.
That means all of the development tools for Linux will work on Naemo.
Naemo uses one of th standard tool sets in Linux the GTK+ suite. They will be switching to Trolltech's QT, the other big name in linux screen management tool-sets (now owned by Nokia).
http://derstandard.at/1246541386200/Maemo-switches-to-Qt
QT is a cross platform development tool set. Linux, Mac OSX, Windows, WinMo, Symbian. So you can develop ONCE and run it on all of those platforms.
So "years away" from a polished feeling seems a bit of a stretch, especially since I doubt you have ever even touched a Nokia N900, let alone used one.

KD says:

The Nokia X3 and/or (can't remember) X6 use a capacitive screen.
Therefore they have released a phone pre-2010 with a capacitive screen. But to impy that they're stubbornly sticking with resistive screens in favor of capacitive screens (then backing it up by saying you'd have to wait until 2010... SOOO FAR AWAY) is ludicrous.
Capacitive screens provide hindrances in that people in colder areas cannot use gloves with their phone (fine unless you're outside of America) and Asian countries need the stylus for the language support.

iAnt says:

@Rene Ritchie
I've had an iPhone since Sept. with no computer and no day to day issues. I just set up a MobileMe account too. The only problem with that is I haven't been able to sync my iTunes content. All apps I've purchased previously download again for free. The only other problem I can think of is firmware updates. I been delaying buying a new Mac and I'm surprised at how little I miss an actual computer. If I could overcome the iTunes and firmware issues I'd skip the computer altogether.

Al says:

I've had some indirect experience with running an iPhone completely from the cloud. A co-worker of mine had an iPhone but had a computer meltdown and could not afford a new one for awhile (he was also not very tech savvy). Whenever there was a new firmware I'd try to help him out with updates and stuff but it was a big hassle because sometimes he would lose music, etc. If you don't backup frequently you will really pay the price if you ever have to restore. I'm glad I got to vicariously learn that lesson rather than losing my own precious mobile data.

rijc99 says:

Nokia needs to get a cell company provider to subsidize their phones. While the N900 is tempting, the U.S. market simply is not quite ready for SIM unlocked phone prices.
Besides, if I am only going to use it in the U.S., what benefit am I going to see by buying it unlocked?
The bands are only for T-MO, if I use it on Cingular, I'd only get edge. Therefore, the bands by default keep the device locked to one carrier in practice.

ashlo38 says:

I wish TMobile would release these already!!

RobertH says:

an earlier poster stated he couldnt get his head around Nokia OS's so he choose WinMO. I know to each his own but really? WinMo? which is considered by most the worst platform for mobile devices?(albeit the HD2 which has layered its own UI over WinMo so much that the user doest realize its a WinMo device)RANT
i began reading this review with optimism only to be again bitterly disappointed by the bias of it.
The author has stated that the n97mini can multitask but runs out of memory. No opposite and equal reaction to the n900's prowess of no lack of ram. (24 apps and counting opened no slowdown)
then he goes on to state that to customize your iphone it really needs to be jailbroken...yet goes on to state that on symbian its to complicated? so its easier to jailbreak that to go to "menu--->settings"?
apps store- ok given that there is 116K apps available in the app store and about 60-100K in the ovi store there are still another gazillion apps that arent in the ovi store.(someone once mockingly said "google is my app store!" sad but so true lol but you can find almost any conceiveable app via google which tends to be more than in the ovi store)
resistive screen- this war will continue until the end of time but i prefer resistive for the fact that it isnt so "limited" 2. capacitive can (for me) be too responsive.(personal opinion)3. there are other parts of the world who need such resistive screens (sorry its not all about the usa)
i think the iphone is an ok phone. i like what it did to the market, gave it a shake up/wake up and brought a nice UI but for me thats where it stops. iphone a smartphone? no...iphone a nice looking device? yes....good web browser? its ok...camera/video...catching up with the rest of the world...
so yes the iphone is just ok for me....END OF RANT*

Brendan says:

I find that the review massively overstates the firmness of press required for a resistive touchscreen. I would hardly describe the level of pressure I place on my 5800's touchscreen to be 'firm'. In fact, I don't really see how I could be any softer with it.
You understand pretty much nothing about Nokia's strategy in smartphones. They plan to release 1-2 devices a year based on Maemo, max. Contrast this with the 5-10 Symbian devices they have been releasing annually and you can see that it will be very easy for them to manage two platforms. Also, Nokia as a corporation is 4 times the size of Apple (both a good and a bad thing) - so they certainly have the personel.
You also underestimate the level of involvement in the Symbian (S60 no longer exists, thanks) community, so please don't talk about it like you know anything.

kralizec says:

Here in Italy, Nokia is simply the Leader, in mobile phone... in these last months, more and more people are starting to buy an iPhone, but just because it's fashion... so bad... I have an Original iPhone Edge bought in London... I really love my iPhone, I like it's screen and it's stunning interface... but the n900... it's a call from the really-nerd side of the force... XD

Shallimus says:

