Nokia N900: Some Points of Interest


So if you haven’t heard of the Nokia N900 yet, here are a few things I wanted to share with you guys that I  found interesting about this new phone (and what is making me buy one for myself). And if you have heard of it, then here are some things you may not have found on your own when you were scouring the web while impatiently waiting for Nokia to release the damn thing 🙂

So here we go…

I. Root Access Out of the Box

Seriously, first phone with this in it? Why hasn’t someone else done this (ehem Android…)?!
So what it means is that the phone allows you to have root access the minute you take it out of the box, no need to find some exploit to jailbreak/root the phone, simply type in SU in the terminal and go from there.

That means custom ROMs, apps, UIs, etc. anyone? And no worrying about OTAs not working, having to root the phone, just create and install.

II. Real Web Browser, Seriously This Time.

Ok, so every manufacturer has thrown this around at some point (the iPhone being the biggest one to use this term, “Real Web Browser”). But as we all know they simply aren’t. I mean some Flash support has JUST been added to most browser and it doesn’t work properly or support everything like a real web browser. Yes, the Flash Ads on the side of websites now show, well what about Flash Controls (hovering over flash objects and interacting with them, flash embedded video like YouTube working without freaking out, Flash Games embedded in web pages, you know what I can do in Chrome, IE, Firefox, etc.)?

Well, Mozilla made a real web browser for the N900, complete with full Flash support, tabs, windows, javascript, and even the first to incorporate real addons (like your real browser at home).
Think of a flash oriented program, like Google Wave, never run on any phone without some type of stand alone app that would need to be developed, right? Well, take a look:

Browser Tips and Tricks:

Google Wave on N900:

And if that isn’t enough check out the new Mozilla browser for the N900 that incorporates “Weave”, which connects your computer browser to your N900 browser. Check out the video to see what I mean:

III. True Open Source Development / Real Linux OS

Ok, so the N900 runs the Maemo 5 OS, but did you know that Maemo 5 is actually the UI (technically it is an OS but I’ll explain what I mean) and that full blown Linux sits underneath? So that means that you have a real desktop OS that is Open Source running your phone. And again with root access enabled, there is a lot a talented Developer can do 🙂

Here are some video examples of how a dev can use a full desktop open source OS (my favorite is the SNES with Wii Remotes and TV Out lol):

Control a Giant Projector:

SNES w/ WiiRemote and TVOut

2 Zeemotes Used to Play MicroMachines:

Quake III, anyone?:

Rolodex, Speak and Spell, FM Radio, and 3D Viewmaster from Nokia PUSH:

Universal TV Remote:

Torrent Download and Movie Playback:

…and those are just from random people messing around before the phone is even released.

IV. T-Mobile US 3G in an Unlocked Phone

Ok, so this is really only a benefit to people who are on T-Mobile (or are thinking about switching to T-Mobile because of their cheap plans and fast 3G coming out next year?).

But it is a first for an unlocked phone from a major manufacturer regardless and seems to have some nice speed results (this is most likely since less people use T-Mobile 3G than say AT&Ts so there is less clogging of the towers).

Here is a speed test video:

…thats what I get in my house FYI lol

V. Maemo Software

The Maemo software has been around for a while now, but the new Maemo 5 totally revamped anything Maemo did before.

Real quick, some cool things about the Maemo OS (besides all the open source goodness I already mentioned) are things that I liked about Android.

Here are a few:

  • Multiple Homescreens (very desktop like to me)
  • Widgets (one of my favorite things that separates Android from iPhones)
  • Multiple AppStores; Ovi and Maemo (both online and on the phone)
  • Similar configuration to Android in that I can change a lot of things from Terminal with the same commands 🙂
  • Multitasking – Something Android does mediocre. It lets me open 6 apps and as soon as I open a 7th it closes the 1st. Maemo gives me a full task manager that allows me to view live each app or window and choose to switch between them or close them. And there is no limit to how many; as many as the RAM can handle.
  • Linux underneath/OpenSource/years of development already under its belt before it is released.

V. Phone Specs Aren’t Too Shabby, Either

The phone specs that the N900 has aren’t crazy groundbreaking but they should be enough to get the job done.

  • 600mhz Processor with dedicated Graphics chip (yes it is the same exact processor as the iPhone and Palm Pre)
  • 1GB of RAM – This is pretty important to me as I love widgets and multitasking which both take up a lot of RAM more so than processor power. Also I noticed in the specs that a lot of this RAM is Swap RAM so as we have seen with Android we can make this larger if we need 🙂 And unlike the Android phones the phone has a lot more internal memory (32GB) so we can say give the phone 8GBs of RAM if we felt it necessary lol (Yes, I will do a How To on this ASAP).
  • 3.5″ Screen – not huge (I prefer closer to 4″ but still better than the 3.2″ I’m using on the Hero right now)
  • Slide out QWERTY – no matter how good I get on a full touchscreen keyboard, I’m still way better on the real thing.
  • TV Out
  • Infrared – If for no other reason than the Universal Remote app lol And yes I will use this at the bar when I want to watch something different and have fun confusing the bartenders.

