Nokia N900 review

Price when reviewed

The chassis feels well-knitted together too, with nary the hint of a creak coming from its big beefy body. The Qwerty keyboard that slides out from underneath the screen is pretty good too, with solid-feeling keys and a sensible layout that places the spacebar off centre, in easy reach of your right thumb.

Size matters

But elsewhere it’s a less positive outlook. There’s simply no getting around the fact that this is one chunky phone. Measuring 60mm wide and 18mm thick, it brings to mind smartphones of yesteryear such as the HTC TyTYN II, rather than sleek, slick handsets of today. And neither is the resistive touchscreen particularly modern, although this disappointment is mitigated somewhat by the fact that the screen is very sensitive.

Nokia N900

And the problems continue. Oddly, although the N900 has an accelerometer, for most of the time the screen remains steadfastly in landscape mode. Only when viewing pictures does the screen rotate automatically the requisite 90 degrees. The selection of apps for an OS so young (in mobile phone terms) is understandably thin right now. On the Maemo Select and websites (OVI store for Maemo had yet to launch at the time of writing) we found under a 100 ready to install. And the OS isn’t completely glitch free, with occasional screen tearing during animations and dreadful performance in OVI Maps.

Finally, battery life is below average. After putting it through the mill for 24-hours, our test device had just 42% left on the clock. That’s around the same mark as the much larger and more luxurious HTC Touch HD2, and it lags behind the iPhone 3GS in the same test by around 10%.


Yet despite its problems, there’s something we like about Nokia’s new flagship smartphone. It’s quick, its OS is much better suited to a modern smartphone than the existing Nokia S60 platform, and it boasts a decent keyboard and screen to boot. It’s also packed with features, has a good camera and is available on surprisingly reasonable tariffs – not something we’d have expected so early on in its life.

The big problem for the N900 is the competition. The iPhone, Android phones like the HTC and RIM’s BlackBerry handsets have a massive head start in terms of available apps and the maturity of their respective operating systems, and unless something incredible happens in the near future, the situation looks likely to remain that way.


Cheapest price on contract £200
Contract monthly charge £14.67
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 9hrs


Dimensions 60.3 x 19.7 x 110mm (WDH)
Weight 181g
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard Physical

Core Specifications

ROM size 32,000MB
Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes


Screen size 3.5in
Resolution 480 x 800
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes


OS family Other

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