@Modnar: the N900 has an IR module.
...and for those who want 'subsidised' phones in North America (or elsewhere) ask yourself who is subsidising the phone? The network from the goodness of their heart? Of course not. So the answer: YOU are, through your overpriced contract. Do the math.

marc says:

Interesting article... I like the size comparison photos. :)
These are actually the 4 phones I am considering upgrading to.
A few thoughts:
1) While the Nokia phones are not subsidized, they can actually be cheaper on another carrier than an iPhone on ATT when you consider the cost over 2 years.
Shallimus commented "Do the math." Here it is... ;)
Ex: $500 + $70 * 24 = 2180 for a $500 Nokia phone on a $70 / month plan.
$200 + $95 * 24 = 2480 for a iPhone 3GS on a $95 / month ATT plan.
$500 seems expensive for a phone, but it ends up being $300 cheaper than an iPhone. (These are plans I was looking at... the $70 plan actually had more minutes and messaging than the $95 one at ATT. Obviously people's wireless coverages and preferences can change this up.)
2) Nokia now offers free navigation software (with turn by turn voice directions) for its newer phone models. If you don't have a car gps navigation system this could be a nice bonus. This is not just google maps.. you don't have to be online to use it and you can get maps from around the world for free.
Note: The N900 and N86 currently do not yet have this (Ovi Maps 3), but the n97 mini does.
3) The Nokia phones have nice cameras... the N86 (the slider phone in the pictures above with a regular number pad) has a 8MP camera with variable aperture. (It can change how much light it lets in, like most cameras.) This is no replacement for a stand-alone camera, but is impressive when compared to the iPhones 3.2MP camera.
(Megapixel counts aren't everything, but this one does better than most phones in lower light conditions and has a wider angle than most camera phones.)
4) Be sure to check for 3G (fast internet) compatibility for these phones and your carrier. Ex: iPhone 3GS has 3G on ATT. The N97 mini and N86 will also support 3G on ATT. The N900 however supports 3G on T-Mobile. You can still use all these Nokias on either network, but they will just support slower internet speeds. (No youtube streaming, but email, IM and web are ok.)
5) I have not used the N900, but while it has some very exciting features, it still lacks some basic functionality: No MMS support and some reports of weak battery life, at least with heavy use. (It's also quite large.) These will probably improve with the successor that should come out this year, but the average person might be somewhat frustrated by this.
I'm still undecided and am trying to hold out until some new models are announced from both companies. ;)
Personally, I think I will be a little disappointed by the iPhone 3GS camera. (My 3+ year old phone has a decent 3.2MP autofocus camera.) I'm also a little hesitant to commit to 2 years of higher than average priced ATT wireless plans. The iPhone certainly is sexier than the Nokias and has a sweet user interface. The Nokias have keypads or keyboards though, which I like a lot better than on-screen keyboards. Getting a gps navigation system out of a phone is also a nice plus. And while not everyone cares about software freedom, I like being able to install whatever I want on my phone.
I am very curious to see what phones Apple and Nokia release in 2010. :)

flizsr says:

Would the N900 work on the verizon network using a sim card from a blackberry?

Leonard Mitkowski says:

I'm a new Nokia n900 user from india, i need some aid from ur all, how can i use skype in my telephone exactly where it truly is not showing the pre set up application. even though i m not able to use aMSN in my phone whn actually i m installing it, it saying unable to install as some installer files are missing please tell how can i use yahoo voice and movie calls and msn voice and video calls and most essential skype.

logan says:

i don't know. screen is smaller than hoped and it's kind of heavy. also it's thick. and things are hard to read. but besides that processor is faster, camera is nice. my wife really loves her unlocked gsm phones but i'm not sold yet. it is good for my email and gps is good to get around. but internet surfer seems small and flaky, also facebook is hard to navigate. all around it's a pretty nice phone. I probably just have to get used to it. got our last couple unlocked phones at gsmallover.com i'm gonna say 7 out of 10 stars.

SeaEagle says:

@Leonard
Skype comes built in in the Converations app. Open the app, click on Converations in toolbar at top and select Accounts. Set up your Skype account and Skype is ready to go

ritikaa sethi says:

Dear, are you talking about the Samsung i900? if so according to mobileinindia http://mobileinindia.in that phone only supports single 3G band 2100mhz, Omnia HD supports Tri-band 3G (900/1900/2100mhz)….I'm not sure but it might work with AT&T's 3G (850/1900mhz), that's why it would be awesome if someone who resides in the US and buy the Omnia HD and post some review…maybe Tristan?…lol…if it does work then I won't have a second thought to buy this phone and if it doesn't then I guess I have no choice but to buy the N97

logan says:

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 gsmauthority.com 2 thumbs way up

Rupert Stroebel says:

good luck on filmin sex in the city 8, better be a good season. I haven't stopped thinking about the end of 7 since the summer

G mustafa taj says:

I have had the n900 for around 6 months now. STAY AWAY. Email withoug g-mail and gcal support?!?

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