Now, if you have some time on your hands there is also a very detailed review done by someone at

Check it out here.

Just wanted to share and wanted to know what you guys thought of the N900. Is this the first time you actually looked at it? Are you interested now? Do you think you can love Android and Maemo at the same time or if you love one do you have to hate the other? lol What do you like, don’t like about the N900?

PS If you are thinking about buying one, sign up in the Collective Purchasing Forums to get buy it with other readers so we all get a better price together!

22 thoughts on “Nokia N900: Some Points of Interest”

  1. Just a side note, Google Wave uses HTML5/JavaScript and not Flash. That said, still very impressive for a mobile browser 🙂

  2. hello unlockr
    will this phone be sold in the states?
    and by tmobile?
    and by what price, if so? lol
    any info on that?

    1. Jon Stanley,

      Rumor is that TMo might be getting it in 2010. But since it has TMo 3G already built in there is no reason to wait. Coming out unlocked this month sometime.
      Price is close to $600-$700 without a contract.

  3. VERY impressive. i’ll be the first one to admit that im addicted to my android, but this phone is making me want to CONVERT! -____- i wish i could afford both.

  4. I will definately get the N900 and also the HTC DRAGON or HTC HD2/LEO…i will just change sim card…depending on my mood. May consider the Moto Droid/sholes if it comes to Tmo

    1. Noel,

      Ha, that would be very nice (I’d go for the Dragon and N900 personally lol). I don’t have the cash to do that though, so I’ll be happy with the N900 by itself, till I sell it and get a new phone months down the road lol

    1. Luis,

      Thanks, we spoke to them already about getting wholesale discounts for everyone and said they definitely could help. We don’t know by how much yet and also they are the last place to get the phone according to their expected release date (Nov 20th), we have a few others with similar pricing that are supposedly getting it sooner than that, but we will see.

    1. Sid,

      Well, they too are not getting it for a long time (they don’t even know when), supposed to talk to them on Friday though and maybe they will have a better idea of when they will get it by then.

  5. I guess this is wishful thinking by UnWiredView(Guess you’ll know more then them by Friday; Don’t forget we are not a one trick pony, the better the price the more likely we are to go back to them for the next phones we do as a group…lol)

    Are you waiting a week or two after original release to order it as a group… So the price can settle down like you recommend???

    Do you think we can get this puppy down to 300 to 400 as a group… And if so.. How big of a group…

    I might have to get this phone since waiting for an actual HTC Dragon my take months…

    1. Y314K,

      They are basing that release date on what NewEgg has down, but a bunch of sites have different release dates, so we’ll see (ive seen 3 sites say the 6th, 1 say the 11th, 2 the 15th and 1 the 20th so who knows lol)

      Me waiting is up to you guys, and yes I know I said waiting a week is the best for resale value etc, but I also put “if you have the willpower” and I frankly don’t for this phone lol I’ve been waiting 2 months now (stupid Nokia). But the community buy is up to you guys, soon as I get a more concrete release date closer, I will email everyone on the list and maybe have us jump on the forum at the same time and discuss options.

      $300 to $400 is definitely not going to happen (unless we were a carrier like T-Mobile, AT&T, etc.). If I can get it under $550 and get the phone relatively quickly I’d be happy, of course anything less would be great too 🙂

  6. UnlockR, where are you located? out of curiosity. i’m in on the group buy for this and the xperia just wondering how shipping and all that between site users is going to work out…

    1. Methodz,

      South Florida, but we kinda figured out how this would work already (in the Wholesale for Everyone Forum). We were going to add $10 onto the price for USPS Priority Shipping, I thought. Another option is if the supplier will drop ship for us (send each phone to each person for us), I’m definitely going to try to get that to happen but we’ll see.

  7. Amazon has it for $582 shipped(that’s where I preordered), Newegg has it for $549 shipped… Tmobile just came out with new pricing and they offer no subsidy plans with no contract that actually end up being cheaper than with a subsidy (for the 24 month period.)
    Basically no reason to wait. for Tmobile to offer it, as the Tmobile version could be crippled or include some annoying proprietary stuff.

  8. Missed out on the Dell Deal on Slickdeals blahhh! But I read on the reviews that it is a resistive screen? Think I’ll pass on that and get the X10 instead.

  9. I think this is going to be a nice phone, debian is fantastic and runs every machine I own and now will be at the heart of my phone too!! just a side note, when you have such a strong opinion about something, you should first know what the fuck you are talking about! (google wave is not developed in flash)

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